Krakow Poland - A Survivor's Guide!

3 min read    160 comments

Krakow - Poland's stunning second city, is a captivating place both to travel to and live in. With Poland's accession to the European Union in 2004, there has been a slow but steady increase in foreigners and tourists alike looking for (and often finding) something truly special in the city. is the city's leading English-language portal for Krakow, with over two thousand pages of useful information about everything in the city, from cosy cafes, hip bars and fancy restaurants through to reviews and photos of the best Krakow hotels and apartments if you need help in choosing or booking your accommodation. Thanks to our IT whizzkids we can even show you the exact location of all the above on our fantastic online Krakow map!

As well as presenting you all of Krakow's hottest hangouts (and their whereabouts), we endeavour to keep our readers fingers firmly on the city's pulse, with the latest breaking news, from Krakow and Poland, an up-to-the-minute calendar of events with listings of festivals, exhibitions, parties and concerts, and the latest tricks that Mother Nature is pulling on our weather page. We also provide you the chance to talk to Krakow residents and ask them tricky questions on our forum.


Of course tourists arriving in Krakow Poland for the first time will want to explore the many legendary attractions this ancient capital has to offer (Krakow was the capital of Poland until 1596, when Warsaw took over the honours), and we've prepared feature length articles on all the city's major glories. So whether you're keen to head to Wawel Castle to hear tales of a dangerous dragon, or you're coming to the Market Square to listen to the famous hejnal bugle call and feed the hero pigeons, we'll give you the expert lowdown. Not only that but we'll guide you through resurgent districts such as Kazimierz and Podgorze, and take you further afield to discover the delights of the Salt Mines and Ojcow National Park and the horrors of Auschwitz. There's simply so many things to do in Krakow, and that's before we've introduced the city's museums, theatres and parks. If you want we can also help arrange any number of tours to the above - and beyond!

Here at Cracow Life we've aimed to create a website that is easy-to-use, at times irreverent, but always accurate, and we always welcome your comments and suggestions. Just contact us and let us know how we can improve - or even just an encouraging word if you have found the site useful. Many already have, and we appreciate their comments.

That's pretty much it from Krakow Poland's "cultural capital" - we hope this site helps you get as much pleasure from the city as we have! Don't forget to print your downloadable PDF guide to Krakow before you set off, and to look out for our bright green printed maps when you get here... Meanwhile check out the links on the left, top, and right hand side of the page for everything you could possibly need to know about Krakow and life in Poland - and if you can't find anything just give us a shout.

You'll also find information about entertainment, as well as news articles and reader reviews of all the places listed on the site. Think of Cracow Life as your personal guide to Krakow - you can write to us at any time and we'll do our best to answer your questions, based as we are in the heart of the city.


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Hello I just wanted to check if things are closed on Sundays in Krakow, museums, castles etc. Also is there any days anything is closed. I will be traveling in June and I don't want to arrange my itinerary and then find out things close on some days as is the case in other countries

Reply Feb 11th, 2018

If you are hungry for an adventure, you should travel and experience Krakow :) Fascinating legends, historical monuments and magical atmosphere are things that bring tourists here from all over the world!

Reply Dec 6th, 2017
United Kingdom

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Reply Jan 12th, 2017
United Kingdom

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Reply Jan 12th, 2017
Debbie Momsen
South Africa

Looking forward to visiting Krakow.

Reply Oct 1st, 2016
David Wu
United States

Is Amber town of Krakow? or where is largest Amber town in Poland?

Reply Sep 7th, 2016
United Kingdom

Anyone recoment a good cheap hotel? Near local atractions? All advice welcome ☺

Reply Mar 31st, 2016
Louis herzberg
United Kingdom

Looking for ottonyia where my mother's family lived. Is there an area called the Rumenuvka? She fled to Vienna in 1916.

Reply Jan 5th, 2016
Carol Kramer
United States

My father's family was from Ottonyia. It was in what was then the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The children were sent to other countries during WW1. My father was in Holland. After the war the family fled to Vienna. From there the made it to the US.

