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Best Things To Do in Krakow

From shopping to sightseeing, Kraków has a wide range of daytime activities. However, the main draws of this European city are its historic attractions and its Old World architecture. History buffs will appreciate seeing the planes displayed at the Polish Aviation Museum and walking around World War II-affiliated locales like Oskar Schindler's Factory and the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum, while architecture enthusiasts will love gazing at Wawel Cathedral and St. Mary's Basilica. When you're in need of a break from sightseeing, people-watch at a cafe or grab a bite to eat in the Main Market Square. Then, check out the city's pulsing nightlife in the Old Town and Kazimierz neighborhoods.

How we rank Things to Do.

#1

#1 in Krakow

Free
A 42-mile trip west of Kraków, the brutal, crushing concentration and extermination camps of Auschwitz I and Auschwitz II-Birkenau are located in the city of Oswiecim. More than 1.1 million people died in these camps' barracks, hospitals, gas chambers and labor fields.
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Monuments and Memorials Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum
A 42-mile trip west of Kraków, the brutal, crushing concentration and extermination camps of Auschwitz I and Auschwitz II-Birkenau are located in the city of Oswiecim. More than 1.1 million people died in these camps' barracks, hospitals, gas chambers and labor fields.
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#2

#2 in Krakow

Free
The Main Market Square (or Rynek Glówny, as it's known locally) is the world's largest medieval market square and the highlight of any trip to Kraków. It is the geographic center of the Old Town, the symbolic center of the city and, more than likely, the center of most of your trip plans.
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Cafes Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
Main Market Square (Rynek Glówny)
The Main Market Square (or Rynek Glówny, as it's known locally) is the world's largest medieval market square and the highlight of any trip to Kraków. It is the geographic center of the Old Town, the symbolic center of the city and, more than likely, the center of most of your trip plans.
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#3

#3 in Krakow

Free
Sitting on the eastern corner of the Main Market Square, St. Mary's Basilica is a Gothic-style church that was originally built in the 13th century. It was destroyed by the Tatars and then rebuilt in the 14th century. It features two towers that have different styles, as well as different heights. But the basilica's highlight is a wooden altarpiece found on the wall near the visitor's entrance. It consists of a series of panels that depict biblical scenes such as the ascension of Jesus.
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Churches/Religious Sites Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
St. Mary's Basilica (Kosciól Mariacki)
Sitting on the eastern corner of the Main Market Square, St. Mary's Basilica is a Gothic-style church that was originally built in the 13th century. It was destroyed by the Tatars and then rebuilt in the 14th century. It features two towers that have different styles, as well as different heights. But the basilica's highlight is a wooden altarpiece found on the wall near the visitor's entrance. It consists of a series of panels that depict biblical scenes such as the ascension of Jesus.
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#4

#4 in Krakow

Free
Wawel Cathedral – situated in the Wawel Hill neighborhood – is one of Poland's most important places of worship. For centuries, this church hosted Saint Stanislaus, who advocated for Polish independence. He is buried in the church's burial chambers alongside an array of Polish monarchs and other famous Poles. It is hardly surprising, then, that this part of the site is one of its most popular to visit.
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Churches/Religious Sites Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
Wawel Cathedral
Wawel Cathedral – situated in the Wawel Hill neighborhood – is one of Poland's most important places of worship. For centuries, this church hosted Saint Stanislaus, who advocated for Polish independence. He is buried in the church's burial chambers alongside an array of Polish monarchs and other famous Poles. It is hardly surprising, then, that this part of the site is one of its most popular to visit.
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#5

#5 in Krakow

If you've seen the movie "Schindler's List," then you'll recognize Oskar Schindler's Factory. This former enamel factory, which fell into the hands of former Nazi sympathizer Oskar Schindler during World War II, once employed and imprisoned approximately 1,200 Jews. As the Nazis began sending Jews to labor camps around Poland, Schindler, in an effort to keep his workforce, obtained permission to turn an adjacent plot of land into a sub-camp of the Plaszów labor camp, where conditions were less harsh. Schindler eventually moved his factory to Brünnlitz, a village in the Czech Republic, but the former site has since reopened as a museum.
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Museums Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
Oskar Schindler's Factory
If you've seen the movie "Schindler's List," then you'll recognize Oskar Schindler's Factory. This former enamel factory, which fell into the hands of former Nazi sympathizer Oskar Schindler during World War II, once employed and imprisoned approximately 1,200 Jews. As the Nazis began sending Jews to labor camps around Poland, Schindler, in an effort to keep his workforce, obtained permission to turn an adjacent plot of land into a sub-camp of the Plaszów labor camp, where conditions were less harsh. Schindler eventually moved his factory to Brünnlitz, a village in the Czech Republic, but the former site has since reopened as a museum.
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#6

#6 in Krakow

The "Wieliczka" Salt Mine, a UNESCO World Heritage site, stopped churning out salt in 2007 after centuries of production, but it continues to be a major draw for visitors due to its collection of meticulously carved statues.
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Sightseeing Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
The "Wieliczka" Salt Mine, a UNESCO World Heritage site, stopped churning out salt in 2007 after centuries of production, but it continues to be a major draw for visitors due to its collection of meticulously carved statues.
... more

#7

#7 in Krakow

Located less than 3 miles northeast of the city center, the Polish Aviation Museum appeals to aviation enthusiasts. Spread across the Rakowice-Czyzny airfield, one of Europe's oldest landing strips for military aircraft, the museum features airplanes, helicopters and more, including a Russian Grigorovich M-15 from World War I and the world's only surviving airplane by German designer Dr. Waldemar Geest. A collection with various aircraft engines is also available in one of the airstrip's hangars.
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Museums Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
Polish Aviation Museum
Located less than 3 miles northeast of the city center, the Polish Aviation Museum appeals to aviation enthusiasts. Spread across the Rakowice-Czyzny airfield, one of Europe's oldest landing strips for military aircraft, the museum features airplanes, helicopters and more, including a Russian Grigorovich M-15 from World War I and the world's only surviving airplane by German designer Dr. Waldemar Geest. A collection with various aircraft engines is also available in one of the airstrip's hangars.
... more
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