Krakow is a city that’s rich in history and culture, with plenty of attractions to keep visitors entertained throughout the year. However, choosing the right time to visit can make a big difference in terms of the weather, crowds, and overall experience. In this article, we’ll take a look at the best times to visit Krakow, as well as some of the top attractions, food and drink scenes, and unique experiences on offer.
If you’re planning a trip to Krakow, you’ll want to consider a few key factors when deciding on the best time to visit. These include the weather, crowds, and seasonal events. While Krakow is a popular destination year-round, there are certain times of year that are particularly busy or offer unique experiences. Whether you’re looking to explore the city’s rich history and culture, indulge in its food and drink scene, or simply relax and take in the sights, there’s something for everyone in Krakow.
So, when is the best time to visit Krakow? Let’s take a closer look at the different seasons and what they have to offer. Whether you’re planning a weekend getaway or a longer stay, we’ll help you make the most of your time in this beautiful city.
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Best Time to Visit Krakow
Krakow is a beautiful city with a rich history and culture. It is a city that can be visited all year round, but the best time to visit Krakow depends on your interests and preferences. The city experiences a continental climate, with cold winters and warm summers. Here is a guide to help you decide the best time to visit Krakow.
Spring (March to May)
Spring is a great time to visit Krakow. The weather is mild, and the city is not too crowded with tourists. The average temperature during this time is between 8°C to 18°C.
You can enjoy the beautiful parks and gardens in the city, such as the Planty Park and the Wawel Royal Castle Gardens. The spring season is also a great time to visit Krakow’s museums and galleries.
Summer (June to August)
Summer is the peak tourist season in Krakow. The weather is warm, and the city is bustling with tourists. The average temperature during this time is between 18°C to 25°C.
Autumn (September to November)
Autumn is a great time to visit Krakow if you want to avoid the crowds and enjoy the beautiful fall colours. The weather is mild, and the average temperature during this time is between 8°C to 18°C.
You can enjoy the beautiful scenery in the city’s parks and gardens, such as the Planty Park and the Wawel Royal Castle Gardens. The autumn season is also a great time to visit the city’s museums and galleries.
Winter (December to February)
Winter is a magical time to visit Krakow. The city is covered in snow, and the Christmas markets add to the festive atmosphere. The average temperature during this time is between -3°C to 1°C.
You can enjoy winter sports such as ice-skating, skiing, and snowboarding in the nearby Tatra Mountains. The winter season is also a great time to visit Krakow’s museums and galleries.
In conclusion, the best time to visit Krakow depends on your interests and preferences. Spring and autumn are great times to visit if you want to avoid the crowds, while summer is the peak tourist season. Winter is a magical time to visit Krakow, but be prepared for the cold weather. Whatever season you choose to visit, you will be enchanted by the beauty and charm of this historic city.
Top Krakow Attractions
Krakow is a city full of history, culture, and natural beauty. From historical sites to cultural experiences, there is something for everyone in this charming city.
Here are some of the top attractions in Krakow that you should definitely add to your itinerary.
Krakow is home to many historical sites that are worth visiting. The most famous of these is the Wawel Castle, which sits atop Wawel Hill and has been the residence of Polish kings for centuries. The Royal Castle and Wawel Cathedral are also located on Wawel Hill and are must-visit attractions.
Another historical site that should not be missed is Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi concentration camp during World War II. While it is a sombre experience, it is important to visit and pay your respects to the victims of the Holocaust.
Krakow is a city with a rich cultural heritage, and there are many cultural experiences to be had here. The Jewish quarter of Kazimierz is a must-visit for anyone interested in Jewish culture and history. The area is home to many synagogues and Jewish cemeteries, as well as the Jewish Culture Festival which takes place every year.
Another cultural experience not to be missed is a visit to Schindler’s Factory, which tells the story of Oskar Schindler and the Jews he saved during World War II. The Rynek Underground is also worth a visit, as it showcases the history of Krakow from medieval times to the present day.
Krakow is situated on the banks of the Vistula River, and there are many natural attractions to be enjoyed in and around the city. The Podgórze district is home to the beautiful Bednarski Park, which offers stunning views of the river and the city.
Festivities and Events in Krakow
Krakow is a city that loves to celebrate, and there are many festivals and events that take place throughout the year. The Christmas market is a must-visit during the festive season, and the Wianki festival in June is a celebration of the summer solstice.
