Guide To Morskie Oko Hike In Zakopane: Poland’s Most Beautiful Lake

Guide To Morskie Oko Hike In Zakopane: Poland’s Most Beautiful Lake

Not sure how to do the Morskie Oko hike in Zakopane, Poland?

Worry not.

As one of the best things to do in Zakopane, hiking to Morskie Oko is easy (a little too easy). In our Morskie Oko guide, you will find out how to hike Morskie Oko, why visit Morskie Oko, our experience doing the trek, and information about Morskie Oko in the winter.

Enjoy! 

Why Hike Morskie Oko Lake In Zakopane, Poland?

Morskie Oko Poland

As the biggest lake in Tatra National Park in Poland, Morskie Oko (or Eye of the Sea in English) is arguably the biggest attraction in Zakopane. To miss visiting Morskie Oko in Zakopane is like to miss seeing the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

Situated 1,395 meters above-sea-level, Morskie Oko features crystal clear water, allowing visitors to see up to great depths from the surface.

The lake was originally called Rybie Jezioro, or Fish Lake in English, due to the high amount of fishes in the lake. Nowadays, visitors are still able to see the trouts that inhabit the lake! 

Surrounding Morskie Oko are pristine Swiss Pines and alpine peaks that create the picture-perfect landscape. If you a photographer, this is going to be your paradise!

Zakopane Morskie Oko

The best part about Morskie Oko is that everyone gets to enjoy its beauty.

Unlike other hikes in Zakopane that require long trekking distance and difficult terrain, the Morskie Oko hiking trail is easy and short.

It is easily accessible through a short 2-hour hike from Palenica Białczańska, the farthest point a motorized vehicle can go. The trail is clearly marked and well-paved, perfect for travelers with kids or elders.

Horse-drawn carriages are also available for anyone struggling along the route!

Zakopane Morskie Oko Hike Summary

Morskie Oko Restaurant

Not sure if the hiking Morskie Oko in Zakopane is right for you? Here is a quick summary:

Duration Of Hike: Expect to spend 5 to 6 hours doing the Morskie Oko hike. Though the hiking trail to Morskie Oko takes about 2 hours, we recommend factoring in the time you would spend walking around the beautiful lake.

Hikers can also take an additional 1 to 1.5-hour out-and-back trail to Czarny Staw pod Rysami, another equally breathtaking lake in the Tatra National Park in Poland. Though the lake is spectacular, the bird’s-eye view of Morskie Oko Lake on the trail to Czarny Staw pod Rysami is what makes the additional hike worth it.

In our opinion, taking the extra hike to Czarny Staw pod Rysami is a must when you visit Morskie Oko.

Morskie Oko Lake Hike Difficulty: 4/10 not including Czarny Staw pod Rysami, 7/10 including Czarny Staw pod Rysami. 

The Morskie Oko hiking trail is fairly easy. Most of the trail is on a paved road and shade is abundant. There are several pit stops and shops along the way where you can replenish yourself with some food or drinks.

The PTTK Morskie Oko Mountain Hut adjacent to the lake serves incredible food, drinks, and a place to stay if you plan on spending the night there.

If you are struggling on the trail to Morskie Oko, you can hop on one of the horse-drawn carriages operated by the local Gorals, but you will still need to hike for 20 minutes!

Adding Czarny Staw pod Rysami to your Morskie Oko Lake hike will increase the difficulty by a little bit because the trail is fairly steep (but short).

Morskie Oko Bus

Elevation Gained On Hike: 411 meters to Morskie Oko, 600 meters if you hike to Czarny Staw pod Rysami.

Morskie Oko: 1,395 meters high.

Czarny Staw pod Rysami: 1,583 meters high.

Start of Trail (Palenica Białczańska): 984 meters high.

As you can see, you gain a few hundred meters in elevation during your hike. But due to the easy terrain and the long duration, it never feels too strenuous. 

Total Distance Of Hike: 16 km (10 miles) out-and-back to Morskie Oko Lake, 17.6 km (11 miles) including a loop around the Morskie Oko, or 19.4 km (12 miles) including hiking to Czarny Staw pod Rysami.

How To Get To Morskie Oko Lake In Zakopane, Poland

As one of the most connected attractions in the Tatra National Park, getting to Morskie Oko is very easy. Numerous hiking trails connect Morskie Oko to other incredible attractions in the park, such as the Five Lakes Valley or even Rysy, the highest peak in all of Poland.

The trailhead for the quickest and easiest way to Morskie Oko starts at Palenica Białczańska, the farthest point a motorized vehicle can go. Palenica Białczańska is located a 30-minute drive from Zakopane, so it is wise to stay in Zakopane the night before you want to hike Morskie Oko.

If you are staying in Krakow, you can also take a day trip from Krakow to Morskie Oko, though it will be a long exhausting day.

From Palenica Białczańska, Morskie Oko is a short 2 to 2.5-hour hike away! Like we have mentioned above, horse-drawn carriages are available to shorten your hike to 20 minutes.

Zakopane Morskie Oko Bus

Driving and Parking At Morskie Oko

If you are driving to Morskie Oko, there is a parking lot at Palenica Białczańska. Many visitors will simply call that the Morskie Oko parking lot. The cost to park there for a day is 30 PLN.

If you are visiting during peak season (summer or during the holidays), there is a high chance the Palenica Białczańska parking lot will be full and you have to park a little further back. Recently, park officials have started to issue online tickets, so visitors can reserve a parking space before they arrive.

Find out how you can reserve your parking for Morskie Oko on the official site here!

We recommend you to get to Morskie Oko as early as possible (like 7 to 8 AM) if you are visiting during the peak season. Because of its popularity, it can get very crowded very early.

Morskie Oko Zakopane

Taking The Bus To Morskie Oko Lake

If you don’t have a car in Zakopane, worry not. Taking the bus to Morskie Oko is as easy, if not, easier than driving. Buses leaving for Morskie Oko regularly depart from Zakopane, and they only cost 10 PLN one-way.

Though there is a schedule for the Morskie Oko buses, they generally just depart when they are full. During peak season, these buses come every few minutes.

The route takes about 30 minutes as we mentioned, but it can take much longer when you are visiting during peak season due to traffic congestion.

During peak season, the buses to Morskie Oko leave as early as 7 AM and run until late at night (~9 PM). But generally, the buses run until a little after dusk.

Because the bus schedule depends on the season and weather in Zakopane, we highly recommend asking the driver when the last bus return to Zakopane will be.

The bus station for buses to Morskie Oko is here!

The bus to Morskie Oko drops passengers off at Palenica Białczańska, where visitors can then buy a ticket to enter the UNESCO-recognized Tatra National Park where Morskie Oko is located. The admission fee is 5 PLN for the day.

Morskie Oko Parking

Our Experience Hiking Morskie Oko In Poland

We hiked Morskie Oko in the end of September, so our experience might differ compared to yours!

Taking The Morskie Oko Bus From Zakopane to Palenica Białczańska

After grabbing some Zapiekanka (Polish pizza) for brunch, we headed towards the Morskie Oko Bus Station at around 11 AM. We were staying at Target Hostel when we visited Zakopane, so the bus station was only a few blocks away from us. When we arrived at the bus station, it was very easy to find the bus for Morskie Oko. Because we were catching the bus in the middle of the day, the long queue gave it away. There was also a sign on the front of the bus that said “Morskie Oko”. We double-checked with the driver and hopped on the bus. Though there is supposedly a schedule with the Morskie Oko buses, they just go when they are full. We waited a few minutes until the bus filled up and left. The bus journey took about 30 minutes to arrive at Palenica Białczańska, the start of the Morskie Oko hike. Once we got off, we went to the ticketing counter and bought our day entrance ticket for the Tatra National Park, which cost us 5 PLN.
Morskie Oko Horse Carriage

Hiking To Morskie Oko From Palenica Białczańska

Immediately after we entered the hiking trail, we saw the famous Morskie Oko horse carriages on the side.

These horse carriages are operated by the local Gorals residents, and a ride to Włosienica (the farthest point a horse carriage can go on the Morskie Oko hiking trail) cost 50 PLN. The cost depends on the season and how difficult the terrain is.

From Wlosienica, it is still a 20-minute walk to the Morskie Oko Lake.

Being the young enthusiastic hikers that we were, we obviously decided to not go on the horse carriages.

The trail started off on an asphalt road that winded up the mountain. The hard asphalt road was quite uncomfortable for our knees but we figured the monotonous terrain would eventually change.

It didn’t change.

Morskie Oko Hiking Trail

After about 40 minutes of hiking, we arrived at the popular Wodogrzmoty Mickiewicza Waterfall. Here is where the hikers can opt to take the green trail and visit the Polish Five Lakes Valley.

The entire asphalt road was monotonously and gradually sloped, so it eventually felt like an uninspiring long walk up the hill. Here and there the path would open up to some amazing scenery, offering hikers glimpses of the natural beauty of the Tatra Mountains.

If you want to shorten your hike to Morskie Oko, there are several shortcuts that are on the path. These shortcuts are steps that lead into the woods, shaving off a bit of time on your hike. These shortcuts are particularly nice for the way back.

Morskie Oko Hike

After nearly 2 hours of hiking, we reached Wlosienica. Here the landscape changed a bit and the scenery opened up. We could see the mountains and beautiful trees that were miles away from us. Here is also where the horse carriages stopped, so we got a chance to admire them and watch them eat!

Wlosienica Hike Morskie Oko

We continued along and reached Morskie Oko and the PTTTK Morkie Oko Mountain Hut in about 20 minutes. This 20-minute of the trail was no more difficult than the parts before it.

If you want to grab some refreshments, the hut is the perfect place to do so. We visited in the off-peak season and it was still very crowded, though we visited at the most popular time of the day.

PTTK Morskie Oko Mountain Hut Zakopane

We were happy to find that Morskie Oko looked even better than it did in photos. With its pristine transparent water and lush surrounding landscape, it was like a photo from a travel magazine.

Morskie Oko Lake Poland

We found a quiet spot to take photos before we made our way towards Czarny Staw pod Rysami (or the Black Pond under Rysy).

Parking Morskie Oko

From Morskie Oko To Czarny Staw pod Rysami

Before we set out for Morskie Oko, we heard about the beautiful viewpoints on the way to Czarny Staw and the beauty of Czarny Staw itself. We knew that if we were to hike Morskie Oko, we would need to include the hike to Czarny Staw pod Rysami as well.

Lake Morskie Oko Zakopane Poland

Located at 1,583 meters high, Czarny Staw pod Rysami is nearly 200 meters higher than Morskie Oko. It took us about 30 to 45 minutes to ascend to Czarny Staw pod Rysami, something that we weren’t expecting considering the short distance on the map.

The trail to Czarny Staw pod Rysami is much different than the trail to Morskie Oko. Not only is it steep and challenging, but the trail offers jaw-dropping views that you will never forget. If the difficult trail won’t take your breath away, the scenery will surely do.

Hike To Czarny Staw Tatras National Park

Unsurprisingly, Czarny Staw had a fraction of the tourists as Morskie Oko. Compared to Morskie Oko, Czarny Staw pod Rysami was like an abandoned city. The lake water at Czarny Staw was equally, if not, more clear than the water in Morskie Oko.

The still water created the perfect reflection with the mighty Rysy mountain in the background!

Morskie Oko Czarny Staw pod Rysami

We reached Czarny Staw pod Rysami at around 4 PM and sunset was around 6 PM. It took us about 1.5 hours to return back to Palenica Białczańska, where we immediately caught a bus back to Zakopane.

Morskie Oko In Winter

Morskie Oko In Winter

Though we did not visit Morskie Oko in the winter, we have heard great things about visiting it during that time. Even in the winter, Morskie Oko is one of the biggest attractions in Zakopane.

The area sees a large amount of snowfall every year, but the relatively flat terrain and maintenance by the park officials allow visitors to easily hike Morskie Oko. Plenty of refreshment stops are situated along the trail for hikers to enjoy a cup of hot chocolate or some food. 

