Is Krakow Cheap or Expensive?

Is Krakow an Affordable European Destination? A Look at Average Prices

As you plan your travels to Krakow, you might wonder about the cost of visiting this historic city in Poland. Krakow, known for its well-preserved medieval core and Jewish quarter, offers a blend of rich history and cultural experiences that often rival those found in other European destinations.

When comparing costs, Krakow is frequently considered one of the more affordable cities in Europe, particularly in Central Europe, where the cost of travel can vary greatly.

The city’s affordability becomes evident when you assess daily expenses such as food, accommodation, and attractions which tend to be lower than in Western European cities like Paris or Rome.

Is Krakow Cheap or Expensive

Your budget in Krakow can stretch further, allowing you to explore the city’s vibrant streets, unique architecture, and compelling history without the steep prices commonly associated with European travel.

While Krakow may have slightly higher prices compared to other Polish cities, it remains a cost-effective option for travellers looking to experience the essence of Central Europe.

Cost of Accommodation in Krakow

Accomodation costs in Krakow

When planning your stay in Krakow, you’ll find a range of options to suit various budgets. Whether you opt for a hotel or hostel for short-term needs, or an apartment rental for a longer visit, choices are aplenty, with prices generally leaning towards the budget-friendly side. Read also How Much Money Do I Need for Krakow?

Hotels and Hostels

Hotels in Krakow: If you’re seeking comfort, hotels in Krakow offer various options. For a luxury experience, prices can soar significantly, yet mid-range hotels provide a balance of comfort and cost, with average prices per night:

  • Luxury: Approximately 650-1,000 PLN
  • Mid-Range: Roughly 250-400 PLN
  • Budget-Friendly: Around 100-200 PLN

Hostels in Krakow: An ideal choice for budget-conscious travellers, hostels in Krakow are not only affordable but also offer a social experience.

  • Average price per night: 40-80 PLN

Is Krakow Expensive or Cheap

Apartments and Rentals

Apartments in Krakow: If your visit to Krakow extends beyond a few days, looking into apartment rentals might be economical. Prices will vary based on location and amenities:

  • City Centre: About 3,000 PLN per month
  • Outside Centre: More affordable options available.

Rentals offer you the space and comfort of home, often making them a cost-effective option for longer stays.

Food and Dining Experiences costs in Krakow

Food Walking Tour in Krakow

Your journey to Krakow offers an array of culinary experiences, from traditional Polish dishes served in local restaurants and milk bars to a variety of street foods found in markets.

Whether you wish to indulge in a formal dining setting or grab a quick bite, the city caters to all tastes and budgets.

Restaurants and Cafes

In Krakow, you’ll find an eclectic mix of restaurants and cafes. Mid-range restaurants typically charge around €20 for a meal per person, allowing you to enjoy local specialities such as Pierogi – stuffed dumplings – without straining your wallet.

For an economical experience, Bar Mleczny or “Milk Bars” offer hearty traditional Polish food like Bigos or Żurek at very affordable prices, with meals costing as little as €5 per person.

  • Sample cost at a Bar Mleczny: €5
  • Estimated cost at a mid-range restaurant: €20

Street Food and Markets

For a less formal eating experience, Krakow’s streets and markets invite you to try a variety of snacks and local comfort foods. Breakfast options often include Obwarzanek.

Obwarzanki Krakowskie

Obwarzanek is chewy bread ring that is a Krakow street food staple, while later in the day, stalls serve up flavoursome options perfect for lunch or dinner.

  • Must-try street food: Obwarzanek, Pierogi
  • Typical range for street food meals: €2-€6

Traditional Polish pierogy

Alcohol and Drinks

Alcohol in Krakow, particularly beer and vodka, is generally inexpensive compared to western European standards. A pint of beer in a local pub can cost as little as €1.50 to €2.50.

Price of beer in Krakow

For something stronger, sipping on Polish vodka traditionally accompanies meals, and you’ll find it reasonably priced in both bars and shops.

  • Typical price for a pint of beer: €1.50-€2.50
  • General cost for a shot of vodka: €2-€4

Note: Prices are approximate and can vary based on the venue, location, and seasonal factors.

Transportation Costs in Krakow

Krakow bus and tram

In Krakow, navigating through transportation options is cost-effective compared to many European cities. You have access to an extensive network of public transport, convenient airport transfers, and various inner-city travel methods to ensure you reach your destinations without overspending.

Public Transport

Your journey in Krakow is well-supported by a comprehensive public transit system that includes buses and trams. A single journey ticket costs around 4 PLN, which grants you access for a limited time across the network.

If your visit is prolonged, consider a Krakow City card or 24-hour pass or for approximately 17 PLN, or a 7-day pass for around 48 PLN, offering unlimited travel and great savings.

  • Single fare: 4 PLN
  • 24-hour pass: 17 PLN
  • 7-day pass: 48 PLN

Airport Transfers

Upon arrival at Krakow Airport, you have multiple transfer options to reach the city centre.

If you opt for a shuttle service, some forms of which can be pre-booked, it may offer the convenience of door-to-door service. Read also Krakow Airport Luxury Vehicle Private Transfer and Getting from Kraków City Centre to Kraków Airport

Alternatively, a train from the airport to central Krakow might cost you approximately 16 PLN.

  • Shuttle service: Variable rates
  • Train to city: 16 PLN

Inner-City Travel

Exploring Krakow by foot is certainly feasible, given its compact nature. Yet, for longer distances, your public transport passes cover trams and buses that crisscross the city efficiently.

