Europe > Central Europe > Poland > Małopolskie > Kraków > Kraków/West
In the early 20th century Kraków grew rapidly, engulfing surrounding neighbourhoods. This page covers those new areas north of the river, which are mostly west but include some north and east of Old Town. The places of interest to visitors are either in the ring a short walk from Old Town, or in the western parkland of Zwierzyniec (District VII, and not to be confused with the town of that name many miles to the east). The other districts are residential, though there's a strip of visitor accommodation along Highway 79 to the north. This page does not include western areas south of the river, Kazimierz or the eastern post-war new town of Nowa Huta.
1 Kraków Airport is nearby to the west of the city, so it may be convenient to take a taxi direct to your accommodation instead of going downtown. The airport train stops at the suburban stations of Kraków Młynówka and Łobzów where you can change to other local transport.
The main 2 railway and bus stations are 500 m north of the Old Town bastions.
Trams run west along the riverbank as far as Salwator, and northwest to the end of Aleja 3 Maja at Cichy Kącik. The lines meet at Filharmonia west edge of Old Town, then rattle through the centre along Franciszkańska and Dominikańska. They emerge east side to run up the middle of Westerplatte then either branch east along Lubicz and Mogilska away out to Nowa Huta, or continue north and make a big loop to return to the west edge of Old Town. In late 2019 sections of track along Westerplatte are dug up.
- 1 National Museum in Krakow - Main Building (Muzeum Narodowe w Krakowie - Gmach Główny), al 3 Maja 1, ☏ , fax: . Tu-F 09:00-17:00, Sa 10:00-18:00, Su 10:00-16:00. The permanent collection comprises 20th-Century Polish Art, Decorative Art, and Arms and Uniforms in Poland. The ground floor has temporary exhibitions, which until Dec 2019 included the Mona Weasel, the remarkable da Vinci portrait more snappily known as Dama z gronostajem. She's now resting and it's not been announced where or when she'll next appear. Adult 15 zł, conc 10 zł, Sundays free.
- 2 Błonia Park is the extensive meadow west of Old Town. It was a swampy grazing land until the 19th century, then was drained to become a 48-hectare park suitable for large gatherings. World-shakers who have held mass audiences spellbound here include Napoleon Bonaparte, popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI, and Céline Dion.
- 3 Salwator (where the trams turn around) has a group of interesting churches.
- The Church of St Salwator on Bronisława Hill was built in the 10th century in Pre-Romanesque style, with later Romanesque and baroque additions. Its small graveyard was full by the 19th century so the large Salwator Cemetery was opened in 1865 some 300 m west. Notable burials here include science-fiction author Stanisław Lem (1921-2006).
- The Parish of the Holy Saviour (or "Church of St Augustine and St John the Baptist") and the Norbertines convent are on the south side of the highway. Most of the complex was rebuilt in 1596 and the interiors renewed in classical style in 1777.
- 4 Kościuszko Mound (Kopiec Kościuszki), al Waszyngtona 1. Daily 09:00-sunset. Tadeusz Kościuszko (1746-1817) was a revolutionary hero first in the US (where he designed West Point) then in Poland where he led the 1794 uprising against the country's second partition. He was captured but survived the reprisals after the uprising, and eventually retired to die in Switzerland. He was buried there but his remains were soon transferred to the royal crypts in Wawel. This artificial mound was built in 1820 to commemorate him, with a Neogothic chapel and a citadel added under Austrian rule in the 1850s. It was several times threatened with demolition; in 1997/98 it was badly damaged by floods but restored in 2002. Ticket price includes the citadel and chapel; free entry on 4 Feb (Kościuszko's birthday), 24 March (the launch of his uprising) and 15 Oct (his death). Adult 14 zł adults, concs 10 zł.
- Woods surround the Kościuszko Mound. To the west is a partly urban strip along Starowolska, then further west is Lasek Wolski. This forest encircling the Piłsudski Mound and Zoo has several hiking and biking trails.
