Visting Krakow in 2020
Krakow is the jewel of southern Poland. A proud and beautiful city, it can boast almost 1000 years of recorded history, and more than that in oral tradition and folk tales. For the longest time, Krakow was – and still is – a religious, cultural, scientific and economical powerhouse. And, since recently, it also became one of the greatest tourist destinations in entire Europe. Home to 774 839 Cracovians, it attracts more than 13 500 000 tourists every year.
Interested in more detailed account of Krakow’s history? Check out our in-depth dive into history of Krakow. And if you don’t know where is Krakow, learn about it here.
How expensive is Krakow?
That is a good question! While Krakow is not exactly cheap, it’s less expensive to live in and visit than the Polish capital city of Warsaw. A single person, living in Krakow for a month, will spend about 2,154.00zł ( 498.07€) without rent.
Overall, Krakow is about 5% cheaper than Warsaw.
Food and Drinks
A typical, inexpensive restaurant meal will cost 25zł ( 5.78 €) on average, but the prices range from 15zł (3,47 €) to 40zł (9,25 €). A bigger, three-course meal for two people will cost you on average about 110zł (25.44 €), with range of 80zł-200zł (25.44 € – 46,37 €). If you are in the mood for McDonalds, you will pay about 20zł (4.62 €) for a classic combo meal. Getting hungry? Check out our selection of the best places to eat at.
Of course, meals are not the only way to help your taste buds enjoy Krakow. A typical beer will cost you between 5 and 14 zł (1,16 € – 3,24 €), 10zł (2,31 €) being the most common price. Sounds reasonable? It really is – Krakow is considered the easiest Polish city on the wallet of beer-lovers.
Of course, alcohol and food are not the only ways to indulge yourself. Coffee is pretty popular in Krakow, and average Cappucino will cost you around 9,34zł ( 2.16 €), with a price range of 6 to 12zł (1,39 € – 2,77 €). There are many great coffee shops in Krakow, so look here to make sure to know which ones to visit
If you are interested in learning more details about how to navigate Krakow’s nightlife, click here and look no further.
Can’t explore Krakow without moving around! Poland is pretty proud of its public transport, so if you want to save money while still being able to get where you want, you are in luck.
A one-way ticket will cost you around 4zł (0.92 €).
If you don’t want to bother with public transit and instead prefer a taxi, the starting price is 7.00 zł (1.62 €), and then 2.30 zł (0.53 €) per kilometer. Don’t make them wait on you – that’s 35.00 zł (8.09 €) per hour!
For those who want to explore the city on their own from the front seat of a car, Krakow offers multiple attractive rent-a-car businesses. A cheap, compact car costs around 21zł (4.86 €) per day. A bigger, better car can cost 44zł (10.19 €), 120zł (27.78 €), or even 330zł (76.41 €) per day. A liter of gasoline costs 5,12zł (1,18 €). Don’t forget about parking fees – about 6zł (1,39 €) per hour.
Hotels and accommodations
As a really popular city that hosts visitors from all places over the world and possibly every way of life, Krakow has risen to the challenge of having something for everyone.
The cheapest way to stay at Krakow is to use one of many visitors rooms offered up by private Krakow citizens. Some are literal villa rooms, and other are humble but comfortable apartment rooms. They are universally cheap and hosted by interesting, kind-hearted Cracovians. The average price of such a room is 30zł (6.95 €) per night.
Typical hostel stay costs around 120zł per night. Remember that hostels are the best option when you are traveling in a large group – or are willing to share a dormitory with strangers. Who knows, maybe you will make some new friends this way?
If you want a high standard room you don’t have to share with strangers, a hotel is the best option you can go for. Many include breakfasts and other services, too.
You can find 3-star hotels that cost around 108zł (25,01 €).
4-star hotels costing 320zł (74,09 €).
5-star hotels for 710zł (164,39 €).
Everything is, of course, per night.
What to see, what to do in Krakow?
There is a ton to do in Krakow, possibly more than a single weekend can handle. Chances are you will want to come at least one or two times more after your first time!
Take a city walk around Krakow
As a city with a rich history spanning over 1000 years, you can spend days wandering around and sightseeing. Various churches, the Wawel Royal Castle, Nowa Huta…there is just so much to visit! Don’t know where to start? Hopefully, top 10 things to do in Krakow will give you an idea!
Anyone visiting Krakow should go and see the Wawel Royal Castle. Don’t skip a guide – their insight is invaluable and will make your trip richer and more fun.
