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Krakow Tours

If you feel like touring Krakow and its surroundings, don't hesitate to join a guided tour to make sure you don't miss anything.

Ana Caballero

Ana Caballero

8 min read

Krakow Tours

Sukiennice, Krakow | ©Jorge Láscar

Krakow is a city marked by history. Among its medieval streets are hidden 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. Electric vehicle tour of Krakow

Small electric vehicles parked on a Warsaw street waiting for tourists.| ©Brian Snelson
Small electric vehicles parked on a Warsaw street waiting for tourists.| ©Brian Snelson

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 very popular way to get around the center as they have access to areas closed to traffic such as the old town.

This type of vehicle is 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:

One-hour tour

Private tour of Krakow by electric vehicle: In terms of value for money it is one of the best options as the guide picks you up at your hotel and there you start and end the tour. It is available in 15 languages including English and Spanish.

One-hour tour and a half with audio guide

One and a half hour tour of Krakow in an electric vehicle with audio guide: This is an ideal option to go more 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

Visit the Schindler Factory| ©Jose A.
Visit the Schindler Factory| ©Jose A.

The city of Krakow was not spared from the Nazi occupation and even today there are still many traces of the horror that was committed against the Jewish population. This guided tour through the Jewish quarter of Krakow reviews this part of history with the aim of not repeating it in the future.

The guided tour of the Jewish quarter of Krakow and the Schindler factory lasts approximately 3 hours. You can do it in different languages including Spanish, French or English; just choose once you have made your reservation online.

Among the places visited during the tour is 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. Four-hour guided tour of Krakow

Royal Castle and Wawel Cathedral| ©Naval S
Royal Castle and Wawel Cathedral| ©Naval S

If what you want is to have an overview of the Polish city and hear all the stories hidden in 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 its legends and the 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 a 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 you book online you will be informed of the meeting point via email.

Itinerary

  • Wawel Royal Castle: a Renaissance palace that at the beginning of the 16th century was a Gothic Royal Castle. It 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

4. Guided tour of the Auschwitz concentration camp

Auschwitz concentration camp| ©Fadjar Djulizar
Auschwitz concentration camp| ©Fadjar Djulizar

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 written by some of the prisoners 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 on Auschwitz Day Trips from Krakow you have more details to organize your visit.

Ana's Traveller Tip

Show respect at historical sites such as Auschwitz or Schindler's factory.

5. Excursion to the Wieliczka Salt Mines

Interior of the Wieliczka salt mines.| ©Anna & Michal
Interior of the Wieliczka salt mines.| ©Anna & Michal

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 Wieliczka Salt Mine Tour is available in English, German, Italian, French, Spanish and German. 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 on Wieliczka Salt Mine Day Trips from Krakow you have all the information you need to organize your visit.

6. Excursion to Pieskowa Skala Castle and Czestochowa

Altar where the famous Black Madonna is located, Czestochowa| ©Dennis Jarvis
Altar where the famous Black Madonna is located, Czestochowa| ©Dennis Jarvis

If you like scenery, I recommend this day trip to Pieskowa Skala Castle and Czestochowa from Krakow to see the famous Black Madonna, the most revered relic in Poland. This virgin is located in the pilgrimage site of Czestochowa, but on the way you will pass through places like the route of the eagles' nests 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.

7. Excursion to Zakopane

Enjoy the beautiful views of Zakopane.| ©Alex Blokstra
Enjoy the beautiful views of Zakopane.| ©Alex Blokstra

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.

8. Excursion to the Dunajec River

Niedzica Castle bathed by the waters of the Dunajec River.| ©maciekbor
Niedzica Castle bathed by the waters of the Dunajec River.| ©maciekbor

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 castle of Niedzica, located in this place.

9. Excursion to Wroclaw

Views of Wroclaw from the Oder River| ©Loris Silvio Zecchinato
Views of Wroclaw from the Oder River| ©Loris Silvio Zecchinato

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 so 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

Warsaw| ©Vinicius Pinheiro
Warsaw| ©Vinicius Pinheiro

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.

11. You may also be interested in

Krakow Airport| ©Alquiler de Coches
Krakow Airport| ©Alquiler de Coches

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 on Krakow Airport Transfers that can help you.