Kraków/Old Town

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Sukiennice at night


The Old City of Kraków, referred to in Polish as Stare Miasto, forms the historical kernel of this vibrant Polish city and is the first target for most travellers to the city, with regard to accommodation, eating out, entertainment, and attractions.

Understand[edit]

Orientation[edit]

The area of the Old City is bounded by the ring of lightly-forested parkland, known as the Planty, that used to mark the Old City walls and moat. The Wawel, the long-fortified hill at the southern end of the Old City, overlooks the River Vistula, and forms an integral part of this district. The centre of the Old City (and of Kraków itself) is the Rynek Główny (Main Market Square) from which all the main streets radiate.

In this article also the area known in Polish as Śródmieście (Inner city) is covered. It was developed behind torn down medieval city walls on the grounds of surrounding villages and towns and today together with Old City forms the I district of Kraków. Śródmieście is bordered by a ring road al. Trzech Wieszczów from the west and rail tracks from the east.

InfoKrakow Tourist Information Offices[edit]

  • Wyspiański Pavilion, pl. Wszystkich Świętych 2
  • ul. św. Jana 2
  • ul. Szpitalna 25 (in Planty park outside the underground passage leading from Train Station)
  • ul. Powiśle 11 (in the pavilion at the foot of Wawel hill)
  • Sukiennice, Rynek Główny 1-3

See[edit]

Major attractions[edit]

Wawel Castle courtyard
  •    Wawel CastleWawel 5 +48 (0/12) 422-51-55fax: +48 (0/12) 421-51-77, e-mail: . Wawel is the name of a lime hillock situated on the left bank of the Vistula at an altitude of 228 metres above sea level. This is a symbolic place of great significance for Polish people. The Royal Castle and the Cathedral are situated on the Hill. Polish Royalty and many distinguished Poles are interred in the Cathedral and royal coronations took place there. It's considered to be the most beautiful castle in Central Europe, besides the Hradcany in Prague.
  •    Cloth Hall (Sukiennice), Rynek Główny 1-3. Sukiennice was built in the early 14th century in the middle of the Main Market Square as a trading hall in Gothic style. It got its present Renaissance look in 1555. In the 19th century, it was turned into a museum. The first floor was used for great banquets. Nowadays, souvenir shops are there.
The town hall tower
Medieval Barbican
  •    Town Hall TowerRynek Główny 1. Part of the big 13th century Gothic-Renaissance Town Hall that once stood on the Main Market. The town hall was destroyed by the Austrians in the 19th century after they took control of Krakow. It is now one of the branches of Kraków Historical Museum, there's a nice view of the city from upstairs if it is open.
  •    Barbican (Barbakan). Barbakan was built in the 15th century as the biggest European defense building of its kind. The Gothic Barbakan was meant to defend the Florian Gate from attacks of the Osman, which were thought to attack Central Europe after conquering Constantinople and the Balkans in the late Middle Age.
  • Florian Gate is the only part of the medieval walls which has survived. It consists of four towers and the arsenal and gives you a good idea of what the five kilometers of walls around the Old City looked like in the Middle Ages.

Squares[edit]

  • Rynek Główny (Main Market Square). A fine medieval square at the heart of the Old City, festooned with churches, restaurants and bars. It is the biggest medieval marketplace worldwide with more than four hectares of area and eleven streets beginning here.
St. Mary Magdalene Square
  • Mały Rynek (Little Market Square) — A fine medieval square east of the Main Market Square.
  • Plac Mariacki (Mary´s Square) — A small medieval place connecting Main and Little Marketplaces. It was a cemetery in the Middle Ages, but is now a charming and quiet place with the Sculpture of a medieval Cracovian Student.
  • Plac Wszystkich Świętych (All Saints' Square) — The name refers to the Gothic All Saints' Church that stood there until the 19th century. Actress Helena Modrzejewska and writer Joseph Conrad lived in houses at this square. There are two beautiful Gothic churches, the St. Francis and the Dominicanus, at its western and eastern ends.
  • Plac św. Marii Magdaleny (St. Mary Magdalene Square) — A fine square in the center of Okół, the oldest part of the Old Town just under the Wawel. The early baroque St. Peter and Paul Church and the Roman St. Andrew Church are there. In the middle stands the column of Piotr Skarga.
  • Plac Szczepański (Stefanus Square) — The name refers to the Gothic Stefanus Church that stood there until the 19th century. The secessionist Palace of Art and Old Theatre are there. Recently renovated in faux secessionist style, which angered lots of citizens. Well, the fountain plays music in summer evenings.
  • Plac św. Ducha (Square of the Holy Spirit) — The name refers to the Gothic Holy Spirit Church that is located on the square. Beautiful 19th century Słowacki Theatre is situated there as well.

