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 for accommodation, eating out, entertainment, and attractions.
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.
This page also covers Śródmieście, the "Inner city". 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 the ring road Trzech Wieszczów to the west and railway tracks to the east.
The 1 main railway & bus stations are just north of Old City, see Krakow main page for connections & facilities.
InfoKrakow Tourist Information Offices
- 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
Wawel (say "Vavel") is the fortified citadel at the south tip of Old Town, perched on a limestone crag above the river. The complex contains the castle and the cathedral, and for over 600 years was the seat of power in Poland. Approach either up the ramp from the foot of Kanonicza, or up the longer gentler ramp from the foot of Grodzka. Both routes are wheelchair-accessible, but you may not bring bikes, scooters or Segways. The citadel is arranged around a grassy outer courtyard where a huddle of earlier buildings have been cleared away, and a graceful Italianate inner courtyard. These are both free to access daily from 06:00 to dusk; buy your castle ticket first because numbers are restricted, with timed entry slots for the various components. These sell out fast in summer and at weekends. In summer there's a separate ticket booth at the foot of Kanonicza, which may save you a fruitless climb up the hill. Use any long gap in your castle entries to tour the cathedral (separate ticket office), and see the Dragon's Den last if at all. There's a trattoria on the hill (open daily 09:00-17:00), a couple of cafes, toilets and an ATM.
- 1 Royal Castle (Wawel Castle), Wawel 5, ☏ , , fax: , ✉ email@example.com. April-Oct daily 09:30-17:00, Nov-Mar Tu-Su 09:30-17:00. The earliest parts of the present castle are medieval but most of it was built from the 16th C in Renaissance style, with baroque additions, surrounding an Italianate courtyard. It suffered when the centre of power moved to Warsaw, the country was partitioned, and there was a harrowing series of military occupations and wars. It was lavishly restored in the 20th C. A combi ticket covers any four of State Rooms, Royal Apartments, Treasury & Armoury, "Lost Wawel" (decorative fragments from buildings that are gone), Meissen porcelain and Oriental art collections, Dragon's Den and Sandomierska Tower. Adult combi 65 zł.
- Wawel Cathedral is known in full as Królewska Bazylika Archikatedralna śś. Stanisława i Wacława na Wawelu, or the "Royal Archcathedral Basilica of Saints Stanislaus and Wenceslaus on Wawel Hill". On 2 Nov 1946 a talented young priest called Karol Wojtyla conducted his first mass here, the day after his ordination; he went on to become the city's bishop, Pope John Paul II, and a modern Saint. The building is Gothic, built from 14th C. Several crypts and chapels house the remains of Poland's monarchs, nobility, heroes and poets. The Sigismund Tower, ascended by ricketty wooden steps, contains the huge Sigismund Bell. The main cathedral is free, and open M-Sa 09:00-16:00, Su 12:30-16:00. It's 12 zł to enter the royal crypts, Sigismund Tower and museum (which is closed Sunday).
- Dragon's Den (Smocza Jama): the limestone hill is riddled with clefts and caverns, and one was said to be the lair of a fearsome dragon. ("Smok" finds echos in Tolkien's Smaug - he himself gave an obscure German derivation, but he had wide knowledge of European legends and languages.) The sons of King Krakus fed the dragon a calf stuffed with smouldering sulphur, and this proto-vindaloo killed it. Enter the cave from Thieves' Bastion on the eastern terrace. It's open April-Oct daily 10:00-17:00, 5 zł or on combi ticket, but visit it last as it takes you out of Wawel. You descend 135 steps into the limestone cave, then through a passageway to emerge onto the riverbank promenade.
- A seven-headed metal 2 statue of the dragon burps fire every few minutes: "must have been something I ate". It's on the public promenade next to the cave exit, you don't need to go through the cave or enter Wawel to see it.