Winter Morskie Oko Hike

The Morskie Oko lake itself tends to freeze in the winter, giving visitors to walk a chance to walk on a frozen lake. Visitors can even go ice skating on it if the winter conditions are ideal.

Instead of having carriages, local Gorals might use sleighs to transport tourists from the Palenica Białczańska to Wlosienica and vice versa.

There is an avalanche zone on the trail during the winter. Visitors must take extra precautions when traversing through this section of the trail.

Like this post? Don’t forget to save it on Pinterest! 🙂

Morskie Oko Lake Hike Zakopane Poland Pinterest

This is the end of our guide to hiking Morskie Oko in Poland. We hope we have given you the necessary information to enjoy one of the most beautiful places in Zakopane!

Any questions? Let us know in the comments!

Disclaimer: Some of the links above are affiliate links. That means if you book or make a purchase through the links, we will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you! The money will help run this site! Thank you 🙂

Morskie Oko Lake Hike Zakopane Poland Pinterest
11 Best Things To Do In Zakopane, Poland (In Summer & Winter)!

11 Best Things To Do In Zakopane, Poland (In Summer & Winter)!

Not sure what to do in Zakopane, Poland?

Worry not.

Known as the winter capital of Poland, Zakopane is a winter wonderland that is also filled with things to do year-round. From the breathtaking hikes in Tatras National Park to the relaxing thermal baths in Zakopane, visitors surely won’t have a single dull moment here.

That is why we have written this guide on the 11 best things to do in Zakopane so you don’t miss anythingon your trip!

Enjoy!

Zakopane Attractions Map

The map above highlights most of the attractions in Zakopane we will be discussing down below. Because some of these activities will require a tour company (such as sleighing or river rafting), we were not able to include them in the map above.

Don’t worry though, we will give you the essential information down below to guarantee you have a perfect visit to Zakopane!

Don’t forget to click the toggle on the top-left corner of the map to see additional information!

What To Do In Zakopane, Poland (All-Year Round)?

1. Go Hiking In Zakopane & Explore The Tatras!

Hiking In Zakopane

It doesn’t matter if you are visiting Zakopane in the summer, in the winter, or in the middle of a global disaster, the best thing to do in Zakopane is to go hiking.

Surrounding the southern edges of Zakopane is the Tatra Mountain Range, or simply the Tatras. The Tatras act as a natural boundary, separating the country of Poland and Slovakia. In Zakopane, visitors have easy access to the Tatras National Park of Poland, a UNESCO recognized site.

As the most-visited national park in Poland, the Tatras National Park is stunning in every way. Gorgeous alpine peaks, some covered in crystal-white snow in the winter, dot the expansive park. The park is home to many incredible rock formations and jagged edges, offering hikers picturesque landscapes.

Here travelers will also find caves, lakes, waterfalls, streams, and diverse fauna and flora. Whichever hiking trail you decide to do in Zakopane, you will be rewarded well!

Discover Morskie Oko, Zakopane’s Most Beautiful Hike

Morski Oko Lake Zakopane Poland

If there is one hike in Zakopane you must do, it is the hike to the Morskie Oko Lake. Known as the “Eye of the Sea” in English, Morskie Oko is the fourth-biggest lake in the Tatra Mountains.

Though its size is incredible, the real beauty of Morskie Oko lies in the crystal-clear lake water and the lush scenery around it.

Bless your eyes with the views of the serene lake and the gorgeous Swiss Pines. Breath the refreshing mountain air, so fresh that it leaves you with a hint of sweetness. This is what visiting Zakopane is about!

To get from Zakopane to Morskie Oko, you must first get to Palenica Białczańska, the furthest point a motorized vehicle can go. From Palenica Białczańska, it is a 2-hour hike to Morskie Oko Lake. Its moderate incline and well-paved road allow travelers with kids and elders to enjoy this hike too!

If you find the hiking trail to be too tough for you, there are horse-drawn carts operated by the local Gorals. It is an excellent way to give back to the local communities!

Morskie Oko in the winter is still a popular tourist attraction in Zakopane. That is because the Morskie Oko Lake tends to freeze in the winter, so visitors can walk or on the frozen lake!

Check Out The Caves In Tatras National Park

Caves In Zakopane

When we visited Zakopane, we only had one mission in mind: go hiking. So when we found out that there are around 650 intricate caves in Tatras National Park, we were pleasantly surprised. Though most of them are closed off to the public (for good reasons), several are available for the public to visit.

The ones we highly recommend are Jaskinia Mylna and Jaskinia Mroźna.

Jaskinia Mylna is considered the most interesting cave in the Tatras National Park of Poland. Crawling on rocks, dodging puddles of water, this cave in Zakopane will test you, but it will also leave you with an everlasting impression!

Because of the nature of the cave, the temperature inside is often the same as the temperature on the outside, making it an excellent winter attraction in Zakopane. It is also opened all-year-round.

However, there is completely no light inside the cave, so visitors must bring their own light source. It is also recommended to travel in pairs or groups in case something unfortunate occurs.

There is no one guarding or working at the Jaskinia Mylna. Altnertiavely, you can get a guided tour for Jaskinia Mylna in Zakopane.

It takes about 45 minutes to go through Jasinia Mylna.

On the contrary, Jaskinia Mroźna is a cave that can only be visited from the beginning of May to the end of October. It is the only cave that requires an admission fee (5 PLN) and takes about 30 minutes to get through. Here visitors will find stalactites, stalagmites, dripstones, and even lime milk.

To get to the caves, you must get to the Kościeliska Valley Entrance. From that, it is a short hike to the caves. 

Explore The Five Polish Lakes Valley

Five Lakes Valley Hike Zakopane Poland

The Five (Polish) Lakes Valley hike in the Tatras National Park in Poland is one of the tougher hikes in Zakopane. However, hikers are well rewarded with some of the most breathtaking geological features, such as the Wielki Staw, the biggest post-glacial natural lake in the region.

From the Wielki Staw flows the Roztoka that eventually flows off the dramatic cliffs, forming the ~70-meter-tall Wielka Siklawa Waterfall. 

There are many ways to get to the Five Lakes Valley in Zakopane. Most of these hiking routes will be open in the warmer seasons, but you must check with local advisories if you are visiting in winter.

The most popular route is starting at Palenica Białczańska (the same starting point as the Morskie Oko hike), then taking the green trail when you reach the Wodogrzmoty Mickiewicza waterfall. You can return the same way you came or take a small detour and visit the Morskie Oko Lake if you haven’t seen it already. 

The duration of the hike is around 5 to 6 hours out-and-back without a stop at Morskie Oko. 

Admire the Stunning Views At Giewont Mountain

Giewont Mountain Zakopane in Summer

Located at 1,895 meters above sea level, Giewont is one of the highest peaks in the Western Tatras.

Starting at Strążyska Valley Parking No.1, hikers can embark on an out-and-back journey to the top of Giewont, which will take approximately 5.5 hours. Alternatively, if you are looking for a change of scenery, you can descend towards Kuznice where you can catch a bus back to Zakopane. 

The views at Giewont are considered some of the best in Zakopane, especially after you have struggled for a few hours to get there! The last 100 meters or so of the hike involves a narrow pathway with chains. In the peak summer season, it could cause serious traffic jams! 

In the winter, proper precautions must be taken if you want to attempt this hike. Crampons, hiking poles, proper insulation, and more. We recommend you to hire one of the local guides in Zakopane if you wish to do the Giewont hike in the winter. 

2. Hike Or Take The Cable Car Kasprowy Wierch 

Kasprowy Wierch Cable Car

One of the best things to do in Zakopane (for non-hikers) is to take the cable car to Kasprowy Wierch peak. Built in 1935 to 1936, the Kasprowy Wierch is one of the oldest cable cars in Europe.

Located on the border between Slovakia and Poland, visitors can have one foot in Poland and one foot in Slovakia at the same time at Kasprowy Wierch. If you wish, you could cross the border legally this way as both countries are in the Schengen area!

At 1,987 meters high, Kasprowy Wierch offers jaw-dropping views of the surrounding area during the warmer months. In winter, Kasprowy Wierch is one of the main winter ski areas.

To take the Kasprowy Wierch cable car, visitors must first arrive at Kuznice, where the lower station of the cable car is located. Here you can purchase a ticket for the cable car directly from the ticketing counter.

Alternatively, you can purchase your tickets in advance at one of the ticket machines throughout Zakopane or online here! However, that means you have to go on that date, even if the weather isn’t optimal.

During peak season, there is usually a long queue for purchasing your ticket at the cable car station in Kuznice. 

3. Soothe Your Aching Limbs In the Thermal Baths Of Zakopane

Chocholowskie Thermal Baths In Zakopane

Credit: Chochołowskie Thermal Baths

After some exhausting hikes in Zakopane, it is time to soothe your aching limbs. Luckily, there are several thermals baths in Zakopane (or near it). Our favorite is the Chochołowskie Thermal Baths in Chochołowskie.

As one of the biggest thermal baths in Poland, Chochołowskie Thermal Baths’ 3000 square meters space offers a total of 30 thermal pools with varying characteristics.

Here guests will find geysers, a man-made river, artificial waves, a sandy beach, tube slides, an outdoor water playground (only in the summer), and many other incredible amenities. Visitors can easily spend an entire day here, jumping from pools to pools, jacuzzis to jacuzzis.

However, the Chochołowskie Thermal Baths are located 20 to 30 minutes away from Zakopane (driving or public transport). If you wish to spend a day at the Chochołowskie Thermal Baths, you might want to consider spending a night there.

Check out our favorite accommodation near Chochołowskie Thermal Baths!

If you don’t want to travel far, you can visit the Aqua Park in Zakopane instead. Not as extravagant as the Chochołowskie Thermal Baths (in our opinion), it has everything you need to rejuvenate your body!

Jacuzzis, pools, salt cave, sauna rooms, gym, there are enough amenities for you to spend an entire day here as well!

4. Sample Some Local Oscypek (Polish Smoked Cheese) 

Oscypek Polish Smoked Cheese Zakopane

Cheese in weird shapes? Count me in!

Oscypek, or commonly known as smoked Polish cheese, is a type of cheese made of salted sheep milk exclusively in the Tatra Mountains region of Poland.

Made by someone called a “baca”, or a sheep shepherd in the nearby mountains, the Oscypek is a high-quality cheese that should not be missed on your Zakopane visit. Oscypek is usually served with cranberry jam on the side or eaten alone.

As you stroll down the charming streets of Zakopane, you will inevitably stumble upon many Oscypek street vendors. They might not look like your typical cheese but don’t hesitate to try them. Its smoky flavors and top-notch ingredients offer a unique taste!

5. Visit Gubalowka Hill For Stunning Panoramic Views

Gubalowka Funicular Zakopane

Want a vantage point that doesn’t require little effort and no cable car? Check out Gubalowka Hill!

At only 1,126 meters tall, Gubalowka is an easily accessible location with great views of Zakopane and the surrounding areas.

There are two easy ways to get to Gubalowka, either through a 1-hour hiking trail or the convenient funicular. The trail for Gubalowka starts in Zakopane, allowing you can to get to the top and come back down in around 1.5 hours! Alternatively, visitors can take the Gubalowka Funicular here!

During the summer, visitors can stroll around the hill of Gubalowka, admire the views, and soak in the sun. During winter, Gubalowka is one of the most popular skiing areas in Zakopane.

6. Stroll Down Krupowki Street (Zakopane’s Main Street)

Krupowki Street Zakopane Main Street

Credit: Monochromatyczna via C.C 3.0

Like many other big cities in Poland such as Krakow and Warsaw, Zakopane also has its own historic center. This time around, Zakopane’s historic center is concentrated on Krupowki Street, otherwise known as Zakopane’s Main Street.

If you want to find action, there is no better place to do so than at Krupowki Street. Lined with the town’s top restaurants, bars, clubs, and shopping options, Krupowki Street is one of the best places to visit in Zakopane.

