Krakow is a city marked by history. Among its medieval streets hide monuments and legends that seduce any traveler and its surroundings are not far behind. A guided tour is the best way to know everything the city has to offer and these are the best ones:
1. Tour of Krakow by electric vehicle
If you are staying in the center of Krakow, you can walk to almost any point of interest in the city. However, you may have noticed some small electric vehicles with panoramic views driving around the city: they are environmentally friendly cars and are a popular way to get around the center as they have access to areas closed to traffic such as the Old Town.
These types of vehicles are used for guided tours of the city. The driver takes you comfortably to see the main sights of Krakow while telling you what you should know about them. Tours are booked online and you can select the day and time that suits you best.
All these vehicles are similar: about four seats, equipped with transparent covers for the rain and with blankets and heating for the cold. As for the route, this may vary slightly among the different tours, but almost all of them go through landmarks such as the Jewish quarter, Heroes' Square in the ghetto or **Oskar Schindler'**s factory. There are different options, but I recommend one of these two:
Private tour of Krakow in an electric vehicle: This is one of the best value for money options as the guide picks you up at your hotel and there you start and end the tour. It is available in 26 languages including English and Spanish.
One and a half hour tour
This is an ideal option to go at your own pace and let yourself be carried away by the explanations recorded by an expert (available in the language of your choice).
2. Guided tour of Krakow's Jewish quarter and Schindler's Factory
The city of Krakow was not spared from the Nazi occupation and even today many traces of the horror committed against the Jewish population remain in the city. In this guided tour through the Jewish quarter of Krakow we will review this part of history with the aim of not repeating it in the future.
The guided tour through the Jewish quarter of Krakow and the Schindler factory has a duration of approximately 2 hours. You can do it in different languages, including English, French or Spanish, just choose once you have made your reservation online.
Among the places visited during the tour are the Eagle Pharmacy Museum and the factory run by Oskar Schindler. If you have not seen Spielberg's masterpiece, you should know that Schindler was an entrepreneur who was dedicated to saving Jews from concentration camps by hiring them for his factory.
3. Guided tour of Auschwitz concentration camp
Of all this list of tours and excursions that can be done in and around Krakow, the most demanded activity is undoubtedly the day trip to Auschwitz-Birkenau from Krakow, a place steeped in history.
What was the best known extermination camp in Europe, today is a museum that remembers the horrors of Nazism and seeks that the memory of the victims does not fall into oblivion. This tour includes round trip transfer from your hotel in Krakow, entrance to the complex and the services of an expert guide.
Although Auschwitz is referred to as a single concentration camp, it is actually three different camps, the best known being Auschwitz-Birkenau. On this tour you will see all three camps including the remains of the crematorium, the letters that some prisoners wrote during their stay there and the "camp" where the prisoners lived.
Although this tour can be done individually, doing it with an expert guide is essential to immerse yourself in the history. In this article about Auschwitz Day Trips from Krakow more details on how to organize your visit.
4. Wieliczka Salt Mine Tour
When I heard about this excursion to the Wieliczka salt mines from Krakow I was also surprised and wondered if it was really worth it. However, after doing it I can say that I was pleasantly surprised as I discovered what is one of the most fascinating Polish monuments.
In this excursion you will learn about mining techniques that have been maintained since the Middle Ages until today and you will also see extraordinary statues made with salt in the likeness of important personalities. You will walk through a network of tunnels built 135 meters above the surface, which creates a beneficial microclimate for people with asthma and respiratory problems.
The tour to the Wieliczka Salt Mines is available in English, German, Italian, French and Spanish. The price includes round-trip transportation from the center of Krakow, entrance to the mines and the services of a specialized guide. It will take you about four hours to complete the entire tour. In this guide about Wieliczka Salt Mine Day Trips from Krakow all the information you need to organize your visit.
5. Excursion to Pieskowa Skala Castle and Czestochowa
If you like scenery, I recommend this day trip to Pieskowa Skala Castle and Czestochowa from Krakow to see the famous Black Madonna, Poland's most revered relic. The Black Madonna is located at the pilgrimage site of Czestochowa, but along the way you will pass through sites such as the Eagles' Nest Route or the Pieskowa Skala Castle.
This guided tour gives you the chance to discover another side of Poland that would be difficult to access by limiting your visit to the city of Krakow. It is available in English, Spanish and Italian and costs 75 euros including transfer and guide services.
6. Excursion to Zakopane
If you want to take a trip to the mountains, you can make an excursion to the town of Zakopane, located two hours drive from Krakow. Among other things, there you will find the Tatra Mountains, a UNESCO heritage site and a natural border between Poland and Slovakia.
The destination is ideal for a walk in the summer months (the low temperatures of winter could make it very hard and even dangerous at this time) and then admire the simple and cozy architecture of the place.
7. Four-hour guided tour of Krakow
If you want to have an overview of the Polish city and hear all the stories that hide its streets regardless of their theme, the best option is this half-day guided tour of Krakow.
A specialized guide will spend half the day with you to show you the most outstanding monuments of the city, tell you about the legends and historical episodes that made it what it is today, tell you about the customs of its inhabitants, give you recommendations for your trip and even accompany you on the visit to some of the main museums.
This half day tour of Krakow includes the entrance fees to the museums visited during the route. One of its advantages is that you will do it in a group of maximum 12 travelers, so there will be an atmosphere of closeness that will allow you to enjoy even more the experience and the explanations of the guide available in Spanish, English, German, Italian or French.
The tour will be on foot with sections by bus. When booking online you will be informed of the meeting point via email.
You also have the possibility to explore Krakow in a very comfortable and sustainable way with this bike tour with which you can explore the city.
- Wawel Royal Castle: a Renaissance palace that at the beginning of the 16th century was a Gothic Royal Castle. This has been for years the place of residence of the Polish royal family.
- Wawel Cathedral: resting place of Polish kings and heroes. A stop steeped in history
- Kanonicza Street: a picturesque corner of the city with a history dating back to the 14th century.
- Royal Route: it is the road along which the royal retinue passed during the ceremonies held in the city. It includes churches such as St. Florian's Church and St. Mary's Basilica.
- University of Poland: more than 500 years old.
- Central square of the city: where the largest market in medieval Europe was located.
- Sukiennice: Krakow's oldest shopping center
8. Excursion to the Dunajec River
Another getaway from Krakow is the excursion to the Pieniny Natural Park, where the Dunajec River is located. This option is ideal to avoid crowds and spend a solitary and relaxing day away from the stress of the city. In less than two hours you will be in a natural place where they say there is a hidden Inca treasure; personally, I think the real treasure is the view of the Niedzica castle, located in this place.
9. Excursion to Wroclaw
Perhaps this city located three hours by road from Krakow is not one of the best known in the country, but certainly the historic center is worth a visit and even more if it is a guided tour in which they tell you the history of the place. In its surroundings are the landscapes that served as the setting for the film The Chronicles of Narnia. Do not forget to visit the Jewish quarter.
10. Excursion to Warsaw
The capital of Poland is at a distance of three and a half hours from Krakow; if you hurry a lot you can go and come back in the day or you can also book accommodation there for one night if you want to see the city in more detail. Warsaw's cultural offer is quite outstanding, so you are not going to get bored in a visit that should include as must-see places like the Royal Castle, Lazienki Park, Krakowskie Przedmieście Street, the Prague quarter or the Ghetto.
You may also be interested in
You already know almost everything you have to do during your stay in Krakow, and there are many things, so do not forget to organize your arrival at the hotel and return to the airport. For that I leave you this article about Krakow Airport Transfers that can help you.