- 5 Piłsudski Mound (Kopiec Piłsudskiego). 24 hours. Józef Piłsudski (1867-1935) was the military leader who used the 1918 post-war power vacuum to re-establish Poland after 123 years of partition. The Germans and Austrians departed peacefully but it took wars with Russia to reclaim territory in the east. He was the de facto strongman ruler of Poland until his death. This artificial mound was begun in 1934 to celebrate Polish independence but was re-dedicated when Piłsudski died, incorporating soil from every WW1 battlefield where Polish soldiers fought. He himself is interred in Wawel. Later regimes hoped to write him out of history and his mound, like Kościuszko's, was damaged by the 1997/98 floods but restored in 2002. Free.
- 6 Kraków Zoo (Krakowski Ogród Zoologiczny), al Kasy Oszczędności Miasta Krakowa. Daily 09:00-15:00. With about 1500 animals and 260 species, headliners are two Indian elephants, pygmy hippos, Humboldt penguins and Przewalski horses. Apr-Oct adult 18 zł, conc 10 zł; Nov-March 15 zł, conc 8 zł.
- 7 Museum of Photography (Muzeum Fotografii), Królowej Jadwigi 220. Tu-F 11:00-18:00, Sa 10:00-17:30, Su 10:00-15:30. Permanent collection shows works of Polish photographers from 1850 to WW2. Several temporary exhibitions a year on both documentary and art photography. There's a branch museum at ul. Józefitów 16 nearer town centre but this is closed until some time in 2020. Adult 8 zł, reduced 5 zł.
- 8 Villa Decius Palace at ul 28 Lipca 1943 17a is a 16th-century Italianate Renaissance mansion now used to host cultural events.
- Bronisław Chromy Sculpture Gallery, ul Krańcowa 4. M-F 15:00-18:00, Sa Su 11:00-18:00. This collection of offbeat modern sculpture is in Decius Park just north of the Villa, both outdoor and within the gallery. Chromy (1925-2017) created many public sculptures around the city, including Smok the dragon at the foot of Wawel.
- 9 Camaldolese Priory is an elegant baroque complex, still an active monastery, atop Bielany hill. The rich church interior may be viewed by male visitors daily 08:00-11:00 and 15:00-16:30, while women are only admitted on a dozen days such as Easter.
- 10 Botanic Garden of Jagiellonian University, ul Kopernika 27. April–Oct daily 09:00-21:00. Extensive peaceful gardens (closed winter), ticket includes a small museum. Adult 7 zł, conc 4 zł.
- 11 Polish Home Army Museum (Muzeum Armii Krajowej), ul. Wita Stwosza 12 (200 m north of main railway station). M-F 10:00-7:00, Su 11.00-18.00. Museum dedicated to Polish underground movement during and after World War II, and its armed forces. Adult 16 zł, conc 8, Sundays free.
- Rakowicki Cemetery, 400 m north of the main railway station, was laid out in the early 19th century and contains notables such as Helena Modrzejewska, Jan Matejko and Wisława Szymborska.
- 1 Theatre Scena STU, al. Krasińskiego 16-18. Originally a student theatre, now repertory but still avant-garde.
- 2 Kino Kijów, al. Krasińskiego 34. Old-style cinema hall in 1960s modernist building. Also has concerts and other events.
- 3 Kino Mikro, ul. Lea 5. Arthouse cinema shows European & retro, seldom mainstream Hollywood.
- Watch football ie soccer: the city's three teams all have stadiums in this district.
- KS Cracovia play in Ekstraklasa, the top tier of Polish football. Their home ground is the Cracovia stadium, capacity 15,000, along Focha at the east end of Błonia park.
- Wisła Kraków also play in Ekstraklasa. Their home ground is Stadion Miejski im. Henryka Reymana, capacity 33,000, north of Błonia park.
- Garbania play in II Liga the third tier, and share Stadion Miejski.
- 4 Krakow Opera (Opera Krakowska), ul. Lubicz 48, ☏ . Two stages for opera and ballet.
- 5 Waterpark (Park Wodny), ul. Dobrego Pasterza 126. Daily 08:00-22:00. Indoor pool with slides, children's pool and padding area, plus sauna. Day ticket 50 zł.