Reply Dec 27th, 2016
United Kingdom

Lovely city. Shame about the attitude of the local police. Fined on 2 separate occasions for not obeying polish law, when they can clearly tell we are tourists and do not know better. Fined 100 on a Sunday night at 3am for crossing the road without a green man. Absolute joke. I will never visit Kraków again for this reason. Prague is far better.

Reply Dec 14th, 2015
Czech Republic

Can you go on red on lights in UK? In Prague you get fine too if policeman see you. :-D I know it's ridiculous in 3am with free road, but you must be carefoul if police isn's near. It's your mistake. :-)

Reply Nov 1st, 2017
United Kingdom

Loved eating with locals ( in Krakow. thanks, Igor, for a lovely meal !

Reply Aug 13th, 2015
Maria t mcneice

i would like to visit, so is there any brochure or guide books that you could supply please

Reply Aug 3rd, 2015
South Africa

I am visiting Krakow from 16 November 2015 until Monday 23 November. Can you recommend a hotel. ( I am 55 and want to stay near everything but not to noisy) How is the weather? something about this hotel. Can I use euro? Thanks

Reply May 31st, 2015

best city in Europe - apart from Dublin, of course. Love it !

Reply Apr 17th, 2015
United Kingdom

This place is my favourite destination ,have travelled to most of Europe .Going back on 14 the of this month , and again 25th September. The Polish people are very friendly ,if you treat them with respect. P S ,this will be my 27th visit in four years .Enjoy this place .

Reply Aug 10th, 2014
Laurie Galland
United States

Beware of the POLICE in Krakow. While we were in Krakow my son got into a dispute with a cab driver over the fare (which was 3 times the amount we had paid during the day). The driver called the police who took Matthew into their police van, beat him, broke his phone and made him give them 300 zloty. They had an ATM scanner in their vehicle to do this transaction. When he called his bank after arriving back at the hotel, the bank said it was charged to a bar. Something is wrong with this!!!! Anyone ever experience anything like this?

Reply Jun 19th, 2014
Czech Republic

Fake police?

Reply Nov 1st, 2017
United Kingdom

It is a small city, feels more like a town. Very easy to get around on cheap trams and buses (even the taxis are good value). Or, best of all, you can walk to just about all the main sites. Lovely people too !

Reply May 28th, 2014

My favourite city in the whole world :) Kocham Krakow!

Reply May 2nd, 2014
United Kingdom

Best city in Europe! Awesome people, restaurants, bars and cafes.

Reply Mar 22nd, 2014
United Kingdom

A wonderful city both to visit - and live in, with the exception of the pollution, which can be pretty bad :(

Reply Nov 29th, 2013
United Kingdom

My favourite city in Europe. Just the right size - small enough to be able to walk around yet tons of stuff going on. Brilliant, efficient and cheap public transport. Great food, bars. People lovely but a bit guarded. Once they warm to you, the Poles are the best company !

Reply Sep 17th, 2013
Artie Dymnioski
United States

I will be looking forward to seeing Krakow when I visit Poland for the first time next June.

Reply Aug 23rd, 2013
Marlyn Cababay

The Next World Youth Day will be held in Krakow. We are planning and hoping to join with God's Grace. This is a great place and the homeland of our dear Blessed John Paul II :) See You Krakow in 2016! Do zobaczenia w Krakowie, w 2016!

Reply Aug 8th, 2013

Is it safe for colored people to travel here? I am a Canadian of east-indian orgin. Thanks.

Reply Jul 23rd, 2013
United Kingdom

No Mandy, they like the colored folks... just make sure you sit in the back of the bus, and never make eye contact with a local. Follow my advice and you will be fine. SMH

Reply Aug 14th, 2013

Hi, yes it is safe place, don't worry.

