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Is Krakow good for a city break?

Pop ‘best city break’ into Google, and one name repeatedly leaps off the page: Krakow. No surprise to those who have visited. Chock-full of compelling sights and vibrant cultural adventures, Poland’s second city has something for everyone; families, couples, and solo adventurers.  You don’t have to take our word for it. Which UK rated Krakow […]

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Is Krakow good for a city break

Pop ‘best city break’ into Google, and one name repeatedly leaps off the page: Krakow. No surprise to those who have visited. Chock-full of compelling sights and vibrant cultural adventures, Poland’s second city has something for everyone; families, couples, and solo adventurers. 

You don’t have to take our word for it. Which UK rated Krakow the ultimate city break for 3 consecutive years. Surveying 5,000 travellers across numerous criteria, it’s like distilling all the online reviews, without the hot takes and guerrilla marketing. 

Krakow’s incredible history

Stroll around the old town of Krakow, and you see the threads of history woven into the cityscape.  

The historic centre dates back to the 13th century- Krakow Rynek Główny a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Since then, the former capital has played an outsized role in Polish history, shaped by competing empires, international trade, and its enduring role as a national centre of arts and culture. 

Start at the emblematic Barbican and immerse yourself in centuries of epochal events on a journey that sweeps through many monuments and museums.

Sights like Europe’s largest medieval market square (Rynek Główny), the soaring Wawel Castle where the eponymous Prince Krak lived, or the 14th-century Jagiellonian University.  

Goodtime Monty Krakow Private Tours - selection of history, culture and foodie tours

Outside the city lies the exhilarating Wieliczka Salt Mine. And one of Europe’s most significant and moving memorials, the Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum.

The past is wonderfully conserved and respected throughout the city. To discover more about the city’s extraordinary heritage, check out our Top 10 historical places in Krakow.

Krakow’s sparkling cultural backdrop

Kraków’s bright and welcoming culture is a big reason why discerning travellers keep returning, even after seeing all the sights.Poland’s centre of arts and culture, Kraków was named a European capital of culture in 2000. The cultural climate has continued to flourish in the 21st century.

The former royal capital might not match the scale of Paris or London. Yet dozens of museums, a festival seemingly every month, renowned theatres and a world-class opera mean there is zero chance of getting bored, whatever your interests. And that’s before hitting the fabled jazz clubs, bars, and music venues that light up Krakow’s after-dark milieu. 

Gastronomy is thriving in Krakow

Hearty Krakow cuisine is just part of a diverse culinary scene. Sure, you can never get enough moreish pierogi. And you can readily satisfy cravings for Polish classics like borsch or bigos

You also won’t have to search hard for local specialities like the near-iconic Zapiekanka, a communist-era baguette pizza topped with everything from sausages, cheese and an extra portion of calories. 

But, like any modern city, Krakow’s laidback neighbourhoods brim with innovative restaurants and international joints. 

And while the established breweries — Zywiec, Lech and Tyskie — still rule the roost in much of Poland, microbreweries and craft beer tap houses are shaking up the old order in Kraków. Best of all, you’ll still get change out of €4 for a pint (½ litre) of beer. 

This leads us to one final reason Krakow stands out from all those other ‘best city breaks’ that popped up on Google. 

Krakow is incredible value for a city break

Krakow checks all the boxes for an absorbing city break. But it has one more ace in its pocket; everything is pleasingly inexpensive. 

The world of travel has been upended by spiraling inflation. Yet Krakow started from a better place than most city break destinations. 

Even in 2022, the average hotel room in Krakow was under €75. That means you can upgrade to 5-star hotels like Unicus Palace or Bonerowski Palace (or any other ‘palace’) for the same price as an average 3-star in Paris; or just about anywhere west of the Vistula. 

Layer on inexpensive public transport and restaurants; you’re all set to enjoy an extravagant city break that doesn’t cost a king’s ransom. 

What to see and do in Krakow

Does Krakow qualify as a good city break? It’s got to be a resounding yes. And then some. You don’t keep earning the top accolade from travellers and experts without offering something remarkable. 

If you’ve already booked your flight and palace to stay in and need help building your Krakow city break itinerary, pop over to our guide on what to do in Krakow, which dives even deeper into the city’s inimitable charms. 

Or use the links above to explore our many insightful guides helping visitors get the most out of a city break in Krakow. A city break that time and again is ranked amongst the best in Europe.