Other festivals and events to look out for include the Jewish Culture Festival, the Krakow Film Festival, and Photomonth. Constitution Day in May is also a big celebration, as is Midsummer in June and New Year’s Eve.
Overall, Krakow is a city with something for everyone, from history buffs to culture vultures to nature lovers. No matter what time of year you visit, there is sure to be something exciting going on in this charming city.
Best things to do in Krakow:
- Axe Throwing Krakow
- Bachelor Party Krakow
- Chocholow: Thermal Baths
- Kazimierz Pub Crawl + 1-hour Premium Open Bar
- Krakow Bike Tours
- Krakow by Night Tour
- Krakow City Guided Tour on Scooter & Food Tasting
- Krakow City Tour by Electric Golf Cart
- Krakow Folk Show & 3-Course Dinner
- Krakow Kalashnikov Shooting
- Krakow River Cruise
- Krakow Zoo with Hotel Pickup Tour
- Medieval Krakow Ghost Tour
- Stag Do Activities
Krakow’s Food and Drink Scene
Krakow is a foodie’s paradise, with a diverse range of traditional and modern cuisine to choose from. Whether you’re a meat lover or a vegan, there’s something for everyone in this city.
When it comes to traditional Polish cuisine, Krakow has plenty to offer. Pierogi, Polish dumplings, are a must-try dish. The most popular type is ruskie, which is stuffed with cheese and potato.
Another traditional dish is zapiekanka, a half-baguette pizza-style creation topped with everything from feta cheese to Polish sausage.
If you’re a meat lover, you can’t miss trying some of the city’s famous sausages, such as kielbasa krakowska. For something heartier, try bigos, a stew made with sauerkraut, meat, and vegetables.
Restaurants and Bars
Krakow’s dining scene is diverse, with options ranging from traditional Polish restaurants to modern fusion cuisine. Some of the city’s most popular restaurants include Restauracja Wierzynek, a 14th-century royal restaurant, and Morskie Oko, which offers an updated take on regional cuisine.
For a night out, Krakow has plenty of bars and pubs to choose from. If you’re a fan of vodka, head to Wodka Bar, which offers over 100 different types of vodka. If you’re looking for something more upscale, check out Szara Gęś w Kuchni Restaurant, which offers a fine dining experience.
Krakow’s nightlife scene is amazing and exciting, with options ranging from nightclubs to live music venues. Some of the city’s most popular nightclubs include Prozak 2.0 and Frantic Club. If you’re looking for live music, head to Harris Piano Jazz Bar, which offers nightly performances.
Overall, Krakow’s food and drink scene is diverse and exciting. Whether you’re looking for traditional Polish cuisine or modern fusion dishes, you’re sure to find something to suit your taste buds in this city.
Travel Planning for Krakow
Planning a city break to Krakow can be an exciting experience. With so much to see and do, it’s important to plan ahead to ensure you make the most of your trip.
In this section, we’ll cover some essential travel planning tips to help you get started.
Krakow offers a range of accommodation options to suit all budgets. From luxury hotels to budget hostels, you’re sure to find something that fits your needs. Booking.com is great webpage to find and book your accommodation.
Krakow has plenty of attractions to keep you busy during your stay. Whether you’re planning a two-day, three-day, or four-day itinerary, there’s something for everyone. Check out our suggested itineraries below:
- Two-day Krakow itinerary: Day 1 – Explore the Old Town and visit Wawel Castle. Day 2 – Take a trip to Auschwitz-Birkenau and the Wieliczka Salt Mine.
- Three-day Krakow itinerary: Day 1 – Explore the Old Town and visit Wawel Castle. Day 2 – Take a trip to Auschwitz-Birkenau. Day 3 – Visit the Wieliczka Salt Mine and explore Kazimierz, the Jewish Quarter.
- Four-day Krakow itinerary: Day 1 – Explore the Old Town and visit Wawel Castle. Day 2 – Take a trip to Auschwitz-Birkenau. Day 3 – Visit the Wieliczka Salt Mine. Day 4 – Explore Kazimierz, the Jewish Quarter, and visit Schindler’s Factory.
More recommended Krakow itineraries:
When packing for your trip to Krakow, it’s important to consider the weather. The city experiences cold winters and warm summers, so be sure to pack accordingly. A hat, umbrella, and jacket are essential items to pack. Don’t forget to purchase travel insurance before your trip.