Reply Oct 16th, 2013

Of course, Mandy. Come and enjoy your stay in Krakow

Reply Sep 11th, 2014
Czech Republic

What is this stupid question? It's Europe, nobody cares about your colour. You have some bad experiences? Maybe there would be problem if you looks similar to gypsy, but nobody attacks you, don't worry. :-D

Reply Nov 1st, 2017

Anthony: What? What eye contact? WTF? Poland is not Detroit, you can watching other people, maybe they tell you don't stare (with some Kurwas), but it's all. :-D

Reply Nov 1st, 2017

I've been living here for few years. There is some kind of good energy in this city, you feel the time stoppped, and you don't have to be in a hurry, you have time for life, passionate life. People in poland have different priorities than people in western europe,I love especially september and october in Cracow.

Reply Jul 20th, 2013

Hi, i am traelling to krakow next sunday. Could you please tell me what kind of clothes should i bring? Is it hot during the day? Thank you!

Reply Jul 11th, 2013

How far is Krakow ,going to Boleslawiec,were the polish pottery ist. Thank you shela

Reply Jun 25th, 2013

It is quite a long trip. But as I know the Boleslawiec pottery shop is in the center of Krakow. For sure they come from Boleslawiec pottery every year to Krakow (Big Market Square) on Christmas time to sell their products.

Reply Sep 11th, 2014
United States

Well the reason why I was asking you did you remember my case because, I have already seen results. He called me on Jan 4th to wish me a happy birthday, and I called him on the 6th to wish him a happy birthday. We had a nice long conversation, and I expressed to him how he made me feel. He apologized over and over. Then after that conversation I didn’t hear from him until around the 8th of Feb. I started calling my phone, and I kept missing his calls because my phone was on silent. Well that third day of him not getting a response from me, he sent me a heartfelt email apologizing again, and saying how much he missed me and wanted to hold me in his arms. At the end of the email he stated that he loved me, in which he has never said those words to me. I still love him also, but its hard now to be with him because I will be moving 5 states away and I don't want to start something back up with him, knowing we can't be together. So I just want to thank you High - Dr madurai of

Reply Jan 13th, 2013
United States

I was just in Krakow and my grandparents are from Sulov, didn't get there, but Krakow is fabulous

Reply Oct 10th, 2012
United States

visiting in January with kids. looking to find if our grandparent's town, Sokolov, still exists. any thoughts?

Reply Sep 20th, 2012

Hi I ve been to Krakow in Feb/Mar12 and returning again in Oct12 on work. Looking fwd to a good trip.

Reply Sep 18th, 2012
karen linden
United States

great website! I will be visiting Krakow in 3 weeks. Part of my visit will want to find my great aunt's town, Minoga. Her name was Tekla Sobczyk- I want to find my family. Any ideas?

Reply Sep 16th, 2012

Hi, Jordan. If you still trying to find a village that your grandmather is from , it’s propably Hadykowka (originally: Hadykówka) and it’s located about 170 km from Krakow. Here is link to Google maps:

Reply May 6th, 2012
United Kingdom

One of the best quality website on travelling I have come across is, I feel like taking a flights to Poland and visit its beautiful places after reading this article.

Reply Jan 2nd, 2012
john vaughan
United Kingdom

visited krakow from the 8th to the 13th dec,fantastic place.

Reply Dec 15th, 2011
United Kingdom

Just back from our second visit to Krakow and planning a further visit. Need I say more!

Reply Dec 5th, 2011
Miguel Regalado

Krakow IS THE BEST PARTY CITY IN ALL EUROPE!!!! fell in love with the city on my eurotrip. The most beautiful girls, the polish attitude, the incredible sightseeing,prices, everything is just perfect in Krakow the only city that could be compared was Berlin and Munich. I miss you Krakow!! I

Reply Aug 29th, 2011
stephen keane

cool city, no violence, people very friendly and night life is smashing

Reply Jul 21st, 2011
Annette Skibinska
United Kingdom

The most romantic and beautiful place i have ever experienced in my life. Everyone so friendly,although i can speak the language, the food was fantastic, and the vodka, well the best in the world. The only down side is that there is no permanent work out there and the pay is very poor. Otherwise i would be out there to stay permanently!

