With nearly 800,000 residents residing within city limits, Krakow is Poland’s second most populous city behind the capital of Warsaw, which has slightly more than one million.
Krakow is located in the southern part of the country in the Lesser Poland Province and is divided in half by the Upper Vistula River.
The city has the distinction of being designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in its entirety and was originally founded in the 7th century.
Featuring an abundance of historical and cultural attractions, it’s a popular destination for visitors of all ages and interests and offers hundreds of tours of both the city and nearby sites, like national parks and concentration camps from World War II.
1. Sightseeing by Eco-Vehicle
Whether you choose to call it an environmentally friendly eco-vehicle or a golf cart with an electric motor, you’ll enjoy seeing Krakow’s iconic attractions from its comfy seats – and you won’t need to feel guilty about polluting the atmosphere.
Starting in Old Town, guests will meet their guide and embark on either a 60 or 90-minute tour that hits big sites like the Krakow Ghetto, Oskar Schindler’s Factory, St. Mary’s Church, and a number of museums.
Tours touch on culture, contemporary and ancient history, the plight of the Jews during the Second World War, and the city’s impressive monuments and architecture.
2. Traditional Polish Food Private Tour
Though outsiders most often associate Polish cuisine with kielbasa and pierogies, they’re but a few of the mouth-watering treats that make up Krakow’s food scene.
In addition to satisfying their taste buds and learning a lot about Polish culture in the process, guests of this tour will explore the Old Town area and many of the city’s premier sites, like St. Mary’s Basilica.
The culinary portion of the tour includes stops at two eateries, where hungry participants will meet locals and savor traditional fare like dumplings, sausages, and freshly baked goods.
Tours come in 2 ½, 3 ½, and 5-hour options and are available in four start times.
3. Auschwitz-Birkenau Full-Day Guided Tour from Krakow
Auschwitz and Birkenau are arguably the most historic and poignant attractions in Poland.
Few places on earth provide such a vivid and disturbing look into the past. Most guests who take part in this full-day guided tour from Krakow consider their experience one of the most memorable of their trips.
Once onsite at each location, guests can choose to see things on their own or make the most of their time with the guide.
The main points of interest include the prison cells, the infamous gas chambers, and the crematoriums.
Tours begin and end in Krakow and include the services of a local, multi-lingual guide.
4. Historical Walking Tour for Families and Kids
Little ones often get the short end of the stick when in cities that are primarily known for their somber historic sites, but that need not be the case for families visiting Krakow.
This walking tour was designed with families in mind; it comes in two, three, and four-hour options to accommodate kids of most ages.
Tour highlights include historic icons like St. Mary’s Basilica and Wawel Cathedral, and each excursion features a number of activities designed to stimulate young minds in need of entertainment and engagement.
Tours require significant amounts of walking, so for those traveling with younger children, the shorter options may be best.
5. Polish Beer Tasting Tour
It comes as no surprise to savvy international beer lovers that Polish beers often rival those produced in other countries like Germany, Belgium, and Holland.
On this tasting tour, eager beer aficionados and their English-speaking guide will set out to sample the country’s best local, regional, and national brews.
It’s as much about cultural immersion as it is about tasting world-class beers. Each tour visits pubs and breweries that feature traditional offerings as well as those with contemporary ingredients and recipes.
Tours last a few hours and begin mid-afternoon, leaving ample time to recover before a night on the town.
6. Wieliczka Salt Mine Tour Including Hotel Pick-Up
It’s hard to believe that a salt mine could be in continuous production for more than seven centuries, but in the case of the Wieliczka Salt Mine, it’s true.
It’s one of the oldest mines of its kind in the world. On this 2 ½-hour tour, guests and their English-speaking guide will head more than 100 meters underground to explore the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Unlike other strictly commercial salt mines, the miners who’ve worked Wieliczka over the years have carved altars, statues, and ornate decorations into the deposits, giving the subterranean space an otherworldly feel.
Everything is included except for refreshments and photo permission.
7. Guided Segway Tour
It’s a little known fact that Segways were actually invented in the 12th century by Polish dwarfs hidden deep in the bowels of a magical castle.
Okay, that’s not entirely true, but whatever the case, Segways are fun and safe ways to see Krakow’s amazing sights without exerting too much effort or spending gobs of hard-earned vacation dollars.
After learning how to use their two-wheeled conveyances, guests will embark on an exhilarating and educational tour that includes gothic palaces, medieval cathedrals, and impressive works of art from the Renaissance.
Tours last about three hours and are available in the morning and afternoon.
