Top Tips

Here are a few things to remember during your time in Cracow:

Avoid changing your money at the Bureaux de Change in the town centre unless you want to hand a complete stranger an early Christmas present - the rates can be awful.

Don't hail your taxis from the rank - ask someone to phone for one - it's generally 30 percent cheaper.

Coin-operated phone boxes are almost non-existent. You'll need to buy a telephone card (karta telefoniczna) from a post office or roadside kiosk.

Take care when buying antiques. It's illegal to export certain items, particularly old paintings, produced before 1945.

Don't expect first class service in Cracow's restaurants and bars - the city still has a long way to go in that respect! Things have improved a lot however in the last few years, and with an ever-increasing amount of tourists in the city tipping is also becoming customary. Ten percent on any meal should mean you're welcomed back next time!

One of the ancient Chakra energy stones is believed to be buried in Wawel Castle. It's all nonsense, according to the guides, but thousands still come for the vibe.

If you're planning a trip to Cracow be sure to book your accommodation in advance, particularly in the high season. The best hotels fill out quickly, with apartments a better bet for last minute breaks. Backpackers meanwhile should check out our page on Cracow hostels.

When it comes to partying, Cracovians start early and finish late. Whereas you'll find it hard to get a seat if you arrive at a nightspot after ten, the clubs only really start to get going when Cinderella's on her way home... and carry on until 4 a.m. or even later. If you want to go the distance make sure you pace yourself! Cracow has more drinking holes per square metre than anywhere else in the world. Hurrah!

Bring warm clothes and a hat. The weather in Poland can be surprisingly pleasant, but equally it can have a bitter cold edge even in late spring. You may just end up blessing that ridiculous old balaclava.

Poles are passionate about their food. Throw away your preconceptions about miserable Eastern Bloc stews, and be prepared for a great surprise.

Poland has adopted its own uniquely confusing symbols for differentiating public toilets for men and women. Remember, too, that you may well have to pay. Oh, and by the way, the circle is for women, the triangle for men!

Above: A pocket-full of coins won't get you very far with these things

Below: A rainy day in Kazimierz

Comments

Add review

Barbara Withers from United Kingdom Reply Aug 12th, 2016

Krakow is a beautiful place. There should be more information about using the trams, we didn't know about validating the tickets and what 20 minutes meant. It is easy to think it's good enough to buy a ticket. What is the idea of validating them?

shaun from United Kingdom Reply Mar 9th, 2015

Love the place. 1st time visiting and stayed in an excellent place called Home. Highly recommend. Staff are excellent, room is beautiful and very clean and breakfast is gorgeous. Krakow i found to have quite a few homeless with some shoving cups in your face to fill with change. A little girl about 8 years old walks round the tables at the bars too in the town square. But you just have to ignore and keep walking. Nearly everywhere we bought something from (the little street stalls) that sell bread or souvenirs short changed us. And its so obvious too! The woman selling the wooden birds that whistle in the town square is the worse for it :) but its not much so expect it. But that aside it is beautiful and if you love history and walks then i highly recommend. It was warm during the day (16/17° ish) but freezing at night with it being -1° during one night so be prepared! Enjoy! (Visited march 15)

Shona from New Zealand Reply Sep 27th, 2014

Looking good so far - a lot of useful information

Nina from United Kingdom Reply Aug 22nd, 2014

Visiting in September/October 14. My husband is disabled, what is the best way to travel around the city, and approx costs .

G Aug 22nd, 2014

Try renting a wheelchair, but overall, Kraków is not too disabled-friendly: a lot of cobbled streets and stairs. The Market Sq is fine, though:) a melex (electric car) rental is also an option. Sorry, don't know the prices, try googling. Good luck!