Visitors looking for modern amenities will find restaurants such as McDonald’s and shops like H&M. But please don’t eat at McDonald’s and give Polish food a try! Bigos and Zurek are two of our favorite Polish dishes.

Visitors will also find several tour agencies around that area, perfect for anyone that might want to do a treacherous winter hike or book a tour!

7. Visit The Muzeum Oscypka Zakopane

Muzeum Oscypka Zakopane Winter Activities

If you fall in love with Oscypek (Polish smoked cheese) the first time you try it, why not learn more about it at the Muzeum Oscypka Zakopane?

At Muzeum Oscypka Zakopane, visitors will get a presentation by a traditional “baca”, or sheep shepherd from the mountains. With this presentation, guests will have a better understanding of the history of the traditional Oscypek.

The presentation lasts for about 1.5 hours. During that time, you will also have the opportunity to make your own small Oscypek and take it home with you! If you are looking for a family activity in Zakopane for kids, then don’t skip this museum!

Note: The presentation from the “baca” is in Polish, but there is a host that will translate it for any English-speaking visitors.

Things To Do In Zakopane In Summer

1. Go Dunajec River Rafting

Dunajec River Rafting Zakopane

Credit: Jerzy Opioła via C.C 3.0

There is no better summer activity in Zakopane than to go rafting in the Dunajec River. As a UNESCO recognized site, the Dunajec River offers some of the best landscapes you can possibly have in Poland.

There are two types of rafting in Dunajec River: white water rafting, or rafting in a traditional Polish wooden boat.

For active travelers, you might prefer to do white water rafting in the Dunajec River. Its low level allows travelers to enjoy the scenery and get a nice workout. If you are traveling to Zakopane with kids, they can also participate in white water rafting down the Dunajec River!

Though white water rafting is an option in the Dunajec River, the most popular way to visit it is to board a traditional wooden boat. These traditional boats were used to transport goods and passengers back in the days but nowadays have become rather obsolete.

On these wooden boats, there are raftsmen that will do all the rafting for you. Your job is to simply sit back, relax, listen to their tales, and let the dramatic landscapes take your breath away!

For rafting in the Dunajec River, you must go on a tour.

2. Go Camping In Zakopane

Camping In Zakopane

Camping is a popular thing to do in Zakopane in the summer. The perfect weather allows visitors to enjoy the beautiful nature of Zakopane comfortably. At night, the lack of light pollution allows the stars to shine brightly.

However, visitors must be aware that camping inside the Tatras National Park is strictly prohibited. Anyone looking to stay inside the park must stay at one of the eight mountain shelters. These shelters are open all-year-round and create the perfect mountain getaway!

Find all eight mountain shelters in Tatras National Park here!

As a result, you must stay in Zakopane or near Zakopane if you want to do any camping. Though we didn’t camp ourselves when we visited Zakopane, we did quite a bit of research to see what the experience is like.

There are several campsites in Zakopane or within close proximity to it. If you want something simple and clean, we suggest Camping Ustup, located right outside Zakopane on the way to Krakow. The campground is relatively small but guests will find a supermarket, gas station, and plenty of restaurants nearby!

Another popular campsite in Zakopane is Camping SNPTT. Here guests will find little more than the basic amenities such as showers, toilets, a shared kitchen with microwave and gas-stove, grill, a charging station for electronic devices, and a dining room. This campsite is considered one of the most picturesque campsites in Zakopane.

3. Try One Of The Harder Hikes In Zakopane

Hard Hikes In Zakopane Poland

Summer in Zakopane is the perfect time to attempt one of the tougher hikes in the region. During winter, many of these hikes are treacherous and pass by potentially dangerous avalanche zones.

However, in the summertime, instead of overwhelming snowfall, ice, and inclement weather, hikers will find incredible alpine peaks offering the best views of the Tatra Mountains.

One of the most challenging (and rewarding) hikes in Zakopane for the summer is the hike to Rysy. At 2,503 meters high, Rysy is the highest peak in all of Poland.

Though high, getting to Rysy is quite easy. From the Morskie Oko Lake, hikers can partake in an additional 2 to 2.5-hour trek to get to the peak of Rysy.

The whole out-and-back trail starting from Morskie Oko takes about an additional 3.5 hours. Near the peak of Rysy, hikers have to scramble and pull themselves up with chains! Keep in mind that with the Morskie Oko hike itself, the total combined duration with summiting Rysy is about 7 to 8 hours!

Another difficult hiking trail in Zakopane is the Orla Perć. Known as the most difficult and dangerous trial in Poland, Orla Perć offers an adrenaline-pumping experience as hikers climb up jagged ridges, battle with metal chains, and avoid slick surfaces!

Things To Do In Zakopane In Winter

1. Enjoy One Of Zakopane’s Best Winter Activites/Sports

Winter In Zakopane

Winter in Poland is usually bleak and boring, but that is not the case in Zakopane. Winter in Zakopane brings an influx of international and national tourists, all looking to enjoy the best of what Zakopane has to offer.

With incredible mountains and slopes in the region, it shouldn’t surprise you that there are plenty of winter sports in Zakopane. 

Go Skiing Or Snowboarding On Zakopane’s Slopes!

Snowboarding And Skiing In Zakopane

Anyone looking for things to do in Zakopane in winter should consider taking advantage of the nearby slopes and go skiing or snowboarding. Zakopane is considered one of the cheapest and best places to go skiing and snowboarding in Europe!

From absolute beginners to professionals, Zakopane has a perfect piste for you. Most of the pistes are green (the easiest), but visitors will also find blue, red, and black pistes.

If you would like to learn skiing or snowboarding, you will likely find skiing and snowboarding instructors at the bottom of some of the lifts. However, they do tend to get booked out during the holiday seasons, so we recommend you to reserve a spot with your instructor if you intend on coming during those times!

The most popular skiing and snowboarding hotspots in Zakopane are Kasprowy Wierch, Nosal and Gubałówka Hill. The ski resort of Zakopane features more than 20 pistes (on a good day) and over 50 lifts!

Generally, the best months to go skiing and snowboarding in Zakopane are from January to late March.

Go Ice Skating In The Town’s Center

Winter Sports In Zakopane

Don’t like skiing or snowboarding? Traveling to Zakopane with kids? Take them to ice skating! Zakopane has several ice skating rinks, and TATRA ICE and Lodowisko “TAFLA” are the best amongst them.

Both of them are great places for everyone in the family to spend an afternoon. Every ice skating rink in Zakopane offers skate rentals for cheap, so you can have some fun without spending too much money!

All ice skating rinks in Zakopane are outdoors.

Hop On A Snowmobile

Things To Do In Zakopane In Winter

Want an exciting adventure through the Tatra Mountains? Visit places that aren’t reachable by foot in the winter? Then hop on a snowmobile tour!

Snowmobiles are a great way to explore the frozen landscapes in Zakopane. Admire the wonderful winter scenery as you speed your way through the thick snow. Breathe in the crispy mountain air that will wake you up like a shot of espresso!

We recommend going with Snowdoo Adventure tour company if you are interested in a snowmobile tour. They are the most experienced and oldest snowmobile company in Zakopane.

Check out the tour they offer here!

Enjoy A Sleigh Ride

Winter Sleighing In Zakopane

Another popular winter activity in Zakopane is to enjoy a sleigh ride. Similar to the snowmobile, it is an excellent way to traverse through the wintry landscapes and admire the stunning views.

In fact, it might be a better option for those that don’t prefer the extra adrenaline, as you have a driver that will ensure your safety.

There are two types of sleigh rides in Zakopane: husky sleigh rides and horse sleigh rides! 

Where To Stay In Zakopane, Poland

Best Hostel In Zakopane – Hostel 1902

Best Hostel In Zakopane
Zakopane Airbnb

Traveling to Zakopane on a budget? Worry not.

Hostel 1902 is one of the most affordable hostels in Zakopane. Unlike most budget accommodations that can be unclean and badly equipped, Hostel 1902 is clean, has nice bathrooms, and is located in the center of Zakopane!

Guests are free to use the kitchen and are provided their own individual locker, so safety is not a concern here. The balcony also offers some incredible views of the city!

If you don’t fancy shared dormitory rooms, Hostel 1902 also offers private rooms for a lower cost than most traditional hotels in Zakopane!

Click here for more details!

Best Airbnb In Zakopane – Apartment Bystry

Best Places To Stay In Zakopane
Where To Stay In Zakopane

(Images Courtesy of Airbnb)

Not sure where to stay in Zakopane? Why not stay at one of the cozy Airbnbs in Zakopane? Many short-term rental homes are available in Zakopane, perfect for travelers looking for a home away from home.

While there are many great places to pick from, Apartment Bystry is one of the best. This 2-bedroom Airbnb can accommodate a maximum of 4 guests, perfect for anyone traveling as a family or couples that prefer the extra space.

When you are not soaking your aching limbs in its relaxing bathtub, sit out by the terrace and enjoy the sound of the trickling stream. Better yet, lounge on the comfortable sofa as you enjoy a cup of coffee from the coffee machine.

Our favorite feature of this Zakopane Airbnb is the interior decor. Decorated with photos of the regional area of Zakopane, it adds an irresistible rustic charm!

Click here for more photos and availability!

Best Hotel In Zakopane- Aries Hotel & SPA Zakopane

Best Resort In Zakopane Poland
Best Thermal Pool Hotel In Zakopane

Though there are many hotels in Zakopane, none of them are as luxurious and charming as Aries Hotel & SPA Zakopane.

A 5-minute away from Zakopane Main Street, this 5-star hotel in Zakopane is within walking distance from the best attractions in Zakopane. Though if you are staying at the Aries Hotel & SPA Zakopane, you might not want to step out of your hotel!

Featuring traditional elements of a Polish mountain house, each room oozes rustic charm. Staying in Aries Hotel & SPA Zakopane is like stepping into a machine where guests can admire the unique architecture.

When you are not lounging in your cozy room, come enjoy the hotel’s incredible amenities. Relax your body in the jacuzzi or sauna. Go for a swim in their spacious indoor swimming pool. Or work up a sweat at the fitness center!

But don’t forget to replenish yourself with the buffet-style breakfast in the morning!

Click here for more information!

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If you weren’t sure what to do in Zakopane, we hope you are now! We hope our guide has helped you planned your trip to Zakopane!

Have a question? Let us know in the comments!

Disclaimer: Some of the links above are affiliate links. That means if you book or make a purchase through the links, we will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you! The money will help run this site! Thank you 🙂

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How Many Days In Krakow Should You Spend?

How Many Days In Krakow Should You Spend?

Not sure how many days in Krakow you should spend?

With a UNESCO World Heritage historic center, access to the biggest German Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz, and many other incredible things to do in Krakow, it is no easy task to decide the number of days to stay in Krakow.

That is why we have written this guide to help you figure out how many days to spend in Krakow is right for you.

Enjoy!

Quick Tip On How Many Days To Spend In Krakow

Krakow How Many Days Auschwitz

We recommend that you spend at least a minimum of 2 days in Krakow, but ideally 3 days if you can spare the extra time.

2 days will give you just enough time to see most of the attractions in Krakow, and give you time for a full day trip to Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum and Memorial. However, you might not have enough time to really enjoy your Krakow trip as you will only touch the surface of one of the first UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

3 days is the perfect amount of time to spend in Krakow. You’ll have two full days to explore Krakow Old Town and all its nearby historical attractions as well as a full day in Auschwitz-Birkenau.

This is enough time to do some of the more unique tourist experiences, such as climbing the St. Mary’s Basilica in the Main Square for an incredible view, or visiting the UNESCO World Heritage Wieliczka Salt Mine.

How To Decide How Many Days in Krakow?

How Many Days Do You Need In Krakow

Deciding how many days to spend in Krakow will depend on what you would like to see and how much time you have.  

Krakow is an incredibly diverse city filled with some of the best attractions Poland has to offer. Here visitors will find numerous historical places, delicious Polish cuisine, and a nightlife that is considered one of the best and cheapest in Europe.

