If you’re visiting Krakow for the weekend or just a few days, we highly recommend spending a day exploring everything Krakow Old Town has to offer. There’s plenty to keep you busy all day long.
We recommend a walk through the old town, but if you prefer a whistle-stop tour, rent an electric scooter!
We’ve plotted these locations on Google Maps so you can easily walk from one to the next without getting lost!
Things to do in Krakow Old Town Market Square
The Market Square is a great starting point for a tour of Krakow’s Old Town. This impressive square is home to some of Krakow’s most popular attractions and is a great starting point.
#1. St Mary’s Basilica
As you pass this stunning Gothic church, you’ll definitely have to take a photo or two. Looking back at photos of Krakow, I found about 50 of his photos of St. Mary’s Cathedral!
This amazing 80 meter high church was built in the 14th century and is open to visitors from 11:30am to 6pm every day. You can go inside and take a tour or simply admire this beauty from a distance.
#2. Cloth Hall
The Textile Hall is located in the heart of the market square and was once a center of international trade. This wonderful building, dating back to the Renaissance era, was a major hub during the time when Krakow was the capital of Poland and one of the largest cities in Europe.
On the upper floor of the hall is a museum exhibiting Polish paintings and sculptures. The above-ground part still operates as a market and is an incredibly grand and impressive place selling souvenirs for tourists. Below the Cloth Hall is the Rynek Underground Museum, a multimedia experience showcasing recently excavated medieval merchant stalls.
#3. St Adalbert’s Church
This small church is completely hidden in the shadow of the wonderful Basilica of St. Mary on the main market square, but you can’t pass it without being careful!
St. Adalbert’s Church was built in the 11th century and is one of the oldest stone churches in Poland. It was built before the rest of the square, which is why it looks a little out of place in such a grand space!
#4. Adam Mickiewicz Monument
This beautiful bronze monument on Market Square was completed in 1898 and features Adam Mickiewicz, considered Poland’s greatest Romantic poet. At the poet’s feet are four figures who symbolize the motherland, science, courage, and poetry.
#5. Town Hall Tower
the Town Hall Clock Tower is the last remaining element of the city’s original Town Hall. The tower with a height of 70 meters was built in the 14th century. If you think it’s a little tilted, you’re right! After the storm of 1703, it tilted 55 cm.
There is an observation deck at the top of the tower, which is also open to tourists. You can learn more about the tower and get great views from the top (though the balcony is closed, so you’ll only be able to see through a small window). Like other clock tower observation decks, the stairs to the top are very narrow and difficult to pass when crowded.
#6. The Head
At the bottom of the Town Hall tower, you’ll notice an amazing monumental head called Eros Bendato (Bound of Eros). This is the most famous monument in the city and a popular meeting point, so you’ll notice there are a lot of people waiting around it. It is the work of Polish artist Igor Mitraj, who donated his sculpture to the city, but its placement in the market square was controversial.
We will now leave the market square and start exploring the side streets….
#7. Jagiellonian University Professors’ Garden
This is one of the most overlooked activities in Krakow. It’s easy to miss the Professor’s Garden, but keep an eye out for the archway in the wall that leads into this unexpected little park. The Jagiellonian University Professor’s Garden opened to the public in 2010 as a memorial to his 183 Jewish professors arrested during the war. Many of these people lost their lives, taking with them much knowledge and culture that should be passed on to future generations.
It was once an orchard and vegetable garden for university professors, and is now a fraction of its former size.
#8. Collegium Maius
next to the Professor’s Garden is the Collegium Maius, Jagiellonian University’s oldest building, built in the 14th century. Stop by and take a look, or go to the cafe in the courtyard. You can enter for a small fee (in my case 15,00zl in 2021) and have a look around some of the great rooms inside.
When I visited (November 2021), it was under renovation and most of the courtyard was covered with scaffolding. It was still beautiful and had this gorgeous, quiet, academic feel to it!
#9. St Anne’s Church
This Roman Catholic church on Annie Street. The original church dates back to his 14th century, but was destroyed by fire. It was rebuilt and is now one of the leading examples of Polish Baroque architecture. The inside is also beautiful, so it’s worth a look!
#10. MOS Building
The Molopolska Art Garden is a modern addition to the city, built in 2005. It is a multifunctional space designed to display and celebrate contemporary art, including a theater, library, concert hall, and exhibitions. You won’t want to miss this wonderful building, which stands in stark contrast to the traditional buildings around it.
#11. St Florian’s Gate
This gorgeous Gothic tower is part of the city’s fortifications and is a very impressive entrance to the old town!
#12. Clocks in the Holy Spirit Square
These clocks are a recent addition to Holy Spirit Square and show the time in other cities on the UNESCO list. The clock tells the history of the square, as it was once a bus stop.
