A Weekend in Krakow: The dealchecker Guide

If you are looking to book Europe’s official best city break you’ve come to the right place! We’ve put together a guide to a long weekend in the city with a look at food, drink, transport and attractions. This is a weekend in Krakow!

Saturday

12pm – Land in Krakow
Where Europe’s best city break is concerned, it’s a good idea to get in early – this way you have more time to make the most of the city.

1pm – Arrive in Krakow Town Centre
You should only need an hour or so to get from the airport to Krakow Glowny. You can buy tickets on the train and they’re only about 70p! Drop your bags off at your accommodation, then head back out! It’s time to explore.

 

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2pm – Wawel Castle
Head up the hill to Wawel Castle. Once a royal residence, the castle is now a museum dedicated to the history of the Polish royalty and offers a look at the impressive state rooms. If you fancy saving money and prefer not to go inside, you can just take a walk around the grounds and admire the views of the city from above.

3pm – Old Town Centre
By now you must be gasping for a drink! There are plenty of places to find a perch no matter the time of year. In summer, sit out on the square and soak up the sun, but if you are visiting in winter, you can stay warm and sit outside. Most bars offer patio heaters and blankets, so you won’t get chilly! You can find a pint for just over a pound, and a whole stein will set you back just £3 – not bad for two pints of beer!

4pm – St. Mary’s Basilica
Wherever in the square you decide to grab a drink you won’t be more than a few steps from St Mary’s Basilica. A symbol of the city, the basilica dominates the square and it’s from the tower that you’ll hear the hourly bugle call. Step inside the doors to reveal ornate interiors, decorated with vibrant mosaics and murals! You enter the basilica for free for worship, but if you want a closer look you can buy a ticket to head up to the towers!

6pm – Head back to your accommodation
We could fill the entire schedule with things to do. But that’s just not realistic. Make sure you take some time to rest and freshen up before heading out for the night.

 

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8pm – Dinner time
You’ll never be short of places to eat in Krakow, but when in Poland, you should eat as the Polish do! Be sure to visit a Polish restaurant and try some of the nation’s fare. We visited Dobra on the main square, here you can try traditional groats, meatballs, stews and pierogi AKA Polish dumplings. We went for some millet pancakes and also tried the duck, a regular feature on every Polish menu. The meal came in at less than £40, and that included a bottle of wine and two courses each. Not too shabby at all!

10pm – Mercy Brown
Known as one of the best cocktail bars in Krakow, Mercy Brown is a pseudo-speakeasy that allows you to step back in time to the prohibition period and enjoy tasty elixirs served up by dapper mixologists. But finding the best bar in Krakow was never going to be easy, looking for this place is where the fun begins! Just like the original speakeasies, Mercy Brown is very inconspicuous. Head to Smakolyki restaurant, give the cloakroom attendant a knowing smile and head down the narrow – very empty looking – corridor. You’ll think you’ve gone wrong, but don’t give up. This will lead to another corridor and a winding staircase, go up the stairs and through the door where the music is coming from. You have reached your destination.

 

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Sunday

8am – Breakfast
We saved money by hitting the local supermarkets and buying some bread, ham and cheese for our breakfast. But if that’s not your thing, you can enjoy croissants, fruit or even a yogurt from the local shops.

10am – Walk to the station
After enjoying your morning coffee and making yourself breakfast, it’s time to head to the salt mines. The best and most cost-effective way to get there is to hop on the train. Walk over to Glowny train station and pop to the ticket office. Ask for a ticket to the Wieliczka Salt Mines and they will print a one-way train ticket. You’ll have to purchase your return fare on the way back.

11am – Wieliczka Salt Mines
The train journey takes about 45 minutes, then you have to walk about 400 metres to the gates of the salt mine. If you don’t fancy waiting over an hour in line just to purchase tickets, you can go online and buy skip-the-line advance tickets. This way all you have to wait for is the next available spot in the tour. Tours are available in many languages and there’s about 45 minutes between each tour per language, so you may encounter a little wait either way.

 

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12pm – Grab some lunch
Thankfully you don’t have to hang around while waiting for a tour, you can go out of the complex and grab a bite to eat. We went over the road to a restaurant and had some soup!

1pm – Time for your tour
Keep in mind that the tours can last around three hours, so prepare yourself for lots of walking. You’ll enter the mines and descend 380 stairs to 131 metres below ground level – and that’s just the beginning! During your tour you will see 20 of the chambers once used for mining salt, but that is a fraction of the whole thing, just 1% to be specific! In fact, it’s so large that if you were to stretch the chambers and walkways in a straight line, it would cover the distance between Krakow and Warsaw! To find out more you’ll have to visit yourself. Following your visit, catch the train back to the city and you’ll be back in time for dinner.

7pm – Dinner time
Following plenty of walking and a good rest and refresh at your accommodation you’ll surely be deserving of a good hearty meal! A fabulous spot for this is La Grande Mamma, a beautiful Italian restaurant tucked into the traditional architecture of the main square. While the interiors of this restaurant are worth a visit anyway, the wine and food will make you want to come back for more. Treat yourself to a glass of red and the steak – you won’t regret it!

 

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9pm – Wodka Bar
If you can, try to reserve your visit to the Wodka Bar for Sunday, it will be less busy and you’ll find a perch more easily. If the bar is still buzzing when you arrive, order yourself a tipple from the plethora of vodkas on offer while you wait, by then some space might clear up. We recommend the salted caramel vodka, and the mint!

Monday

8am – Wakey, Wakey
This will be your final day, so your itinerary will depend on how much time you have left to explore. Again, we ate breakfast in, but if you fancy pushing the boat out and have some time to kill, there are plenty of spots to grab some eggs!

10am – Shop ‘til you drop
Now is your time to pick up some souvenirs to remember your trip by, there are some great shops in Galeria Krakowska, and you’ll find some lovely trinkets in the side streets off the Old Town Square.


12pm – Jewish Quarter
Situated between Wawel Castle and the Vistula River is Kazimierz, the Jewish Quarter. During World War II the district was torn apart, but today the rediscovery of the quirky part of Krakow has created a bustling atmosphere filled with charming cafes, bohemian bars and plenty of historic sites. Its popularity is partly due to Spielberg’s cinematic blockbuster Schindler’s List. Many believe that the quarter is one of the most accurate depictions of Jewish culture pre-WWII. So why not check it out for yourself?

After spending some of the last moments of your trip in one of the coolest parts of the city it’s time to say goodbye.

Side Note: If you are heading to Krakow in order to visit Auschwitz, we would suggest adding another day, as this will likely take up a whole day when travel times are taken into account. Alternatively, swapping out the salt mines for Auschwitz is another itinerary that can be explored. On this occasion we made a guide to the city.

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About Polly
Polly

At dealchecker, Polly is writing up the fabulous deals that get sent out to our subscribers and checking that you are getting the best bang for your buck. When she's not writing about travel, she's out doing it - whether its somewhere different in the UK, or jetting off somewhere a little further!

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