Jamie from United Kingdom Reply Aug 12th, 2014

Great city and lots to do. Found the people super-friendly, bars are awesome and generally everything is a lot cheaper than back home. Try Moaburger for the best burger you have ever eaten - that's my top tip !

steve reilly from United Kingdom Reply Sep 27th, 2011

going back to krakow in december my 4th visit in 3 years as a single traveller i have found everyone very friendly out of season when the english stages arnt there but in the summer months i think people think i am with 1 of these big mouth groups and avoid me for that reason i always go in december now what a beautiful city and beautiful friendly people

Jeff Blythin from United Kingdom Reply Sep 22nd, 2011

Had a brilliant time in Krakow,. Fantastic city, greta people, greta food. Got a much better exchange rate in the city than back in the UK

John McCann from United Kingdom Reply Feb 2nd, 2011

I find your website fantastic with the range of helpful information available.One query are discounted tickets available to pensioners from the UK?

Donna Torch from United Kingdom Reply Sep 23rd, 2010

Just returned from my first trip - had a great time. Thanks to all your tips on here - they really helped. If planning to visit - do your own thing. The transport links to all the sites are fab - and cheap. The hotels & tour operators charge a fortune for exactly the same thing. Visit the Tourist Info booths & get all the info you need. Auschwitz was an amazing trip - and the electric buggy tours of the town are fun :-)

bernard bronczyk from United States Reply Sep 17th, 2010

went to cracow in 2009 during august.for ten days. stayed at the wyspiansky which is close to the square. great breakfast. clean and good location and reasonably priced. most enjoyable trip i ever took. cracow is like new orleans on steroids. take the train from the airport . very reasonable with frequent runs. take the train to czestochowa and auschwitz if you want to save money and the bus to the salt mine. czestochowa was a very moving experience with all of the pilgrims arriving and spontaneous singing.learn to use the trains and the buses if you want o save money. about the 1/3 the cost of a guided tour. l seldom had trouble finding someone who spoke english. went to the wawel twice. went to the square every evening. loads of free entertainment, jugglers,mimes,break dancers,singers,horses,artists,musicians ticketed performances, bizarros etc.why havent american cities revived the town square. meals were pricey if you want something other than chicken or fish. the markets especially the kasimir was a lot of fun. the next time i visit i want to see the koszczuisko mound , zakopane,the national parks.the factory and apartment tour, the military plane museum and the jewish cemetaries which i missed because they were not open on saturday. I did arrange a guide to take me to my fathers village of brzana gorna and visited his parish church and cemetary in bobowa. things ive learned guided tours are 3x as expensive. dont try to see 5 cities in ten days. pick one place that has lot of variety. i did not like the fact that there were a lot of police dressed in black like storm troopers and the new mall which is the worst idea ive ever seen . the new mall the largest in poland will put the local enterpreneur out of business and ruin the texture and vibrancy of the city. the poles have taken the worst from america. cracowians support your local businesses and avoid the international corporates that will take your jobs and money and ruin your local economy and forever change the charm that you now offer. the internatinal corporatization of cracow is a greater enemy than communism. before visiting read poland and the peasant prince. have a great trip. b.

det66 from United Kingdom Reply Feb 27th, 2010

Cheers CLife just wanted to make sure it was the bog standard one i normally take on hols with me

CLife from Poland Reply Feb 26th, 2010

Hi Det, What you want is the 2-pin socket adaptor. Best,

det66 from United Kingdom Reply Feb 15th, 2010

what kind of power adaptors would I need coming from the UK?

John from United Kingdom Reply Jan 29th, 2010

Hi Ted, it's about 9 zlote these days for a good brand. That's just over 2 quid. Better than the UK at least... Happy smokin'!

ted from United Kingdom Reply Nov 21st, 2009

can anyone tell me the price of english cigarettes and rolling tobacco in krakow?

donna from United Kingdom Reply Nov 3rd, 2009

visited crakow jan 09 planning another visit for jan 10,wnat a great city,people are so friendly and it is so laid back,cant wait!!

cindy from United States Reply Sep 19th, 2009

i miss Poland!! its so freakin hot here in Florida,USA!!!i will come back.i promise.even though i have to walk everywhere!!i hope my american money will be worth more too!my Polish friends are with me now.im showing them Florida.there english not so good.we play charades a lot! having fun.bye you all !