But it doesn’t just stop there. Any tourist that look underneath the surface will find a well-balanced city, filled with tranquil places like Krakow Planty and shopping malls such as Galeria Krakowska. Anyone traveling at a slower pace won’t find a dull moment here.

How Many Nights In Krakow

That is why how many days to stay in Krakow really depends. Below we will talk about the different sample itineraries for the different number of days in Krakow.

1 Day in Krakow

Auschwitz Birkenau Krakow Itinerary

If you just have 1 day in Krakow, I am sorry to say, but you just won’t have enough time to see much.

You will have to decide whether you want to spend your time exploring Krakow Old Town (one of the first UNESCO World Heritage Sites) or taking a day trip to Auschwitz (the largest German Nazi concentration camp and extermination center).

Either way, you will miss out on some of the best things to do in Krakow.

If you only have 1 day in Krakow, we would suggest you to do the Auschwitz tour. You will come back to Krakow at around 4 to 5 PM, giving you a bit of time to see Krakow before the sun sets (only if you are visiting in the summer).

Beware that because you won’t have time to get a tour in Krakow when you arrive, you must secure an Auschwitz day tour online. Check out the day tour to Auschwitz that we recommend!

2 Days in Krakow

Where To Stay In Krakow Airbnb Featured

2 days in Krakow is the minimum amount of days you should be spending. It allows you to see almost everything that Krakow has to offer (but not in-depth). It is the perfect amount of time if you have a short trip to Poland and need to move on to Warsaw or Zakopane.

The first day in Krakow will be spent exploring Krakow Old Town, discovering some of its best attractions such as the Main Square (Rynek Glowny), Cloth Hall, St. Mary’s Basilica, Kazimierz (Jewish historic quarter), and Wawel Castle.

You won’t have much time to doddle around as you will be going from one sightseeing location to another.

The second day will be a 7-hour day trip to Auschwitz. This will leave you with not much time for sightseeing on the second day, but some places such as St. Mary’s Basilica are open until 6 PM. (Make sure to check the official site for new information, as opening times change frequently.)

Similar to the situation with spending 1 day in Krakow, you won’t have enough time to book your Auschwitz tour in-person in Krakow, especially if you are visiting in summer, autumn or spring.

We recommend you to reserve your Auschwitz tour in advance in you only have 2 days in Krakow!

3 Days in Krakow

Wieliczka-Salt Mine Krakow Day Trip

If you were to ask me how many days do you need in Krakow, I should say 3 days. 3 days in Krakow will give you enough time to see all the tourist attractions in Krakow and take a day trip to Auschwitz-Birkenau.

It will also give you a little bit of leisure time to either explore off the beaten path, or enough time for you to dive underneath the surface of some of these places.

With 3 days in Krakow, we recommend you to check out Wawel Cathedral and explore some of its paid exhibits, climb the St. Mary’s Basilica, visit Oskar Schindler’s Enamel Factory, see the UNESCO World Heritage Site at Wieliczka Salt Mine, and join a Krakow pub crawl!

Auschwitz tickets might still need to be reserved in advance, especially if you are visiting in the peak season (summer). When we visited Krakow in the fall, the only available English-speaking tour was 2 days from the day we were booking. Check out the Auschwitz tour from Krakow here!

4 or More Days in Krakow

Krakow Planty Best Location To Stay In Krakow

Staying 4 or more days in Krakow is not unusual. This quaint little city has a magnetic charm that will whisper sweet nothingness and make you extend your stay over and over again.

4 or more days in Krakow is perfect for anyone that prefers to travel slow – to really get a good feel of this city not just from a tourist’s perspective.

You will be able to enjoy Krakows the way locals do, such as people-watching in Krakow Planty with a delicious ice cream in your hand, or admiring the sunset at the tranquil Vistula River.

You should know everything from the Krakow Old Town to Wawel Castle to Kazimierz like the back of your hand. If you don’t, there is plenty of time for you to explore.

Many visitors staying in Krakow for more than 4 days will take a day trip from Krakow to Zakopane, a beautiful ski town located in the Tatras Mountains. With lush views, great hiking trails, and crisp mountainous air, Zakopane is the perfect escape for anyone that needs a break from the city!

Where to Stay in Krakow to Maximize Your Time in Krakow

No matter how many days you have decided to spend in Krakow, it is important to stay in the right neighborhood in Krakow to maximize your time there.

Because most of the places to visit in Krakow are located in Krakow Old Town, it is a no-brainer to stay in it or near it. This includes the historic center that is surrounded by Krakow Planty as well as Kazimierz, the historic Jewish quarter in Krakow.

Check out our complete guide on where to stay in Krakow for more information!

Below are some of the best places to stay in Krakow, Poland!

Best Airbnb In Krakow – Loft Apartment @ Kazimierz

Best Areas To Stay In Krakow
Best Place To Stay In Krakow Poland

(Photos Courtesy of Airbnb)

Located in the historic Jewish quarter of Kazimierz, this loft apartment offers some of the best things Krakow has to offer right at their doorstep. This historic area is not only filled with numerous sightseeing spots, but also some of Krakow’s best cafes, bars, nightclubs, boutiques, and restaurants.

Situated between the Vistula River and Krakow Main Square, guests are no more than 15 to 20 minutes from any of the sightseeing places in Krakow. This ideal location makes it a great place to stay, especially if you have a short stay in Krakow.

When you are not exploring Krakow, you will find the utmost comfort and style in this 1-bedroom Krakow Airbnb. Using bricks as the interior walls, it oozes a rustic charm that is fitting for Krakow!

Click here for more photos and info!

Best Hotel In Krakow – Hotel Unicus Palace

Hotel Unicus Palace is a 5-star hotel located in Krakow Old Town. In less than 4 minutes, guests can walk to some of the most notable attractions in Krakow, including the Main Square where St. Mary’s Basilica and the Cloth Hall are located. 

Krakow Planty, the lush park that surrounds Krakow Old Town, is 1.5 blocks away from the hotel, offering guests an escape from the hustle and bustle of the historic center. 

However, guests might not need to go to Krakow Planty for your daily dose of peace and quiet. Guests staying at Hotel Unicus Palace will have access to the wellness center, where they will find an indoor pool, a hammam, and a hot tub. It is the perfect place to relax after a long day in Krakow.

Hotel Unicus Palace is a 5-star hotel located in Old Town Krakow. Within a 4-minute walk are some of the best attractions in Krakow, such as the main square, St. Mary’s Basilica, and the Cloth Wall. The lush Krakow Planty is only located 1.5-block away, giving guests the perfect serene escape from the hustle and bustle of the Old Town.

As you expect from a 5-star hotel, the rooms are spacious and stylishly decorated. Guests will find some of the cleanest surfaces in their rooms in the entire city of Krakow.

Click here for more photos and info!

Best Hostel In Krakow – One World Hostel

Staying in a hostel is the perfect way to meet other travelers and save money (ideally for food) while traveling. One World Hostel in Krakow the perfect place to stay in Krakow to accomplish that!

The hostel is located right on the perimeter of Krakow Planty, far away enough from the noise of Krakow Old Town but still walkable to all of the city’s best attractions. The Main Square of Krakow is only a 10-minute walk away.

This hostel in Krakow spans 2 floors in a historical building and features both dormitory-style rooms and private rooms. The dormitory rooms are spacious and each guest is given his or her own private locker upon arrival.

What separates this hostel from many other hostels in Krakow is its outstanding complimentary breakfast. Featuring foods such as cold-cut meats, cheese, salad, eggs, cereals, and more all in a buffet style, every guest will be ready for a day of exploring Krakow.

Click here for more details

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This concludes our guide to how many days to spend in Krakow! We hope it helped you determine how much time you will be staying in Krakow, Poland.

Any questions? Leave them in the comments!

Disclaimer: Some of the links above are affiliate links. That means if you book through the links, we will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you! The money will help run this site! Thank you 🙂

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The EPIC 2 Days In Krakow Itinerary: Best Attractions Of Krakow

The EPIC 2 Days In Krakow Itinerary: Best Attractions Of Krakow

Not sure what to do in Krakow in 2 days?

Worry not.

Unlike the capital of Poland (Warsaw) that was nearly obliterated during World War II, Krakow did not suffer the same fate due to a timely surrender. Consequently, over a thousand years of history in Krakow is well-preserved, offering visitors a unique but overwhelming experience.

Kazimierz, Krakow Old Town, Wawel Castle, Vistula River, Krakow’s numerous attractions might intimidate visitors at first, especially if they have only two days in Krakow. That is why we have written this 2 days in Krakow itinerary to help you plan your trip to Krakow!

Enjoy!

Is 2 Days In Krakow Enough?

Where To Stay In Krakow Airbnb Featured

If you are planning a trip to Krakow, you must wonder if 2 days in Krakow is enough. After all, this is a city that was once the royal capital of Poland. Its historic center (Old Town) of Krakow has over a thousand years of history and it is one of the first UNESCO Heritage Sites in the world.

So is two days in Krakow enough? Most likely, yes.

While there are many amazing things to do in Krakow, they are all located in or next to Old Town Krakow. If you are staying in Krakow Old Town (or even just right outside it), you will be able to walk to the furthest attraction in Krakow in just 20 minutes.

Krakow In Two Days

Though it is possible to spend 2 days in Krakow and see all the majority of the attractions, you might want to spend more time in Krakow if you prefer a slower pace of travel. If you have the choice, we recommend you to 3 or 4 days in Krakow to really get a feel of this historic city.

Because we are the type of travelers that like to sit in the park and people-watch and catch sunsets next to a river, we spent about 5 days sightseeing in Krakow. We really enjoyed this quaint little city and recommend anyone to spend a bit more time in Krakow if possible.

How To Get To Krakow (Old Town)

If you have a short visit to Krakow, you will probably arrive at John Paul II Kraków-Balice International Airport, Krakow’s international airport. From here there are many ways to get to the historic center of Krakow.

Train From Krakow-Balice International Airport To Krakow Old Town

How To Get From Krakow Airport To Old-Town

The best way to get from Krakow Airport to the city center (Old Town Krakow) is via train. Visitors can find trains departing every hour from Krakow Lotnisko (Krakow Airport Train Station) to Krakow Glowny (Krakow Main Station).

The journey takes about 20 minutes and costs 12 PLN (at the time of writing). The first train departs at 5:18 AM and the last one departs at 12:27 AM (at the time of writing).

You can buy the train tickets in a machine before you board (cash/credit card), on the train in a machine (cash/credit), or with the conductor (cash only). Make sure you purchase your ticket ASAP once you board or you might get fined!

Double-check with the official train schedule site here for up-to-date information!

Bus From Krakow-Balice International Airport To Krakow Old Town

Buses From Krakow Airport To Historic Center

If you are traveling to Krakow on a budget, there are two buses that depart from Krakow International Airport to the historic center.

These buses take around 50 minutes to get from Krakow’s airport to Krakow Glowny (Krakow Main Station) and the duration can vary dramatically depending on the time of the day, especially during rush hour. The fare is 4 PLN at the time of writing.

Get the Krakow City Pass for free rides on buses and trams in Krakow as well as free admission to over 40 Krakow museums!

The two buses that run from Krakow-Balice Airport to Krakow Glowny Wschod are bus number 208 and 902.

These buses take the exact same route and both end at the Krakow main station next to Krakow Old Town, so you don’t have to worry about missing your stop. The only difference is that 208 runs in the day time and 902 runs at night.

If you are arriving in Krakow at 3 AM at night, though there won’t be any trains, you will still have buses to take you to the city center.

Buses To Krakow

How To Get To Krakow Old Town Flix Bus

Credit: FlixBus

If you are traveling on land to arrive at Krakow, then you have plenty of bus companies to choose from. We highly recommend FlixBus, a reputable company with an easy user interface. Each bus is equipped with a toilet and free WiFi. Their timeliness, affordability, and comfort are unmatched.