If you choose taxis, expect fixed prices and no hidden fees with reputable companies, ensuring budget-friendly inner-city travel.

  • Public transport pass: As above
  • Taxi: Fixed rates (varies by company)

Entertainment and Attractions

When visiting Krakow, your experience can be both enriching and affordable. Careful planning can ensure you take in the grand sights and vibrant cultural scene while managing your budget effectively.

Museums and Historical Sites

Krakow’s museums and historical sites offer a glimpse into Poland’s rich past. Auschwitz, the sombre memorial and museum, is an essential visit for those wanting to understand European history, though it’s located a bit outside of Krakow.

Krakow visit to Wawel castle

In contrast, Wawel Castle and the Rynek Underground provide a historic narrative right in the heart of the city. Admission fees to such sites are reasonable, but purchasing a Krakow Card might save you money if you plan on visiting multiple venues.

Cultural Activities

Your cultural itinerary should include a stroll through the Old Town and Kazimierz, the historic Jewish District, where you’ll find both free and ticketed attractions.

Walking Tour of Old Town and Kazimierz

Schindler’s Factory is now a museum that offers a deep dive into wartime Krakow. Often, free walking tours are available, which give you an overview of the area’s history; just remember that tipping your guide is customary.

  • Old Town: Free to explore; guided tours available.
  • Kazimierz: No entry fee, small charges for specific sights.
  • Schindler’s Factory: A modest admission fee is applicable.

Nightlife and Leisure

Entertainment in Krakow ranges from vibrant nightlife to leisurely activities. The city is well-known for its affordable bars and clubs, especially in the Jewish District, providing a variety of options for a night out.

Live music and performances can be freely enjoyed in many of Krakow’s pubs and venues.

  • Nightlife: Many bars and clubs with minimal or no entry fees.
  • Live Performances: Commonly found in local pubs, often without additional charges.

Remember to check for any specific admission fees and opening hours before planning your visit to these attractions.

Budgeting for Your Visit to Krakow

When planning your trip to Krakow, consider the affordability of daily expenses, attraction costs, and ways to save on transportation and meals. Managing your budget effectively will ensure a more enjoyable visit.

Daily Expenses

Average daily costs for visitors in Krakow are quite reasonable compared to many other European cities. You should prepare to spend approximately 259 PLN (£50) per day, which includes accommodation, food, and sightseeing.

  • Accommodation: Budget options such as hostels can cost around 100 PLN (£19) per night.
  • Food: A typical day’s food expenses might amount to around 52 PLN (£10), depending on your dining choices.

Saving on Attractions

Krakow offers numerous affordable or even free attractions which can help keep your budget in check.

  • Free Walking Tours: Take advantage of free walking tours to explore the city’s rich history.
  • Museum and Attractions: Some museums have free entry days, plan your visit accordingly to save on entrance fees.

Transport and Meals

Efficiently managing your transport and meal costs is crucial for a budget-friendly trip to Krakow.

  • Transport: A single journey on public transport costs around 4 PLN (£0.8), with day tickets offering better value.
  • Eating Out: Opt for local eateries or street food to enjoy delicious meals without the high costs associated with tourist spots. On average, lunch could cost about 16 PLN (£3), while a dinner can be around 40 PLN (£8).

Remember to carry some local currency, zloty (PLN), as euros are not commonly accepted. Keep track of spending, set a daily budget, and consider travel insurance to mitigate unexpected expenses.

Guide to Polish Currency

Comparative Cost Analysis

Nightlife Paris vs Krakow

When you’re planning a trip to Krakow, your budget will considerably dictate the experience. This section provides a closer look at how Krakow’s costs stack up against other European cities and the impact of seasonal variations on prices.

Krakow vs. Other European Cities

Krakow is often touted as more affordable than many Western European destinations. For example, your daily budget in Paris or Berlin might stretch significantly further in Krakow.

Simply put, the cost of accommodation, dining out, and cultural activities tend to be lower here than in those more expensive cities.

To illustrate, let’s consider median costs for comparable expenses:

Expense Krakow Paris Berlin Warsaw
Standard Hotel Room £60 – £100 £150 – £250 £90 – £150 £70 – £120
Mid-Range Meal £5 – £10 £15 – £25 £10 – £20 £7 – £12
Public Transport £0.80 (Single) £1.90 (Single) £2.90 (Single) £1 (Single)

Keep in mind these are general figures and actual prices can vary.

Seasonal Price Fluctuations

Krakow’s prices can fluctuate depending on the season.

High tourist season typically encompasses the summer months, from June to August, where you might see prices for accommodations and some activities peak due to higher demand.

Similarly, around Christmas and New Year’s Eve, prices can escalate.

Conversely, during the off-peak seasons—autumn and late winter to early spring—you can find rates to be more affordable as tourism wanes. Here’s what you might expect to pay during these fluctuating periods:

  • Peak season (summer/Christmas): Hotel prices can increase by up to 25-50% compared to off-peak times.
  • Off-peak season: You may enjoy discounts on accommodation and attractions, with hotels and tour operators eager to attract visitors.

Weather can play a role in your experience, so if you prefer more moderate temperatures and lower costs, consider visiting during the shoulder months of April, May, September, or October.


We are a team of travel lovers passionate about Krakow. We've explored every part of it and learned its history, traditions, and local secrets. We're eager to share our best tips with you. We know hidden gems and local favorites. We're more than writers; we're your personal guides. In our articles, you'll find everything what you need to know about Krakow. team – Your Krakow Experts

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