5 Top Tips for Visiting Krakow, Poland

Hi Everyone,

Krakow is the second largest city in Poland and until 1596 it was even the capital of Poland. It might not be top on your list like Paris, Milan or Venice but Krakow is certainly worth a place on everyones bucket list.

Having just spent the weekend in Krakow, Poland I was pleasantly surprised by many things.

The architecture for one is stunning. This includes recent renovations. Keep reading to find out about where we stayed. A Palace dating back to the 1400’s which has been totally revamped and opened up as a hotel in 2020 with an astonishing attention to detail.

Krakow is also famous for its fabulous food and there is  an abundance of restaurants and cafes. Fun fact:  there are currently 18 – 20 restaurants in Krakow recommended in the Michelin guide.

Art also features large throughout Krakow. It is worth visiting St Florian’s Gate to see the famous wall for selling street art (top tip number 6 you might say).

If you are visiting for the weekend my recommendation is to stick to the city centre.

Keep reading for my personal “5 Top Tips for Visiting Krakow, Poland”


5 Top Tips for Visiting Krakow, Poland

  1. Wawel Royal Castle

Wawel is actually a limestone hill in the centre of Krakow and at the top you will find the Wawel Royal Castle.

Wawel Hill was the residence of Poland’s rulers. At the very beginning it was an early Romanesque stone building from mid-11th century, called the palatium. The remains of which are located in the northern wing of the present-day castle.

Wawel Hill and Royal Castle as it stands today  is a definite must see with its many interesting exhibits. My top tip would be to avoid the crowds by visiting the private apartments instead of the state rooms. Here you will find some famous tapestries  as well as interesting paintings and other pieces of art/furniture of the times.

Be sure to say hello to the castle dragon, who is rumoured to have eaten virgin women in the past.

For more information see here.


2. The Market Square

Fun fact: Krakow has the largest medieval market square in the whole of Europe.

The square is  lined with street cafes and I was amazed at the number of people who choose to sit and eat or drink outside in see-through plastic covered tent like enclosures as opposed to inside. Even when the temperatures got as low as -7°c!

In the centre of the square you’ll find the Cloth Hall. A fun place to walk through, filled with stands selling local souvenirs. Polish hand painted china is a must souvenir to take home if you ask me – smile.

5 Top Tips for Visiting Krakow, Poland

Feeling romantic? You might like to take a horse and carriage tour of the city. You’ll find plenty waiting for you at the market square.


3. The coolest shopping

The absolute coolest place to shop is in the Vitkac Krakow arcade. Only  a 2 minute walk from the Market Square. The Vitkac Krakow arcade is a true architectural delight.

Here you will find a great wine bar, designer stores as well as a store solely dedicated to Polish designers on the second floor: Backstage.


4. Where to stay

5 Top Tips for Visiting Krakow, Poland

There are a number of beautiful 5 star hotels in Krakow. Many have an amazing history behind them.

For those with a lower budget there are plenty of beautiful 4 star hotels at a very reasonable price.

We stayed in – H15 Luxury Palace Hotel. Situated a mere 200 metres from the market square. A Palace dating back to the 1400’s which has been totally revamped and opened up as a hotel in 2020 with an astonishing attention to detail.

The amenities include a restaurant (also recommendable), bistro, fitness centre, swimming pool, jacuzzi and Spa. The luxurious bathroom amenities are from Lalique – certainly a nice touch!

Make sure to ask for a room tour as each room is different with its very own charm.

5 Top Tips for Visiting Krakow, Poland


5. Where to eat

5 Top Tips for Visiting Krakow, Poland

As already mentioned there are an amazing 18-20 restaurants in Krakau that are recommended in the Michelin guide.

Our absolute favourite meal was at the Michelin star restaurant Fiorentina. Pictured above was our desert – part of the 5 course tasing menu. This is what I recommend as the portions are just right and you really get to taste the chefs best. Whatever you do make sure to have the fois grois. It is served looking like cherries and simply the best I have ever had.



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13 Persons think this post is funky

Hi! I’m Yvonne, a 40 something (wink) Kiwi, living in Zurich. I love fashion, travel, shopping and food – believing chocolate will cure almost anything!

  1. Hi dear Yvonne thank you for your blog as usual very interesting I love traveling and Poland sounds really very interesting you gave me the feeling as when I was with you in Krakow it truely sounds so interesting love it

  2. Miło, że odwiedziła pani Polskę, a szczególnie Kraków – moje ukochane miasto. W Polsce jest wiele ciekawych, godnych odwiedzenia miejsc. Mam nadzieję, że pobyt W Krakowie zainspirował panią do kolejnych podróży do Polski.

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