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Best hidden gems in Krakow.

Discover hidden gems in Krakow – 9 magical places of interest that tourists don鈥檛 know about.

5 minutes

With so much going on in Krakow, you might overlook quirky and offbeat destinations. Yet you don’t have to stray far from beaten paths to find a fascinating medley of hidden gems in Krakow that reveal more about the city.

Complementing our guide to hidden foodie gems in Krakow, we switch our focus to places of interest. On our radar are covert landmarks evading tourist radars and hidden places that add splashes of color to the Krakow experience.

Family in Krakow in autumn in pretty leafy street reading a Goodtime Monty map

Hidden Krakow – Things to See and Do

Wojtek The Bear Soldier

A bear soldier sounds unmissable. However, Wojtek, the ursine warrior enlisted into the Polish Army, is long gone. In his honor stands a statue in Jordan Park.

Made a private to circumvent an unsurprising rule that bears are unwelcome on the front line, Wojtek’s tale sounds too crazy, even for Disney. More lover than fighter, the furry mascot smoked, cracked beers, and cuddled up with his fellow troops.

Memorials to the larger-than-life bear left are found from London to Italy. And this hidden gem in Krakow is worth a detour to remember a bear that took YOLO to heart.

Wojtek the bear soldier statue: Henryk Jordan Park, al. 3 Maja 11

Stained Glass Museum

After marveling at modern and vintage stained-glass windows in St. Mary’s Basilica, you can see how it’s done at the Stained Glass Museum and workshop.

Guided tours offer insights into the methods and inspiration of feted artists. The hands-on workshops lift the muti-chromatic fun up several notches as you craft a souvenir unlike any other.

Stained Glass Museum: Aleja Zygmunta Krasi艅skiego 23, 31-111

Krakow Ghetto Wall Fragments

The scars of World War II and The Holocaust run deep in Krakow, and the symbolism of the Krakow Ghetto walls is poignant.

All that remains are fragments of a wall that confined thousands of Jews within the Krakow Ghetto in Podg贸rze, many later deported to extermination camps.

There are only a few hidden places in Krakow to see them. The most visible section, marked by a commemoration plaque, is at 22 Lwowska, Podg贸rze.

Abandoned Rail Yard

We promised quirky hidden gems in Krakow, and we give you an eerie abandoned train yard.

Technically still on the beaten track, this curiosity is one for trainspotters and travelers with a yen for the bizarre. Surreal doesn’t do justice to the assortment of rusting locomotives and carelessly abandoned machinery. The kind of place a Scooby Doo villain would call home.  

Abandoned train yard: Near P艂asz贸w train station

Former Gestapo HQ / Pomorska Museum

The former Gestapo HQ might have started out as one of the most hidden places in Krakow, yet it quickly became one of its most notorious. A museum is now hosted behind the chillingly inconspicuous fa莽ade.

Inside is sobering, with cells and personal horror stories revealed. It won鈥檛 take long to visit, but the exhibits and the palpable history lessons leave a lasting impression.

Pomorska Museum: Pomorska 2, 33-332

Mordechai Gebirtig Memorial

Mordechai Gebirtig was a celebrated poet and songwriter of Kazimierz. Acclaimed for moving songs like “S’brent” (It is Burning), a reaction to the Przytyk Pogrom, he was a Jewish voice that spoke for his community during dangerous times.

In 1942 he was shot dead during a Nazi massacre in the Krakow Ghetto. His songs were never forgotten. Today, fans pay respect at his old home, home to a project showcasing his songs and poems.

Mordechai Gebirtig Memorial: 5 Berek Joselewicz Street (Kazimierz)

Arka Pana church

St. Mary’s Basilica is a show-stealer but hardly a hidden gem in Krakow. The Arka Pana church fits the bill better despite being completed in 1977 (yesterday in European church years). 

But aside from the novel Noah’s Ark design and an uplifting origin story, the religious curios inside upsell this detour. They include a controversial depiction of Christ, a moon rock, and a statue named “Our Lady the Armored,” made with shrapnel removed from Polish soldiers at the Battle of Monte Cassino. In short, it’s not your everyday church.

Arka Pana church: Obro艅c贸w Krzy偶a 1, 31-831

Schindler List Movie Set

Steven Spielberg’s 1993 masterpiece, Schindler’s List, gave the story of Oskar Schindler the global audience it deserved. Authentic movie locations include some leading things to do in Krakow, like the real-life Enamel Factory and Auschwitz-Birkenau.

But more determined explorers can see several buildings from the movie, notably Schinder’s plush apartment and Pilsudski Bridge. A model of the Plasz贸w labor camp was carefully reconstructed near the Krakus Mound, close to the original camp location. Thread the points together for an engaging path through history.

Auschwitz-Birkenau
Auschwitz-Birkenau gate.

Krakus mound

An ancient tumulus steeped in myth, the Krakus Mound rises above the skyline and affords spectacular citybound views. There are less conspicuous hidden gems in Krakow, yet this one 鈥 3 km (2 mi) from the city center 鈥 still flies below the radar.

Underfoot might be the tomb of King Krakus, dragon slayer and legendary founder of Krakow. Archeologists disagree, but they agree artifacts date the mound back to at least the 9th century.

The views are bracing, as is the walk up Lasota Hill to the Krakus Mound. If the views set your pulse racing, there are four other Krakow mounds to conquer.

Krakus mound: Lasota Hill, Podg贸rze

Krakus Mound Krak贸w
Beloved by Krakowians the Krakus Mound.

Find time for Krakow’s hidden gems

We imagine a few highlights on our list of hidden gems in Krakow caught your attention. It’s a tantalizing historical and cultural cocktail to quench any thirst for the offbeat and original. 

Sidestepping to hidden places around the city might present a challenge for weekend travelers. Our guide on how many days to spend in Krakow can help. With world-class attractions and hidden gems to swell any travel itinerary, you can tailor a vacation that satisfies all your travel instincts.