Reply Jun 21st, 2011

Our class at school have saved enough money to travell to Krakow for a weekend. I have some expectasions, but I hope it will be a fantastic trip! KRAKOW ROCKS!

Reply May 23rd, 2011
United States

We are looking to travel to Krakow in September and would like help arranging the trip, where to stay, events, visits to historical sites, etc. We also have cousins there and would like to find them. Any help would be appreciated. Perhaps we can arrange for a personal guide. Any help would be appreciated.

Reply May 16th, 2011
Blake Noel
United States

i lived in this beautiful city for 2 months. it is an absolutely wonderful place. for all of you who liked this city I recomend a smaller city to you called Opole.

Reply Apr 11th, 2011
audrie trammell
United States

We are traveling to Krakow in April with my 15 year old daughter. What recommendations do you have that won't break the bank and will be cool?

Reply Feb 20th, 2011
United States

I am trying to find a village that my grandmother is from. I believe it is near Krakow. She was born in Hadikfuka (sp?). Does any one know where this village is located. I believe it was (is) a farming village.

Reply Dec 29th, 2010
Pakry Idris

iam from Holland but when i go to karcow ,i feel home really most of my friends are from here and iam in love with kracow and ,the polish people most of the are my best friends ,love you kracow and poland ,,,

Reply Dec 19th, 2010
John Zalas
United States

This fantastic city, a large town with a small town flavor, must be seen. Forget Wrasaw, Prague and Paris until you have visited Poland's royal capital first.

Reply Nov 7th, 2010
Tracy Krisko Di Cesare

I love Krakow Poland. Just got back from Poland. The most amazing people on this earth, could not ask for more freindlier people ever. The food was out of this world. The history was sad, Poland has been hit a few times by sensless people but this is what makes them stronger. Will go back in a heartbeat.

Reply Sep 18th, 2010
United Kingdom

Hi Anne. A group of us are going too in Oct. If your still around email me and let's swap ideas.

Reply Sep 5th, 2010
United Kingdom

Hi, just posting my comment in regards to previous one about drinks and girl. Sorry to hear you lost money etc but I would never have a drink with a random girl that approached me. Just be sensible, not a fool.

Reply Aug 1st, 2010

My husband is currently stranded in Poland due to the volcano erupting in Iceland. He has sent emails regularly and though is was supposed to be a short business trip that has turned into a 'holiday'... he is loving the adventure and the sights and all that Krakow has to offer. I checked out this website to see what he was trying to describe to me. I will be glad to have him home safe and sound eventually, but for now he is enjoying your city!

Reply Apr 18th, 2010
United Kingdom

just returned from krakow,our third visit to this beautiful city.however i agree with niklas.m. earlier son was approached by these same girls and asked to have a drink with them,then he was approached by a third person to pay up extortionate amouts of money.howerever he got away with stomping up about 40 pounds.but i agree if the police do not get a grip on these scumbags it will tarnish the citys repution.please spread the word to every one about this scum

Reply Apr 7th, 2010
United States

What is the correct spelling of Krakow for English people? Or are there two? On plane tickets it says Krakow, but in many books it says Cracow...? Thanks

Reply Mar 31st, 2010

Myself and 5 friends are planning on going to Cracow in October. What is the best area to stay in for visiting all the sites and places to eat and drink?

Reply Mar 25th, 2010
United Kingdom

kroakow has a dragon name smok.

Reply Feb 13th, 2010
United States

Kære pave,hav det godt alle Eders dage, må det vente mange år før de dør

Reply Feb 7th, 2010
United States

I just returned to the States after a week in Krakow, attending the 65th Anniversary of the Liberation of Auschwitz with a survivor. This was my second time in Krakow and I was just as delighted this time around. I have now seen this city in the height of their summer and winter and it was absolutely delightful both times. There is so much to see, do, buy and eat!