If you are not short on time, you could arrive at a cheaper airport in Poland like Warsaw Airport, spend one day in Warsaw exploring, and then take the bus to Krakow. The bus will arrive at Krakow Glowny, so you are a short walk away from Krakow Old Town!

Traveling to Krakow with family or a group of friends? Check out this easy and affordable private transport from Krakow Airport to the city center!

Things To Do In Krakow In 2 Days

Day 1: Krakow Old Town, Wawel Castle, Kazimierz (Jewish Historic Quarter)

1. Join A Free Walking Tour (2.5 Hours)

Krakow Free Walking Tour

If you only have two days in Krakow, then joining a tour is a must. Tours are a great way to get lots of information in a short period of time, and they are led by local professionals who have tons of knowledge.

At LivingOutLau, we want to give you the best value for your money. That is why we highly recommend the free walking tours in Krakow.

Run by local professionals, the tour guides earn their living by the tips that they get at the end of the tour. As a result, each tour guide puts the best of his or her ability to ensure the participants leave with newfound knowledge.

Cloth Hall Krakow 2 days itinerary

The tour company we suggest is called Walkative! Free Walking Tour.

Having participated in their free walking tours in Krakow and Warsaw, we were extremely pleased and would recommend this walking tour company to anyone.

At the end of the tour, the tour guide gives you a small cheat sheet to Krakow. The cheat sheet features some of Krakow’s best attractions such as restaurants, bars, nightclubs, museums, and other tourist activities!

This 2.5 hour Krakow free walking tour will cover the basics of Krakow, from its thousand years of history to the historical buildings that have withstood the test of time. Visitors will learn about the medical city walls, check out the Main Market Square with St. Mary’s Church and the Cloth Hall, learn about Wawel Castle, and much more!

The best thing is that this is all free! If you did not enjoy the free walking tour, you don’t have to tip a single penny!

Don’t like that much walking? Check out this guided cycling tour or segway tour instead!

2. Try Authentic Polish Cuisine 

Warsaw Restaurants

After your long free walking tour in the morning, you must be hungry for some lunch. Luckily, as one of the most-visited Polish cities, Krakow is inundated with delicious traditional Polish restaurants.

If your budget allows, we recommend you to go on a Krakow food walking tour. It is the best way to sample some of the most popular local dishes and learn how they are made.

There are many Polish dishes that you must try when visiting Krakow, such as pierogi (Polish dumplings), Bigos (Hunter’s Stew), and our personal favorite, Zurek (classic Polish sour rye soup).

Pierogies are something that we didn’t quite fancy at first, but they quickly grew on us as we spent more time in Poland. Known as Polish dumplings, it is not quite what we imagined them to be.

Unlike the Asian variance where the inside filling is usually meat and vegetable, pierogies usually have potatoes, cheese, or sweet berries inside. It is a dish that can be both a starter, a main course, or a dessert, depending on what you decide to stuff it with.

We aren’t a big fan of the potato ones, but the cheese ones are nice. Surprisingly, the sweet pierogies are our favorite type of pierogies!

Pierogi in Warsaw

Bigos, or Hunter’s Stew in English, is the national dish of Poland and it did not disappoint. It is exactly what we thought Polish cuisine was (before traveling to Poland) – lots of meat, bold flavors, and hearty.

Made of various chopped meat stewed with sauerkraut and shredded fresh cabbage, Bigos is the perfect dish for meat-lovers.

Hunter's Stew Best Restaurants In Krakow

Though Bigos is one of our favorite Polish dishes, it certainly isn’t No. 1. The number 1 spot unwaveringly goes to zurek.

A soup made from the fermentation of bread and rye flour, it has a unique taste that we have never tasted anywhere else before. Various meats such as sausages, ham, bacon are cooked with the soup. Sometimes, you will even find vegetables such as potatoes and mushrooms.

Its savory and slightly sour taste makes zurek a great appetizer. Travelers might find zurek in a traditional bread bowl as well, and depending on which and how much ingredient is inside, zurek can certainly be the main part of a meal.

Best Cheap Eats In Krakow

If you are looking for a nice Polish restaurant in Krakow, we would recommend Pod Aniołami Restaurant. Its charming decor and a great selection of meat are perfect for meat-lovers. They also serve some of the best pierogies in Krakow!

If you want a pierogi-specialty restaurant, check out Pierogarnia Krakowiacy on the upper west side of Krakow Old Town. Its wide selection of pierogies is perfect for anyone giving them a try for the first time.

Lastly, check out Kuchnia U Babci Maliny, our favorite restaurant in Krakow. Its quirky and homey decor combined with affordable, delicious, and big-portioned food is irresistible! It is the perfect place to try some grandma’s cooking!

3. Explore Wawel Castle and Wawel Cathedral

Krakow Wawel Castle

Located on the southern tip of Krakow Old Town is Wawel Hill, home to the biggest attraction in Krakow – Wawel Castle and Wawel Cathedral.

Considered as the most culturally and historically important site in Poland, the Wawel Castle (sometimes referred to as Wawel Royal Castle) is a must on any Krakow itinerary. The Wawel Castle and the historical buildings on Wawel Hill are one of the first established UNESCO Heritage Sites in the world!

Once the royal residence of the kings of Poland and the symbol of Polish statehood, Wawel Castle is now one of the country’s finest museums.

Places To Visit In Krakow In 2 Days

It is said that the castle dates back to the 970 A.D., and the earliest examples of Romanesque and Gothic architecture do hint at that time period. In fact, Wawel Castle represents all European architectural styles of the medieval, renaissance, and baroque periods!

It is a historic landmark in Krakow that has withstood the test of time.

The Wawel Castle grounds are free to enter, perfect for anyone traveling in Krakow on a budget. Don’t miss out the arcaded Wawel Castle Courtyard, a masterpiece of Renaissance architecture., which is also free to enter.

Wawel Castle Arcaded Courtyard Krakow Trip

Inside the architectural complex where the Wawel Castle resides, visitors will also find numerous other buildings of significance, such as the Wawel Cathedral.

Also known as The Royal Archcathedral Basilica of Saints Stanislaus and Wenceslaus, Wawel Cathedral is the Polish national sanctuary and coronation site of Polish monarchs for over 900 years.

The main part of the Wawel Cathedral is free to enter, but a ticket is required for the Royal Tombs, Cathedral Museum, and Sigismund Bell Tower.

Wawel Cathedral Krakow Things To Do

At the time of writing, the admission cost to these additional parts of the Wawel Cathedral cost 14 PLN. The Sigismund Bell Tower alone is worth the small entrance fee as visitors can see one of the largest church bell systems in Poland. It takes 12 bellringers to swing the 30-ton bell!

At the top of the Sigismund Bell Tower, visitors are also blessed with gorgeous views of Krakow Old Town and the Vistula River.

If you are visiting during peak season (summer) or on the weekend, we suggest you to reserve your Wawel Cathedral ticket online and save the headache of waiting in the queue! You can even get an audio guide!

Check the official opening hours of Wawel Castle, Wawel Cathedral, and the extra exhibits before your visit. Depending on the day of the week, the open hours vary drastically. For example, the Cathedral Museum is closed on Sundays!

Wawel Chapel 2 days itinerary Krakow Poland

Can’t get enough of Wawel Castle? Besides the stunning castle grounds, jaw-dropping courtyard, and the Wawel Cathedral, there are multiple museums in Wawel Hill.

These include the State Rooms, Crown Treasury and Armoury, Art of the Orient. Ottoman Turkish Tents, The Lost Wawel, The Church of St. Gereon, Wawel Recovered, Sandomierska Tower, and more! 

Wawel Hills Krakow Attractions

Before you leave Wawel Castle, make sure you don’t miss the Wawel Dragon next to the Vistula River. A famous dragon in Polish folklore, the Wawel Dragon statue breaths out fire every 5 to 10 minutes!

4. Visit Kazimierz, The Historic Jewish Quarter

Kazimierz Krakow Visit

The Kazimierz neighborhood in Krakow is one that is filled with tragic stories. During World War II, all Polish Jews were transported to Kazimierz, the Jewish ghetto, before getting sent off to the death concentration camps.

As a result, many of the houses were left empty. Eventually, poor and homeless people took advantage of this and moved in, often bringing crime-related activities with them. Kazimierz was considered one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in Krakow.

Nowadays, that reputation is no longer existent. Kazimierz is dotted with trendy coffee shops, boutiques, synagogues, and some of the best nightlife in Krakow. Its hipster and vibrant community is quite different than that of the Old Town.

There are some notable attractions in Kazimierz that you should visit, such as the Church of Corpus Christi, the Galicia Jewish Museum, and the Old Synagogue. Of course, don’t forget to try out a Zapiekanka, or Polish Pizza, from one of the cafes! 

5. Finish Your Day In Krakow Old Town

Cool Places In Krakow

Finish off your day exploring UNESCO World Heritage Krakow Old Town, arguably the most famous sightseeing spot in Krakow. Your morning free walking tour will briefly touch upon Krakow Old Town, but there are many places you have yet to see.

Take this time to explore St. Mary’s Basilica and its exemplary Polish gothic architecture. With foundations dating back to the 13th century, it is one of the oldest landmarks in Krakow! Though the exterior of the church is spectacular, the interior is where the money is at!

St. Mary's Basilica Krakow Sightseeing

Its ornate decor, drop-dead gorgeous stained glasses, and immaculate details in every corner will leave you awestruck. It is certainly one of the most beautiful places in Poland!

Visitors can also climb the bugle tower, where a trumpeter performs the trump call every hour on the hour. This trumpet call was traditionally used to warn against foreign invasion. The call ends abruptly every time to honor the moment the bugler was shot by an arrow in the Mongol invasion.

Don’t forget to take some time and admire the epic views of Krakow Main Square from the tower.

If you are following this Krakow itinerary, make sure you don’t miss it before it closes. The St. Mary’s Basilica is usually open until 6 PM daily, but its opening times are known to change.

Refer to the St. Mary’s Basilica official site for information on how to visit the Bugle Tower, Bell Tower, and up-to-date opening hours! Don’t forget to purchase your St. Mary’s Basilica entrance ticket in advance to save you some time!

Krakow Old Town Main Square

Spend some time wandering around the Main Square (Rynek Glowny), the largest medieval town square in Europe. Dating back to the 13th century, the Main Square is dotted with gorgeous historical buildings and glimpses of the past.

The horse carriages in the square are one of the most popular tourist attractions in Krakow, though a bit controversial. Nevertheless, their majestic presence adds to the overall ambiance of the main square.

There are a few streets that exemplify the glory of Krakow Old Town, such as Grodzka and Florianska. Don’t miss those charming streets on your Krakow trip!

Best Hostel Krakow

Last but not least, spend your night enjoying some of the best nightlife in Krakow. Krakow’s nightlife is some of the best in the world and often compared to that of Prague. The only difference is the nightlife in Krakow is much more affordable (and Polish vodka is slightly better than Absinthe).

Traveling alone? Or want to find a nice group to go out with? Check out this pub and club crawl!

Day 2: Day Trip To Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial And Museum

Auschwitz Birkenau What To See In Krakow In 2 Days

No Krakow itinerary is complete without a visit to the solemn Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum. As the largest German Nazi concentration camp and extermination center in World War II, over 1.1 million men, women, and children lost their lives here.

A visit to this UNESCO World Heritage Site reminds us of the destruction of mankind if left unchecked. It shows us what happens when we dehumanize another ethnic group.

Visitors can learn about the Holocaust, the largest genocide in the world, through the exhibits and historic buildings at Auschwitz-Birkenau.

Your day trip to Auschwitz will last about 7 hours, with around 3 hours for transit (there and back) and 4 hours in the museum. There are two parts to your Auschwitz visit, the first one at the Auschwitz 1 concentration camp and the second one at Birkenau.

How To Visit Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial And Museum From Krakow (Independently)

Auschwitz Birkenau Tour From Krakow

Because Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum is located a 1.5-hour drive away from Krakow, you need to properly plan your day trip to Auschwitz, especially if you don’t plan on taking a tour from Krakow

When it comes to public transportation, you have the option of bus or train. Buses are cheaper than trains but tend to be a bit slower, taking about 1 hour and 45 minutes.

