City Break Cracovia, Polonia: Ce sa vizitezi in Cracovia, 3 zile

Krakow is a charming city, with a relaxing and peaceful atmosphere, with elegant buildings and an attention to detail that you only see in the big European cities. 

With a rich history and many touristic attractions, a 3-4 day getaway in this city is recommended to all lovers of trips and city breaks. And if you have the chance to arrive in Krakow around the winter holidays and the Christmas Market, as we did, the city will seem all the more beautiful!

About Krakow

Central Square in Krakow

Located on the Vistula River in southern Poland, Krakow is the second largest city in Poland, but the most attractive for tourists. It is one of the most important economic and university centers of the country, with a population of over 760,000 inhabitants. 

Although this city is known because of its unfortunate recent history, related to the events of the Second World War, when Nazi Germany invaded Poland and the Jews were sent to the extermination camps, Krakow is worth visiting for more than this painful history. The superb and orderly historical center, with its tourist sights, the local cuisine in the restaurants in the central area, the atmosphere of the pubs in the Kazimierz district or the various thematic museums make Krakow a truly touristic city.

The official currency in Poland is the zloty, where 1 euro ~ 4.43 zlotys.

Where to stay in Krakow

As for any other City Break, I recommend booking an accommodation through or Airbnb. The location we chose for this trip was this: Angel House Aparthotel.

If you go by car, make sure that the location of the hotel or apartment has parking. In the center, there are both private and public parking spots on the street. A day of parking can go up to 60-70 zlotys.

An accommodation in the central area can be the most convenient and flexible option, so that you no longer have to use the car or other means of public transport. The tourist attractions in the center of Krakow are quite close, so they can be easily reached by walking.

Tourist attractions in Krakow - Daily Itinerary

We left home with a well established daily schedule, and my recommendation for you is to do the same, to think before what you want to visit, so that you can reserve the tickets online in advance. Thus, you will be assured of entry to the desired tourist attractions, without waiting in lines. Keep in mind that on Mondays, most museums and tourist attractions may be closed.

Day 0 - The Old Center

This is the day we arrived in Krakow. After going to the hotel hotel we went for a short walk through the city center. We admired the central square of the city, which is very chic and full of tourists, along with the main sights, such as St. Mary's church or The Cloth Hall.

We had dinner at one of the restaurants in the central square. Here you will find a multitude of restaurants and interesting places. The prices are normal for a central European country. As for mos known places, I recommend you to stop by the Hard Rock Café or Cafe Camelot.

Basilica of St. Mary

The church built in the 13th century in Gothic style is one of the symbols of Krakow. With a height of 80m, it is famous for its two towers of different structures and heights. The legend says that the two towers were built by two brothers, where one of them, to stand out, built his tower higher, and the other, in a fit of rage when he found out about the betrayal, killed his brother.

Every hour, a trumpeter sings from the great tower the hymn Hejnal mariacki, 4 times, from each window of the tower, in memory of the trumpeter who risked his life to warn the city of the invasion that would occur in the thirteenth century. At that moment, when he was playing the trumpet as a sign of warning, an arrow suddenly hit him, killing him. The song was interrupted suddenly, that's why, until now, the hymn sung every hour from the tower is interrupted suddenly.

The Cloth Hall (Sukiennice in Polish)

The Cloth Hall (Sala Drapelurilor), Cracovia

The building represents the central point of the market, being a building with an impressive architecture. Built in the 13th century, the Cloth Hall was in the past an important center of international trade.

Currently, the purpose of the building is a touristic one: on the ground floor visitors can find many boutiques of traditional craftsmen or with souvenirs, and on the first floor and underground there are various museums (Sukiennice Museum, or Underground Museum).

