I feel it is only fair to warn you I’m one of those people that like to see as much as possible in the time I have somewhere. So this is a pretty intense four days but it does allow you to see a lot of Krakow while fitting in Auschwitz and the Salt Mines.
Day 1: Old town
Get up early and join one of the free walking tours. You’ll see lots of highlights and get to know the city.
The tour finished up at Wawel Castle, grab a bite to eat in the café before heading into the cathedral for a look around.
Don’t forget to stop by the Castle’s dragon to say hello, you may even see him breath fire.
Then head back towards the Old Town, on your way stop in at The Church of St. Franics of Assisi. It may not look remarkable from the outside but is really beautiful inside.
Next up head to Galeria Plakatu to have a look at examples of Polish graphic and poster design. I challenge you not to buy anything, I got two really awesome postcards which will be on display in my new flat.
Head underground at the market square by visiting the Rynek Underground Museum and then finish of the day with a drink in the Market Square. If you’re into Jazz music there are a lot of live music options in this area.
Day 2: Schindler’s factory and the Memory Trail
Start the day by walking to Pomorska Street which is the former Gestapo Headquarters. You’ll learn about what it was like for people living in Krakow during Nazism & Communism. This museum features lots of individual’s telling their story which I found really interesting.
Head over to Schindler’s factory, it is quite a long walk from Pomorska Street so you may want to use public transport or a taxi. Personally I really enjoy walking around cities to I took a walk over ad grab a pretzel from one of the street vendors on the way.
The museum tells the story of what happened to the Jews in Krakow and also has a film about the factory.
Round up the Memory Trail by heading to the Eagle Factory, I found this really uplifting after a very heavy day. As it tells you about ordinary people who did their best to help out the Jews in the ghetto.
Walk back over the river crossing Father Bernatek’s Bridge to admire the acrobat sculptures.
Day 3: Auschwitz
I knew before I went that this would be an emotionally draining day so I decided before the trip that this would be the only thing I would try to fit in.
The tour I went on left Krakow around 11am and got back around 6pm. I would definitely recommend visiting Auschwitz it was a very humbling experience.
I’ve written a blog on Visiting Auschwitz if you would like more information on the tour and getting there.
After a pretty intense day I decided to head out for a few drinks. We went to Pijalnia Wodiki I Piwa where the drinks are really cheap and you can try lots of different flavours of vodka shots. We ended the evening in a Cuban club (yes not what I was expecting either) called Teatro Cubano which was completely packed and had a great atmosphere, just don’t expect any cheap drinks here!
Day 4: Salt mines and Jewish Quarter
Start the day by grabbing a coffee and then climbing up the 239 steps of St Mary’s tower for great views of the old town.
Then head down to the main train station and jump on the train to Wieliczka Kopalnia Soli. The train takes about 20 minutes and it a five minute walk from the train station to the salt mines.
Spend the afternoon on a tour of the salt mines and grab some food when you’re down there. Once you’ve re-surfaced from the mines (via the scary lift ever), jump on the train back to Krakow.
Spend the rest of the afternoon and evening exploring the Jewish Quarter. I recommend checking out the street art, have a look at In Your Pocket’s Krakow Street Art map to find your way around.
Also don’t forget to grab a coffee and some food from Cytat Café, where you’re drink comes with an inspirational quote.
If you’ve not got a full four days and are looking for some inspiration or are on a limited budget have a look at my ideas for cheap thing to do in Krakow post.
Is there anywhere I’ve missed that you think should definitely be on the itinerary?