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10 Things to Do in Krakow in November

Are you afraid that November will be too cold in Krakow? Don't worry because during this month there are many cultural and musical activities that will warm you up.

Ana Caballero

Ana Caballero

10 min read

10 Things to Do in Krakow in November

Krakow under the Snow | ©Serge Zykov

Are you organizing a trip to Krakow for November? I have very good news, although the weather is not always good, this is a month in which, in addition to the things to do on any trip to Krakow, there are many cultural events, such as music and film festivals, but also many other traditional celebrations. In the penultimate month of the year the Polish city has a lot of life. Discover it!

1. Skiing on the slopes of Zakopane

Zakopane Sky Slope| ©Sende
Zakopane Sky Slope| ©Sende

Do you want to combine the most touristic part of Krakow with a more sporty one? In November the ski slopes start to open, and in particular those in Zakopane are about two hours away from the city. Also, you don't need to travel with all your ski equipment and the prices are low compared to other cities, so for about 40€ you can have access to the slopes and ski clothes.

If you are more of a snowboarder than a skier, the slopes of Zakopane will also welcome you. In general, it is an area more than suitable for winter sports, but in particular I recommend the Białka tatrzańsk resort, which also opens until almost 22h. Perfect for a last spectacular night descent!

And if you like the mountains and nature, but not for snow sports, I recommend a day trip to Zakopane from Krakow. You will discover this beautiful city, capital of winter tourism in Poland, you will enjoy incredible snowy landscapes and you can take a cable car ride to Mount Gubalowka to admire the Tatras mountain range. The icing on the cake? A visit to the Bukowina thermal baths to relax and take shelter from the November cold - great!

Book an excursion to Zakopane and thermal pool

2. Visit a cemetery on All Saints' Day

Cemetery on All Saints' Day| ©DescubrePolonia
Cemetery on All Saints' Day| ©DescubrePolonia

All Saints' Day (November 1) is very important and traditional for Poles, who use this day to visit and fill cemeteries with candles and flowers. It is a somewhat mournful celebration, but equally beautiful, so keep it in mind if you visit any cemetery to contemplate this festivity.

Flowers, candles and traditions on All Saints' Day

Poland is a country with deep-rooted Christian traditions, so the most common thing is to bury people underground and with tombstones. That is why during All Saints' Day you will find the cemeteries more crowded and decorated than ever, with thousands of "znicze" candles. In fact, families go to great lengths to create original candles and floral decorations.

Night visit to the cemetery

As you can imagine, the thousands of lit candles create a beautiful scene when night falls - never has a cemetery been less scary!

If you feel like it and get ready for the cold (November nights in Krakow are close to 0ºC), you can take a night tour of one of the city's cemeteries, such as Rakowicki, which is one of the best known for housing the graves of great personalities of Polish culture.

It is also a good day to learn first hand the mysteries of the city by hiring a ghost tour of Krakow, a walking tour of the city with which you will learn the mysteries and legends that hide its streets.

Book a ghost tour of Krakow

3. Take shelter from the cold and rain on a visit to the Mines

During the visit you will learn how salt was extracted throughout history.| ©Aleksandr Zykov
During the visit you will learn how salt was extracted throughout history.| ©Aleksandr Zykov

If you are going to Krakow in November, you should know that it is likely to be rainy and cold on some of the days of your trip. At those times, my advice is to take a full day trip to the Wieliczka Mines, which, being subway, are protected from inclement weather.

The mines are full of passages, galleries, monuments and secrets that you will not fully understand if there is not someone specialized explaining them to you. In addition, you will also have included transportation to and from the city, much more comfortable.

Going down these mines is to enter a hidden but very valuable world, since salt has been extracted from them for years and also has important works of art in the form of chapels and liturgical decorations (many of them made with salt).