Depending on the bus company, you might even be dropped off far from the actual museum, because the buses tend to drop you off at the Oswiecim train station or bus station. We recommend taking Lajkonik buses, because they drop you off in front of the Auschwitz Museum.

Auschwitz Birkenau Krakow Itinerary

Trains take around 1 hour and 15 minutes to get from Krakow to Oswiecim, the town where the Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum is located. From there, it is a 20-minute walk to the museum.

If you decided to DIY your Auschwitz visit, make sure you purchase a ticket well in advance. Visitors are allowed to enter without a guide (at certain hours of the day) for free, but a guide is essential to learning about the tragic events that happened at Auschwitz.

Make sure you reserve your ticket well in advance (and tour guide) if you plan on visiting Auschwitz on your own. You can do so on the official Auschwitz-Birkenau website here. If you do not make a reservation in advance (and you are lucky), you can join a tour that isn’t full yet, but that rarely happens.

Getting an Auschwitz Guided Tour (From Krakow)

Auschwitz Guided Tour From Krakow

Because arranging your own visit to Auschwitz is a huge headache, we highly recommend you to get a tour before you arrive. Not only are Auschwitz tours cheap, but they provide you with transportation, tickets to Auschwitz, and a professional guide.

There are many small tour companies in Krakow that will offer tours to Auschwitz. However, with your short stay in Krakow, it is going to be difficult to find an Auschwitz tour for the next day, especially in the language you prefer.

That is why we HIGHLY recommend you to book your Auschwitz tour prior to arriving in Krakow. Here are some of the best Auschwitz tours we recommend:

More Time? Add These To Your Krakow Itinerary!

1. Stroll Around Krakow Planty & Check Out The Barbican Of Krakow

Krakow Planty Best Location To Stay In Krakow

If you spend a lot of time in Krakow Old Town, you might find it a little too overbearing. Luckily, surrounding Krakow Old Town is a beautiful park known as Krakow Planty.

Krakow Planty is the perfect place to just relax. Sit on one of the benches, sip on your cup of coffee, have yummy ice cream, people-watch, or just admire the beautiful scenery (especially during autumn).

Krakow Planty is the home to the Barbican of Krakow, a defense gateway from the 1490s that was part of the medieval city’s wall. It is now part of Krakow’s Historical Museum.

2. Visit the Rynek Underground Museum (1.5 Hours)

Rynek Underground Museum Krakow Poland

Credit: Jorge Láscar via C.C 2.0

If the free walking tour of Krakow only sparked your interest in the history of Krakow, head over to the Rynek Underground Museum located in the main square of Krakow Old Town.

Located underneath the surface of the bustling Main Square of Krakow Old Town, Rynek Underground Museum is one of the best hidden gems in Krakow.

Visitors will find artifacts that were discovered during the excavation of the historic center and exhibits detailing the rich history of Krakow. Through multimedia presentations such as architectural holograms, AR technology, archeological games, and projections, the museum keeps it interactive for everyone in the family!

Because this museum closes late at 7 PM or 8 PM (except on Tuesdays), it is a good activity after your visit to Auschwitz-Birkenau. However, admission is free on Tuesdays.

Want a secure your ticket AND get a guide for the Rynek Underground Museum? Check out this guided tour!

3. Oskar Schindler’s Enamel Factory

Oskar Schindler's Enamel Factory Krakow Places To Visit

Credit: Adrian Grycuk via C.C. 3.0

The Oskar Schindler’s Enamel Factory is a former metal item factory and now houses a permanent exhibition called “Krakow Under Nazi Occupation 1939-1945”. Here visitors will learn about the tragedy that was brought upon the Polish citizens.

The museum is dedicated to Oskar Schindler, a German entrepreneur and member of the Nazi party. He is credited with saving about 1,200 Jews by employing them to work in his factory (instead of getting sent to concentration and death camps).

This museum is worth it (and free on Mondays) if you want to learn more about the Nazi’s occupation and the Jews. It is a great place to visit in Krakow if you have more time.

4. Wieliczka Salt Mine

Wieliczka Salt Mine Krakow Day Trip

The Wieliczka Salt Mine is a UNESCO World Heritage Site dating back to the 13th century. It earned its title by being one of the oldest operating salt mines in the world. The Wieliczka Salt Mine illustrates the historic development of salt mining techniques.

Discontinued in 2007, the Wieliczka Salt Mine is now an official Polish Historic Monument. Visitors can visit up to a maximum depth of 135 meters below ground, where there is a saline lake, chapels, and statues.

Wieliczka Salt Mine is located about 30 minutes away from Krakow by car. If you are spending 3 days or more in Krakow, you can visit it on one of your extra days.

Alternatively, if you don’t mind an exhausting day, check out this combined Auschwitz and Wieliczka Salt Mine tour on your second day in Krakow!

Where To Stay In Krakow, Poland

Since most of the Krakow attractions are located in Krakow Old Town or Kazimierz, it is recommended to stay in one of those areas to maximize your time.

If you want more options on where to stay in Krakow, make sure you check out our Krakow accommodation guide!

Best Hostel In Krakow – One World Hostel

One World Hostel in Krakow is one of our favorite hostels in Krakow. Spanning a total of two floors in a historical building, One World Hostel has both dormitory-style rooms and private rooms.

The dormitory rooms are spacious and each guest is provided his or her own locker, so security and comfort are not an issue here. Its most outstanding feature is the complimentary breakfast. Unlike most hostels that only serve toast on bread, the breakfast at One World Hostel is diverse and delicious.

Guests can have eggs, cold-cut meats, cereal, and much more to prepare for their day in Krakow!

Click here for more details!

Best Airbnb In Krakow – Loft Apartment @ Kazimierz

Best Areas To Stay In Krakow
Best Place To Stay In Krakow Poland

(Photos Courtesy of Airbnb)

Located in the hipster neighborhood of Kazimierz, this loft apartment blesses guests with some of the Krakow has to offer. On your doorstep are some of Krakow’s best cafes, bars, nightclubs, boutiques, and restaurants.

Situated between the Vistula River and Krakow Old Town, guests are no more than 15 to 20 minutes from any of the sightseeing places in Krakow. This ideal feature makes it one of the best places to stay in Krakow, especially if you only have 2 days in Krakow.

When you are not exploring Krakow, you will find comfort and tranquility in your stylish Krakow Airbnb. With the rustic brick walls, this 1-bedroom apartment oozes charm just like the rest of Krakow!

Click here for more photos and info!

Best Hotel In Krakow – Hotel Unicus Palace

Hotel Unicus Palace is a 5-star hotel located in Old Town Krakow. Within a 4-minute walk are some of the best attractions in Krakow, such as the main square, St. Mary’s Basilica, and the Cloth Wall. The lush Krakow Planty is only located 1.5-block away, giving guests the perfect serene escape from the hustle and bustle of the Old Town.

However, you might not need to visit Krakow Planty for your daily escape, because this luxury hotel in Krakow will offer you comfort beyond your imagination.

Each stylish room features modern decor, and the rooms are so clean you can eat off the floor (not that we would recommend).

Guests will also have access to the wellness center, where they will find an indoor pool, a hammam, and a hot tub. It is the perfect place to soothe your aching limbs after a long day of walking around Krakow or exploring Auschwitz.

Click here for more photos and info!

Best Time To Visit Krakow, Poland

Best Time To Visit Krakow

When it comes to the best time to visit Krakow, it all depends on what you are looking for. Generally, the summer months (June to August) are the best months to visit Krakow, as the weather is at its most pleasant. Many of the city’s festivals also occur during the summer.

However, it is unbelievable how crowded Krakow can be during the summer. Long queues, high prices, and the risk of not being able to secure tickets for some of Krakow’s attractions are some things you need to worry about when visiting Krakow in the summer.

That is why our favorite time to visit Krakow is during late spring (April to May) or early autumn (September to October). At these times, the weather is still pleasant enough for a nice stroll in Krakow Planty or relaxing by the Vistula River. The summer flocks are gone and the charm of historic Krakow returns. Prices are also generally cheaper.

Winter is generally not a good time to visit Krakow or Poland. The temperature hovers around freezing and you can’t feel your face when you go out. The only pros of visiting Krakow in the winter are cheaper prices and winter celebrations. Christmas in Krakow is a magical time!

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This is the end of our Krakow 2-day itinerary! We hope this guide has helped you plan your trip to one of the most culturally-enriching eastern European cities!

Any questions? Let us know in the comments!

Disclaimer: Some of the links above are affiliate links. That means if you book or make a purchase through the links, we will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you! The money will help run this site! Thank you 🙂

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Where To Stay In Krakow: Best Airbnbs, Hotels & Hostels!

Where To Stay In Krakow: Best Airbnbs, Hotels & Hostels!

Not sure where to stay in Krakow?

Worry not. We are here to help.

As the former royal capital of Poland (before the capital became Warsaw), Krakow (or Cracow) is arguably the core of Polish heritage and culture. Over a thousand years of history can be seen in the medieval Old Town where a lineage of European architectural styles and historical landmarks dot the charming streets.

This UNESCO World Heritage site is also the perfect base to explore the nearby Auschwitz concentration camp and the Wieliczka Salt Mine.

With so many incredible things to do in Krakow, it is no surprise that there is an abundance of accommodations.

That is why we have written this guide to give you an idea of the best places to stay in Krakow. This guide will include hostels, hotels and Airbnbs in Krakow, Poland!

Enjoy! 

Want a Quick Tip on Where to Stay in Krakow, Poland?

In a hurry to decide on where to stay in Krakow, Poland?

If you are looking for the overall best neighborhood to stay in Krakow, you won’t go wrong with Krakow Old Town (or Stare Miasto). Located in the center of Krakow, Krakow Old Town is home to most of the historical attractions of Krakow.

Its central location in Krakow makes it easy for visitors to explore other areas in Krakow.

Looking for the best places to stay in Krakow? Here are our quick recommendations!

Best Hostel in Krakow – One World Hostel

Check prices here!

Best Places To Stay In Krakow 1

(Photo Courtesy of Airbnb)

Best Hotel in Krakow – Hotel Unicus Plaza

Check prices here!

Best Areas To Stay In Krakow, Poland

If you are visiting Krakow as a tourist, you are probably interested in its rich history, gorgeous architecture, and vibrant nightlife. Consequently, the best area to stay in Krakow for tourists is usually Krakow Old Town, the historic center of Krakow.

However, there are cons of staying in the Krakow Old Town. Because of its popularity and historical significance, many of the accommodations in Krakow Old Town are more expensive. There is also a (low) chance that the nightlife in Krakow Old Town might interfere with a good night’s rest.

Best Hostel Krakow

Another popular neighborhood to stay in Krakow is Kazimierz, Krakow’s historic jew quarter. Once one of the most dangerous areas in Krakow, Kazimierz is now one of the best neighborhoods to stay in Krakow. Its trendy and artsy scene attracts a young crowd who want the most out of their Krakow trip.

Here guests will find indie galleries, quirky shops, vintage clothing stores, and hip bars and clubs, as well as historic buildings such as the Old Synagogue and Tempel Synagogue. Kazimierz is located adjacent to Krakow Old Town, so visitors are within walking distance away from the best things Krakow has to offer.

Best Hotels To Stay In Krakow

If you prefer peace but don’t want to be too far from the action, there are multiple small neighborhoods outside of Krakow Old Town. These neighborhoods are Nowy Swiat, Piasek Poludnie, Piasek Polnoc, Kleparz, and Wesola Zachod. 

These neighborhoods are home to some of the best places to stay in Krakow for families.

Where To Stay Krakow

These neighborhoods are located right outside the Krakow Planty, a lush green park that surrounds Krakow Old Town and defines its boundaries. Strolling through this idyllic park is an activity on its own!

