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Krakow City Guide

The former capital of Poland is famous for its architectural splendour, exciting modern art and a fascinating history, with castles, ruins and museums. Known for its turbulent history, and as one of the oldest cities in Poland, Krakow's museums, housed in former decadent palaces of the Renaissance, are full of royal treasures and tell the city’s storied history. But Krakow lives as much in the present as in the past, and has active contemporary art circles, hip weekend markets and a vibrant nightlife.

The city is more than 750 years old and for five centuries it was the capital of Poland. Successive generations of monarchs built castles and cathedrals and gave the city a royal prestige that now you can still recognize.

It is not difficult to find your way around Krakow, thanks to the reliable network of trams and buses. Many of the main attractions are located within the compact Old Town and are easy to explore on foot. In the ornate St. Mary's Church you'll find one of the most spectacular altarpieces in Europe and the old city gate, the Barbican, is one of the most impressive sights in the park.

The Wawel Castle is perched high above the city, a castle that has protected Krakow against intruders since the 16th Century. Nowadays, the castle instead displays its stately halls, exhibitions of lavish jewelry and armor collections. For more about Krakow’s storied history, visit the historic Wawel Cathedral and Dragon’s Den, a limestone cave which, according to legend, a dragon once called home.

Krakow's history is intertwined with that of the Jewish community. Visit the Oskar Schindler Factory, made famous by the film Schindler's List by Steven Spielberg, to learn more about their struggles during the Second World War. The former factory has been converted into a large museum with Holocaust images that you’ll not soon forget. The Galicia Jewish Museum shares what it’s like to be Jewish in contemporary Krakow.

In the summer, the Krakow city parks alive with outdoor concerts and festivals. Enjoy a picnic in Jordana Park or enjoy a cruise across the city on the River Vistula. In winter you’re likely to see Krakow blanketed by a layer of snow, making the buildings in the historic city exude a romantic atmosphere.


Guide to Exploring Krakow


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See all 628 Hotels in Krakow
€60
Hilton Garden Inn Krakow Airport

Hilton Garden Inn Krakow Airport

3 Medweckiego Street, Zabierzow
4.7
of 5, from 107 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

Located in Balice, this hotel is within 9 mi (15 km) of Wolski Forest, Main Market Square, and Collegium Maius. Park Decjusza and Benedictine abbey in Tyniec are also within 9 mi (15 km).

€72
Betmanowska Main Square Residence

Betmanowska Main Square Residence

Ul. Rynek Glowny 44, Krakow
4.9
of 5, from 349 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

Located in Old Town, this hotel is steps from Amber Museum, Main Market Square, and St. Mary's Basilica. Cloth Hall and Town Hall Tower are also within 5 minutes.

€21
System Hotel Kraków

System Hotel Kraków

J. Conrada 35, Krakow
3.0
of 5, from 24 reviews
3.0 out of 5.0

Located in Bronowice, this hotel is within 3 mi (5 km) of John Paul II Hospital, Main Market Square, and Krakow Barbican. Czartoryski Museum and Florian's Gate are also within 3 mi (5 km).

€78
Hotel Polski Pod Białym Orłem

Hotel Polski Pod Białym Orłem

ul. Pijarska 17, Krakow
4.5
of 5, from 106 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

Located in Florianska Street, this hotel is steps from City Arsenal, Florian's Gate, and Czartoryski Museum. Main Market Square and Krakow Barbican are also within 10 minutes.

€66
Venetian House Market Square Aparthotel

Venetian House Market Square Aparthotel

Rynek Glowny 11, Krakow
4.6
of 5, from 130 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

Located in Old Town, this apartment is steps from Church of St. Wojciech, Main Market Square, and St. Mary's Basilica. Town Hall Tower and Collegium Maius are also within 5 minutes.

€76
Sheraton Grand Krakow

Sheraton Grand Krakow

Ul. Powisle 7, Krakow
4.7
of 5, from 507 reviews
5.0 out of 5.0

Sheraton Grand Krakow is located on the bank of Wisla River near famous Wawel Castle with stunning views to both. The Old Town and the famous Kazimierz district is just a 10-minute walk away.

€67
Best Western Plus Krakow Old Town

Best Western Plus Krakow Old Town

Sw. Gertrudy Street 6, Krakow
3.9
of 5, from 228 reviews
3.0 out of 5.0

Located in Old Town, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Holy Trinity Church, Wawel Castle, and Main Market Square. St. Mary's Basilica and Cloth Hall are also within 10 minutes.

€50
Wyspianski Hotel

Wyspianski Hotel

Ul Westerplatte 15, Krakow
4.0
of 5, from 554 reviews
3.0 out of 5.0

Located in Old Town, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Bourgeois House, Main Market Square, and St. Mary's Basilica. Florian's Gate and Cloth Hall are also within 10 minutes.

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