Things to Know Before You Go to Krakow

Its ancient charms and soul-warming pierogis will surely leave you spellbound. Gear up with our essential  things to know before you go to Krakow!

Krakow’s streets at dusk

Krakow, once the royal capital of Poland, is a tapestry of medieval architecture and vibrant cultural heritage. With its heart centered around the Rynek Glowny, Europe’s largest medieval market square, the city offers a journey back in time through bustling historical sites. 

As we uncover this city’s storied past and dynamic present, these insights are your essential things to know before you go to Krakow, preparing you for another unforgettable exploration!

PLANNING YOUR VISIT

When planning your visit to Krakow, it’s essential to consider the best times to visit and where to stay to maximize your experience

Here’s what you need to consider as part of the essential things to know before you go to Krakow:

When to Go and How to Budget

  • Best Seasons: Visit during the spring (April to June) or fall (September to October) for pleasant weather and fewer crowds. Less people generally means a safer visit, too, especially if you’ll be traveling solo.
  • Festivals: Don’t miss the Krakow Film Festival in May and the Pierogi Festival in August.
  • Budgeting: Expect to spend around PLN 250-400 per day. Do note that Krakow can be enjoyed on a modest budget, with many free historical sites and affordable dining options.

Where to Stay

  • Budget-friendly: Na Stawach offers a quiet, comfortable stay outside the city center with great amenities for travelers looking to escape the city bustle.
  • Mid-range: Osada Mała Kozówka provides spacious holiday homes perfect for families or groups, set in scenic surroundings with easy access to nature and hiking trails.
  • Upscale: MyFive Apartments Kraków located in the heart of Krakow, is ideal for those seeking luxury and convenience close to major attractions and shopping centers.

How to Get Around

Krakow’s compact city center is best explored on foot. But for longer distances, the city’s efficient public transportation system also includes reliable buses and trams. And for a seamless travel experience, download the Jakdojade app to efficiently navigate public transport schedules and routes.

Medieval architecture in Krakow

CULTURE & INTERACTION

Naturally, engaging with local culture and observing customs can greatly enhance your visit to Krakow

So here are some key things to know before you go to Krakow regarding its local customs and language:

Local Customs and Etiquette

  • Greetings: A handshake accompanied by direct eye contact is the common greeting. Do address people using their title and surname until invited to do otherwise.
  • Dress Codes: When visiting religious sites like churches, dress modestly; picking a comfortable outfit that covers your shoulders and knees is always a good idea.

Language Tips

  • While many in Krakow speak English, especially in tourist areas, learning a few phrases in Polish, such as “Dziękuję” (Thank you) and “Proszę” (Please), will be appreciated. A translation app can be useful for more complex interactions or in less tourist-centric areas.

EXPLORING & EXPERIENCING

Krakow is rich in history and local culture, offering a plethora of experiences from historical tours to vibrant food scenes. 

Here’s a brief guide on some things to know before you go to Krakow when it comes to exploring and experiencing the city:

Must-Visit Attractions

  • Wawel Castle: A must-see historic site offering a mix of architectural styles and rich history.
  • Rynek Glowny (Main Market Square): Experience the bustling heart of Krakow, surrounded by historical townhouses and the iconic Cloth Hall.
  • Kazimierz District: Explore this historic Jewish quarter for its unique shops, cafes, and poignant history.

Food and Drink

Krakow is famous for its pierogis and kielbasa. Sample these at local spots like Bar Mleczny for an authentic taste of Polish F&. And for a true fine dining experience, visit restaurants in the Old Town that offer a fusion of traditional Polish and modern European cuisines.

Local Experiences

  • Krakow’s Underground Museum: Delve beneath the surface of the Market Square to explore its rich medieval history. You’ll never know, you might even score an awesome souvenir in nearby shops!
  • Vistula River Cruise: Enjoy picturesque views of the city from the water, which can be especially beautiful at sunset.
Krakow salt mine underground lake

STAYING SAFE & HEALTHY

Krakow is generally a safe city. However, as with any tourist destination, it’s always wise to stay vigilant in crowded areas to avoid pickpockets. 

Health-wise, no special vaccinations are required beyond the usual travel vaccines recommended for Europe. The tap water in Krakow is also safe to drink, and medical facilities are excellent should you need care. 

It would be smart to remember these essential things to know before you go to Krakow for a secure and safer visit.

Learn More Essential Things to Know Before You Go to Krakow with ThisCityKnows

From the historic streets of the Old Town to the serene banks of the Vistula River, Krakow invites deeper exploration and discovery. Keep these essential things to know before you go to Krakow in mind to make the most of your journey in this majestic city. But do make sure you don’t leave any stone unturned. There’s still plenty to discover for sure!

Ready to experience the historical charm and contemporary buzz of Krakow? Plan your travels with ThisCityKnows and let us guide you through a memorable adventure in one of Poland’s most iconic cities. 

Let your journey begin with ThisCityKnows today!

Patty O.
Author: Patty O.

A city girl through and through, Patty has always planned her adventures in and around urban areas. Through her travel writing, she aims to make a compelling case for the global city as a place of endless discovery and satisfaction. Her goal is to detail how urban exploration can fulfill the desires of anyone and everyone, from cultural and culinary adventurers to historical and supernatural enthusiasts.

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