- Multikino is a multiplex cinema next to the waterpark.
Several larger and smaller shopping malls are located in the area. Big cluster of shops including IKEA and Galeria Bronowice lies next to the northern ringroad.
- China Palace (Chiński Pałac), ul. Mackiewicza 14B (East side of Clepardia campsite). Daily 12:00-21:00. Good Chinese cuisine, filling portions.
- 27 Porcji, Aleja Kasztanowa 1 (within Park Decjusza), ☏ . Daily 11:00-21:30. "Slow food" with seasonal and fresh Polish cuisine in the park.
This area doesn't have many stand-alone pubs, head into Old Town for those. But you might try -
- Whisky Bar Egon, a microbrewery at Urzędnicza 26 (a block south of Królewska), open daily 16:00-00:00.
- Zielono Mi, a microbrewery at Królowej Jadwigi 4 (by Salwator tram terminus), open M-Th 14:00-00:00, F 14:00-03:00, Sa 12:00-03:00, Su 12:00-00:00.
- Pub Amnezja for its beer garden and sausages at Kasztanowa 20 (near corner with Modrzewiowa), open 24 hours.
- 1 Smok Campsite, ul. Kamedulska 18 (4 km west of centre on Hwy 780 Jozefa), ☏ . Open whole year. Good facilities, pay in cash only. Some noise from nearby highway but a good bus service to town. Adult 25 zł, tent 10 zł, campervan 20 zł.
- 2 Clepardia campsite, ul. Pachońskiego 28 A, ☏ . Open mid-April to mid-October with camping and tourer pitches plus bungalows. Free WiFi, swimming pool. Good public transport to the centre, shops, restaurants and a park nearby. But in summer the place gets overcrowded and unclean. Adult 30 & child 15 zł, tent 15-20 zł, campervan 35 zł bungalows from 120 zł.
- 3 Oleandry Youth Hostel, ul. Oleandry 4, ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Good location & rate but not always clean. No alcohol or smoking, apparently. You need to be out between 10:00 and 16:00. Discounts for members of PTSM, the Polish Youth Hostel Association. Dorm beds from 35 zł, bed linen 7 zł, double room 100 zł.
- 4 Hostel Premium, ul. Pomorska 2, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Good reliable hostel, clean & comfy. Rooms for 1-4 and dorms for up to 8 people. All with ensuite facilities, TV, SAT, and internet connection (cable or wi-fi). Dorm bunk from 20 zł, rooms from 60 zł.
- Student Hotel are a chain of college dorms that let spare rooms, especially during summer break but there may be availability throughout the year. Price, quality and convenience varies. As of Dec 2019 four are open: Bydgoska, Nawojka, Piast and Żaczek.
- Żaczek is first choice as it's close to Old Town, just west of the National Museum on al 3 Maja. It has singles, doubles, triples, and quads available with and without bath. Price is from 100 zł single, 140 zł double.
There are a lot of hotels located next to the northern part of Kraków ring road.
- 5 Hotel Florian, Ul.Czerwonego Prądnika 19 (2 km NE of Old Town, 200 m west of Olsza rwy station), ☏ , . Three star hotel, okay for the price. Hot & stuffy in summer, and roaring traffic if you open a window. B&B double 130 zł.
- Witek Hotel, Handlowców 14, 32-089 Modlniczka (8 km NW of Old Town at jcn Hwy 7 & 52), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Functional edge-of-town hotel on retail park 6 km from airport. B&B double 220 zł.
- 6 Novotel Krakow Centrum, ul. Tadeusza Kościuszki 5, ☏ , fax: , ✉ email@example.com. Just west of Old Town, good four star chain hotel with 198 rooms, leisure centre, pool and sauna. B&B double 600 zł.
- 7 DoubleTree by Hilton Krakow Hotel & Convention Center, Dąbska 5, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 15:00, check-out: 11:00. 232 guest rooms, suites and executive rooms. It has an indoor pool and wellness center, along with 32,000 ft² (3,000 m2) of event space. 322 zł.