Of course, you should not skip the Main Square either. One of the greatest squares in Europe, and the biggest medieval one, Main Square is surrounded by fantastic architecture. Go and lose yourself in the sea of beautiful buildings, find some cool souvenirs, and enjoy a cup of coffee.
St.Mary’s Church is the most important of the churches in Krakow, but not the only one. Corpus Christi Basilica, Church of Saint Wojciech, and Basilica of Saint Michael the Archangel all are unique and worth visiting.
Nowa Huta is an incredible treat to anyone interested in the Soviet era of history. One of the greatest Soviet projects in PRL, seeing it with your own eyes will help you understand the scope and ambition of Soviet planning. And, of course, where it fell short.
Krakow Highlights will allow you to grasp the essentials of Krakow in just about 2 hours. It’s a great starting spot.
Places to relax in Krakow
Sometimes, when after a day full of sightseeing and wonder, all you want is to sit down and relax with a cup of your favorite beverage. Be it coffee or be it beer, city of kings has you covered. The topic is broad enough that we could spend hours talking about it, so make sure to follow our blog – look for various “Top 10” and similar articles recommending various cool places to see and visit. To give you some idea of what Krakow has to offer, here are three great coffee shops and three great bars to get you started.
One of the most famous and interesting places in Krakow, Coffe Club Alchemia (“Alchemy”) is a great choice both for coffee lovers and those new to the brew alike. Mercurial and changing, what you will find at Alchemia depends on when you visit it. For the most of the day, it is a cozy, calm and chill place to relax at in silence. By the evening, it starts to liven up with events and happenings, while also serving beer and wine. If you ever get hungry, you can find joint “Alchemia od kuchni” restaurant just next doors and grab something to bite.
You probably won’t believe it, but at night, the coffee club becomes a dance party, open until 4 in the morning! But it is ok if you don’t believe – check it out yourself.
Alchemia is located at Estery 5.
2. Cytat Cafe
Cytat Cafe is aimed towards book lovers. This literary cafe is brimming with librarian atmosphere. Full of books that you can pick up and read at your leisure. Most of them are in Polish, but you can find other languages there too, including English! And if you like one of them, you can buy it on the spot and take it home with you. They make for great gifts, so if you want to make a present for a friend, look around and ask for advice!
Name of the cafe means “Quote” in Polish, and comes from the fact that each of your orders will come with a cool book quote chosen just for you. Some are funny, some are profound, and all of them are cool. Make for great souvenirs to take home.
Books and coffee are not the only things you can enjoy there. Cytat Cafe possesses a great collection of board games, and they are all available to customers. The shop is open until 1 at night, so you will have time to finish your game session.
Cytat Cafe is located at Miodowa 23/1.
3. Cafe Cheder
Cafe Cheder is infused with Jewish culture and Israeli atmosphere. If you ever wanted to try coffee made in classic Arabic style while having some of the best hummus in the country, this is the place for you. “Cheder” can be translated as “elementary school” – a name picked because the owners are very passionate about their culture and want to encourage others to learn about it in fun ways. Many interesting events, happenings, lectures, and workshops take place here. A combination of great coffee, amazing food, and burning passion makes Cheder simply irresistible.
Cafe Cheder is located at Józefa 36.
Bars & Pubs
1. Multi Qlti Tap Bar
If you ever find yourself feeling like having a beer near the center of Krakow, Multi Qlti Tap Bar has you covered. The location of the bar used to be an apartment in one of the Krakow’s townhouses. The staff did an amazing job repurposing the space into an atmospheric, cool bar. The choice of drink and draughts is great, covering 20 items at a time in the ever-changing menu. If you want to try some of the best craft beer Poland has to offer, this is the place. And if you don’t know what to order, the staff is helpful and friendly, eager to advise and mix something for you. Multi Qlti is also surprisingly chill and quiet, despite being located practically in the beating heart of the city.
Multi Qlti Tap Bar is located at the first floor of Szewska 21 townhouse.
2. Klub Re
Klub Re is considered a long-time favorite among the Krakovians themselves. Attracting patrons for more than 10 years, Klub Re can boast the most popular beer garden in the town. Stepping into it is like entering a world of its own, separated from the city by a cover of trees. There are many cool drinks to choose from at Re. Fans of sweet drinks and shots are in for a great treat. Who doesn’t want to try drinking directly from the tank, anyway?
If for some reason you don’t want to relax at the gardens, Klub Re also has a pretty good indoors area. Most people will recommend that you drink in the garden, and go to the basement for various concerts, events and other fun happenings that are hosted there.
Klub Re is located at Św Krzyża 4.
Cybermachina is a pub aimed towards gamers. Full of cool decorations, Cybermachina is unique and one of its kind. Somehow, it manages to decorate itself with video game themes without feeling kitschy. In fact, it looks pretty cool! A rich menu of drinks is of course also inspired by games, so if you ever wanted to have a Mario or Witcher shot, you should absolutely head to Cybermachina when you get a chance.
Of course, the pub has more to offer than just a cool looking theme and punny menu. Cybermachina is full of gaming consoles, both old and new. They are fully operational and ready to play, all you have to do is to sit down and pick up the controller. Or a guitar, if you prefer that! Not all games available in Cybermachina are digital, too. There is a plethora of board games to choose from, too.
Cybermachina Game Pub is located at Stolarska 11.
Attractions near Krakow
If you want to take a break day from Krakow itself, don’t worry. The city functions as a great forward base with multiple cool side trips to choose from. Want to learn more about John Paul II, the Polish Pope? His home city of Wadowice is a car ride away!
Heard about the excellent Wieliczka Salt Mines and wonder how far away they are from Krakow? Don’t ask twice, and read it all up here! Learn why Wieliczka is one of the hottest tourist attractions in Europe.
Energylandia is a great amusement park that is within a car ride from Krakow, too. Great for both adults and children, so if you want to have some quality time with your family, just jump in!
On a more solemn note, Krakow is near Auschwitz-Birkenau. We recommend paying your respects to victims of the World War II, and seeing the legacy of terror with your own eyes. It is not a happy trip, but one you will remember for the rest of your life.
If you are going to visit the city, Kraków John Paul II International Airport is probably how you will arrive. The second biggest airport in the region, it is located 11 km west of the city center. Modern and efficient, it has everything you would expect and require. It offers many direct connections, including 31 countries all over the world.
The most straightforward way to travel to and from Balice Airport is by train. However, it is also the most contested and overcrowded one. Securing your ticket, finding the train, and then navigating your way from the station to your destination are all stressful challenges that can be avoided entirely by choosing another mode of transport.
The other public transport is buses. They offer similar advantages and disadvantages to the train and are overall slower and less frequent. Instead of having to plan around public transport, we recommend going for something else.
One of the other options is ordering a Taxi. This way, you can get directly from the airport to your destination. However, do remember that taxis are pretty popular, so you might have to wait and pay more than you expect.
To address those issues, MrShuttle offers door-to-door services booked in advance. This way, you do not have to wait for your transport – instead, it will wait for you to land. Visiting a new country is often intimidating and involves a lot of anxiety. To reduce undue stress, we send our customers an email with detailed instructions and descriptions.
All costs are laid out openly in a receipt. A lot of them can be covered upfront. We aim to make everything as clear as possible, including uncomfortable but possible situations like “what if my flight is delayed?”. Do not worry – our drivers and guides are prepared and will wait for you, however long it takes.
We sincerely believe that a good city break or a one-day trip cannot start without a proper, welcoming meet-and-greet. Some say that your first hour after the landing colors rest of the trip. This is why we do our best to make it as positive as possible. Do not worry about your luggage or language barriers.
Our drivers and guides are proficient in English and ready to answer all your questions, accommodate your needs, or just chat you up if you feel bored during the transport. They will take you to whatever is your destination, be it market square or a hotel, and make sure everything is in order so you can enjoy your stay. We choose a vehicle best suited for a given trip, though if you have any preferences, make sure to tell us!
Of course, this sort of all-inclusive service has to be pretty expensive, right? That is a common misconception. In reality, door-to-door transport is cheaper than getting a taxi, especially when arranged in advance. This is because a large bulk of the taxi rate comes from the immediate nature of it and having to compete with thousands of other tourists trying to get a taxi at that very moment.
If you prebook your transit with MrShuttle, these factors simply do not matter. Thus, you are getting more extensive service for less. This way of securing your transport not only from and to the airport but during your entire trip overall is the most recommended by TripAdvisor. Start and end your journey as smoothly as possible, and do not sour great memories you make here by unnecessary and easily avoided difficulties. We have been awarded a certificate of excellent service at TripAdvisor multiple times in a row, and we do not intend to break the streak!