cindy from United States Reply Sep 11th, 2009

just got back from Poland! went to Cracow for a day !took 2 hrs. by tram.spent the whole day. it was Great !girls just watch your purses and be careful taking pictures,some people dont like it and some people want to take your pic. with your camera,than want money.ugg.lots of Waling so be ready for that.all in all-A GREAT TIME !!!thanks for making us feel welcome. we will be back !!!!

henrik from Sweden Reply Sep 10th, 2009

Hi! gonna visit cracow this oktober me and my wife. was wondering if theres any tip to get of what to do,where to eat and a nice hotel to be recommended. And ofc any risks to avoid while there?

calomalo from United States Reply Sep 2nd, 2009

cindy, what dates in sept are you going to be there? i will be there for the first time and could use some company.

MB from United States Reply Aug 11th, 2009

Cindy, go on the vodka tasting which you can find at cracow city tours. You get to try different types of vodka and then eventually turns into a pub crawl. It was quite fun and entertaining. Go to Kitsch, Prozac, Pausa and the like all really great clubs

cindy from United States Reply Aug 4th, 2009

my sister-in-law,sister and i are going to Poland this Sept. 2009.anything we Have to see or do? this will be our first overseas trip ! we are interested in the Pub-Crawl of course anything else?? please help. we are 28,26,and 30 yrs. old.

Becky from United Kingdom Reply Jul 31st, 2009

That's really interesting about the Chakra energy stone. Does anyone know of any other sources about this? Cheers

James R. from United Kingdom Reply Jun 30th, 2009

Moth - I don't believe it's the best food you've ever had but Krakow is great (especially when its sunny)!

Morh from United States Reply Jun 27th, 2009

ive been in Kraków for 3 weeks now and its been great!! the best food ive ever had and the night life is amazing,, i dont want to leave :)

Steven Nathaniel Aju from Malaysia Reply May 22nd, 2009

by the way, im very much a Malaysian...

Steven Nathaniel Aju from United States Reply May 22nd, 2009

I will be in Krakow some time mid june..my first stop in my journey across europe...Would like to know if there is a back packers lodge there aka cheapest accomodation and the train far to get to bucharest romania... does anyone want to meet up? can really appreciate great company... cheers

Harvey from Canada Reply May 16th, 2009

I just arrived in Krakow yesterday (Saturday) afternoon. The folks at Cracow-Life agency are very helpful and trust-worthy. I was pleasantly surprised at the excellent location of my apartment and the "energizing" activity in the town square. There sure are a lot of young visitors drinking! Good thing there are police everywhere. My experience, so far has been excellent.

Mas from United Kingdom Reply May 12th, 2009

I am planning on going to Kracow in June. Is this a good time to go. how is the weather and is it easy to get around from Kracow airport to hotel near the main square

Mas from United Kingdom Reply May 12th, 2009

I am planning on going to Kracow in June. Is this a good time to go. how is the weather and is it easy to get around from Kracow airport to hotel near the main square

liz from Ireland Reply Apr 15th, 2009

how wrong you are the food is horrendous but the weather is fab!!

julie crimmins from United Kingdom Reply Mar 29th, 2009

going to krakow with my parents later this year, can someone tell me how much a taxi is from the main square to auschwitz. Thanks

MIcha³ from Poland Reply Jan 12th, 2009

No Louise, we have just gone down from trees, we keep dragons in our backyards and we do not know what sport shop is.... Come on! Do you really think that in normal European country we do not have any sport shops? Unless it is a joke - as this post.

Ania from Poland Reply Jan 12th, 2009

Jane, for 6 people you have to pay 15 zloty extra for a larger cab, but then it's just the regular fare. However, you're better off taking a cab to the bus station and then taking a bus there, it will save you a fortune!

frank higgins from United Kingdom Reply Jan 10th, 2009

I was in cracowlast year and i must say your review on service is wrong,i was very impressed with all the service,quality of the staff ect.i will be definately going again and will recomend it to everybody.

Jane from United Kingdom Reply Jan 7th, 2009

Can anybody tell me how much a taxi for 6 people would cost from Krakow airport to Pisarzowa on a Saturday morning? Thank you.