Krakow is easily accessible by air, with flights available from various European cities. Ryanair, EasyJet, and British Airways are just a few of the airlines that fly to Krakow. If you’re travelling from the UK, flight times range from 2.5-3 hours. Alternatively, you can travel to Krakow by train or bus.
If you’re planning on frenetic bouts of sightseeing and heavy use of public transport, it’s worth getting a Krakow Card (1, 2 or 3 days) that gives you free entry to 39 museums, free use of public transport and more.
Exploring Krakow’s Culture and History
Krakow is a city rich in culture and history, with a plethora of museums, galleries, and architectural wonders to explore. Here are some of the top cultural and historical attractions to check out during your visit to Krakow.
Museums and Galleries
Krakow is home to a number of world-class museums and galleries, showcasing everything from contemporary art to ancient artifacts. One must-visit attraction is the Enamel Factory, which houses a fascinating exhibition on the history of Krakow during World War II. The factory was used as a set for the film Schindler’s List and offers a poignant insight into the city’s past.
Another must-see museum is the National Museum, which boasts an impressive collection of Polish art, including works by famous artists such as Jan Matejko and Józef Mehoffer. The Museum of Contemporary Art in Krakow is also worth a visit, with its cutting-edge exhibitions and installations.
Krakow is steeped in history, with a wealth of historical sites and landmarks to explore. One of the most significant is the Wieliczka Salt Mine, a UNESCO World Heritage site that dates back to the 13th century. The mine is home to a labyrinth of tunnels and chambers, as well as a stunning underground chapel carved entirely out of salt.
Another important site is the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp, located just outside Krakow. This haunting memorial serves as a reminder of the atrocities committed during the Holocaust and is a must-visit for anyone interested in the history of World War II.
Krakow is renowned for its stunning architecture, with a mix of Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque styles on display throughout the city. One of the most iconic landmarks is Wawel Castle, a sprawling complex of buildings that dates back to the 14th century. The castle is home to a number of museums and galleries, as well as the Royal Cathedral, where many Polish kings and queens are buried.
Another architectural gem is the Jagiellonian University, one of the oldest universities in Europe. Founded in 1364, the university boasts a rich history and stunning Gothic architecture, including the famous Collegium Maius building.
Overall, Krakow is a city that offers something for everyone, whether you’re interested in culture, history, or simply admiring beautiful architecture. Be sure to explore these top attractions during your visit to Krakow to get a true sense of the city’s unique charm and character.
Shopping and Leisure in Krakow
Krakow is a shopper’s paradise with a variety of options ranging from modern shopping centres to traditional street markets. The city is home to several shopping malls, including the Galeria Krakowska, which is a must-visit for anyone looking to indulge in some retail therapy. This shopping centre features around 270 shops spread over three levels of a modern building in the heart of the historic town. You can find a range of products here, including fashion, electronics, books, and souvenirs.
If you’re looking for a more traditional shopping experience, you should visit the Sukiennice or Cloth Hall. This historic building in the Main Market Square has been a trading centre for centuries and is now home to a variety of souvenir shops. You can find everything from amber jewellery to traditional Polish pottery here. The Cloth Hall is also a great place to relax and soak up the atmosphere of the city.
Apart from shopping, Krakow offers plenty of opportunities for leisure and relaxation. If you’re looking for some peace and quiet, you can head to the Planty Park, which surrounds the Old Town.
This park is a great place to take a leisurely walk or have a picnic. You can also visit the Wawel Royal Castle, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This historic castle is home to several museums and art galleries and offers stunning views of the city.
Photography in Krakow
Krakow is a photographer’s paradise, with its stunning architecture, vibrant colours, and picturesque streets. Whether you’re a professional photographer or just an amateur with a camera, you’ll find plenty of opportunities to capture beautiful images in this charming city.
One of the best times to visit Krakow for photography is during the low season, which runs from November to February. During this time, the city is relatively quiet, and the prices are lower, making it an excellent time for budget travellers. The winter months also offer a unique opportunity to capture the city’s beautiful snow-covered landscapes.
If you prefer warmer weather, spring and autumn are also great times to visit Krakow. The weather is mild, and the city is less crowded than during the peak summer season. May is particularly lovely, with lush green parks such as Planty Park providing a stunning backdrop for your photos.
When it comes to photography spots in Krakow, there are plenty to choose from. The Main Market Square in Old Town is a must-visit location, with its beautiful architecture and bustling atmosphere. Other popular spots include Wawel Castle, Kazimierz, and the Jewish Quarter, which are all rich in history and culture.
