Is Krakow a family-friendly city?
Krakow is a kids-friendly city with many attractions including historical & fun and indoor & outdoor.
Planning a family vacation in Krakow but unsure if there’s enough to amuse all your children? Worry no more. It’s not Disneyland, but Krakow is full of diverse activities for kids big and small. We’ve picked out all the attractions children love. And plenty to entertain parents and keep them from tearing their hair out.
Historical points of interest (that won’t bore young ones)
A whirlwind tour of Krakow’s compelling history is a must. Medieval castles, subterranean adventures, and a fire-breathing dragon should excite kids too.
Emblematic Wawel Castle is an itinerary topper for adults that works for kids.
Visit the courtyard for free and see if it persuades your kids to go inside. The exhibitions might be a little dry for most children, although a military display and catacombs might stifle yawns.
Wawel Dragon (and Dragon’s Den)
Need to upsell Wawel Castle? Mention the fire-breathing dragon and the caves where the mythological beast once lived at the base of Wawel Hill. It immortalizes a local legend and exhales actual flames!
The fiery spectacle can be triggered by SMS. Good luck getting your phone back.
Caves and a man-eating monster. Can any kid (or adult) resist?
The Barbican might fire your children’s imagination more than the ornate Wawel Castle. An imposing medieval fortification and site of several sieges to deliver history lessons that won’t make kids fall asleep.
Rynek Główny, Europe’s largest medieval market square, buzzes with energy. Parents marvel at the historical architecture while kids explore nooks and crannies.
Sukiennice, the historic cloth hall dominating the square, functions as a landmark, museum, and shopping gallery. If your kids are itching to spend their holiday money, this might be the place to crack open the piggy bank.
St. Mary’s Basilica
Kraków’s majestic Mariacki cathedral is an iconic Gothic landmark overlooking the square. Time your visit for the hourly trumpet call. The buglers add a touch of excitement that might entice kids to visit a 14th-century church.
Rynek Underground Museum
Make time to visit the Rynek Underground Museum. Fog machines and holograms bring the middle ages to life in atmospheric caverns. An educational journey cunningly disguised as entertainment.
Kraków’s many museums are tailor-made for a jam-packed city break. There’s an absorbing exhibition for everyone, including several kid-friendly ones.
Museum of illusions
No need to trick kids into visiting the awesome-sounding Museum of Illusions. The mind-bending illusions and interactive displays are just as astonishing as the name suggests.
If bartering kid-friendly vs adult activities (see our guide on what to do in Krakow for more adult-friendly inspiration), this is the ultimate bribe. Just don’t let them know you’re equally excited to visit.
It’s another museum that sells itself to kids on the name alone. Although you might have to explain what a pinball machine is.
Tell them it was the Playstation of your day and watch young eyes light up slapping flippers and having 3-D retro fun. It’s the kind of fun that never gets old, unlike anecdotes recalling your halcyon days as a pinball wizard.
One more kid-friendly museum merits a mention. An obwarzanek is the Polish take on a bagel; moreish and sold throughout the city. Here you can join a class and make your own.
Outdoor activities for children in Krakow
If you want to tire your kids out, you could drag them around famous sights in the historic old town. But alternative kid-friendly activities offer fresh air and fresh perspectives on city life.
Is there a kid that won’t enjoy dangling in a basket above the city? The hot-air balloon (balon widokowy) offers stunning views for parents and a dizzying thrill ride for children.
Horse-drawn carriage ride
More sedate and (literally) down-to-earth is an old-fashioned horse-drawn carriage ride through the old city.
A city break favourite for romantics. But as you hire the whole carriage, why not take the family?
Sometimes children must burn off energy. You could take them to some of the best nature spots outside Kraków. But you can also head to the Kościuszko Mound Mound, a curious green elevation in the Podgórze district.
The mound is modelled on the mythical resting place of King Krakus in honor of the celebrated national hero, Tadeusz Kościuszko. It’s a brisk hike to the top, where the views are spectacular.
A decent park has saved many a bored family. The genteel Park Jordana has a boating pond, kid-friendly play areas, outdoor exercise machines, a couple of cafés, and all the fresh air you can handle.
Outside the city center
A couple of Kraków’s headliners lie outside the city. The Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum and Memorial is an essential stop for many visitors, but perhaps best visited with older children who can process the historical significance.
There are alternatives for young children.
Another winner for kids is the city zoo. It’s not the biggest but is filled with a good mix of well-cared-for animals. Home to 1500 species, it’s an inexpensive and rewarding diversion if you have animal lovers in tow.
Wieliczka Salt Mine
If you had to plump for one kid-friendly activity to light up your city break, head to the salt mines, an epic underground adventure for all age groups.
Saline pools, carved statues and an underground cathedral add to the atmosphere. A tiring (around 800 steps) but exhilarating option, ideal for carving family memories as long-lasting as the statues.
That’s it. Our final tip for kid-friendly fun on a city break in Krakow.
As you can see, there is something for every age group, including plenty of fun for adults. That should make it easy to sell a city break to all the family. You only need to decide which ones go on the itinerary. Time for pizza and a family meeting!