FOLLOW US

World Travel Guide > Guides > Europe > Poland > Cracow

Cracow Weather

12°C

Local time Cracow

Currency

Cracow tours and excursions

Cracow tours

Cycling tours

If you think walking tours are a bit on the slow side then the Cool Tour Company might be for you; their friendly guides organise bike tours of Cracow. They are ideal if you haven't got long in Cracow as you'll cover much more on two wheels than you will on foot.

Tel: +48 12 430 2034.
Website: http://www.cooltourcompany.com

Driving tours

Embrace communism for an afternoon with one of Crazy Guides' communist tours. These lively lads take punters around Nowa Huta (New Town) in an authentic, Soviet-era automobile and drop in at a commie restaurant and milk bar. This award-winning tour has been endorsed by Michael Palin himself, which means it's really good.

Tel: +48 5000 91 200.
Website: http://www.crazyguides.com

Cracow excursions

Auschwitz-Birkenau

The Auschwitz concentration camp is located at Oswiecim, 60km (37 miles) west of Cracow, and is an essential day trip, as it brings home the horrors of Nazi rule and the Holocaust perhaps more than anywhere else in the world. Auschwitz was actually made of three camps (Auschwitz I, Auschwitz II in Birkenau and Auschwitz III in Monowitz) with 40 sub-camps. Today, the preserved buildings of the first camp house displays of photographs and personal articles (from hair to shoes, suitcases, pots and pans).

Many visitors never make the effort to go onto the second camp, Birkenau (Auschwitz II), but this is the extermination camp where 1.6 million people of 27 nationalities, including 1.1 million Jews, 150,000 Poles and 23,000 Roma, were murdered by the Nazis and their henchmen, many led straight from their freight trains into the gas chambers. It is at Birkenau that the sheer scale of the tragedy is most evident, although it has few of the visitor facilities of Auschwitz itself.

The Panstwowe Muzeum Auschwitz-Birkenau (State Museum Auschwitz-Birkenau), ulica Wiezniow Oswiecimia 20, is open daily and is free of charge. Many operators in Cracow offer coach tours, and there are also regular coach and rail services from the city. Bus travel is available between the camps.

UNESCO: Yes

Website: http://auschwitz.org

Wieliczka

Located 14km (9 miles) southeast of Cracow, the ultra-deep Salt Mine (Kopalnia Soli) at Wieliczka is a unique underground town which dates from the late 13th century and is now a UNESCO World Heritage site. Among the chambers is the Chapel of St Antony, where the first Mass was held before the miners started work in 1698, and the 1896 Chapel of St Kinga, which is actually a fair-sized church and features sculptures and chandeliers carved from the salt.

The Muzeum Zup Krakowskich (Cracow Saltworks Museum), ulica Zamkowa 8, comprises exhibitions in over a dozen worked-out chambers. The temperature below is a constant 14°C (57°F) so warm clothing is advised.

Minibuses regularly depart from Cracow and drop passengers off at the bottom of the road leading up to the salt mine entrance. The train station in Wieliczka is over 1km (0.6 mile) from the mine.

UNESCO: Yes

Website: http://www.wieliczka-saltmine.com

Browse our Video Guides

Featured Hotels

SEE MORE

Palac Bonerowski

In the 16th century, Palac Bonerowski was the opulent abode of a wealthy, aristocratic family called the Boners (no chuckling at the back). Today the former royal residence is one of the finest, most lovingly restored hotels in Cracow. Located directly opposite the Main Market Square, Palac Bonerowski sits within a UNESCO World Heritage site and has some of the best views in town. Inside, the elegant rooms are still fit for royalty, and there are period features aplenty.

Hotel Polski

This slice of local history has been operating as an inn since 1815, making it one of the oldest hotels in Cracow. Modern amenities aside, guests could be forgiven for thinking they've stepped back in time; the hotel retains its decadent, 19th-century charm with beautiful antique furniture and period features. Add to that the stunning, Old Town location and exemplary service and you have to surmise this hotel will be good for another 200 years.

Hotel Mikolaj

Nestled down a quiet side street near the Main Market Square, Hotel Mikolaj is a tranquil retreat in the centre of this lively city. The refurbished town house has 10 cosy rooms, including suites which come with a kitchenette and lounge. If you don't fancy the short stroll into town for dinner then the hotel boasts an in-house restaurant, which serves Polish and international fare over two atmospheric levels.

The Piano Guest House

Enter The Piano Guest House and you follow in holy footsteps; Pope John Paul II visited twice when he was vicar of the parish in the 1950s. Today, this beautifully preserved, Viennese-style town house (which has been in the same family since 1886) is something of a diamond in the rough, although the legendary hospitality, beautiful breakfasts and the property's raconteur owners more than compensate for the scruffy neighbourhood.

The Secret Garden Hostel

The Secret Garden Hostel covers all bases, offering guests a choice of dorm rooms, luxury doubles and apartments within staggering distance of the lively Jewish quarter, Kazimierz. Private rooms are simple and contemporary with wrought-iron furnishings, colourful walls and vibrant bed spreads making for a clean and comfortable stay. The staff are friendly and knowledgeable and, although the buffet breakfast is a fairly basic, DIY affair, you really can't grumble for the price.

Hotel Amadeus

Located within the labyrinth of Santa Cruz, Hotel Amadeus is set in a classically-furnished, 18th-century manor house and has music as a theme. Several instruments, including a grand piano, are available for use by guests. Rooms are small but attractively furnished, with antique furniture and original patterned tile flooring. The hotel's rooftop terrace opens up to a panorama of Seville’s historic centre and is an excellent spot to enjoy breakfast.