Churches[edit]

  • St. Mary's Church (Bazylika Mariacka), Plac Mariacki 5 (Located on the southern end of the Rynek),  +48 (0/12) 422-55-18 ext 21fax: +48 (0/12) 421-07-85. Not during Mass, 12.00-18.00, 14.00-18.00 on Sundays. The first St. Mary's Church was built in 1220. The façade consists of two unequal towers. The tune (hejnał) is played from one of the towers every hour and on Polish Radio at noon. Inside the church, the east wall is taken up by the altar of Veit Stoss (1477-89). It is the largest piece of medieval art of this kind. There is also an altar with a stone crucifix by Veit Stoss. The wall paintings are by Matejko, Wyspianski, and Mehoffer. 6 zł, reduced 3.
  • St. Barbara Church — Founded in the 14th century by Mikolaj Wierzynek as a Gothic grave chapel, it was remodeled in the early Baroque style in 1583. It housed a famous Jesuit college which competed with the Jagiellonian University. Next to the main entrance is the Gethsemane, a complex of stone sculptures by Veit Stoss.
  • Church of St. Anne (Kolegiata św. Anny), ul. św. Anny 11 +48 (0/12) 422-53-18fax: +48 (0/12) 421-51-41, e-mail: . This church was built in the 14th century and rebuilt in 1407 in Gothic style. It served as the University Church. It was rebuilt in baroque style in 1689 by Tylman from Gameren modeled on S. Andrea della Valle in Rome. The corpus of the church was composed of a wide main nave with three pairs of side chapels. The holy professor of theology Jan Kanty is buried there. His baroque grave is one of the most beautiful in Central Europe.
  • St. Adalbert's Church (Kościół św. Wojciecha), Rynek Główny. One of the oldest churches in Central Europe. History of the first wooden church on this site dates from 10th century. It is said to have been built by a pagan cult. Holy Adalbert preached before his missionary expedition to Prussia in the late 10th century. It was rebuilt in the 11th century in Romanesque style and enlarged in the 17th century in baroque shape.
  • St. Peter and Paul Churchul. Grodzka 52a. The oldest baroque building in Poland. It was built in 1597 by Jozef Britius for the Jesuit Order and completed by Jan Trevano. The stone façade is based on the Roman church Il Gesu. You can see the longest Foucault's pendulum in Poland (46,5 m) there. Showings on Thursdays.
  • St. Andrew Churchul. Grodzka 56. This is the best example of the Romanesque style in Poland. It was built in the 11th century by Sieciech, palatine of duke Wladyslaw Herman. The fortifying character of the church is visible and the church was the only place the Krakowians could flee successfully when the Tatars conquered Kraków in 1241. Two beautiful slim Romanesque towers are covered with baroque helmets and the interior is baroque, too.
  • St. Giles Church. This church was founded in the 11th century by Duke Wladyslaw Herman as a votive offering for the birth of their son. It was later rebuilt in the Gothic style at the end of the 13th century. The Holy Mass is offered in English on Sundays at 10:30AM.
  • St. Trinity Church. St. Trinity Church, a Dominican church, was built in 1222 in Romanesque style (the refectory still is). It was rebuilt as a three-aisled basilica in the second half of 14th century and the 15th century. It is filled with a countless number of tombs and the set of burial chapels of the 16th and 17th centuries was second only to the Wawel Cathedral necropolis. The great fire of 1850 destroyed much of the church. There is an amazing late 14th century stone portal richly ornamented with carved floral motifs located here.
  • St. Mark Church. This was founded in the second half of the 13th century by Duke Boleslaw Wstydliwy. On the wall of the apse stands the sculpted group Golgotha. Inside the church is a rococo pulpit with a worth seeing cross.
  • St. Thomas Churchul. św. Jana. Built in 1618, this church was constructed in early baroque style for the Carmelichans. Later, it was used by the nuns of the hospital of the Holy Ghost.
  • Holy Cross Church. It was constructed in 1186. The oldest part of the church is a stone presbytery, while a brick part of the construction dates from the 15th century. The interior is very beautifully decorated with wall paintings dating back to 1420, like 'The Agony in the Garden' in the chapel and a wonderful Gothic palm vault which is based on only one very high pillar.
  • St. Martin Church — This church was raised in 1637 in Baroque style for the Discalced Carmelite nuns, but is now a Protestant church. The Gothic crucifix above the altar is one of the oldest in Poland.
  • Pijary Church — Built in 1718 by Kasper Bazanka, the late baroque shape of the façade was made by Franciszek Placidi in 1759. It was based on the Il Gesu church in Rome, but aiming to enhance the frontal effect the architect added a decorative top story and flattened the divisions of the elevation.
  • St. John's the Baptist and St. John's the Evangelist Church — It was built by Piotr Wlast from Skrzynno in the 12th century in Romanesque style. In the 17th century, the church was altered in Baroque style. The high altar contains a Renaissance painting called "The Mother of God redeeming the Slaves".
  • St. Francis Church (Franciscans) — Founded in the first half of the 13th century in Romanique style. In the 15th century, the church received its final Gothic form. In 1850, the grand fire of Kraków destroyed much of the church. The reconstruction and redecoration took several dozen years. The present secession interior was made by Stanislaw Wyspianski. The most authentic part of the church is the northern elevation of the transept, surviving almost intact in its 13th century form. A place of special beauty are the Gothic cloisters surrounding the rectangular viridarium, dating mostly from the first half of the 15th century.
  • Reformatory Church of St. Casimir — Built in 1666, together with the monastery in baroque style. In the crypta are graves of the brothers with mummified bodies, due to the special microclimate.
  • St. Joseph Church — This church was built in 1694 at the place of the Tęczyński Palace in baroque style. It was damaged in the big fire of 1850 but the interior was saved.
  • Church Of Our Lady Of Snows — Constructed in 1632 founded by Anna Lubomirska as a vote to commemorate the victorious battle in 1621 in Chocim against the Osmans. It was destroyed during the Swedish invasion in 1655 and rebuilt in 1671. The main altar has the painting of the "Our Lady Of Snows", the gift from the Pope Urban the VIII. Next to the church stands a cloister with some fragments of the defensive medieval architecture, like a brick tower from the 13th century.