In the 13th century Kraków suffered two devastating attacks by the Tatars, so its centre (along with Wawel) was fortified with stout walls, towers and a moat, just in time to rebuff a third attack. In later years these defences were well-maintained, as the Ottoman Turks replaced the Tatars as a threat to Europe though they were stopped at Vienna. Then Austria-Hungary became the dominant power and eventually occupied much of Poland; the city lost its importance, the walls crumbled and the moat became a stinking rubbish tip. After the Napoleonic Wars, the Austrians ordered the walls to be taken down, but were persuaded to spare the attractive northern section. This included the Barbican and Florian Gate, while the rest became a horseshoe-shaped park, Planty.
- Planty is nowadays a green, leafy corridor curving between the Old Town buildings and the buzz of traffic on the street beyond - this goes by several names but on the north side is Basztowa, "bastions". It's dotted with statues, benches and little cafes. To the south it approaches the riverbank promenade.
- The Museum of the City of Kraków maintains the remaining walls. Admire the exteriors for free any time (and certainly by night, under floodlights) but you can only climb and go inside them April-Oct daily 10:30-18:00. Tickets (adult 9 zł) can be bought at the TIC in Market Square and at other branches of the City Museum.
- The walls have three stout towers centred upon the 3 Florian Gate, the town's medieval entrance leading onto the Royal Route via the market square to Wawel. It was built in the 13th century to be 33.5 m tall, and later a metre was added by a Baroque metal cap. The gate is always open to pass through (no vehicles), tickets for interior as above.
- The Barbican stands a few yards out from the walls and Florian Gate, and was built in Gothic style in the 15th century to better defend them. It was connected to the gate by a fortified passage and bridge over the moat: those have gone so the Planty walkway now lies across the passage, and the Barbican stands in isolation. It contains a small museum, tickets as above.
- Church of the Transfiguration (Kościół Pijarów pw. Przemienienia Pańskiego) is built onto the Walls just inside Florian Gate. It was built in 1718 in baroque style, copying Il Gesu church in Rome but with added decorative frolics.
- 4 Princes Czartoryski Museum, Pijarska 15. Tu-F 09:00-19:00, Sa 10:00-20:00, Su 10:00-18:00. Branch of the National Museum, re-opened in Dec 2019 after refurbishment. Classical art, the highlight being the Mona Weasel, an authentic Leonardo da Vinci portrait, in Polish Dama z gronostajem. She's properly called "The Lady with an Ermine" but the beast she cradles is not zoologically accurate - it's an allusion to the nobility of her sugar daddy the Duke of Milan, who just happened to employ Leonardo. Unlike the better-known Mona Lisa, the painting doesn't suffer from over-familiarity, over-merchandising and overcrowding. Adult 35 zł, conc 20 zł, Sunday free.
The main market square (Rynek Główny, say "rinek gwuvni") and its adjoining squares is the magnificent centre of the Old Town. It was first laid out in the 13th century but much embellished in the following centuries with churches, town houses and trading places. Several of the fronting buildings were palaces and mansions that nowadays are partitioned upstairs into offices and upscale apartments, while at street level they've become restaurants, cafes and beer cellars.
- 5 Cloth Hall (Sukiennice), Rynek Główny 1-3. Gallery Tu-F 09:00-17:00, Sa 10:00-18:00, Su 10:00-16:00. In the centre of the square, this large trading hall was built in Gothic style in the 14th century and rebuilt in Renaissance style in the 16th. The ground floor is an arcade filled with souvenir shops: this is open 24 hours even when the shops are closed. Upstairs is the Gallery of 19th C Polish Art, a branch of the National Museum. The Enlightenment, Romanticism, early Nationalism, Realism and Impressionism are the main styles of the permanent collection; plus rotating exhibitions. There are also extensive underground galleries with changing exhibitions, enquire at the upstairs gallery. Gallery adult 25 zł, conc 15 zł, free on Sun.
- 6 Town Hall Tower, Rynek Główny 1. Mar-Oct M 10:30-14:00, Tu-Su 10:30-18:00; Nov Dec M 11:00-14:00, Tu-Su 11:00-17:00. Most of the Gothic / Renaissance Town Hall was demolished in 1820, but the tower survives, now a branch of the City Museum. You can climb to the observation deck on the top floor, and peer into the workings of the clock, now radio-synchronised. Adult 10 zł.
