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Krakow Visit: Enough Time?

We're incorporating a trip to Krakow in our Germany itinerary because my teenage daughter REALLY wants to visit Auschwitz after being inspired by Elie Wiesel's NIGHT. We'd also like to see other sights in the city, especially the salt mines, Wawel Hill area, and Oscar Schindler museum.

We will arrive by plane from Frankfurt mid-afternoon and spend the next three nights in Krakow, taking the sleeper train the fourth night to Poznan and then on to Berlin the next afternoon. Do we have enough time to explore? Any suggested sites to see?

We are a family of four (teens 19 and almost 16) who love history, art, museums, good food, and exploring local cultures.

Thanks for your input! Thanks :)

Posted by
6247 posts

Yes, 3-4 full days would be enough to experience Krakow in a leisurely way (set a whole day aside to see Auschwitz and/or pair it with the Salt Mine if you think you can fit both). Some resources on other things to do include Rick Steves books, Trip Advisor, and Krakow In Your Pocket (you can download for free). You already named the major highlights, although there are others as well - including the Old Jewish quarter of Kazimierz, the stained glass museum, etc. If you had extra time, I would recommend going to the mountains at Zakopane for some lovely hikes.

http://www.inyourpocket.com/poland/krakow
http://www.tripadvisor.com/Tourism-g274772-Krakow_Lesser_Poland_Province_Southern_Poland-Vacations.html

Posted by
4 posts

My daughter and I rented bicycles from a shop near the castle and spent five pleasanthours touring the city on two wheels. This was just one of the highlights we had in Krakow. We followed the trail along the river in both directions, then returned via Schindler's factory, lunch in the Jewish quarter, and made numerous laps around the Planty (greenbelt). Not a lot of elevation so it was a relatively easy ride, and the trails were nice. If you are interested in something like that, I think you'd enjoy it. The shop we visited rents bikes by the hour or the day.

Posted by
6 posts

Thank you so much for the suggestion about renting bikes. Sounds wonderful!

Posted by
1753 posts

Might suggest the Czartoryski Museum to view one of Leonardo da Vinci's great portraits, "Lady with an Ermine", along with the rest of the family collection. It's well worth a few hours. Zakopane is great if you have the time, but for a shorter trip I'd suggest Ojcow Park - many terrific hikes and great scenery. Nice place for a picnic too.

Posted by
2109 posts

Lady with an Ermine is actually now at the museum in the Royal Castle at Wawel--I was just there and be advised there's quite a convoluted ticket procedure--worth it, but you can't really just show up, buy a ticket and walk in.

I spent 4 nights in Krakow and absolutely loved it--easily walkable, friendly people, excellent food. The main square is full of great food (head straight to the stand with all kinds of roasting meat and sausages!) and vendors selling a variety of things, not all just touristy souvenir junk. Wandering old town can absorb a day, and I also particularly enjoyed exploring the Kazimierz Jewish district. I visited Wawel, Schindler's factory, jewish cemetaries, the Ethnographic museum, Jan Matejko house, the art museum upstairs at Cloth Hall and a day trip to Auchwitz/Birkenau.

Posted by
6 posts

I would love to see that Da Vinci painting! Thank you so much for the recommendations :)

Posted by
3696 posts

We had about 4 days in Krakow and it was enough time to feel like we had seen most of what we wanted and it was not rushed. We had time to spend wandering around and doing lots of photography and some shopping. Ended up taking a private tour for a couple hours and that was fun and informative. A very beautiful and walkable city.

Posted by
7 posts

I spent four nights in Krakow last August and aside from the must-sees you already mentioned (Auschwitz, Wawel Hill, Schindler Museum (which was one of the bets history museums I've ever attended)), the experiences I remember most vividly are wandering around in the many churches in Old Town, catching a jazz show in an underground club, sitting and hanging out in the Main Market Square, and visiting the Ethnographic Museum (although this might be less interesting if you're not of Polish descent). Also, the food was phenomenal. You can never have too many pierogis.