Monasteries[edit]

  • Dominicans — The Dominicans came in 1222 to Kraków. After the Tatars destroyed this monastery, they rebuilt it. Duke Leszek, the Black of Kraków, and Bishop Iwo Odrowaz were buried inside the church in the 13th century. Also the great Italian Humanist Fillipo Callimachus was buried there in the 15th century. His grave was made by Veit Stoss and Peter Vischer. There are 13 chapels inside the church, the Sobieski Chapel with graves of the family of king Jan III Sobieski, the golden Myszkowski Chapel full of pretty baroque and gold, the manierist Dominican Chapel by Santi Gucci are the most beautiful. The Renaissance cross ways are full of epitaphs and baroque paintings by Tomasz Dolabella. A beautiful Romanique Crypta is under the cross ways.
  • Franciscans — The Franciscans came in 1237 to Kraków. Their first monastery was destroyed by the Tatars in 1241 and 1259. In 1269, the saint Salomea was buried inside the St. Francis Church. In 1462, 1655 and 1850 parts of the monastery burned. The inside is Gothic and secession. The famous window "Good Father the Creator" by Stanislaw Wyspianski is there. The cross ways are very worth seeing with their Gothic frescoes. It has been a basilica since 1920.

Palaces[edit]

  • Pałac Biskupow Krakowskich, ul. Franciszkańska 3. (Palace of the Bishops of Krakow). Renaissance palace with a beautiful yard. It is world famous as the home of Pope John Paul II. Starting in 1963, he lived there as the bishop/cardinal of Kraków. After he became pope, he always stayed at there while in Kraków. His small talks from the window with Krakowians are famous. Often one can find a candle in the window and many candles and flowers under it.
  • Pałac Erazma Ciolka (Palace of Erazm Ciolek), ul. Kanonicza 17.
  • Pałac Sztuki (Palace of Art), pl. Szczepański 4.
  • Pałac Wielkopolskich (Palace of the Wielkopolskis), pl. Wszystkich Świętych (Town Hall today).
  • Pałac Zabarskich (Palace of the Zabarskis), Rynek Główny 20 (Goethe Institut).
  • Pałac Pod Baranami (Palace Under the Lambs), Rynek Główny 27.
  • Pałac Pod Krzysztofory (Palace under the Krzysztofory), Rynek Główny 35 (Kraków Historical Museum).

University Buildings[edit]

All over Old Town you can find campus parts of the second oldest university in this part of Europe: Jagiellonian University. You are free to enter (and leave) all buildings at your leisure (mind the students milling around every day of the week).

  • Collegium Maius — This is the oldest of the university buildings, erected in 1364 as part of the University of Kraków. It was completed in 1400 and has preserved its Gothic scape. It has a beautiful court yard and chambers, of which the stuba communis is considered to be the most important. Niclaus Copernicus, Jan III Sobieski, and John Paul II studied here. Today, there is a university museum in the building with the instruments of Copernicus, the first globe with America, and many other medieval instruments. The first liquefaction of oxygen was there in the 19th century.
  • Collegium Juridicum — This is a Gothic building in the oldest part of the Old City ("Okol"), opposite the Peter and Paul Church. It has a very nice Renaissance Yard with Arcades and Sculptors of Igor Mitoraj.
  • Collegium Medicum — This is a Renaissance building in the academic part of the Old City opposite the St. Anna Church, which is the university church since 1409. It has a very nice Renaissance Yard with Arcades.
