Things to do in Kraków in the Winter

Kraków is the perfect city for a long weekend away. If you stay in the city centre then you can more or less reach everywhere by foot and, in comparison to the London or Frankfurt, prices are pretty cheap. This was my second trip to Kraków, so I thought I’d share a few of my favourite things to do.

Arriving in Kraków

It is super easy to reach Kraków city centre from the airport. I got an Uber, which took less than half an hour to reach the Old Town.

Where to stay?

I would strongly recommend staying in the Old Town as you’re right in the centre, which is a convenient spot for a weekend. I stayed in Szweska 7 Apartments, which I can highly recommend due the cleanliness, modern interior and location. However, the apartments are on one of the main streets with quite a few bars, so if you’re a light sleeper then this may not be the place for you.

Tourist Attractions

Rynek Main Square

Kraków’s main square is a great place to take a walk, stop for food, visit the cloth hall, buy souvenirs and hear the trumpet being played from the the church tower. You can stop for a warm drink and enjoy the view from one of many sheltered outdoor restaurant spots with warm blankets and outdoor heaters to keep you toasty in the winter months.

Wawel Castle

Located on Wawel Hill, Wawel Castle is a short walk from the Old Town and is a great place for a first glance of Krakow’s history. You can take yourself around the castle and its grounds for free or pay for a guided tour.

Walking tour

I took the Walkative donation based tour on Jewish Kraków. The tour lasted for  2.5 hours but considering it was -4 degrees (!!!), it went pretty quickly. Our tour guide, Natalia, really knew her stuff and could confidently answer any questions. As well as learning about  Kraków’s Jewish history, we were also able to explore Kazimierz,  Kraków’s Jewish quarter.

Restaurants and Cafes

Pierogaria Krakowiacy

Poland is famous for its pierogi, and if you haven’t had it yet, Pierogarnia Krakowiacy does the best I’ve ever tasted. Whilst polish food is traditionally meat heavy, traditional pierogi is vegetarian and Pierogarnia Krakowiacy do a vegan version too!

Cupcake Corner

I didn’t actually have any cupcakes here, but I did buy their bagels twice because they were so nice! If you fancy something sweet, I’d recommend the cinnamon bagel with blueberry cream cheese 🙂

Bistro Bene

I really liked the atmosphere at Bistro Bene. They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner, and you can always have some of their tapas-style small plates, which allow for the perfect snack.

Mo-ja Cafe & Bistro

Mo-ja does an amazing breakfast and even better smoothies. Decorated with modern artwork, you can also stop by for lunch or dinner.

Bonjour CaVa

This cafe was the perfect for taking a break after a lot of walking. I loved the interior and had the nicest spinach and dried tomato pie! They seem to have a few branches but this photo was taken at the one in Podgórze.

Mleczarnia

This cozy living room-stay cafe is located in Kazimierz, the Jewish district, and whilst I don’t drink coffee (although I’ve heard it’s really good here), the hot chocolate was delicious!

Cheder

Also located in Kazimierz, this was my favourite cafe in Kraków. Not only was the food great, but the bookshelves and plants made for a cozy atmosphere! It’s really spacious but there’s not too much seating so be prepared to wait until something frees up.

Bars

Piwnica Pod Baranam Cellar Bar

I really liked it here! This undergound bar has great reveiws on TripAdvisor and sells a wide range of drinks with interesting decor and friendly staff.

Niewodka

If you don’t already know, I can tell you now that the Polish love their vodka. Ironically, the name of this bar translates as “no vodka.” So what do they serve? Various flavours of Nalewka, a traditional Polish liquor, which is usually around 40% alcohol. I went for the smaller serving 🙂

Museums

I went to two museums over the weekend I spent in Kraków but you can find plenty more here.

Schindler’s Factors Museum

It might be worth watching the film Schindler’s List before heading to this museum. However it’s by no means a must as the museum itself provides you with a depth of information on Kraków under Nazi occupation.

Rynek Undergound Museum

This museum is located in Rynek Square, underneath the cloth hall. ItÄ great if you are interested in archaeology and the physical development of Kraków’s its centre.

Handy Tips

The weather

If there’s one word to describe Kraków in the winter, it’s COLD. With lows of -4°C and highs of 4°C during my trip in January 2020, I think it’s safe to say that you need to wrap up warm.

Money

You can pay for everything by card in Kraków, so I wouldn’t withdraw cash unless you know you’ll need it. Prices are reasonable and depending on what you choose to spend your money on, I would recommend €150 for three days.

Daylight hours

The sun sets as early as 16:30, so if you’re planning going to museums or doing any other indoor activities, I would recommend going during the late afternoon/ evening, so that you can make the most of sunlight during the day.

Excursions

You can take plenty of day trips when spending time in Kraków. On my last trip I visited Auschwitz, this time I stayed in the city, and next time I would like to visit Wieliczka Salt Mine.

All in all, I really enjoyed Krakow and would consider going back for a third time. Make sure you try pierogi and don’t forget to wrap up warm!

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