- 7 International Cultural Centre (Międzynarodowe Centrum Kultury) at Rynek Główny 25 has temporary art exhibitions, open Tu-Su 10:00-18:00. There's also a library and roof-top terrace with views of the city centre.
- The block between Bracka and Grodzka was Pałac Zabarskich, now partitioned into various premises, including the excellent Cafe Wentzl.
- St Wojciech or Adalbert's Church (Kościół św. Wojciecha), Rynek Główny. At the south corner of the square just before the start of Grodzka, this is one of the oldest churches in Central Europe, with a wooden church recorded from the 10th C. It was rebuilt in the 11th C in Romanesque style and enlarged in the 17th C in baroque style.
- 8 St Mary's Basilica (Bazylika Mariacka), Plac Mariacki 5, ☏ . M-Sa 12:00-18:00, Su 14:00-18:00, no visits during Mass. Built in Gothic Brick from the 14th C, with two unequal towers facing the main square. The hejnał is played from the towers every hour and on Polish Radio at noon, commemorating the trumpeter slain as he sounded the alarm. There's a soaring interior with a magnificent altar by Veit Stoss (1477-89), plus another with a stone crucifix by Stoss. The wall paintings are by Matejko, Wyspianski, and Mehoffer. Adult 10 zł, conc 8 zł.
- At the northwest corner, Pałac Pod Krzysztofory fronts Szczepańska, while Pałac Pod Baranami (Palace of the Lambs) is on the southwest corner.
- Krzysztofory Palace (Pałac Krzysztofory), Rynek Główny 35. The main building. 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.)
- Along the north flank of St Mary's, what was once a cemetery has become the pleasant Mary's Square (Plac Mariacki), lined with yet more cafes. It leads through into the well-preserved medieval 9 Little Market Square (Mały Rynek).
- St Barbara Church in Little Market Square was founded in the 14th century by Mikolaj Wierzynek as a Gothic grave chapel, remodeled in early Baroque in 1583, and formerly housed a Jesuit college. By the main entrance is "Gethsemane", a complex of stone sculptures by Veit Stoss.
South of Main Square
The spine of this part of town is Grodzka, leading down through All Saints Square. Two monasteries give their names to the cross street of Franciszkańska / Dominikańska where trams rumble through. The Old Town narrows as it approaches the foot of Wawel.
- 10 Palace of the Bishops of Krakow (Pałac Biskupow Krakowskich), ul. Franciszkańska 3. 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.
- 11 Dominican Monastery. 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.
- 12 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 were destroyed by fire. Inside you can find Gothic architecture and some prominent works of Polish Art Nouveau, i.e. the famous stained-glass "Good Father the Creator" by Stanisław Wyspiański. The cross ways are well worth seeing with their Gothic frescoes. It has been a basilica since 1920.
- 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.
- Holy Trinity Church. This 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.
- 13 All Saints' Square (Plac Wszystkich Świętych). 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.
- St. Mary Magdalene Square (Plac św. Marii Magdaleny). 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.
- Palace of the Wielkopolskis ( Pałac Wielkopolskich) on pl. Wszystkich Świętych is nowadays Town Council offices.
- St. Peter and Paul Church, ul. 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 Church, ul. 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 Krakovians 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. Martin Church, Grodzka 58 — 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.
- 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 10:30.
- 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.
- 14 Archeological Museum (Muzeum Archeologiczne), ul. Senacka 3. Opening hours vary, Saturdays closed. Nice garden. 7 zł, reduced 5 zł.
- 15 Bishop Erazm Ciołek Palace (Pałac Biskupa Erazma Ciolka), ul. Kanonicza 17.
North of Main Square
- 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.
- 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.
- 16 Jan Matejko House (Dom Jana Matejki), ul. Floriańska 41. Tu-F 09:00-16:00, Sa 10:00–18:00, Su 10:00-16:00. Atelier of the well known painter Matejko (1838-1893), run by National Museum. 15 zł, 10 zł reduced, free Sunday.
- 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".
- Church Of Our Lady Of Snows on Mikołajska 21 — 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 of Pope Urban VIII. Next to the church stands a cloister with some fragments of the defensive medieval architecture, like a brick tower from the 13th century.