Reply Feb 6th, 2010
Nicos M

Iam visiting krakow every year due to personal reasons for the last 7 years. Its really beautifull city full of culture. During my last visit even though I was really dissapointed beacuse they tried to cheat me in the old square. Some how the managed so because they managed to get form me 130.00 euro. You know is not the money but the attitute of the locals since they tried even to get from me a bigger amount. What they did, by using some girls in the streets of krakow playing that they are looking to get to know me and then all by suddeen the drinks to be offered cost 100 euro each. Its a pity and somehow the police should take care of those things which are hapening in that city because at the end of the Day the city itself will be harmed. Thanks, Nicos M

Reply Jan 30th, 2010

Great page! I'm visiting Krakow for the first time 20th - 24th of May 2010, and is really looking forward to seeing the city. This page has really helped me planning what to see and what to do. I'm thankful for that, and will give my review after the visit:)

Reply Jan 24th, 2010
United States

i think this is kool

Reply Jan 21st, 2010
United Kingdom

i am goin to krakow for 3days end of this month hope it will go like all the other comments that i read in here

Reply Jan 6th, 2010

just got back from krakow, what an amazing city!!! despite the cold the city was so alive, hoping to head back soon!

Reply Dec 21st, 2009

I been karakow , good city , i ived hostel named ANY TIME HOSTEL bt it is the worst one ,theysay lot of thin in their web page bt no kitchen facility over here , nothing old , for sleepping bed are dirty , expencive etc etc . pls dont stay ANY TIME HOSTEL, THnks

Reply Dec 4th, 2009

went to this amazing city 4 times this year everytime i find something new to do. a must is the death camps and the salt mines but on different days. (lots of walking). found this really nice place to eat called pod sloncem its on the main square and underground but great food and cheap beer. loved the night life in the old town brilliant. stayed in hotels the royal and the maly. the royal is in the centre of everything so is maly cant decide between the two lol. planning to go this easter to visit the black madonna with friends. i've been to many citys in europe usa and africa but this is the jem. just explore it.

Reply Nov 26th, 2009

Was in Krakow Oct 2009, must say what a great place, we loved it and had an absolute ball, despite the rain... We wanted to stay longer, unfortunately we didn't get to Auschwitz, will do next time though. Kazimierz and Wieliczka were a blast as well!!!

Reply Oct 12th, 2009
Robert Kennedy
United Kingdom

Flew into Krackow from Edinburgh for very first time Friday September 25th 2009 for 3 nights. Visited Auschitz and Birkenau first day by Mini bus second day by hired car. Quite a sight to see the depravity of Hitlers team. Care hire from Global Car Hire to be highly recommended. Very ancient city something like parts of Edinburgh and Glasgow with modern mixed with retaing old property. Will be going back for a weekend with sons. Better than Ibiza..Tenerife..and sun drenched resorts where it is usually booze.eating,partying. Robert Kennedy

Reply Oct 4th, 2009
d roberts
United Kingdom

been there twice and going again on sept 09. brilliant place full of charm and history. endless bars with excellent cheap beer. i love this place. planning to make this an annual trip. but if you only go there once, please do not pass on the chance to go to auschwitz. going there makes you appreciate the wonderfulness of todays krakow even more.

Reply Sep 27th, 2009
United Kingdom

I have just returned from Krakow - a splendid city, friendly people. The only thing I did not like was us - the British. Plenty of young men - drunk, noisy, aggressive sometimes. It's a shame we export something that would be best kept at home. I spoke to Poles - they like tourists, but they might do without British drunkards.

Reply Aug 29th, 2009
United Kingdom

Just returned from Krakow had a sight seeing tour with my two sister's,the people was not very freindly the staff at the hotel did not hear of half the places we wanted to visit and we got ripped of by the taxi's would not go back,

Reply Aug 23rd, 2009
United States

My son and daughter-in-law are enjoying your beautiful Town of Krakow. God bless all the people of Poland - land of our beloved John Paul II.

Reply Aug 18th, 2009
United States

I just got back from a European vacation and I have to say that Krakow was one of my favorite places!!!! I wish i would have seen this page before we left so i could experience even more of this amazing place!