Krakow Planty Best Location To Stay In Krakow

The places mentioned above are the best areas to stay in Krakow, you will be fine staying at any one of them. Even the neighborhoods located outside of Krakow Old Town are only 10 to 15 minutes away form the heart of the Old Town.

Best Places to Stay in Krakow Poland

Best Airbnbs In Krakow

Staying in an Airbnb is one of the best ways to support local residents. It also offers travelers a more cozy and homey accommodation, often at a very affordable price. Airbnb hosts might also offer you valuable information about the city you are staying in, making sure you have the best visit possible.

That is why we will be recommending Airbnbs in Krakow, Poland. Here are some of the Krakow Airbnbs we recommend.

Best Areas To Stay In Krakow
Best Place To Stay In Krakow Poland

(Images Courtesy of Airbnb)

Located in the heart of Kazimierz (historic Jew’s quarter), this 1-bedroom Airbnb in Krakow is the perfect base for your exploration. On your doorstep is the old Jewish district, filled with some of the best night clubs, bars, and restaurants in Krakow.

Visitors wanting to see more of Krakow will not be disappointed. This Krakow Airbnb is located 15 minutes from the main square (Rynek Główny) and train/bus station, and 10 minutes from the famous Wawel Castle and Vistula River.

When you are not exploring what Krakow has to offer, find comfort and peace in your stylish Airbnb. The brick walls ooze charm from every inch of your apartment, telling stories of the history they have endured.

Want to make your own meals? Utilize the well-stocked kitchen for all your cooking needs!

Location: Kazimierz

Maximum Guests: 4 Guests

Click here for more details!

Best Airbnbs In Krakow
Best Accommodations In Krakow Poland

(Images Courtesy of Airbnb)

Located on Florianska Street, this 1-bed apartment resides on one of the most vibrant streets in Krakow Old Town. This makes it an excellent choice for tourists who would like to stay as close to the action as possible, and this Airbnb in Krakow Old Town lets you do that affordably.

When you walk into this Airbnb, you will immediately notice the high ceiling, which is a feature of most apartments in Krakow Old Town. Combined with the spacious living room, rustic touches, and a massive bed, guests will find nothing but elegance and comfort in this Airbnb.

The kitchen provides the essentials for cooking if you ever get tired of the delicious pierogies and zurek. If you are traveling as a family or a group of friends, the sofa bed in the living room will give you extra sleeping space!

Travelers with mobility issues must be are that this apartment is located on the second floor. Because of the age of the building, there is no elevator.

Location: Krakow Old Town

Maximum Guests: 4 Guests

Click here for more info!

Best Neighborhoods To Stay In Krakow Poland
Best Location To Stay In Krakow

(Images Courtesy of Airbnb)

If you prefer a little extra tranquility, then this 1-bedroom apartment located right outside the Krakow Planty (the park that surrounds Krakow Old Town) is perfect for you. Though not located inside the historic center of Krakow, guests are only a 5-minute walk away from the main square!

As you walk to Krakow Old Town everyday, you will be blessed with the lush Krakow Planty, a popular spots for locals to just hang out, relax on one of the benches, drink a coffee, or people watch!

If it is too cold or hot to enjoy the outdoors, visitors can still admire the beautiful park from inside this Airbnb. With tall windows that nearly span the entire height of the walls, the views from the apartment are incredible.

This stylish apartment also boasts a fully-equipped kitchen, perfect for cooking your favorite homemade meal. Though only featuring 1 bedroom, the sofa couch in the living is comfortable and big enough for additional guests!

Location: Piasek Poludnie (5-min walk from main square)

Maximum Guests: 4 Guests

Click here for more photos and availability!

Best Hotels In Krakow

Hotel Unicus Palace is one of the few 5-star hotels in Krakow Old Town. A 4-minute walk away from St. Mary’s Basilica, The Cloth Hall,  and the main square, guests are within close proximity to the best Krakow has to offer.

While most visitors will find the most beautiful part of their trip to be the historic center of Krakow, guests staying at Hotel Unicus Palace might think otherwise. That is because this 5-star hotel oozes charm and luxury unlike anything else.

The immaculately clean rooms with modern and stylish decor allow guests to indulge in some of the finest things in life comfortably.

When you are not enjoying your personal paradise, check out the wellness center. Featuring an indoor pool, a hammam, and a hot tub, it is the perfect place to soothe your aching limbs after a long day of walking around Krakow or exploring Auschwitz.

The hotel also offers an incredibly diverse buffet breakfast that is sure to get you ready for your day!

Location: Krakow Old Town

Click here for more information!

Located a 1-minute walk from the main square of Krakow, the Aparthotel Stare Miasto is perfect for anyone looking for hotels in Krakow main square. Its central location allows guests to effortlessly explore some of the best of Krakow.

When you want to escape the hustle and bustle of Krakow, guests can find solace in their cozy hotel. Situated inside a historical building, the hotel is designed with rustic bricks and wood, creating a warm and cozy atmosphere unlike many traditional hotels.

No matter which type of rooms you decide to select, you will find a spacious living area and a comfortable bed. Guests that select a more deluxe room will even have an elegant hot tub to relax in!

Location: Krakow Old Town (Stare Miasto)

Click here for more details!

Situated in the Kazimierz Jewish historic quarters, Hotel Perfect is one of the best hotels in Krakow. Unlike the charm of Krakow Old Town that comes from elegant architecture and charming streets, Kazimierz’s charm comes from the hipster vibes and artsy community.

The Kazimierz is the perfect place to stay for young (or young at heart) travelers who are interested in finding cool hidden gems in the city. Kazimierz is also one of the cheaper neighborhoods to stay in Krakow, especially when comparing to the famed Old Town.

In Hotel Perfect, guests will find clean and spacious rooms, soft dreamy beds, and a friendly staff that will answer any questions you might have about Krakow. The modern and stylish decor will make you feel at home.

Location: Kazimierz (Historic Jewish Quarter)

Click here for more info!

Best Hostels In Krakow

Located on the perimeter of the Krakow Planty, One World Hostel offers guests serenity and affordability while keeping guests close to the best things to do in Krakow, Poland. The hostel spans a total of two floors in a historical building and features shared dormitory rooms and private rooms.

If you are traveling solo in Krakow, you will appreciate the cozy common area on the main floor. Its inviting atmosphere creates a social environment where you can meet other travelers from around the world!

One of the best features of this cheap hostel in Krakow is the free buffet breakfast! Usually, breakfast in a hostel means toast, jam, and butter (if you wake up early), but One World Hostel breakfast is exceptional. Cold cut meats, eggs, salad, cereal, juice, milk, and more are served for breakfast.

The dormitory rooms are spacious and each guest is provided his or her own locker. Safety and comfort are not concerns here unless you have disrespectful roommates!

Location: Wesola Zachod (Perimeter of Krakow Planty)

Click here for more info!

No guide on the best places to stay in Krakow would be complete without include at least one party hostel. After all, nightlife in Krakow is arguably the best in Poland, and it doesn’t cost a fortune! Tom & Greg Beer House Hostel is one of the best hostels in Krakow if you want to party hard!

If you can’t tell by the name already, this hostel is big on beer. In fact, it is so big that free beer is offered to every guest during happy hour, followed by a free dinner buffet!

After dinner, it is time for an evening activity. Whether that is a club crawl, a Polish vodka fest, or a cocktail night, guests will never find a dull moment in this hostel!

Wake up in the morning for a free breakfast followed by a free walking tour! This hostel surely likes the word “free” and so do we!

Location: Krakow Old Town

Click here for more information!

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There is no single best place to stay in Krakow as it all depends on your needs and preferences. We hope our guide on where to stay in Krakow has helped you pick the perfect accommodation! 

Any questions? Leave a comment below!

Disclaimer: Some of the links above are affiliate links. That means if you book through the links, we will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you! The money will help run this site! Thank you 🙂

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The EPIC One Day In Warsaw Itinerary: Best Of Warsaw

The EPIC One Day In Warsaw Itinerary: Best Of Warsaw

Not sure what to do in Warsaw in one day?

Worry not.

As a city with an extensive history, incredible museums, beautiful UNESCO Heritage Historic center, surreal parks and vibrant nightlife,  planning your Warsaw itinerary is no easy task. There are simply too many possible things to do in Warsaw!

That is why we have written this one day in Warsaw itinerary to help you alleviate some of your headaches.

Enjoy!

Is One Day In Warsaw Enough?

Things To See In Warsaw

If you are planning to explore Warsaw in 1 day, you must wonder whether that is sufficient time or not. After all, Warsaw is the biggest city and the capital of Poland.

Is one day enough for Warsaw? The answer is… Probably yes.

Being the capital of a country has its blessings and curses. Warsaw is undeniably a very important historic place filled with some of the nation’s best museums and cuisine. However, outside of the UNESCO Heritage Site of Warsaw Old Town, there isn’t anything too spectacular about Warsaw.

Warsaw Royal Route

True, it has nice parks like the Lazienki Park and pretty decent nightlife, but those aren’t things you would specifically come to Warsaw for. These features don’t separate Warsaw from other Polish cities such as Gdańsk, Krakow, or even Zakopane.

Since most of the things to do in Warsaw are concentrated in Warsaw Old Town, it makes visiting all of them very easy.

Even if you just have 1 day in Warsaw, you will be able to see the best of what the city has to offer.

If you like to travel slow and get a feel of the city, you might appreciate staying at least a weekend, or even several days if you are not short on time. (We stayed 4 nights in total and really enjoyed it! It was our first European city!)

How To Get To Warsaw (Old Town)

How To Get To Warsaw Old Town

If you have a short visit to Warsaw, chances are, you will be arriving at the Warsaw Chopin Airport. Luckily, as the capital city of Poland, flights to Warsaw are usually quite cheap.

Alternatively, if you want to reach Warsaw by land, there are numerous bus companies that go to Warsaw. The company we highly recommend is FlixBus. Each bus is equipped with a toilet and free WiFi. Their timeliness, affordability, and comfort are unmatched.

If you are arriving by air, getting from Warsaw Chopin Airport to Warsaw Old Town is simple. Buses and trains are both good options, but you will have to make another transfer if you decide to take the train.

Bus No. 175 and Bus No. 188 will both take you to Warsaw Old Town from the airport. You must buy your bus ticket at the bus counter before boarding. Because the journey takes about 45 minutes, you must get the 75-minute ticket. It only costs 4 złoty (~1 Euro) at the time of writing. 

How To Get To Warsaw

Alternatively, if you prefer to go by train, you can take Line S2 or Line S3 which will take you to Warszawa Śródmieście (Warsaw Downtown) Station and Warszawa Centralna (Warsaw Central) Station. Once you arrive, you must make a transfer to Warsaw Old Town with one of the numerous buses (ex. No. 160, 128, 175).

Things To Do In Warsaw In One Day

1. Join A Free Walking Tour (2.5 Hours)

24 Hours in Warsaw

If you have one day in Warsaw, then joining a tour is a must. Tours are a great way to get lots of information in a short period of time, and usually they are led by local professionals who have tons of knowledge.

On LivingOutLau, we are all about value-for-money and getting the most out of your time and money. Therefore, we highly recommended attending one of the numerous free walking tours in Warsaw. Having joined one myself, I can say they are worth the time and is a great way to meet other travelers, especially if you are traveling alone in Warsaw.

Old Town Market Place Warsaw Mermaid Statue

The tour company we went with is called Walkative! Free Walking Tour.

The guide gave us a quick crash course on the significant history that has transformed Warsaw into the city today. From the events of World War II to the Soviet Union’s occupation, the guide was knowledgeable and good at delivering information.

The free walking tour lasts about 2 to 2.5 hours.

The guide will show you some of the landmarks in Warsaw and recommend things to do and restaurants to try. Tips are voluntary, meaning that you can give as much as you want or as little as you want. If you aren’t satisfied with the tour, you don’t have to pay a dime!

Don’t like that much walking? Check out this segway guided tour instead!