  • Collegium Novum — One of Central Europe's most beautiful Neogothic buildings. It was built in the 19th century and has been the headquarters of the Jagiellonian University since then. The big neogothic stairways inside the building are worth seeing.
  • Pope John Paul II Academy — Big neo-Gothic building under the Wawel Castle at the beginning of the Planty Park.

Parks[edit]

The Planty park
  • Planty park surrounding the medieval city. It was set up in the 19th century in the place of torn down town walls.
  • Wawel Gardens.

Museums and Galleries[edit]

  • National Museum branches (free on Sundays, with exception of temporary exhibitions):
  • Czartoryski Museumul. św. Jana 19. Art collection of 18th century Polish magnate family. "Lady with an Ermine" (also known as the Polish Mona Lisa) by Leonardo da Vinci and "The Landscape with Good Samaritan" by Rembrandt van Rijn among others. Currently closed for renovation.
Inside the Gallery of The 19th-Century Polish Art in Sukiennice
  • Jan Matejko Museum (Dom Jana Matejki), ul. Floriańska 41. 10.00 – 18.00. Atelier of the best known 19th century Polish painter. 8 zł, 4 reduced.
  • Józef Mehoffer Museum (Dom Józefa Mehoffera), ul. Krupnicza 26. We - Su: 10.00 – 16.00. Atelier of one the best known Polish painters with great garden and a cafe. 6 zł, 3 reduced.
  • Szołaysky House (Kamienica Szołayskich), ul. Szczepańska 11. 10.00 – 18.00. Temporary exhibitions of Polish art, mainly relating to the period of Young Poland. There's also a collection of works by Stanisław Wyspiański. 8 zł, 4 reduced.
  • Main Building (Pałac Krzysztofory), Rynek Główny 35. Usual historical museum stuff: armour, swords etc. Every year after Christmas there is an exhibition concerning local tradition: Krakow szopka (characteristic nativity scene where historical buildings of Kraków are used as backdrop for the Nativity of Jesus.)
  • Rynek UndergroundRynek Główny 1 (entrance in Sukiennice opposite the fountain). 10.00–20.00/22.00; closed every first Tuesday of a month. Shows relics of structures hidden under the current Market Square surface. 17 zł, reduced /group 14.
  • Town Hall TowerRynek Główny. 10.30–18.00; April - October. Great view over the Market Square. 7 zł, reduced 5.
  • Barbican, City Defense Walls, the Celestat. History of city's fortifications and defenders. The Celestat is a genuine headquarter of one of the oldest, existing continuously for over 700 years rifle-clubs. Combined ticket valid for a week: 6 zł, reduced 4.
  • Archeological Museumul. Senacka 3. Opening hours vary, Saturdays closed. Nice garden. 7 zł, reduced 5.
  • Natural History Museumul. Św. Sebastiana 9. Among other exhibits unique woolly rhinoceros from twelve thousand years ago. Currently closed for visitors.
  • Bunker of Art (Bunkier Sztuki), pl. Szczepański 3A. 11.00-18.00, Mondays closed. Gallery of contemporary art near Main Square. Also a book shop and nice cafe in the "bunker". 10 zł, reduced 5; art students can try to get in for free.
  • International Cultural Centre (Międzynarodowe Centrum Kultury), Rynek Główny 25. 11.00-18.00, Mondays closed. Very well prepared temporary art exhibitions in a nicely remodeled and renovated building on Main Square. There's also a library and a terrace on the roof with views of the city centre. 8 zł, reduced 5.