- St Thomas Church, Szpitalna 12. 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.
- Square of the Holy Spirit (Plac św. Ducha). The Gothic Holy Spirit Church is located on the square. Beautiful 19th century Słowacki Theatre is there as well.
- 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.
- 17 Stefanus Square (Plac Szczepański). 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. It was renovated in faux secessionist style, which angered lots of citizens. The fountain plays music in summer evenings.
- 18 Palace of Art (Pałac Sztuki), pl. Szczepański 4. M-F 08:15-18.00, Sa Su 10:00-18:00. 10 zł adults, 5 zł 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 zł reduced.
- 19 Bunker of Art (Bunkier Sztuki), pl. Szczepański 3A. Tu-Su 11:00-18:00. Gallery of contemporary art near Main Square. Also a book shop and nice cafe in the "bunker". 10 zł, reduced 5 zł; art students can try to get in for free.
- Church of St. Anne (Kolegiata św. Anny), ul. św. Anny 11, ☏ , fax: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
All over Old Town you'll find campuses and departments of the Jagiellonian University, founded in 1364. You are free to enter all buildings at your leisure, along with the milling students.
- 20 Collegium Maius, ul. Jagiellońska 15. This is the oldest part of the university, built 1364-1400 in Gothic style. It has a beautiful courtyard and chambers such as the Assembly Hall and stuba communis - the professors' common room. Niclaus Copernicus, Jan III Sobieski, and John Paul II all studied here. In its museum are the scientific instruments of Copernicus, the first globe to depict America, and many other medieval artefacts. Oxygen was first liquified in a stable condition here in 1883.
- Collegium Juridicum is Gothic and stands opposite the Peter and Paul Church. It has an attractive Renaissance yard with arcades and sculpture by Igor Mitoraj.
- Collegium Medicum is a Renaissance building opposite St Anna Church, the university church since 1409. It has a fine Renaissance yard with arcades.
- Collegium Novum is a beautiful Neogothic buildings It was built in the 19th century and has been the headquarters of the Jagiellonian University since then. The grand stairways inside the building are worth seeing.
- Pope John Paul II Academy is a big neo-Gothic building just north of Wawel.
This is the "inner city" lying just outside the ring of Planty.
- 21 Józef Mehoffer House (Dom Józefa Mehoffera), ul. Krupnicza 26. W-Su 10:00–16:00. Atelier of one the best known Polish painters with great garden and a cafe. 6 zł, 3 zł reduced.
- 22 National Museum main building is just west of this area at the foot of Aleja 3 Maja - see west Kraków page. It's full of top names including Rembrandt and da Vinci.
- Juliusz Słowacki Theatre (Teatr Słowackiego), pl. Św. Ducha 1, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Grand old venue by north city walls stages concerts, plays and other events.
- Old Theatre (Stary Teatr), ul. Jagiellońska 5, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Located in a Kraków-style Art Nouveau building next to pl. Szczepański.
- Contemporary Theatre at ul. Starowiślna 21 is 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. Small theatre in Town Hall's basement is part of People's Theatre (Teatr Ludowy) based in Nowa Huta.
- AST Theatre, Straszewskiego 22. University Dramatic Arts school's theatre.
- Małopolski Ogród Sztuki (MOS), ul. Rajska 12. Multifunctional space for plays, exhibitions and concerts.
- Camelot Theatre is a small repetory theatre at Tomasza 17, a block north of Main Market Square.
- Krakow Philharmonic (Filharmonia Krakowska), ul. Zwierzyniecka 1, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Tu-F 11:00-14:00, 15:00-19:00.
- Kino pod Baranami, Rynek 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.
- Agrafka, ul. Krowoderska 8. Arthouse.
- The Rynek and the surrounding streets have fashionable clothing stores.
- Galeria Krakowska is the big mall next to the main railway and bus stations. It's got clothes, souvenirs, bookstores, eating places etc.
- Młoda Księgarnia is an art bookshop on plac Szczepański on the ground floor of the Szołayskich museum. It also has handmade toys and Polish designs. It's open Tu-F 09:00-17:00, Sa 10:00-18:00, Su 10:00-16:00.