Book your excursion to the Wieliczka Mines

4. Celebrate the Polish National Independence Day

Independence Day Celebration| ©Piotr Drabik
Independence Day Celebration| ©Piotr Drabik

How much do you know about the history of Poland? You may be familiar with the fact that on November 11, 1918 Poland gained its independence after hundreds of years of its territory being divided and its people punished for their culture or language. If your trip to Krakow coincides with this celebration, pack something red and white, the colors of the flag, and join one of the marches that are organized during that day.

Taking advantage of the fact that November 11 is a day to bring out the Polish spirit, I recommend going to a typical restaurant in Krakow, where the dish of the day is probably goose with apples and herbs, very traditional on this date, and for dessert croissant filled with almonds, raisins, walnuts and orange.

Another plan more than appropriate for the date could be to take a guided tour of Krakow, where you will learn about the main monuments and the rich history of one of the most important cities in Poland with an expert guide.

Book a guided tour of Krakow

5. Guess your future on St. Andrew's Day

Reading the Letters| ©DescubrePolonia
Reading the Letters| ©DescubrePolonia

On the night of November 29-30, magic (and a bit of witchcraft) fills the streets of Krakow. Why? Because it is St. Andrew's Day, when Poles perform a ritual with wax and water to make omens and omens. The culture of this country has many such traditions, as they rely on the power of predictions.

Although St. Andrew's Day is on November 30, it is the night before, the 29th, when the omens must be made. There are different ways to try to predict the future, but the most common is by pouring hot wax through the keyhole into a container with cold water, so that a wax figure is created.

This is another exceptional day to take a ghost tour of Krakow and learn about all the stories and legends that this magical city holds.

Book a Krakow Ghost Tour

6. Stroll through Krakow to the rhythm of Autumn Jazz Festival

Autumn Jazz Festival| ©Dave Rempis
Autumn Jazz Festival| ©Dave Rempis

In Krakow jazz is very popular, so twice a year, once in November, a festival of this style of music is organized. It is a great opportunity to appreciate the improvised art that makes this music so unique.

Still in autumn, the Autumn Jazz Festival in November brings together musicians from all over the world, as it has an international character, and in particular it is held in Kazimierz, the Jewish quarter of Krakow.

If enthusiasm for music runs through your veins, be sure to attend a Chopin concert in Krakow. They are held at the Chopin Gallery in the Bonerowski Palace and include the famous Polish musician's best-known nocturnes, mazurkas and polonaises.

Book tickets for a Chopin concert

7. Kick off Christmas with the opening of the Krakow Christmas market

Visiting Krakow's Christmas Markets| ©victoriauy
Visiting Krakow's Christmas Markets| ©victoriauy

I know, in November I also start to get into the Christmas spirit. The good thing is that in Krakow the big Christmas market opens its doors the last week of November, so you will have no reason to take a walk around it, now that it is less crowded, and do some first shopping.

Krakow is a beautiful city and when Christmas starts to arrive, it becomes even more magical; something that if you go to Krakow with children you will especially enjoy. This is something you will feel as soon as the Christmas market opens, where there are many stalls with handmade decorations and gifts, traditional food and drinks to warm up.

The market is located in the central Krakow Market Square, so you will find it hard to resist going through it. My advice is also to take the opportunity to do so; Krakow at Christmas is usually full of tourists, especially in December, so November is the ideal time to start the holiday season without the crowds.

8. Warm up with a nice warm beer or a vodka

Beer Tasting| ©ELEVATE
Beer Tasting| ©ELEVATE

Don't get your hands around your head, but there is one drink that is very typical of winter in Krakow and that is warm beer. It may seem like something you don't want to try at first, but when you're having a cold November evening in Krakow, you'll appreciate going to a bar and having a glass of warm beer.

If you go to Krakow in November you will see how with the first days of cold weather in the city the bars start serving warm beer. Don't think that to make it they only put it in the microwave, because the Grzane Piwo, as it is called in Polish, also has ginger, cinnamon, cloves and other spices. In short, a delicious cocktail that will warm you up quickly. Be careful, drink it slowly to savor it and so that it doesn't go to your head too quickly.

