We’re all hoping that an end to the restrictions in the UK is just around the corner and, for many, the first priority will be a holiday.  As we all look forward to a time when the world is, again, our oyster, the next decision which will be which destination to visit first and, today, we’re going to be taking a closer look at Poland’s most beautiful medieval city, Krakow. 

The jewel in Poland’s crown

Perched on the border of the Czech Republic, Krakow offers the perfect combination of cool culture and cosmopolitan style.  From the 14th century Gothic church of St Mary’s Basilica to the ultra-hid Alchemia bar which is accessed through a wardrobe door, Krakow is the best of all worlds and is just a two hour and twenty five minute flight from Manchester.  So, fasten your seatbelt, make sure your seat is in the upright position and check out our guide to this incredible city.

Getting there

Ryanair, EasyJet and Jet2 all fly to Krakow from Manchester at reasonable prices.  You’ll want to choose your dates carefully as, for example, Ryanair offers just two flights to Krakow a week at the moment.  Krakow airport is around 17km from Krakow town centre, a journey which should take around half an hour by taxi. Alternatively, you can arrange transfers from John Paul II International Airport into the city by public transport by choosing one of two options: 

Train – You can take a train directly into the city and, this 20 minute journey will cost just 9 LPN.

Bus – Krakow Airport offers two day buses (208 and 252) and one night bus (902) and, a one way ticket will cost 4 PLN.  The 208 runs hourly whereas the 252 runs every half an hour. The night bus runs from 11.25pm to 4.55am.  

Where to stay

There are plenty of options when it comes to accommodation in Krakow and, these include: 

Hostels – Cheap and cheerful hostels are plentiful in Krakow and you can expect to pay around 65 PLN (£12.72) for a bed in a shared dormitory or 150 PLN (£29.35) for a private room.  Most hostels have self-catering facilities and free wifi as standard.  Our choice would be the cosy and colourful Mundo Hostel which is just a five minute walk from Krakow town centre. 

Budget Hotels – Krakow has a great selection of affordable budget hotels in great locations and, you can expect to pay around 100 PLN (£19.57) per night for a room which will usually include a simple breakfast.  Our choice of budget hotel would be the Hotel Lavender for its clean, modern rooms and convenient location. 

Mid Price Hotels – If you’re feeling a bit more flush, the Metropolitan Boutique Hotel is a great choice for comfortable rooms, free wifi and a fantastic hot buffet breakfast. 

Getting around

Making your way around Krakow is easy and super affordable with options as follows: 

Taxi – Cabs are really affordable in Krakow with prices starting from 7 PLN, increasing by 2.30 PLN per kilometre.  If taking a taxi, be sure to look out for registered cars which display their company logo and telephone number on the vehicle. 

Bus and Tram – Krakow has a really efficient bus and tram service to whizz you around the city and you ‘ll pay 5 PLN for a one way ticket, 4 PLN for a 20 minute ticket, 6 PLN for a 90 minute ticket or, 20 PLN for a day pass and 80 PLN for a weekly pass. Passes are a really good option as they often include free and discounted activities to take advantage of during your stay. 

Bicycle – If you prefer the freedom of going your own way, you can rent a bike in Krakow for just 10 PLN (£1.96) per day. 

Eating out in Krakow

Krakow is a treasure trove of great restaurants and cafes, all of which are extremely affordable.  For five star options head to Saffron for perfect Persian cuisine or Old Town Restaurant And Bar for traditional Polish fayre with a great selection of wines and fantastic atmosphere.  If you’re travelling on a budget, one good tip is to head to one of the city’s milk bars (public cafeterias) for sublime pierogis, homemade soups and local beer at rock bottom prices.  

What to see in Krakow

There’s plenty to do and see in this incredibly versatile city so, you’ll need to make sure that you have plenty of time – and some comfortable walking shoes.  The following are some of the not-to-be missed highlights in Krakow: 

Wawel Castle

Built in the 13th century, this imposing castle is now an art museum which is home to medieval tapestries, Polish crown jewels and Ottoman empire treasures.  There’s a huge amount to see here so make sure that you leave enough time.  Admission prices range from 5 PLN to 25 PLN. 

St Mary’s Basilica

The home parish of beloved Pope John Paul II, this stunning gothic landmark stands watch over the Old Town.  Make sure that you don’t miss the hourly trumpeter who plays from the tower in honour of a 13th century trumpeter who was killed here while sounding the alarm during a Mongol.

Salt Mines

Dating back to the middle ages, Krakow’s salt mine is now a recognised UNESCO site.  Visitors are able to explore statues, chambers, chapels, chandeliers and cathedrals – all of which were carved from salt by minders.  These mines, which reach dizzying depths of 300 metres are now also home to contemporary works of art and admission costs 89 PLN (£17.42). 

The Royal Road

Also known as ‘The Royal Route’, this famous road travels from the Old Town to Wawel Castle passing countless historical landmarks along the way. 


The infamous Auschwitz-Birkenau is the site of a former Nazi concentration camp and is visited by over two million people every year.  A guide is highly recommended for a visit to Auschwitz and this will cost you around 60 PLN. 

Rynek Underground

This unique museum traces Krakow’s rich and colourful history.  3D technology and simulations provide a fully interactive experience and a valuable overview to the city’s past and present.  Admission costs 21 PLN. 


This former Jewish ghetto is now a vibrant and creative centre.  Take a free walking tour around the area and stick around for the nightlife including vodka bars and the legendary Alchemia venue. 

Things to know before visiting Krakow

Budgeting – Krakow is extremely affordable, however, if your budget is super-tight, you can save money by Couchsurfing instead of paying for accommodation and by filling up on street food such as bagels and  zapiekanka (a kind of pizza baguette).

Safety – Krakow is a remarkably safe city, however, you’ll want to take a few precautions such as securing your cash to avoid falling victim to pickpockets and by sticking to official taxis and public transport.  

A visit to Krakow should really be on every city lover’s bucket list due to its unique blending of past and present.  Fascinating places and friendly faces all go into the mix for a city break like no other.  



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