Day 1 - Krakow

Free Walking Tour

We started the day with a Free Walking Tour through the city. When we have several days available to visit a city, we always like to start exploring the city through such guided tours. The tour lasts around 2-3 hours, is in English, and is a perfect opportunity to get to know and recognize all the main sights of the city. And the guided tour in Krakow seemed to me to be one of the best I have ever been to. The guide took us to every important attraction in the city center, presented us their history, told us various legends of the city (Krakow is a city full of legends and interesting stories), but also gave us some useful tips for the rest of the days spent there.

old center cracovia

After the guided tour, we had a short lunch break, and then we visited Schindler's factory. In this period of time we had a choice between visiting Wawel Castle or Schindler's factory, but we were more interested in the history of the Second World War, thus we chose to visit Schindler's factory.

Kazimierz Jewish quarter

We walked from the center towards Schindler's factory, so we got to pass through the Kazimierz Jewish quarter. The Jews lived here until they were sent to the ghetto, during the Second World War. Currently, the neighborhood is full of restaurants and pubs, it has a youthful and lively air, and it is worth taking the time to discover its colorful streets. 

At the same time, the movie Schindler's Listwas filmed in this neighborhood, and if you've seen the movie, you'll recognize the buildings from the movie. The most famous is Schindler's Passage, which appeared in the movie'smemorable scene, when the Jews were deported from the neighborhood.

Schindler's Passage
Schindler's Passage

Schindler's Factory

Schindler's Factory became famous after the film Schindler's List, directed by Steven Spielberg in 1993. Currently, the factory has been transformed into a museum, being dedicated to the period when Krakow was under Nazi occupation.

We bought the online tickets for the museum and they cost around 8 euros a ticket. There is the possibility of a guided tour of the factory, as well as simple entrance tickets, without a guide. After reading several reviews on the Internet, we decided on a tour without a guide.

Tickets can be purchased here, for the guided tour, or here, for single entry. Tickets can be canceled free of charge, up to 24 hours before.

Schindler's Factory
Schindler's Factory

Wawel Royal Castle

Built in the 13-14th centuries, Wawel Castle is located on the hill withthe same name, and is one of the most important touristic attractions in this city.

The castle can be visited, and an entrance ticket costs 12 euro.

Wawel Castle
Wawel Castle courtyard

The Dragon of Krakow

The symbol of the city of Krakow is the dragon, whose statue is located at the base of Wawel Castle, on the banks of the Vistula River.

The dragon appears in many past legends of the city, so today it represents one of the emblematic images of Krakow. You will find his image everywhere, in souvenir shops.


Dragon Krakow

Rynek Underground Museum

After visiting the museum at Schindler's factory, we also went to Rynek Underground Museum, taking advantage of the extended hours that this museum had (open until 8 pm). The museum is located in the underground of the central square, and presents recently discovered archaeological sites of medieval Krakow. The entrance is on ground floor of the Cloth Hall. The tickets were bought directly from the museum, but now a ticket, bought online, costs 28 zlotys (

Rynek Underground Museum
Rynek Underground Museum

Day 2 - Auschwitz

Auschwitz I - Arbeit macht frei
Auschwitz I - Arbeit macht frei

After visiting Schindler's factory, we decided to dedicate the next day to visiting the Auschwitz concentration camp. 

I think the Auschwitz concentration camp does not need many words. The Auschwitz-Birkenau camp, built and used by the Nazi Germans during the Second World War, was the largest extermination and mass killing center. During the 5 years that the camp operated, at least one million people died at Auschwitz - Jews, Gypsies, Poles, Russians. Auschwitz thus came to represent the symbol of the Holocaust.