8. Stained Glass Museum Tour
Krakow is well known as a center for traditional arts and crafts, and stained glass is one of its most sought after products.
On this short but value-packed tour, guests will follow their guide’s lead while learning about and experiencing first-hand how master artisans create amazing stained glass works using traditional and contemporary techniques and equipment.
Tours also include self-guided exploration, where guests can follow a map to several neighborhoods featuring some of the most impressive examples of stained glass found anywhere in the city.
This is a great option for new visitors looking to get their bearings in Krakow.
9. Kazimierz District Jewish Heritage Tour
During the Holocaust, a significant portion of Poland’s Jewish population perished in the ghettos and Nazi death camps.
This Jewish heritage tour gets underway in the city’s Kazimierz neighborhood, which has the distinction of being the only continuously inhabited Jewish enclave that’s survived since the medieval years.
The neighborhood features abundant historical and cultural attractions and is now one of the artsiest and most Bohemian areas of the city.
Highlights include impressive synagogues and monuments to the fallen, as well as in-tact ghetto walls left over from the war.
Tours meet at a convenient central Krakow location, start mid-afternoon, and last three hours.
10. Full-Day Energylandia Trip from Krakow
Spread across dozens of acres jam-packed with hair-raising rides appropriate for a variety of ages, Energylandia is one of Krakow’s go-to attractions for visitors who need a break from the city’s historic sites.
After a short drive through the countryside, tour participants will pick up their discounted entrance tickets and spend a day inside the country’s largest theme park.
The park features nearly 80 individual rides, and there’s a water park as well that’s a great way to beat the heat during the summer.
At up to 12 hours, it makes for a long day but is a great treat for kids who’ve soldiered on through historic basilicas and Holocaust memorials.
11. Bar, Club and Pub Crawl
Imbibing intoxicating beverages and rubbing elbows with locals and travelers from all over the world is a fun way for young revelers to spend an evening in an exotic city like Krakow.
After meeting their guide near the city’s main market square, guests will set out on a whirlwind tour of some of Krakow’s hippest bars, clubs, and pubs.
Tours of this nature are perfect for young singles, couples, and groups. At each location, everyone will enjoy a complimentary welcome shot.
Though some of the attractions can get crowded during peak times, the tour includes VIP-style skip-the-line tickets, so waiting in long lines won’t be an issue.
12. Tyniec Abbey Guided Bike Tour
Departing from Krakow mid-morning, this four-hour bike tour sets out along some stress-free cycling routes toward the Benedictine Abbey at Tyniec.
While en route, guests will pass impressive attractions like the flooded quarry at Zakrzówek, the Twardowski Rocks Nature Reserve, and a castle-like headquarters built by the Germans during World War II to house upper echelon officers and pilots.
The 1,000-year-old abbey at Tyniec is the tour’s centerpiece; it’s the oldest structure of its kind in the country.
It features a fascinating history and impressive architecture and was home to pious monks who spent the majority of their time meditating and praying in silence.
13. 2-Hour Photo Shoot
Though selfies are all the rage these days, for those who’d like to capture their vacation memories in a truly unique way, there’s no better option than hiring a professional photographer for a few hours.
You may just feel like a globe-trotting high-roller having your picture taken by castles, palaces, and historical monuments, but you won’t need to spend an arm and a leg to do it.
Tour stops can be customized to match the interests and desires of guests. Ever-popular sites include St. Mary’s Basilica, Wawel Castle, and Market Square.
When the shoot is over, guests receive ten high-res digital photos.
14. Old Town: 2-Hour Private Tour with Local Historian
Krakow is a relatively easy city to explore on your own, but signing up for this two-hour private tour with a local historian would be a good way to learn things about the city’s culture and history that those on self-guided excursions may miss.
By immersing yourself in the historic streets and intriguing culture of Krakow, you’ll see things from a unique local perspective.
Tours include stops at Market Square, St. Mary’s Basilica, the Royal Castle, and Jagiellonian University.
Tours focus on the Old Town area and require moderate amounts of walking, so dress appropriately and wear comfy shoes.
15. 3 ½-Hour Home Cooking Experience
When visiting Krakow, eating like a Pole isn’t particularly difficult, but learning to cook like one definitely requires help from an experienced local.
After meeting their guide near the city center, guests will head to a local market, where they’ll meet locals, explore the vendor stalls, and choose the fresh ingredients they’ll use in class.
The 3 ½-hour tour is held in the home of a local family and includes aspects of culture, history, and music, as well as food.
Guests will learn to make pierogies—or fresh dumplings—one of the country’s most tasty and traditional dishes.
Tours are open to children older than six.