Do[edit]

Theaters[edit]

  • Juliusz Słowacki Theatre (Teatr Słowackiego), pl. Św. Ducha 1 +48 (0/12) 424 45 00, e-mail: . If you're walking the most direct route from the train station to the Rynek (or vice versa), it's nearly impossible to miss this building. Its stunning façade is enough reason to visit, but attending one of the theater's performances sweetens the deal.
  • Old Theatre (Stary Teatr), ul. Jagiellońska 5 +48 (0/12) 422 4040, e-mail: . Located in a Kraków style Art Nouveau building next to pl. Szczepański.
  • Kameralny Theatre ul. Starowiślna 21, Old Theatre's second stage.
  • Bagatela Theatre. Ul. Karmelicka 6 (corner with Krupnicza). Light plays, comedies mostly.
  • Groteska Theatre. Ul. Skarbowa 2. Puppet theatre, plays for kids mostly but they also do experimental stuff for mature audience.
  • Scene under the Town Hall (Scena pod Ratuszem). Rynek Główny 1. The scene located in Town Hall's basement is part of People's Theatre (Teatr Ludowy) based in Nowa Huta.
  • PWST Theatre. Academy for the Dramatic Arts school's theatre.
  • Małopolski Ogród Sztuki (MOS), ul. Rajska 12. Multifunctional space opened in 2012 is a place for plays, exhibitions and concerts.

Cinemas[edit]

  • ARSul. św. Tomasza 11. A film theatre with four screens named Aneks, Reduta, Kiniarnia and Salon, differing in atmosphere. For example in Reduta popcorn and cola are forbidden and Kiniarnia is basically a cafe with a screen. European, art cinema, retrospectives, documentaries, classics. Definitely not a multiplex experience.
  • Kino pod BaranamiRynek Główny 27. Cinema in a beautiful palace with three screens. Similar to ARS with their selection of films. They have special screenings of Polish films with subtitles in English!
  • Agrafkaul. Krowoderska 8. Arthouse.

Buy[edit]

The Rynek and the surrounding streets have fashionable clothing stores.

There is a big mall Galeria Krakowska near the main railway station. You can find clothes (like H&M), souvenirs, bookstores etc. in there.

Bookstores[edit]

Bona, ul. Kanonicza 11, books in different languages, cracoviana, art albums and nicely designed children books. Also a cafe.

House of Albums, ul. Zwierzyniecka 17, shop full of albums on art, film, photography, architecture and more.

Młoda Księgarnia pl. Szczepański, on the ground floor of the museum. Books and less obvious souvenirs like handmade toys and Polish design.

There are also several interesting antique book shops in the centre.

Eat[edit]

Budget[edit]

  • U Babci Malinyul. Szpitalna 38, ul. Sławkowska 17. The name literally means At Raspberry Grandma in Polish. Genuine Polish food that might be served by your grandmother which is cheap and delicious. Enjoy the atmosphere, where you sit at benches with complete strangers and wait for your number to be called to enjoy some delicious food. The menu is in Polish but there are English menus available - ask. The area downstairs is impressively presented, with hearty traditional meals in the evenings served by waitresses wearing traditional dress, and live piano music. Very good and very cheap students restaurant with Polish cuisine. Self-service, but very nice interior. Not easy to find in a cellar of the PAN. Ask students for location. No alcohol, no smoking. From €2.
  • Green Wayul. Mikołajska 14 (just off the Small Square),  +48 12 431 10 27. 10AM-10PM. Quite wide variety of vegan and vegetarian food, with amazing huge smoothies (labelled cocktails) for under €1. Self-service, friendly staff, and a huge variety of products from soups to samosas to enchilladas to satisfy anyone who typically eats meat too. from €2.
  • Gospoda Kokoul. Gołębia 8 +48 12 430 21 35. 8AM-3AM, yes 3AM!!!. Quite small, quirky self-service restaurant. The menu is in Polish only, but staff speak English and are happy to help. The fare is typically Polish, the daily deal is a soup followed by a main served with a side salad at a fixed price of 14zł. Half of this for less hungry costs 9,5zł. 14zł.