Vodka is also an excellent option to warm you up (but always in moderation) and I can't think of a better plan than booking a vodka tour through the Jewish quarter of Kazimierz where you will taste four varieties of this spirit and learn about the history of the quarter. Two for one!

Book a vodka tour in Krakow

9. Discover the most alternative Poland at the Audio Art Festival

Participate in the Audio Art Festival| ©KrakowWiki
Participate in the Audio Art Festival| ©KrakowWiki

Krakow may seem a bit traditional to you when you arrive, with its low houses and cobblestone streets, but it also has a very alternative and avant-garde side. If you don't believe me, you have to go to the Audio Art Festival, which every November fills the city with postmodernist, experimental and multidisciplinary art.

The Krakow Audio Art Festival welcomes every November artists from all over the world who want to exhibit their creations, which usually mix visual art with sounds. What can you expect? Installations, concerts and shows in which artists create sound on the spot thanks to technology, becoming composer and performer at the same time.

Most of the events take place in concert halls and cinemas in the city, and admission to some of them is free, so take this opportunity to get to know the hipster side of Krakow.

10. Discover a different kind of cinema at the International Film Festival Etiuda&Anima.

International Film Festival Etiuda&Anima| ©Nora
International Film Festival Etiuda&Anima| ©Nora

Do you like art? Then you're in luck if you're going to Krakow in November, because during the last days of the month the Etiuda&Anima film festival is held, which gives visibility to the cinematographic creations of students, independent producers and artists from all over the world.

The two names of the festival, Etiuda and Anima, refer to two awards. Etiuda is a competition for students submitting feature films and documentaries, while Anima is a competition dedicated to animated films.

This is the oldest film festival in Poland. During the dates in which it is held Krakow is filled with art and gives prominence to auteur cinema, especially animated films that do not reach the general public, so if you are a fan of this type of art, you have to pay a visit to the festival. Tickets are quite affordable (15€ approximately for general admission and 5€ for film passes), so it is well worth it.

How are the temperatures in Krakow in November?

Winter in Krakow| ©Roman Boyko
Winter in Krakow| ©Roman Boyko

I only tell you one thing: be prepared for the cold. In November low temperatures arrive in Krakow, so you will have to travel with warm clothes to resist the minimum temperatures of almost 0ºC. On the other hand, rainfall is quite frequent (it rains about half the days of the month), so remember to pack a good waterproof coat and several layers, you will need them!

Knowing the weather forecast in November you may be wondering if it is really the best time to go to Krakow, but I assure you that, if you go prepared, you will be able to withstand the cold. The nights are even colder, so take advantage of the daylight hours (approximately 8 or 9 hours) to visit the city and, when the sun goes down, go into a bar to have a hot chocolate.

Oh, and if the cold gets harder than you would like, do not hesitate and get on the Krakow tourist bus to continue knowing the city, but in a super comfortable way and sheltered from the cold.

Book a place on the Krakow tourist bus

What should I pack in my suitcase to go to Krakow in November?

Preparing your luggage| ©Ketut Subiyanto
Preparing your luggage| ©Ketut Subiyanto

Average temperatures in Krakow during the month of November are approximately 5ºC. One of my tips for traveling to Krakow is to pack wisely and logically, packing clothes that allow you to wear several layers during the trip (for example, thermal shirts, sweaters and fleece jackets or windbreakers).

Of course, do not forget your heaviest coat at home; if it is waterproof, better, since it usually rains in the middle of the month. I do not recommend an umbrella, as it is uncomfortable (especially if you are going to be entering places or if it is windy) and, in case you need it, you can buy one there. What you do have to pack in your suitcase are gloves, a hat and good shoes, warm and that allow you to walk comfortably.

Do you have everything ready to go to Krakow in November? Don't forget to let me know what you thought of all the plans I have suggested.