- U Babci Maliny, ul. Szpitalna 38 and ul. Sławkowska 17. Both daily 11:00-23:00. The name means "At Grandma Raspberry's": cheap authentic Polish food. The branch at Sławkowska is self-service, with communal seating at long wooden tables and benches. Order at the counter (English menus available), then listen for your number to be called to pick up your food. The street sign is on the wall of the Polish Academy of Crafts - enter the big doors, go to the end of the hall, turn left, go out into the courtyard, then left again and downstairs. The branch at Szpitalna has a small self-serve area, but the main area is a cellar with tablecloths, candles and drapes, and traditional evening meals served by waitresses in folk-lore dress, and live piano music. The menu, while more elaborate, is still affordable.
- Gospoda Koko, ul. Gołębia 8, ☏ . Su-Th 08:00-01:00, F Sa 08:00-03:00. Small, quirky self-service restaurant, open late-late for carousers. The fare is typically Polish, the daily deal is a soup & main served with a side salad at a fixed price of 14 zł. Half of this for a light bite costs 10 zł.
- Charlotte, pl. Szczepański 2. M-Sa 07:00-00:00, Su 08:00-22:00. French bistro open late, but it's best early for the bakery and light bites.
- Chimera, ul. św. Anny 3. M-Sa 09:00-22:00, Su 11:00-22:00. Traditional Polish cuisine in a cellar with big salad bar, in the yard of a Renaissance house. Beer garden and wine cellar.
- C.K. Dezerter, ul. Bracka 6, ☏ . Daily 09:00-23:00. Good mid-range gastropub, posh-rustic ambiance. The food is a traditional Polish and other central European cuisine, large portions, and good value.
- Glonojad, Plac Matejki 2, ☏ . Daily 09:00-20:00. Home made vegetarian meals, pastries, fresh juices, shakes, and smoothies plus great view of Matejko Square. Free WiFi and PC.
- Invito Pizza & Pasta, ul. św. Tomasza 33, ☏ . Daily 11:00-23:00. 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. pizzas around 40 PLN.
- "Splurge" in this town means half what you'd pay for the equivalent meal in the west, so these places are great value.
- Cyrano de Bergerac, ul. Sławkowska 26, ☏ . Daily 12:00-23:00. Very good and pricey French cuisine. Gets rave reviews for their meat, veggies will struggle.
- Miód i Wino, ul. Sławkowska 32, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Daily 11:00-23:00. Restaurant with amazing cod-medieval interiors. Food is good (try the duck); the service is sometimes altogether off but usually altogether on.
- Trzy Rybki, ul. Szczepańska 5 (inside Hotel Stary). Daily 12:00-23:00. Fine dining just off Market Square within Hotel Stary. This one is on the ground floor, Rybki Nove is on the second.
- Wentzl Restaurant is within Wentzl Hotel on Rynek Główny 19, open daily 13:00-23:00. Excellent upscale Polish & European cuisine.
- Pod Aniołami at Grodzka 35 is great Polish cuisine. It's open daily 12:00-23:00.
- Wierzynek, Rynek Główny 15, ☏ . Daily 13:00-23:00. Upscale traditional cuisine in one of the oldest restaurants 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.
The Battle of Vienna in 1683 was the last serious assault of the Ottomans upon the west, and afterwards they were always in decline. The victorious Polish hussars helped themselves to piles of Turkish coffee and brought it home, to start a cafe tradition here.
- Cafe Bunkier, pl. Szczepański 3a. Daily 09:00-01:00. Big patio cafe open to Planty park, next to Bunkier Sztuki gallery of contemporary art.
- Jama Michalika, ul. Floriańska 45. Daily 09:00-22:00. Famous cafe with beautiful Secession-style interior. Come for a drink to admire it, but as for the food, oh dear no. They often do tourist-trappy "Folk Nights".
- 1 Massolit, ul. Felicjanek 4/2, ☏ . M-F 09:00-20:00, Sa Su 10:00-20:00. Bookstore with English-language second hand books plus newspapers. Good cafe with coffee, bagels and other light bites.
