Top Things To Do In Krakow Poland

Krakow is like a fairy tale city. Beautiful castles, churches, and pretty souvenir shops. Not just the common tourist spots but Krakow also has many unique places to visit like the Salt Mine, Oscar Schindler’s Museum & Auschwitz Birkenau Concentration Camp of Nazis. It is a place with a very heartbreaking history and an old-town vibe. It has been gaining high popularity among tourists. So let us check out the top things to do visit in Krakow Poland. 

Table of Contents

The Cloth Hall/Market

The cloth market ranks among the top things to do in Krakow. The cloth market is located in the main square and center of Krakow. It is among the oldest trading halls. It is lined now with small souvenir shops on both sides which are open from 10 am to 8 pm. This architectural marvel was destroyed in a fire and was again constructed in the 16th century. The most popular among tourists and hence among the top places to visit in Krakow Poland.

St Mary's Basilica-

Another place that ranks among the top places to visit in Krakow is St Mary’s Basilica. Built at the beginning of the 14th century, this church has the most stunning Gothic pieces with a blue intricate ceiling. One gets some splendid views of the city from the tower, but you need to book it in advance from the ticket office. Also, you need to climb 239 steps to reach the top and only 10 people are permitted every 30 minutes.  Another popular aspect of the church is the trumpet call which is played every hour in memory of the trumpeter who used to sound the alarm for the Mongol attack.
Opening Timings- 9:10 – 11:30 am and 1:10 – 5:30 pm
Tickets- Regular price is 10 PZ and tower + entrance is 15 PZ for adults, extra charge for clicking photographs inside

Wawel Royal Castle And Cathedral

It is a majestic castle residency on top of the hill. It has many exhibition halls and royal state rooms with valuable exhibits like tapestries, furniture and paintings. It features Wawel Cathedral, crown treasury and armory, castle museum, impressive garden, underground cave – a Wawel dragon den. The prices for each attraction are different and one can choose which ones to visit. Usually, huge lines to get tickets and advice to book online and even opt for audio guide. 
Opening Timings- The Wawel hill and the courtyard are open to visitors from 6am -5.30 pm, visitrs center is open daily from 9 am to 5.30 pm – Toilets and Cafe only
Tickets- Admission to Wawel hill and courtyard is free of cost.
State Rooms – 25 PLN,
Crown Treasury and Armoury- 25 PLN,
Art of the Orient. Ottoman Turkish Tents- 20 PLN
The Lost Wawel and the Church of St. Gereon – (weekends only)20 PLN

Wieliczka Salt Mine-

This is the most popular site near Krakow. One can undertake a half or a full day tour from Krakow. A UNESCO world heritage, this mining heritage of 13th Century is one of the oldest salt mines. Its a short ride of 30 minutes from Krakow. there are many things to see like the 20 chambers including lake chambers, corridors, church with decorations made of salt, chandeliers etc. It is located 327 m underground and there are series of steps and walking, hence comfortable shoes are recommended. Also, it is pretty cold in these mines and wearing warm clothes or carrying a jacket is advised. There are special tours for physically challenged people or the ones who have difficulty in walking by a special lift.
Tickets- Entrance ticket in English language costs 93 PLN, and for Children and youth 73 PLZ. For taking photographs inside it is 10 PLN extra
Opening Timings- 8 to 5 pm, one needs to book a slot from the hourly timings

Oscar Schindlers Museum

This museum features a permanent exhibition of interesting facts and things of the history of Krakow from World War II. The well-known movie Schindlers list of Steven Spielberg, has aided this museum gain its current popularity. Oskar Schindler a German business person started this enamelware factory and employed Jews through which he saved hundreds of lives from the Nazi labor camps and their atrocities.The museum has many rooms like the labor camp, a hairdresser’s salon etc. Anyone who is not a fan of museums like me, I would still advise to visit this place.
Tips- On Mondays, the museum sells free limited tickets, so if you are lucky enough you could grab one by booking it online on their website.
If you are keen to know their history in depth you can even choose the guided tours through various agents.
Opening timings- Monday 10 to 4 pm,Tue- Sunday 9 to 8 pm (In summers), Free On Mondays (Subject To availability and limited number)
Tickets 25 PLN per person

Auschwitz Birkenau Concentration Camp

You can do a half-day or full-day tour to this concentration camp. Auschwitz is the main camp and Birkenau the concentration camp. One needs to know this would be an emotional experience of the tragic times and a sobering memorial for the people who died.
In Auschwitz you can see areas where victims were tortured by the Nazi Regime during the world war 2. A symbol of inhumanity and torture, this camp has a gas chamber, cells, basements and even exhibits with large collection of personal objects like pieces of clothing, shoes, piles of hair, toothbrush, and suitcases from people who were detained. These people lived in inhuman conditions, with limited food, and were forced to work till they died.
Tips- Advise to book tours or guides to visit this place. It takes 1 hr 15 mins drive to reach (There are many tours which provide pick up and drop off service from hotels as well). 
It gets extremely crowded at the ticket booths and if not taking a tour advise to pre-book. You can choose from a 2.5 hr tour to a 6 hr tour
Opening Timings- 8 to 6 pm (In summer)
Tickets- Entry to the premises is free of charge, for guided tours of 3.5 hrs roughly 75 PLN

Kazimierz Neighborhood

Known as the old Jewish quarter, you can take the electric car ride to take you around the nearby areas with a guide or you can explore it on foot. This is a place from where the Jews were forcibly moved and relocated to Getto for starvation, death and misery. Some of the streets and shops look exactly like they did few decades before, and you can feel the difference. You can visit the Old Synagogue, New Cemetery, and Oskar Schindler’s factory. Szeroka street and new square are the heart of the area. This area has many cafes and restaurants with Jewish traditions and shops selling local goods.

Ghetto Heroe's Square

Located in the Podgorze area, this square has many wooden chairs empty chairs a memorial to people and the loss to the Jewish people who suffered extreme atrocities of executions, humiliation and beating in World war 2 in Poland. The horror of thousands of Jewish people who were forced to abandon left their possessions on streets, and were transported to the death camps and executed during the liquidation of Ghetto.
Opposite of it is the famous Eagle Pharmacy now a museum, which served not only as a pharmacy but also a place for information exchange, money and goods delivery and also a hiding place.
Tips-It is near the Oskar Schindler’s enamelware factory and you can reach there by a short tram ride of 18 or 22 number.
You can also take the electric ride which will take you around the nearby areas with a guide 

Florianska Street and St. Florian's Gate-

The Florianska street starts from the Florainska gate till the main market and is full of cafés, boutiques and souvenir shops. It was the main gate of the north point of city. From here the kings used to walk after their victorious battles. Just a quick photo spot and nice place to stroll along.

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