2. Try Authentic Polish Food (At Zapiecek)

Warsaw Restaurants

After your morning free walking tour, you must be hungry. Luckily, as the capital of Poland, Warsaw is teeming with wonderful authentic Polish restaurants. It would be a shame to not try some delicious Polish dishes when you are in Warsaw!

Our personal favorite Polish dishes are pierogies (similar to dumplings), Bigos or Hunter’s Stew in English (the national dish of Poland), and Zurek (a classic Polish sour rye soup).

Unlike the familiar Asian dumplings that are usually filled with meat and vegetable, the pierogies in Poland have unique fillings such as cheese, potatoes, and sweet berries. It was quite odd at first partly because it wasn’t what we were familiar with. After trying it a few times, we can understand why it is so popular in Poland.

Pierogi in Warsaw

Bigos, or Hunter’s Stew in English, is a Polish dish that we immediately fell in love with. Consisting of various chopped meat stewed with sauerkraut and shredded fresh cabbage, it has a bold taste that would fare well with meat-lovers.

However, neither of those is our favorite Polish dish. The winner has to go to zurek, a sour rye soup with a distinctive taste that was beyond our taste palette.

The unique sour taste comes from the fermentation of bread and rye flour. Lastly, the soup is cooked with a variety of meats such as sausages, bacon, and ham. Sometimes vegetables such as potatoes and mushrooms are also added.

As you stroll through Old Town Warsaw, you will inevitably stumble upon many authentic Polish restaurants. Many tour guides and locals will recommend Zapiecek,  a restaurant known for its outstanding pierogies and other Polish dishes.

Best Polish Restaurants in Warsaw

3. Explore The Royal Castle In Warsaw & Garden (2.5 Hours)

Places To Visit In Warsaw

No Warsaw itinerary is complete without a visit to The Royal Castle In Warsaw (Zamek Królewski w Warszawie), a royal residence that served as the official home for many Polish monarchs.

Warsaw Landmarks

Like most of the Old Town, The Royal Castle of Warsaw was almost completely destroyed. Bombings from the Siege of Warsaw in 1939 and the Warsaw Uprising in 1944 caused heavy destruction to the Royal Castle. At the end of 1944, the Royal Castle was blown up again by German engineers, leaving nearly nothing behind. The Royal Castle was left in debris until 1971 when reconstruction began.

Things To Do In Warsaw In One Day

Though when you step inside the Royal Castle of Warsaw, destruction and remnants aren’t the first things that come to mind. Every room is filled with ornate decor, extravagant paintings by artists such as Rembrandt and Bacciarelli, and lavishness beyond comprehension.

Warsaw Tourist Attractions

Stanislaw August Poniatowski, the king of Poland from 1764 to 1795, was primarily in charge of the interior decor of the Royal Castle. There you will find the sword of Stanislaw August and his living quarters.

Warsaw Museums

Audio guides are available for hire at the entrance. Costing 22 PLN (at the time of writing), it is an affordable way to learn more about the significance of this Polish landmark. Admission to the Royal Castle of Warsaw is free on Sundays but expect a bigger crowd than usual. 

The Royal Castle Of Warsaw

After exploring the interior of the Royal Castle, don’t miss the gorgeous garden in the back. The spacious lawn is a popular spot for hanging out, especially on the weekends.

1 Day In Warsaw Poland

With beautiful greenery, it is the perfect place to seek some serenity. Visitors can also see the famed Vistula River at the Royal Castle garden. 

What To Do In Warsaw In One Day

4. Warsaw Uprising Museum (2 Hours)

Warsaw Uprising Museum

Credit: Adrian Grycuk via C.C. 3.0 PL

Don’t stay at Royal Castle for too long because you don’t want to miss this next Warsaw attraction – The Warsaw Uprising Museum!

The Warsaw Uprising Museum is a must on any Warsaw trip. Dedicated to the Warsaw Uprising of 1944, this museum details one of the most significant historical events in the history of Poland.

The Warsaw Uprising Museum is also a great way to learn about the events of World War II, which is when the Warsaw Uprising occurred.

To give you a quick overview of what the Warsaw Uprising is about, it is about the Warsaw residents fight for freedom under the German occupation in 1944. After years of planning to free Warsaw from the German’s control, the opportunity came in the summer of 1944. 

Warsaw Sightseeing

German forces were on retreat from Poland due to the Soviet army advancing from the east. The Warsaw resistance army would seize this opportunity to strike the German forces while they are disorganized. Eventually, the Poles were to be reinforced by the Red Army (Soviet Union Army) that was advancing towards Warsaw.

However, just a few kilometers outside of Warsaw, the Red Army suddenly halted its military operations. The Warsaw resistance army was left with little to no reinforcement for 63 days, until the Warsaw army was crushed by the German forces.

In retaliation, the Germans completed flattened the city. It is estimated that more than 85% of the historic center of Warsaw was destroyed in WWII.

Considered the biggest resistance movement in World War II, guests can learn more about this extraordinary event at the Warsaw Uprising Museum.

The entrance fee is 25 PLN and an additional 10 PLN for the audio guide (which we highly recommend). Just remember to allot around 2 hours for this museum and it closes at 6 PM daily (at the time of writing).

5. Check Out The View At Palace of Culture and Science (1 Hour)

Palace Of Culture and Science Warsaw Trip

After visiting the Warsaw Uprising Museum, make your way to the Palace of Culture and Museum, the tallest building in Poland. As one of Stalin’s last “gifts” to Poland, there is a love and hate relationship between the Polish locals and this building.

In a way, it is a constant reminder of the oppression that they endured during the Soviet communist era. On the other hand, it is one of the most spectacular buildings in not just Poland, but Europe in general.

From the exterior, this 42-story tall building looks like the Empire State Building in New York City, one of the symbols of capitalist freedom.

The Palace of Culture and Science features an observation deck at 30 floors above ground, giving visitors stretching views of the entire city. The views of the observation deck are considered the best panoramic views in Warsaw. 

Best Views in Warsaw

Depending on the time of the year you are visiting Warsaw, you might be here for sunset or the night views, either will surely impress!

Because it is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Warsaw, it is highly recommended to purchase your tickets beforehand and skip the line.

6. Discover Old Town Warsaw, Castle Square, Royal Route & Old Town Market Place

Warsaw Old Town

Old Town Warsaw, Castle Square, Royal Route, and Old Town Market Place are some of the best places to visit in Warsaw. Luckily these places are all located adjacent to each other in the historic center of Warsaw.

If you have been following our one day Warsaw itinerary, then you have probably been to these places briefly because of the morning free walking tour.

After a visit to the Palace of Culture and Science, head back to Warsaw Old Town and explore its wonders at night. With lights to accentuate the features of many Old Town buildings, the night is a special time to visit the historic center.

What we loved about Warsaw was that we could just wander around and discover so many amazing things. 

Things To Do In Warsaw At Night

We found a Catholic church called Kościół Akademicki św. Anny, which had an amazing vantage point near the top of the building. If you didn’t get a good view at the Place of Culture and Science, consider going up to this church instead.

Finish your night off with a nice dinner at a Polish restaurant. If you are short on time, get a Zapiekanka, or Polish pizza, to go.

If you want to explore Warsaw nightlife (which you should!), there is a huge selection of bars and clubs.

We heard great things about Opera Club, a club with beautiful decor located in the basement of the National Opera of Poland’s Grand Theater. Do you prefer something more local? Head over to Mazowiecka Street, a street packed with bars and pubs.

If you are visiting in the summer, head down to the Vistula River for some outdoor parties!

More Time? Check Out These Additional Warsaw Attractions

1. Lazienki Park

Lazienki Park

If you are an early bird and have some free time before your walking tour, we suggest visiting Lazienki Park, the largest park in Warsaw Poland. Also known as the Royal Baths Park, the Lazienki Park spans a total of 76 hectares in the city center of Warsaw.

Its most notable attraction, the Palace on the Isle, won’t be open yet (it opens at 10 AM), but visitors can still enjoy this incredible architectural masterpiece resting on the lake. Otherwise, just enjoy walking around the tranquil park with a cup of refreshing coffee in your hand.

It is the best way to start your day in Warsaw and explore one of its gorgeous attractions!

2. Frederick Chopin Museum

Frederick Chopin Museum Warsaw
Credit: Jorge Láscar via C.C. 2.0

If you love the piano or are a fan of the worldwide famous composer Frederick Chopin, then you mustn’t miss the Frederick Chopin Museum. This musical genius was born in Warsaw and spent the first 20 years of his life there before moving abroad.

In the Frederick Chopin Museum, you will find musical scores, photographs, and recordings of his work. If you want to hear more of his work, there are 15 public musical benches (called Chopin Benches) scattered throughout the city. Each musical bench has a button that plays about 30 seconds of his work!

3. POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews

POLIN Museum of The History Of Polish Jews
Credit: Julian Nyča via C.C. 4.0

Located on the former site of the Warsaw Ghetto, the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews is an excellent place to learn about the horrific events of the Polish Jews. This newly-open museum features a postmodern architectural facade and looks impressive on the outside and reminded us of the World War II Museum in Gdansk.

The POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews uses story-telling methods to convey the Jews history in Poland. Along with its interactive exhibits, it is an interesting museum for everyone in the family.

Where To Stay In Warsaw To Maximize Your 24 Hours

Similar to Krakow, most of the attractions in Warsaw are located in the historic center. Therefore, deciding where to stay in Warsaw is as easy as deciding where to stay in Krakow.

Staying in Warsaw Old Town is a no-brainer when you visit, especially if you only have 24 hours in Warsaw.

Here are some of our recommended accommodations in Warsaw:

Best Hostel In Warsaw – Safestay Warsaw (Dream Hostel)

Safestay Warsaw (also known as Dream Hostel when we stayed) is one of the best hostels in Warsaw. Each dormitory room features comfortable bunk beds equipped with your own personal light, plug, and curtain. The soft mattress and cozy duvet will ensure you a perfect night’s rest.

The hostel also has a spacious common area with a bar on the top floor where guests can just unwind after a long day or do some work. It is also located in Old Town Warsaw, just a 2-minute walk from the Royal Castle of Warsaw and the famous Sigismund’s Column!

Click here for more details!

Best Airbnb In Warsaw – Warsaw Old Town w/ Wifi TV

Where To Stay In Warsaw Poland
Best Places To Stay In Warsaw Poland

(Photos Courtesy of Airbnb)

If you are traveling to Warsaw as a couple or a pair, then this studio Airbnb in Warsaw Old Town is not to be missed. With its minimalistic and modern decor, guests will find the coziness and homeliness that many hostels and hotels lack.

Its 24/7 self check-in makes it convenient for everyone, especially if you are arriving in Warsaw very early or very late. When you are not catching some good rest on the queen bed, relax on the couch and watch Netflix or WiFi TV. Want to cook a meal? Utilize their well-equipped kitchen to make something special!

Click here for more photos and info!

Best Time To Visit Warsaw, Poland

Best Time To Visit Warsaw

It is no surprise that the best time to visit Warsaw is in the summer (June to August). During the summer months, the weather is pleasant with temperatures around 60 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit. The city is swept with a new wave of energy and many seasonal events bring tourists from all around the world.

Winter (December to February) is the lowest travel season in Warsaw. The temperature is below freezing on most days and the grey cold brings out a nostalgic pessimism from the Soviet era. However, the cost of travel in Warsaw from accommodation to food is much cheaper. 

Spring (March to May) and Autumn (September to November) are decent times to visit Warsaw. The weather is somewhat bearable and doesn’t hinder you from exploring what the city has to offer. Additionally, the summer crowd would be gone by now and the cost of traveling is a little cheaper than the summer months. 

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1 Day In Warsaw Itinerary Pinterest

This is the end of our Warsaw one day itinerary! We hope this guide has helped you plan your trip to one of our favorite eastern European cities! 

Any questions? Let us know in the comments!

Disclaimer: Some of the links above are affiliate links. That means if you book or make a purchase through the links, we will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you! The money will help run this site! Thank you 🙂

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