3 days in Krakow: what to see and do

Well hello to you my reader chums! Krakow is a charming city, located in the south of Poland, and a place I really fell in love with. As a city that isn't overly busy in comparison to some of Europe's main hotspots, it's a hub for medieval buildings, lots of history, and good food.

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3 days in Krakow: what to see and do

Krakow is one of those cities that has more than meets the eye and the perfect place to get lost in its streets. And it's pretty easy to get to by flying; I flew with EasyJet and the flight only took 2 hours. Whether you're looking to take the perfect gram by the endless pastel buildings or delve into history, Krakow has a lot in store - and here is everything to do for 3 days in the city.

Day 1: Exploring the city

Old Town

Krakow is quite a big city and it's split into different areas, one of them being the Old Town. This had to be my favourite part of the city like I'm sure it is for many. The Old Town is packed with pastel buildings, quaint walkways, cute coffee shops, cool bars and plenty of restaurants to choose from. It's a great place to spend a few hours mooching and shopping - and the best way to kick start a day in Krakow.

3 days in Krakow: what to see and do

The Old Town has a few nice areas and the most popular section is the Main Square which is home to St Mary's Basilica and the centre of all things in the Old Town. The Main Square leads off to plenty of walkways, has a market and a museum you can dabble into. Whether you'd like to dine al fresco, sip on a few cocktails or sit and wonder, it's the cutest spot.

3 days in Krakow: what to see and do

Jewish Quarter/ Kazimierz

Kazimierz or also known as the Jewish Quarter is a really interesting part of the city to explore and something I'd recommend as you're getting your bearings around the place.

After the war and the tragic events which occurred in Krakow, the remaining Jewish population which returned to the city revived their cultural identity in Kazimierz and it's one of the most beautiful districts you'll visit on your trip. The overall appeal of this district is unique with the many synagogues including the city's oldest, museums, street food markets, and the general streets. Just by strolling around on places like Szeroka Street, you'll experience the charm, discover great restaurants and the history of the location.

Wawel Castle/Cathedral

The area of Wawel Hill was one of my favourites in Krakow. The entire location looked like a combination of an oil painting and a fairytale novel, it was just that pretty. In the area, you'll have a few beautiful buildings, including the Castle, Cathedral, a museum and a jaw-droppingly stunning view of the river and city.

3 days in Krakow: what to see and do

It's one of those places where you can sit and soak up all the beauty but also offers the opportunity to explore. There's the option to visit both the cathedral and the castle. The main part of the cathedral has free entrance but if you'd like to climb the tower or visit the museum, then there's an extra cost. I loved going inside the cathedral, there's just something about them which always brings me some level of serenity. The castle, like many, is a vision of beauty and costs around the £14 to get in - but be wary that the ticket office closes at half 2 so you need to buy your ticket before that - otherwise, you won't be able to get in. I made that error, however, I still managed to walk around the courtyard and explore the rest of the Wawel Hill area.

3 days in Krakow: what to see and do

Day 2: Auschwitz I and Auschwitz-Birkenau

On the second day on your trip, I would recommend dedicating to visiting Auschwitz I and Auschwitz-Birkenau. The camps are located an hour and a half out of the city by bus so it's worth taking the time making your way there and giving yourself enough hours to walk around.

3 days in Krakow: what to see and do

Auschwitz for me was an incredibly harrowing and heart-breaking experience but it's completely worth doing. Reading about the horror that went on is one thing but when you see it up close, it makes it more real and an awful encounter. It's insightful and I learned so much - that it's worth taking the day to go.

When it comes to visiting, you can either go independently for free or pay the small fee for a tour. I chose to go independently as I prefer that but it does mean you need to book in an early slot on their website (before 9am) before all the tours start. Going there early also gives you the opportunity to spend as much time as you need to take it all in. The camps are located about a 10-minute drive apart and there's a free shuttle onsite which can take you between the two.

The first camp Aushwitz I took the longest to look around in my opinion as there was more information available to read and absorb, however, the second camp is bigger in size and a lot more hard-hitting. Auschwitz-Birkenau was known as the death camp so when you arrive you'll witness the ruins and the endless huts the prisoners were kept in - it's horrific.

In total, it took around 5 hours to go around the 2 camps and considering travel time also, it makes for an 8 hour day in total. As I arrived around 8am, I was back in Krakow for 2pm so I had the whole afternoon to still explore, but if you go for a later time, you may not end up in the city till evening - it all depends on the route you choose to take.

City strolling

As visiting Auschwitz is a shock to the system, after going there, I spent the afternoon taking a slower pace around the city and taking it in - and gave myself the chance to fully relax. A slow stroll will also give you the opportunity to scout out places to dine at later in the evening - or bars you'd like to visit.