- Nowa Prowincja, ul. Bracka 3-5. Daily 08:00-00:00. Coffee and light bites, artistic atmosphere, check out the hidden room on the first floor (guess how to get there).
- Wedel Cafe, Rynek Główny 46. Su-Th 09:00-22:00, F Sa 09:00-00:00. A chocolate cafe with a beautiful medieval courtyard. Wonderful chocolate drinks and cakes.
- Ambasada Śledzia (Herring Embassy), ul. Stolarska 5. Daily 12:00-05:00. Nice outside patio and interesting interior with poetry scrawled on the walls. Polish tapas at 4 zł a dish, drinks 6 zł and mains. Knock back vodka and herring and enjoy.
- BaniaLuka, Szewska 13. Daily 10:00-06:00. Popular late-night spot for drinks and food.
- Betel, pl. Szczepański 3. Great beer garden in a courtyard.
- Harris Piano Jazz Bar, Rynek Główny 28. Daily 11:00-14:00. A packed underground jazz bar with great music - 7 zł for a beer, get there early or reserve seats online. Live concerts every day.
- Re. Klub, ul. św. Krzyża 4. Daily 12:00-02:00. In summer, drink in the pleasant beer garden, on cold evenings head for the cellar bar which often has live music.
- House of Beer, ul. św. Tomasza 35 (entrance on św. Krzyża). M-F 14:00-01:00, Sa Su 12:00-01:00. Huge selection of beers and good food. Polish real ales on draft, and over 150 bottled beers from all over Europe.
- 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. M-F 07:30-04:00, Sa Su 09:00-04:00. Best name ever! They have good beer on tap called Smocza Głowa (Dragon's Head) which is made locally and hard to get. Most areas are for smokers, limited seating for non-smokers.
- 2 Weźże Krafta, ul. Dolnych Młynów 10/3. M-F 14:00-01:00, Sa Su 12:00-01:00. Great selection of local and international craft beers, built on the site of the former "Tytano" tobacco factory. Relaxed, spacious and not at all touristy, they don't do food but there's plenty nearby.
- Wódka Bar, ul. Mikołajska 5. Daily 14:00-01:00. Small place with around a hundred different vodkas to be sampled. Try the taster "flight" of six.
Dance venues are scattered around Old Town and are often down in the medieval cellars, especially along Szewska, św. Tomasza and Szpitalna.
- Klub Alternatywy, Mały Rynek 4. Su-Th 18:00-02:00, F Sa 18:00-04:00. Food and live music in basement, or sit out and admire the square.
- Frantic Club, Ul. Szewska 5. W-Sa 10:30-05:00. House music, keep a sharp eye on what they charge at the bar.
- Jazz Club u Muniaka, Ul. Floriańska 3. Daily 19:00-02:00. Good Polish jazz, reasonable prices.
- Pod Jaszczurami, Rynek Główny 8. Legendary student club with live music, open Su-Th 09:00-02:00, F Sa 09:00-04:00.
- Społem Deluxe, Floriańska 53, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Daily 19:00-04:00. Music from 1960s, 70s and 80s. Free entry.
- Tram Parties: you hire a tram for the evening and party as it trundles round the streets. Allegedly it's great for team-building, so pitch this idea to your corporate HR.
- Atlantis Hostel, ul. Dietla 58, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Great location 300 m east of Wawel, clean (usually) and efficient. Dorm from 60 zł.
- Cracow Hostel, Rynek Główny 18, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Great location on main market square. Dorms from 90 zł.
- Dizzy Daisy Hostel, ul. Pędzichów 9, ☏ . Clean well-run place, 500 m from main railway station and Old Town gates. Dorm bunk 70 zł, private double 190 zł.
- Flamingo Hostel, ul. Szewska 4, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Great location, usually clean & comfy. Doesn't have a dorm so it's really a budget hotel. Two of the rooms are in nearby apartments. Double from 100 zł.
- Let's Rock Hostel, ul. Grodzka 34, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Within Old Town, clean and friendly. Dorm from 60 zł.