#13. Juliusz Slowacki Theatre
As you watch the clock, take note of the amazing theater next door. This theater is named after the famous Polish poet and playwright. They are often open so you can take a peek inside!
#14. Bielak’s Passageway
A visit to this secret spot on Stralska Street will take you right back to the main square. This passageway is home to some quirky bars and cool street art, so it’s definitely worth a visit!
#15. St Peter and Paul Church
This luxurious church on Grodzka Street is believed to be the first building built in Baroque style in Poland. It was incredibly impressive and the busy street outside was full of street vendors and musicians, so it was a lovely place to stand and admire it.
#16. Wawel Castle
Wawel Castle really amazed me. She had only planned to walk ten minutes to the castle, but she could have spent hours here. If you like history and castles, you can also plan to spend half a day here. Unlike many castles, it is beautifully kept in perfect condition and has a lot to offer. There are exhibitions, museums, cathedrals, etc.
Visiting the castle is definitely one of the best things to do in Krakow, so make sure you leave plenty of time to explore.
#17. The Dragon
The Dragon of Wawel Hill stands on the banks of the Vistula River at the foot of Wawel Castle, and the legend of this dragon is passed down to children throughout Poland.
The dragon is said to live beneath the castle and wreak havoc by eating the local population. The king promised that whoever killed the dragon would marry his daughter and take the throne.
Many strong and brave men tried to kill the dragon but were sadly defeated and the dragon grew stronger as it swallowed them all.
One day, a poor shoemaker had an idea…
He filled the sheep carcass with hay and sulfur and fed it to the dragon. The greedy dragon quickly ate it up, and the sulfur made him so thirsty that he ran to the river to drink water. He drinks and drinks and drinks and…BOOM! He exploded because of the sulfur!
The king kept his promise and the poor shoemaker married his daughter.
This famous dragon statue now stands at the foot of the castle and has become the symbol of the city. If you’re lucky, you might even see a dragon breathing fire!
If you’re visiting Krakow with kids, seeing the dragon statue is great!
#18. Planty Park
Parc de Planty is a circular park that surrounds the entire old town. I’m really happy to have such beautiful nature in the middle of the city. You may not need to go out of your way to visit Planty Park, but you’re sure to come across some of it as you explore everything Krakow’s Old Town has to offer.
If you decide to rent an electric scooter, this is the perfect place to get the hang of it. If you’re a runner, this would be a great place for an early morning run.
There is a smooth path in the center of the park, lined with benches on both sides.
Things to do in Krakow Old Town: Cafes and Restaurants
Being in Krakow’s Old Town is not just about walking, strolling, and sightseeing. The city is full of cozy and stylish cafes and restaurants where you can refuel in between sightseeing trips.
We highly recommend adding these cafes and restaurants to your Google Maps plan so you can always find a great place to recharge!
Some of these cafes are located just outside the old town. I prefer small, independent cafes that aren’t housed in expensive central buildings.
#19. Camelot Cafe
Camelot Cafe, swietego Tomasza 17, 31-022 Krakow
Camelot Café should definitely be on your list of things to do in Krakow. This cozy cafe is famous for its breakfast and desserts. There are plenty of vegan menus, and the exterior of the cafe is popular with Instagrammers!
#20. Cafe Lisboa
Dolnić Mrynów 3/4, 31-124 Krakow
Eating Portuguese food in Poland may not be traditional, but Café Lisboa’s Pastis de Nata is not to be missed.
#21. Body Espresso Bar
Dolnić Mrynów 3/1, 31-124 Krakow
Great coffee, great cakes. What more do you need?
#22. Karma Coffee
This local roastery serves great coffee in a cool, hip environment. Don’t expect smiles, but do expect a great drink!
There are two stores in the city, one in the Jewish Quarter and one just outside the Old City.
Krupnicza 7, 31-123 Krakow
This is also just outside the old town and is a great place for coffee, brunch, lunch and cake in a simple yet stylish setting. Yes, drinking good coffee and eating sweet treats is one of the best things to do in Krakow!
#24. Mural Street Food
Krupnica 24, 31-123 Krakow
This street food park has six food trucks offering a variety of delicious treats. At night, it is brilliantly lit up, creating a wonderful atmosphere.
#25. Pierogarnia Domowa
Szpitalna 3, 33-332 Krakow
A simple but lovely restaurant, a great place to enjoy traditional handmade Polish dumplings. If it’s your first time to a traditional Polish restaurant, this is the place to go, as the friendly staff will help you decipher the menu. You can choose between sweet or salty dumplings, or choose from a variety of flavor combinations!
If you want to know more about prices in Krakow, check out my blog post to see how much I spent.
If you’re looking to visit another city in Poland, why not Warsaw? You can read my post about the festival weekend in Warsaw here.