If you’re looking for some inspiration for your photography in Krakow, consider attending the Krakow Photomonth festival, which takes place at the end of May each year. This month-long festival celebrates photography in all its forms, with exhibitions, workshops, and other events taking place across the city.
You’ve explored the beautiful city of Krakow, but now it’s time to venture out and see what else Poland has to offer. Luckily, there are plenty of day trips you can take from Krakow to experience the country’s natural beauty, history, and culture.
One popular day trip is to visit the Wieliczka Salt Mine, which is located just outside of Krakow. This UNESCO World Heritage site is over 700 years old and features an underground world of chambers, tunnels, and salt sculptures. You can take a guided tour of the mine and learn about its history, or even try your hand at mining some salt yourself.
If you’re looking for a more natural setting, consider taking a day trip to Zakopane. This mountain town is located at the base of the Tatra Mountains and is a popular destination for hiking, skiing, and other outdoor activities. You can take a cable car up to the top of Mount Gubalowka for stunning views of the surrounding landscape, or explore the town’s traditional wooden architecture and local markets.
Other day trip options include visiting the historic city of Wroclaw, exploring the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum, or taking a scenic drive through the Polish countryside. No matter what your interests are, there’s a day trip from Krakow that’s sure to excite and inspire you.
Krakow’s Unique Experiences
Krakow is a city full of unique experiences that will leave you amazed and excited. Here are some of the top things to do in Krakow that you won’t find anywhere else:
- Visit the Wieliczka Salt Mine: This UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the most popular attractions in Krakow. Descend deep into the earth and explore the underground salt mine, which includes a chapel, sculptures, and even a lake.
- Explore the Jewish Quarter: The Kazimierz district was once the center of Jewish life in Krakow. Today, it’s a trendy area full of bars, restaurants, and street art. Don’t miss the chance to visit the historic synagogues and Jewish cemeteries.
- Take a ride in a communist-era Trabant: Experience what it was like to drive a car in communist Poland by taking a tour in a Trabant. These iconic cars were once a common sight on the streets of Krakow.
- Try traditional Polish food: Krakow is known for its hearty cuisine, including pierogi (dumplings), kielbasa (sausage), and bigos (stew). Head to a local restaurant or food market to sample the best of Polish cooking.
- Visit the Liban Quarry: This eerie location was once used as a movie set for “Schindler’s List”. Today, it’s a haunting reminder of the Płaszów Labor Camp, which was located nearby.
- Attend a concert in St. Mary’s Basilica: This stunning Gothic church is home to one of the largest and most impressive altarpieces in Europe. It’s also a popular venue for classical music concerts.
Krakow has so much to offer, and these unique experiences are just the beginning. Whether you’re a history buff, a foodie, or an adventurer, there’s something for everyone in this vibrant city.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the best months to visit Krakow?
Krakow is a year-round destination, but the best months to visit are from April to June and September to November. During these months, the weather is mild, and the crowds are smaller. July and August are the peak tourist season, and the city can get crowded and hot. December is also a popular time to visit for the Christmas markets, but it can get very cold.
How many days should I spend in Krakow?
You should plan to spend at least two to three days in Krakow to see the main sights, such as the Wawel Castle, the Main Market Square, and the Jewish Quarter. If you want to explore the surrounding area, including the Wieliczka Salt Mine and Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum, you should plan to stay for at least four to five days.
What is the weather like in Krakow in March?
March is still considered winter in Krakow, with temperatures ranging from -2°C to 8°C. It can be cold and snowy, so make sure to bring warm clothing and waterproof shoes. However, March is a good time to visit if you want to avoid the crowds and enjoy lower prices.
When is the best time to visit Auschwitz?
Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum is open year-round, but the best time to visit is from April to October when the weather is mild. It can get very crowded during the peak tourist season in July and August, so it’s best to visit early in the morning or late in the afternoon to avoid the crowds.
What is the weather like in Krakow?
Krakow has a continental climate, with cold winters and warm summers. The average temperature in winter is around -2°C, while in summer, it’s around 20°C. It can be rainy throughout the year, so make sure to bring waterproof clothing.
Is Krakow better to visit in winter or summer?
Krakow is a great destination to visit year-round, but it depends on your preferences. Winter is perfect for winter sports and Christmas markets, while summer is ideal for outdoor activities and festivals. Spring and autumn are great times to visit if you want to avoid the crowds and enjoy lower prices.