- Greg and Tom Hostel, ul. Zyblikiewicza 9 (corner of Librowszczyzna), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Clean and friendly party hotel, they'll lead you on pub crawls and similar cultural events daily. Dorms from 60 zł.
- Hostel Rynek 7, Rynek Główny 7, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Amazing location, view of Market Square from every window. 8 and 12 bedded dorms plus private rooms. Dorm bunk 45 zł, double 160 zł.
- Mundo Hostel, ul. Sarego 10, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Just northeast of Wawel, clean modern spacious rooms. Dorm 60 zł, private double 150 zł.
- One World Hostel, ul. Westerplatte 8, ☏ . Clean, friendly, safe, great location next to Old Town, low price, you can't ask for better. Dorm single from 40 zł.
- Tutti-Frutti Hostel, ul. Floriańska 29, ☏ . If you get a lower dorm, expect a lot of noise until after midnight as reception is directly outside the door of your dorm, as are the bathrooms. Definitely not for early nights. Dorms from 50 zł.
- Hostel Yellow, ul. Dunajewskiego 6, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. 3 eight-bed dorms, 1 six, 5 fours, great price for a location just outside Old Town. And that's about its only positive feature. Dorm bunk from 50 zł.
- Draggo House Hostel, ul. Gołębia 6, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 15:00, check-out: 11:00. 65 m from Main Market Square, free Wifi, air-conditioned, lockers, own restaurant and pub. 45-90 zł.
Kraków offers a lot 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 in downtown Krakow, 10 mins from the Old Town. Double room 230 zł.
- Hotel Logos, Ul. Szujskiego 5 (between Krupnicza and Rajska), ☏ . A cozy decent 3-star hotel, ten mins walk to main market. Double room 500 zł.
- Poselska 20, Ul. Poselska 20, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Good standard rooms in a renovated apartment house near Wawel. Double room 270 zł.
- Tango House Bed & Breakfast, Ul. Szpitalna 4, ☏ . Boutique hotel with tango-theme right around from the Main Market Square, clean and comfortable. B&B double 270 zł.
- Blue Aparthotel, ul. Westerplatte 12/7, ☏ . Mid-range going on basic, good location, cleanliness is erratic. B&B double 180 zł.
- Hotel Copernicus, Kanonicza 16, ☏ , fax: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Upscale place tucked away on charming street just below Wawel, strong on period charm and comfort though rooms are a bit dim. B&B double 700 zł.
- Grand Hotel, ul. Sławkowska 5/7, ☏ , fax: , ✉ email@example.com. Secessionist-style building created in the 19th C by a knock-through of medieval tenements, with Joseph Conrad among its guests. Great location, ambiance and service, some of the rooms have seen better days but the junior suite is great value. B&B double 600 zł.
- Hotel Pod Różą, ul. Floriańska 14, ☏ , fax: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. One of the oldest hotels in Poland, in a Renaissance palazzo with a travel-related Latin inscription over the portico. The rooms are small and a tad dated, but great location and service. Decent restaurant but breakfast is disappointing. Tsar Alexander I, Franz Liszt and Balzac were among its notable guests. B&B double 500 zł.
- Hotel Wentzl, Rynek Główny 19, ☏ , fax: , ✉ email@example.com. Hotel in a 16th-century house overlooking Market Square, where John Wentzl opened his restaurant in 1792. Great location, comfort and service. B&B double from 460 zł.
- 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. Go for a ground or first floor room, as the second floor rooms (while still nicely apportioned) have skylights rather than windows. Staff are friendly and helpful; the buffet breakfast is also good, with tasty pastries, cheese and ham, and proper coffee. B&B double 280 zł.
- Radisson Blu, Ul. Straszewskiego 17, ☏ . Good upscale hotel just outside old city centre, a short walk to Main Market Square and Wawel. Double 350 zł.
- Sheraton Grand Krakow, Ul. Powiśle 7, ☏ . Five-star hotel on the riverbank, exterior is slabby but with a great view of Wawel, well-furnished interior with gym, pool and rooftop restaurant. Double 650 zł.
- Venetian House Aparthotel, Rynek Główny 11, ☏ . A luxurious apartment hotel on Krakow's Main Market Square. Double 300 zł.
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: