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Kraków

I will be spending 4 nights in Kraków in July with no particular plans other than to
1. Eat good food and drink good libations
2. Side trip to the salt mine/maybe Auschwitz
3. Get professional photos taken
4. Buy Polish pottery (how much to budget?)

We are staying close to old town. Coming in on the night train from Prague and will need to stash our stuff until the afternoon. I assume the train station has lockers.

Any tips/advice/experiences welcome :)

Posted by
126 posts

My wife likes Polish Pottery, and in 2017 we visited Wroclaw (where we flew into), Boleslawiec (and were there for the annual Pottery Festival in August), and Krakow. While in Krakow we visited both the salt mine and Auschwitz - both were worth seeing. The trip report is on the forum: https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/trip-reports/poland-wroclaw-boleslawiec-krakow-aug-2017-part-1-of-2

How much to budget for pottery? For reasons I won't go into, our trip started in Poland -- so we carried around luggage full of Polish pottery for the rest of our trip to Croatia, France, and Germany. Nothing broke! I can't say how much to budget, but as you can imagine the prices are much lower than in US, so my wife loaded up on the top brands. In Krakow we saw one shop with polish pottery, in the Old Town tourist area. Prices were ok, and selection less than in Boleslawiec: my wife bought one item there to add to the booty we got in Boleslawiec.

Posted by
118 posts

Do you have any particular interests, castle ruins, mountains, hiking, fine art, opulent palaces etc?

All of the above unfortunately lol

Posted by
118 posts

@Carlos thanks so much
We missed Versailles in Paris due to train strikes so I’ll definitely check out the opulent place 😊

Posted by
193 posts

Carlos, do you know if there are tours that drive one along this Eagles Nest trail? I won't have a car, but am intrigued.

Posted by
1780 posts

Hi Todd, I heartily recommend the Eagles Nest Castle Trail, I visited them driving with a rental car last summer, here is my trip report - https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/trip-reports/new-daytrip-from-krakow-eagle-s-nest-castle-trail

You can always hire a private guide with a car in Krakow to drive you to them, I also did a quick search and found this - https://www.getyourguide.com/krakow-l40/from-krakow-trail-of-the-eagles-nests-day-tour-t64084/

PM me if you would like more info, this is definitely a unique day trip not many international tourists know about :)

Posted by
12084 posts

Yes...Schloss Pless, the " Versailles of Upper Silesia"...all redone, refurbished, restored to show what it was prior to 1914 and the role it played in WW1, agree with Carlos' assessment here.

Posted by
41 posts

Hope you have time for Auschwitz. It’s a worthwhile and important place to experience as well as sobering, thinking what man is capable of. Take the bus and it will be a day long experience.

Posted by
1 posts

Hi Natalie

4 nights in Krakow gives you enough time to spend a nice city break in Krakow.
With regards to your question about the lockers- yes, the main station offers lockers to rent – I don’t know where you will be staying, but majority of hotels / hostels will store your luggage for free even before the check in official time.

When it comes to the other questions, my personal top 10 would be:

  1. Taking a walk around Rynek Glowny and Kazimierz districts. If you’re staying within the Old Town area you can do it on your own with a good guide book. Alternatively if you have a bit of budget you can opt for a personalised tour with agencies such as e.g.: https://krakowzwiedzanie.pl/en/ or if or if you don't mind group tours you can join Free Walking Tours

2,. Take a Vistula river cruise to Tyniec Monastery you can book tickets )- you can book Tickets here https://www.e-statek.pl/

  1. Visiting Krakow underground museum http://podziemiarynku.com/

4.Take a guided bar crawl - Krakow has huge number of bars and clubs, and it’s worth booking a guided tour to visit. If you are a single traveller most people wouldn’t feel comfortable going to clubs on their own. But luckily there are companies such as e.g: Booze Kult Crawl - they gather backpackers from all around the otown and will take you to 4–5 venues and you will have a chance to meet people from all over the world

  1. Vodka tasting ! When in country of vodka’s origin it’d be a shame not to try this experience. Here is a link to a great show, and it’s not only for Krakow stag do groups – individuals are also catered for https://partykrakow.co.uk/krakow-stag-do-activities/magic-of-polish-vodka-premium-tasting-experience

6.Wieliczka Salt mine - a must do for single travellers or couples in my opinion. An organised tour with hotel pick up is usually around 40 EU

7.Auschwitz Birkenau / Oswiecim- again a must do/visit. Plenty of agents offering this tour for roughly 30–40 EU/pp

8.How about a tour to Zakopane, which is a Polish winter holiday resort located in the Tatra mountains ? It’s about 110 km from Krakow, but 2,5hrs drive on average. There are some hot springs in the area e.g.: Chochołowskie Termy - Największe Termy na Podhalu

9.Ojcow National Park- only a short drive from Krakow, with a great looking Pieskowa Skala castle

  1. It’s not a tour, but a great way to save money on entry fees and public transport https://www.krakowcard.com/

Hope this helps a bit