We will be visiting Krakow in a few months and are trying to determine how many days to spend there before moving to our next destination. A day trip to the Tatras and another day at Auschwitz are in the plans, but does anyone have recommendations on the length of time necessary to explore the city itself? Recommendations for accommodations would also be helpful Thanks to all in advance!
A few years ago we spent 4 days in Kraków and liked it a lot. Almost one whole day was spent at Auschwitz and a half day at the salt mines. We spent the rest of our time touring and walking this lovely city. We wanted to visit the art museum but we did not once we discovered da Vinci's Lady wth an Ermine was in Warsaw for restoration (it may be on display now at Wawel Castle but I'm not sure). We were very happy with the Hotel Wielopole. An easy walk from the station through the Planty and well situated near the main square. Then, they offered a large breakfast, very nice staff. Both our tours were arranged by the hotel staff over the phone; we chose our days and times and the door to door tours were excellent.
I would say 3 full days just in the city itself will make for a nice, leisurely trip. It really depends how many museums and off-the-beaten-path sites/ neighborhoods you want to explore.
I spent one day at Auschwitz and 1-1/2 days for Krakow itself and wished I had more time. I would say at least 2 full days for Krakow plus your day trips. And if you're interested in the Da Vinci, it was back in Wawel castle in Krakow when I visited in July 2014 and worth seeing if you're a fan. I loved the whole castle experience there and the main square in old town was one of the best ever for people watching and lots of stuff going on during the summer, great place to just wander around.
We just got back from Krakow. We spent 2 nights at the Tango House. We wish we would have stayed at least 1 more night. We felt rushed to see everything on our second day. I think 3 full days would be good using one of them for Auschwitz. We also loved the Schindler's Museum. That was better then I expected.
The Tango House was great. It is a very simple B&B but the location couldn't be better and they were really good about arranging anything we needed. It was very clean and cozy and the ladies were very sweet. Hope this helps.
I spent five nights in Krakow in October. This included one day for Auschwitz and a partial day for the salt mine. The other days I mainly walked around the old town and market square, the Jewish quarter and Wawel Hill. The only museum I went in was the Schindler museum, which I liked. I also visited a few of the churches. I feel like Auschwitz is a must see and the salt mine is interesting but optional. For everything else, you could do it in a rushed one day or a relaxed two days if you are not going to visit multiple museums. I loved Krakow and was happy with five nights there.
I was there last May and arrived on a Sunday afternoon and took the train to Warsaw on Thursday afternoon--plenty of time to explore the town and important sites, with a guided day trip to Auschwitz. I had a lovely stay at the Hotel Unicus on Sw. Marka, just off Florianska and a block from the main square--perfect for walking to everything. I really loved Krakow, it was a great introduction to Poland for me.
I would say try to spend at least four days in Kraków, and allow one day to visit Auschwitz. I'd say four days in Kraków, for that will give you enough time to see the sights and visit the museums without feeling too rushed.
Five months ago I was in Kraków for seven days (five full days exploring the city, one day visiting Auschwitz and another day visiting the Wieliczka Salt Mine). Seven days may seem like too much time, it's just I truly wanted to take as much time as I wanted in experiencing Kraków, and I feel I did just that. No matter how much time you spend you're going to fall in love with Kraków.
I like to count nights instead of days - one night is always one night, whereas a day could be 2-15 hours of available time for seeing the place, depending on transportation times.
I spend three nights in Krakow, with an all-day trip to Auschwitz-Birkenau. I wish I had had one more night, at least. I would suggest a minimum of two nights for Krakow itself plus one night for each daytrip.
Thanks to all for your suggestions! They were very helpful and this portion of our trip is now set.
So what did you ultimately decide? Hope you have a great trip! Krakow is wonderful. I wouldn't skip the Wieliczka Salt Mine.
We are spending two 1/2 days in Krakow itself, with an additional two days allotted for day trips. Looking forward to exploring the city!
If you want to include "down time" without being pressured, then I suggest 5 nights in Krakow. I wish I had done that instead of planning only for 4 nights.
We spent a full day in the countryside exploring an ancestral village with the help of Andrew Durman (highly recommended by Rick Steves and his fans). We did the salt mines another day with another drver and he also took us to the local skasen which is an outdoor folk museum. The castles and museums give you a sense of the royalty and wealthy but a skansen will let you see how the vast majority lived. Poland has quite a few skansens.
We loved absolutely EVERYTHING about Poland and excited to return. We stayed in the the Jewish quarter and walked to Krakow. Don't miss Oskar Schindler's museum. Very well done!