Day 3: Salt mines and Oskar Shindler's museum 

Salt Mines 

Krakow is renowned for its salt mine excursion and a lot of people will have it on their must-see list when arriving in the city. I'm so glad I put it on mine as it was a really insightful and unique experience that I knew nothing about prior to visiting Krakow.

3 days in Krakow: what to see and do

The salt mines are located in Wieliczka, a town in southern Poland and are around a 40-minute bus ride from the main city. The bus is cheap as chips and you can get it from the main bus depot in the Old Town - all you have to do is hop on bus 304 and it's the last stop, Wieliczka Kopalnia Soli.

3 days in Krakow: what to see and do

The Salt Mines are a set of underground mining corridors that are 327 metres down and 287 km in length - and they started operating back in the 13th century. The mines need to be booked with a time slot as you have to have a guide to take you around, which in turn makes the experience even better. As I walked around, it was crazy learning about the history of the mine and how old everything is down there - and the life which went on and still goes on today. The mine has it's own chapel, restaurant and exhibits to view.

Oskar Shindler's museum

The Oskar Shindler museum is a must-do on your trip to Krakow -and something I really enjoyed looking around. I have a huge love of history so it was both incredibly interesting and sad to read what went on, and how Shindler was able to help so many people.

The museum takes you on a tour of the years in history and each room is decorated with a different timeline over the years of the war so you get a visual representation of what went on. I'd highly recommend taking the few hours to visit - and it's only around £8 to get in.

3 days in Krakow: what to see and do

To get to the museum from the salt mines, you can easily hop on a bus and walk from there. I think I got the 274 bus but there are a few which head in the right direction. I just Googled it from where we were and took the quickest route.

Experiencing the nightlife

3 days in Krakow: what to see and do

To end the trip on a high, it's worth dabbling into the city's nightlife. Whether you'd like to go for a couple of cocktails or head on a pub crawl, it's a cheap city to drink and there's a type of bar for everyone. I loved the Modiva cocktail bar in the Old Town - it offers a selection of the coolest cocktails and is an Instagram dream.

Where to stay 

Krakow has a wide variety of different accommodation available from apartments, hotels, and hostels - and it's insanely cheap. I stayed at the Old Town Apartments which was located around a 10-15 minute walk to the Old Town and close enough to all the local attractions. I would recommend staying near the Old Town as it's a hub to get to excursions and walk elsewhere to everything else.

How to get around

Getting around Krakow is pretty easy. For the most part, you can walk to quite a lot to get to places and if not, public transport is easy enough to navigate. I took the bus to many of the excursions and asked around for the right route. You can purchase tickets on the bus so there's no need to plan in advance either. Trams also run through the city so you're able to get to the further away attractions via them, or you can get a taxi. Taxis on the streets cost a lot more than an Uber so if you want to take a cab a lot, I'd recommend downloading the Uber app.

Where to eat 

Krakow is an absolute diamond in terms of places to eat and drink, from the quirky cafes in the Old Town to traditional eateries in Kazimierz.

Szara Kazimierz - If you'd love to dabble into some traditional Polish cooking, then this restaurant needs to be top of your list. Located in the Jewish Quarter, it was a gem I came across when walking through and really loved the food in there. They offer everything from meat dishes, classic dumplings to a couple of exotic dishes as well.

Cupcake Corner Bakery - I'm a huge fan of coffee shops and when I'm venturing around a city, there's nothing better than stopping off for a hot chocolate and cake. I came across this one in the Old Town when strolling through and fell in love with it. It had that cute vibe and offered an assortment of different cupcakes.

Tradycja - I wanted to dine in the Main Square at least once when visiting Krakow as it's the hub of its beauty that Tradycja was the perfect option. There, I tried a traditional beef stew in a bread basket and it was honestly delicious - and their cocktails are pretty great too. And, if you sit outside in the evening, you can see the square lit up - talk about the ambiance.

Mo-Ja Cafe and Bistro - I love a breakfast spot and Mo-Ja Cafe and Bistro was located about 5 minutes from our apartment. It offered a selection of great breakfast/brunch food, lunch dishes, and cakes. It was the perfect find and incredibly reasonable too for the portions served up! And, the iced chocolate drink is to die for.

Milkbar Tomaska - I was recommended this place by a friend and it didn't disappoint. The cafe served up some hearty sandwiches, traditional snack style food and enough choice for everyone - and it was so cheap for the good quality.

La Grande Mamma - Even though it was amazing dabbling into the Polish cuisine, the Italian came out in me and I had to enjoy a little bit of pasta on my last night in the city. La Grande Mamma provided a huge selection of unique Italian dishes, dessert, and wine, in the most beautiful setting.

I hope you enjoyed this post. Have you visited Krakow?

Thank you for reading <3


  1. I'm visiting Krakow next year for a wedding and I'm so excited as it looks incredible! Thank you for sharing, I will keep this post in mind when I visit :) x

    - Charlotte / charlottesspace.com

    1. I hope you have the best time! Thank you Charlotte :) x


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