Reply Aug 11th, 2009
Kate Hart
United Kingdom

great website very informative, makes me look forward to our visit even more

Reply Jul 31st, 2009

Forrest, I'm visiting Krakow alone also, arriving on the 7th August. Usually travel with friends but not this time, hope it will still be good.

Reply Jul 24th, 2009
Forrest Gump

Going to Krakow next month (5th August). It'll be my first time there. Hope everything goes fine. Is there anyone else travelling there alone like me ?

Reply Jul 18th, 2009
South Africa

my boyfriend an i have just came back from a holiday in Dresden and in Prague and we have experienced our fair share of friendly and some unfriendly people in those countries, which was a real shame cause they just didnt do any justice to the country and their breathtaking views. i hope Krakow will be a fulfilling experience because i have wanted to go there for some time.

Reply Jul 5th, 2009

A great placeto be visited,very good poeple and country

Reply Jul 5th, 2009
United Kingdom

Have just returned from a 7 day trip to Poland and spent 2 of them in Krakow. A truly unforgettable experience. The city is beautiful, the people very friendly and the food delicious!

Reply Jul 2nd, 2009

Hello,friends, Please advise if I am willing to visit Krakow,and I don't speak Polish,can I communicate with people in English? Thanks.Sandra.

Reply Jul 1st, 2009
United States

Krakow truly is one of the most gorgeous places you can visit in Europe. If you can make it, get over there. Yes you may see the same in Prague and Vienna is popular too, but Krakow is a gem.

Reply Jun 17th, 2009

Love to see Krakow this summer.

Reply Jun 13th, 2009
Barb Dupaski
United States

Have visited Krakow three times, love the city, the people are friendly, a lot to do and see, much history, delicious food, very reasonable prices, a real gem. Hope to go back.

Reply Jun 3rd, 2009
Adam Braz
United Kingdom

Krakow here I come!!

Reply May 14th, 2009
United Kingdom

What a great city! There's a big party on the market square right now - Juwenalia - sort of like students' rag week or something, with lots of bands playing and good things going on! I'm wanna live here!

Reply May 8th, 2009

Hi! in two days I'm gonna be in Krakow in a scholarship and i'm looking forword to see this city after all the comments that i've read. also I'm going to Warsow and Zakopane.. for sure Wieliczka historical salt mine. when i'm back I'll tell you my oppinon...

Reply Apr 17th, 2009

Returned from krakow after spending four days there, not long enough! Amasing city, people could not do enough for you, food fantastic. Wonderful buildings and so much to do.Will def go back. Krakow is wonderfull.

Reply Mar 31st, 2009
micky Chicky

I live there it is beatiful!

Reply Mar 29th, 2009
El Salvador

One of the most warmly places around the whole world.....with my wife we spent a week in Krakow last year in september, very kind and friendly people,we just love it

Reply Mar 24th, 2009
United Kingdom

Nice place!!!

Reply Mar 23rd, 2009
luella and kristy

poland nice place yar?!

Reply Mar 13th, 2009

I want to go poland my wife poland live please help me

Reply Feb 27th, 2009
kate jones
United Kingdom

I went with college, in total there was fourty students aged 17-18. We stayed in a hotel just of the centre of the main sqaure in krakow, and it was very handy. The town is beautiful, the food was of excellence, and the polish mannor is very welcoming. I was most amazed by the food prices, i would have, a starter, main meal, 2x drinks. All for £8 - 40ZLOTY. Also i visited the death camps, and salt mines all very good, the tour guides were incredibly passionate.

Reply Feb 27th, 2009
United States

I spent a week in Krakow in August 2006. I am going back there this summer. Met people from all over the globe. Most beautiful place I have ever been and I have been to a lot of places and I have lived in a lot of counties

Reply Feb 11th, 2009
United States

I went to Krakow with a few friends, I really enjoy the culture, friendly people well some of them and the food. I would certainly go back again. Amazing view.

Reply Feb 4th, 2009

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