Mid-range[edit]

  • Cechowaul. Jagiellońska 11. Traditional Polish cuisine, not expensive. A TAM exhibition in the pub in the cellar.
  • Charlottepl. Szczepański. French bistro.
  • Chimeraul. św. Anny 3. Restaurant with traditional Polish cuisine located in a cellar and an inexpensive salad bar (with big variety of salads) located in the yard of a Renaissance house. Beer garden and wine cellar.
  • C.K. Dezerterul. Bracka 6 +48 12 422 79 31. a very warm and friendly place — the posh side of rustic in atmosphere and decor. The food is a great blend of traditional Polish and mainly central European cuisine, large portions, and exceedingly good value. 50-60 zł, including wine.
  • Da PietroRynek Główny 17. Italian cuisine, very good pizzas.
  • GlonojadPlac Matejki 2. 9AM-10PM. Home made vegetarian meals, pastries, fresh juices, shakes, and smoothies plus great view of Matejko Square. Free WiFi and PC. Inexpensive.
  • Invito Pizza&Pastaul. św. Tomasza 33 12 421 30 92. Mostly pizza and pasta, but a huge selection of each, with chicken, soup and other dishes too. Pizza is great value, but you cannot physically eat a small pizza alone, and a large is best shared between two very very hungry people, or three. Pasta dishes are also large but single portions. Staff speak English, with English menus available, though mostly frequented by locals. Football often showing. starters from €1.50, mains from around €4.
  • Paeseul. Poselska 24. Corsican cuisine, a lot of fish dishes.

Splurge[edit]

  • Miód i Winoul. Sławkowska 32 +48 12 422 74 95, e-mail: . Restaurant with amazing medieval times interiors. Food is very good (try the duck) and often served after a little chivalry show by young waiters. €20 to get filled.
  • WierzynekRynek Główny 15. Traditional Polish cuisine, according to the legends, the oldest restaurant in Poland. Mikołaj Wierzynek invited several kings and the German Emperor in 1364 to a feast there and gave them the golden dishes they ate from.

Drink[edit]

Cafes[edit]

The cafe tradition of Kraków reaches the Battle of Vienna in 1683, when the Polish hussars returned with a lot of conquered Osman Coffee. Some of the most famous cafes are:

  • Cafe Bunkierpl. Szczepański 3a. Big patio open to Planty park right next to Bunkier Sztuki gallery of contemporary art.
  • Cafe Lody u Jacka i Monikiul. Sławkowska. They have one of the best ice cream in Kraków in the summer and good coffee in the autumn and winter time. They offer very good cakes, especially the traditional kremówka - a vanilla flavored cream cake or a warm apple pie with whipped cream. Try out their hot chocolate and fruit cocktails.
  • Café MalagaRynek Główny 11, courtyard. A cozy, small café where you can enjoy a Krakowian iced coffee, huge Polish cheesecake and a variation of hot and cold drinks. It specializes on wines from the Spanish Malaga district, but offers a large variation of Polish beverages and cakes. Even though it might be tricky to find, it's worth checking out for the atmosphere alone!
  • Cafe Mozaikaul. Gołębia 5. Artistic interior.
  • Loch Camelotul. św. Tomasza 17. Naive art pictures and good szarlotka (apple cake). Klezmer music and cabaret Loch Camelot.
  • Jama Michalikaul. Floriańska 45. The most famous cafe in Krakow, with secession interior. The legendary cabaret Zielony Balonik (Green Balloon) was there in the 19th century. Most Polish artists of Young Poland met here and left some pieces of art. frequented and decorated by artists of the Young Poland (Młoda Polska) movement. Plenty of art nouveau style and original paintings.
  • Mamy Cafeul. Sławkowska 20. Children friendly cafe with great interiors. Perfect if you want to enjoy a cup of coffee and take your toddler with you.
  • Massolitul. Felicjanek 4/2 (48) 012 432 41 50. A cafe is only a part of a great English-language used book store. You can browse the shelves and read English-language newspapers. They also have some American style bagels. 5 - 7 zł.
  • Nowa Prowincjaul. Bracka 3-5. Artistic atmosphere, check out the hidden room on the first floor (guess how to get there).
  • U Literatówul. Kanonicza 7. Very cultural cafe, meeting point of poets and writers.
  • Wedel CafeRynek Główny 46. A cafe with a beautiful medieval courtyard, on the main square. Wonderful chocolate drinks and cakes.