Louise O'Connell from Ireland Reply Sep 4th, 2008

hi my boyfriend is going to krakow on monday and he was wondering if there is any sports shops

jacqui.mcghee from United Kingdom Reply Sep 4th, 2008

I have just found your site and have copied it as myself and friend are travelling to your city on 8/12/8 for some christmas shopping. looking forward to a good time by all accounts

Ron Ballantyne from United Kingdom Reply Aug 27th, 2008

This is my third visit to Krakow (Long weekends), and I still think I wont see all I want to see . I am amazed at the friendlyness of the people , they cannot do enough for you . Visiting the castle to walking round the town . it is just amazing . The forst time I was delayed a few days because of the fog . Called the hotel Kazimierz 11, got the room back for a few days . Cost a wee bit more than norm , but hey ,, still on Holiday . The Square is fab , just to sit and watch the world go by with a beer or a coffee , watching the street entertainers . Not to be missed . cant wait to go next week again

Alan from United Kingdom Reply Aug 25th, 2008

Just returned from a wonderful visit to Krakow. Booked taxi from airport to hotel via this site, driver was waiting for us at arrival hall and was very friendly and gave us a guided tour on the way to the hotel ( price was fixed via e-mail ) Plenty of transport options whilst there, used buses, trains and taxis. Recommend taking a tour bus around the city, it was inexpensive and gives you an idea of where everything was. Everyone was friendly, spoke good English, food was great and all in all We thoroughly enjoyed our visit. Only downside was the British stag parties, avoid them at all costs, they give the Brits a bad name.

Rab from United Kingdom Reply Aug 24th, 2008

Hey Magda,i am a Scotsman due to visit your city in January 2009. Please dont associate us Scots men with the stupid English guys. We are more refined. Hope we have a great time. Maybe i will see you around lol. Rab

Neowen from Sweden Reply May 12th, 2008

To Magda from Poland. You are my hero. I read what your reply to the brittish guy was, and I laughed so hard I cried. You rule, seriously. Much love / Neo

shirley wotherspoon from United Kingdom Reply Nov 21st, 2007

hotel cracovia good,but if you are from scotland,dont forget to change youre scottish money into english money as they do not recognise scottish currency at all ,and no one ,not even the bank's will change it.our flight was canceld due to fog and we had to stay another two nights,with no cash.hotel excepted a phone call from friend,to pay ,but because we only had scottish money left ,and no credit cards with us we were stuck in hotel room with nothing to do for two days.theyre were seven flights canceld that day and we were not the only ones without money,some people with little children had to wait at airport for two days.and some could not get a flight till saturday,as ryanair does not fly every day to scotland.if we took a flight to london they were charging us 100pounds to fly from stansted to prestwick.ryanair did not even try to find accomodation for its stranded pasengers,we had to que up at airport for 7 hours to find out we could not fly for two days. i am writing this from the hotel,as we dont fly out untill tomorrow, if the wether is ok,(fingers crossed) the forecast looks ok but satuardays does not ,for the people who could not get a flight till satuarday ,if it is canceld they can not fly till tuesday,i feel for them.any way hope i get home tomorrow and i hope this is helpfull for anyone coming for a short breake to kracow.shirley

Magda from Poland Reply Nov 12th, 2007

hey Stu, was your stuff stolen because you passed out drunk in the cab? because if so, the last thing we need in this city is more drunk british guys, i'm glad you'll be staying away!

stu from United Kingdom Reply Nov 10th, 2007

disgusted not even in city 5 hours and already had money and phone pinched some friendly place this is travellers beware taxi drivers pinch from your pockets if you fall asleep not good advert for decent people putting moey into your country will never return horrible place

danka from United States Reply May 9th, 2007

AVOID CLUB "SIEDEM TON PIACHU" dangerous place !

kate from United States Reply Mar 16th, 2007

after our two hour cruise on the boat ( vistula river ), which had been fantastic, we took a short walk to central square where most of us sat at an outdoor cafe and had a drink before heading back to the bus. The old square looked amazing in the moonlight and it was a very relaxing end to the great day.