In order not to let history either be forgotten or be repeated, the former camp was opened to the public for visits, the entrance being, moreover, free. However, for those who want to visit the location with a guide, the guided tour is paid, the ticket being from 15 euros upwards. The recommendation is to book a guided tour in the desired language in advance, the guide will be able to cover all the important information about Auschwitz in 3 hours. You can book such tours here, some departing directly from Krakow:

If you still want to visit the former camp on your own, I leave below some important information to know beforehand:

  • In the first part of the day, only the guided tours enter, and in the second part, visitors with single (free) entrance tickets are allowed to enter.
  • In order to have access inside, you must reserve your access tickets in advance, because places are limited. Tickets can be booked directly from the official website:
  • Auschwitz is divided into 2 areas: Auschwitz I, respectively Auschwitz II - Birkenau. The entrance is at Auschwitz I, so you have to park your car here. You can go to Auschwitz II with a shuttle bus.
  • The distance between Krakow and Auschwitz is about 70 km, and you need to pay the highway toll, if you go by car. (If you choose the option of a guided tour starting from Krakow, you will get rid of the stress of the car). 
  • To visit the whole complex, it is recommended to allocate at least 3 hours.

Auschwitz I

Auschwitz I used to be the main headquarters of the political and labor department of the prisoners. Currently, the buildings have been transformed into museums, where fragments of the life lived in the camp are presented.

Auschwitz II - Birkenau

Auschwitz II – Birkenau was the largest of the camps in the Auschwitz complex, and is represented by the iconic image of the train station and the train tracks that pass the camp gate. This is the place where most of the prisoners were exterminated. At the end of the war, the Nazis liquidated and destroyed most of the buildings and crematoria, to hide any trace of what happened during the Holocaust. So that, at present, all that can be seen are the remains of the old buildings, the train track, the gate through which the trains with prisoners passed and a wagon.

To get to Auschwitz II - Birkenau, there is a bus that runs frequently between the two divisions of the former camp complex. But be careful if you go on your own: although the visiting hours can be until 6 p.m., the last bus that returns from Auschwitz II – Birkenau to Auschwitz I is at 5 p.m. Closing times differ from month to month, depending from the time the sun sets. Auschwitz II - Birkenau closes faster.

Day 3 - Wieliczka Salt Mine

The day was dedicated to visiting the Wieliczka salt mine. Since at the time of our visit it got dark pretty quickly (at 4 p.m.), we decided to take advantage of the first part of the day to walk around the center of Krakow. We visited the church of St. Mary and made some shopping, bought souvenirs and gifts. The entrance ticket to the church was 10 zlotys (we could pay only in cash).

The central square with St. Mary Church
The central square with St. Mary Church

Mina de sare de la Wieliczka

The Wieliczka salt mine is one of the oldest salt mines in the world, built in the 13th century. It is an impressive mine, with nine levels of galleries stretching for approximately 300 km. Tourists have the opportunity to visit the first 3 levels.

Tickets can be bought online, for 109 zlotys, directly from the official website: from GetYourGuide, where you can find tours departing from Krakow. The tour lasts 2 hours, and is with a guide. Note that there is quite a lot of walking through the mine, several kilometers, so comfortable shoes are recommended.

The distance between Krakow and the mine is 20 km, and can be reached by car. There you also need to pay for parking, which is around 20 zlotys.

This is an idea of a daily itinerary for visiting Krakow in 72 hours, and it was the program that we followed and that we want to further recommend.

Of course, if there is time and availability, we also recommend visiting Warsaw, the capital of Poland, which is 300 km away from Krakow.

Moreover, from Krakow you can take a day trip to Zakopane. You have a few hours at your disposal to visit the center of the resort, take the funicular up Gubałówka hill and relax at one of the largest spa centers in Poland, Chocholow Hot Thermal Bath Pools: Krakow: Zakopane Tour with Hot Bath Pools.

I recommend you also read this article, where we detailed our experience in Zakopane:3 Days In Zakopane - What To Do In The Most Famous Resort In Poland.

Where to eat in Krakow

In Krakow you can find many interesting places where you can eat, at normal prices for a country in the Central Europe. The old town, around the central square, or the Kazimierz district are the most popular and crowded places in Krakow when it comes to restaurants and cafes.

Below I will leave you some of the locations where we ate and enjoyed it.

Cafe Camelot
Cafe Camelot