If you're looking for a more American coffee experience, check out Coffeeheaven (Karmelicka 5 and Galeria Kazimierz) or Tribeca Coffee (Rynek Główny 27).

Bars[edit]

  • Ambasada Śledzia (Herring Embassy), ul. Stolarska. 24/7. Nice outside patio and interesting interior with poetry written all over the walls. Every drink (coffee, tea, beer, vodka shot) is 4 zł, most of the food 8 zł and if you want to try some typical polish dishes eaten for lunch as well as between vodka shots this is the place.
  • Banialukapl. Szczepański 6. 24/7. Another example of the 4/8 zł type. Quite popular among Erasmus crowds.
  • Betelpl. Szczepański 3. Great beer garden in a courtyard.
  • Bomba Na Placupl. Szczepański 2/1. Interesting interior, free concerts on weekends.
  • Harris Piano Jazz BarRynek Główny 28. A packed underground jazz bar with great music - 6,5zł for a beer, get there early to get seats. Live concerts every day.
  • Klub REul. św. Krzyża 4. Underground bar with alternative music concerts. In summer they have one of the nicest beer gardens in the city.
  • House of Beerul. św. Tomasza 35 (entrance from św. Krzyża). Currently has the widest selection of beer in all of Krakow. Over 150+ beer labels from all over Europe + 8 beer taps.
  • Paparazziul. Mikołajska 9 +48 12 429 45 97. Best cocktails in town. A cozy place with a lot of pictures of known people and great atmosphere. Every Thursday from 6PM to 10PM a special menu with each order made double!
  • Pauzaul. Floriańska 18. Kind of a culture centre with a club in the basements and long-time trendy bar on the first floor. No sign on the street.
  • PergaminBracka 3-5. Chill-out music bar.
  • Pierwszy Lokal na Stolarskiej po lewej stronie idąc od Małego Rynku (The First Place on the Left Side of Stolarska if You Come from Small Square), ul. Stolarska 6/1. Best name ever! They have really good beer on tap called Smocza Głowa (Dragon's Head) which is made locally and hard to get.
  • Wódka Cafe Barul. Mikołajska 5. Small place with around a hundred different vodkas to be tasted.

Clubs[edit]

Dance venues are scattered around Old Town and located mostly in Kraków's medieval cellars. Streets with higher density of these establishments include Szewska, św. Tomasza and Szpitalna streets.

  • Cień. Ul. św. Jana 15. Since 2003 one of the most popular clubs in the city centre. Several underground rooms and three bars. Door selection.
  • Frantic. Ul. Szewska 5. House music.
  • JazzRock Cafe, ul. Sławkowska 12. A basement filled with hard rock music and dark crowds. No jazz. Plus Antycafe on ground floor - slightly more civilised.
  • KOTKAROLA. Rynek Główny 6, entrance from ul. Sienna. Live concerts.
  • Pod Jaszczurami, Rynek Główny 8. Legendary student club with live music. Definitely less popular these days.

There is an unusual attraction - Tram Parties. Lots of people drinking and dancing in a tram that rides around the city, later (after 11PM or so) everyone moves to one of clubs.

Sleep[edit]

Budget[edit]

  • Blue Hostelul. Westerplatte 12/7 +48 12 429 59 34. Cozy and homely atmosphere, but aimed more towards the Polish than international tourists. Dorms from 40 zł.
  • Mama's Hostelul. Bracka 4. Next to Main Square. 6, 8, and 10 person/room. Free breakfast. 40 - 90 zł.
  • Tutti-Frutti Hostelul. Floriańska 29. If you get a lower dorm, expect A LOT of noise until gone midnight as reception is directly outside the door of your dorm, as are the bathrooms! Definitely not for people who want to go to sleep early. Dorms from 50 zł.
  • Hostel Yellowul. Dunajewskiego 6 +48 12 4441170, e-mail: . 45 - 90 zł.

Mid-range[edit]

Kraków offers a large number of two and three star hotels, priced at €25-40 per night. The most expensive of these hotels are actually in the Old Town proper.

  • Hotel Batory. Ul. Sołtyka 19. Three star hotel located downtown Krakow, just minutes from the Old Town, train, and railway stations, as well as, main shopping centers. Batory is known for its ambiance and family atmosphere.
  • Hotel Logos. Ul. Szujskiego 5. Is a cozy and elegant hotel of three star category with location in the center of the Kraków - Old Town recommended by the Polish Hotel Association. Logos is known for its excellent food and wide range of extra services.
  • Poselska 20 +48 513 158 056. Ul. Poselska 20. Elegant hotel rooms in a renovated apartment house located on beautiful Poselska street.
  • Tango House Bed & Breakfast. Ul. Szpitalna 4. Boutique style lodging right around from the Main Market Square. Tango House is a cozy bed and breakfast with a Tango theme, warm staff while offering modern rooms, stylish bathrooms, wireless internet, daily maid service, and satellite TV.

Splurge[edit]

  • Hotel CopernicusKanonicza 16 +48 12 424 34 00fax: +48 12 424 34 05, e-mail: . Check-in: 2PM, check-out: 1PM. Tucked away on one of Krakow's most beautiful streets, Kanonicza. If you're looking for an authentic European feel, while maintaining a five-star experience, this is the place.
  • Hotel Grandul. Sławkowska 5/7 +48 12 424 08 00fax: +48 12 421 83 60, e-mail: . Check-in: 4PM, check-out: Noon. Traditional luxury secessionist palace belonging once to the Czartoryski Family, who founded the Czartoryski Museum in the 18th century not far away.
  • Hotel Pod Różąul. Floriańska 14 +48 12 424 33 00fax: +48 12 424 33 51, e-mail: . Check-in: 2PM, check-out: Noon. The oldest, and one of the best hotels in Poland. It showcases a very good restaurant and wine cellar. Tsar Alexander I and Franz Liszt stayed here. A Renaissance building with a beautiful gate. Read the Latin writing above the entrance.
  • Hotel WentzlRynek Główny 19 +48 12 430 26 65fax: +48 (0/12) 430 26 64, e-mail: . One of the best known high class hotels in Kraków and the only one located right on Rynek Główny. Set in a 15th century house, John Wentzl opened the Wentzl restaurant in this building in 1792. €159+.
  • Ostoya Palace Hotel. Ul. Piłsudskiego 24. A four star hotel in a 19th century mansion about 5–10 minutes walk from Rynek Główny. The rooms are beautifully furnished in pastel colors with custom-made furniture. If possible get a ground or first floor room; the second floor rooms (while still very nicely apportioned) have skylights rather than windows. Staff are very friendly and helpful; the buffet breakfast is also good, with tasty pastries, cheese and ham, and proper coffee.
  • Radisson Blu. Ul. Straszewskiego 17. Situated within walking distance from Main Market Square and Royal Wawel Castle.
  • Sheraton Krakow. Ul. Powiśle 7. A big, ugly, five star hotel located right on the Vistula river with a great view of the Wawel castle.
  • Venetian House Aparthotel. Rynek Główny 11. A new and luxurious apartment hotel located directly on Krakow's Main Market Square.

Connect[edit]

Half of bars and cafes have WiFi, just ask for the password while ordering.

Main library on ul. Rajska has free WiFi on the second floor.

There are few Internet cafes:

Garinet ul. Floriańska

Nandu on ul. Wiślna.

one in pasaż Bielaka (hidden shortcut connecting Main Market Square and ul. Stolarska) and another Hetmańska in pasaż hetmański (entrance from ul. Bracka) open 24/7.

Stay Safe[edit]

Cope[edit]

This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!
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