The best 4-day Krakow itinerary

The Perfect 4-Day Krakow Itinerary!

Krakow is the second largest city in Poland and one of the oldest, dating back to the 7th century. It was even the capital of Poland between 1038 and 1569. Today, tourists flock to this beautiful city; it’s easy to see why. 

The historic centre is filled with colourful streets leading to the huge Rynek Glowney Square. It has many budget-friendly restaurants, bars and many historic sites.

The following guide will give you the perfect 4-day Krakow itinerary to give first-time visitors a great introduction to the city.

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How To Get To Krakow:


Krakow International Airport is approximately 10 miles from the city centre. Once at the airport, the city centre can be reached easily by public transport.

For the best deals on flights, I recommend using Skyscanner!


Krakow Glowny is Krakow’s main train station, just a short walk from the old town. Trains run directly from the airport and other cities within Poland and Europe. For up-to-date timetables and to book tickets online, I use The Trainline.

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Situated next to the train station is the Krakow bus terminal.

For the best deals and to help plan a trip to Poland or anywhere else in Europe, I recommend Omio. Whilst travelling around Poland earlier this year, I was able to use Omio to pick out the best available tickets between different operators, making my travel between cities extremely easy. They even have an excellent app for booking on the go.

Where To Stay In Krakow:

Whatever your budget, there are many hostels and hotels within the city centre and close to most of the city attractions. I recommend staying close to the old town within walking distance of the main market square known as Rynek Glowing. However, the area in and around Kazimierz is also a great option.

If on a budget, there are lots of hostels that only cost around £10 a night. On my last trip to Krakow, I stayed in a great hostel just across the road from the Barbican called Bubble Hostel. It offered clean, comfortable dorms, great showers and a small kitchen and sitting area, perfect for solo travellers. If you are unsure about staying in hostels, check out my newbie guide to surviving in hostels.

For booking accommodation in Krakow, I recommend using This website offers the best-priced accommodation catering for all budgets and styles. Just pop in your requirements, and it will give you a list of available accommodations. Perfect for picking out the best hostels, B&B or even some luxury escapes.

Krakow 4-day itinerary: 

For this Guide, I will assume that will have a full 4 days to explore Krakow. 

4-Day Krakow itinerary – Day 1 

Historic old town

One of the first things you should do when arriving in Krakow is to check out the fabulous main square and surrounding area. This area has been clarified as a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1978 and is stunning! 

There are many walking tours available. However, it’s easy to see the most interesting sites independently using an online map such as Maps.Me. This is a great option as you can download maps whilst having wifi and then use them offline.

I suggest starting at The Barbican and then walking into the city through the St Florian’s gate, down the popular Floriańska Street towards the Market Square. Walking down Florianska Street, you will be greeted with views of the beautiful St Mary’s Basilica. 

If you fancy taking the 239 steps up its tower, then it’s worth checking early if tickets are available. They are usually only available on the day and get booked up quickly. You may have to book tickets for later in the day and come back. Tickets for the tower and basilica are available from the ticket office opposite the site entrance.

St Mary’s Basilica is stunning and probably one of the most well-known buildings in Poland. Be sure to arrive at the hour to hear the famous bugler that plays the herjnal from one of the windows in the tower. Time your visit well up the tower, and you may even get to see the bugler play. 

Cloth Hall

Across from the St Mary’s Basilica is the fabulous Cloth Hall known locally as The Sukiennice. This hall is a fantastic indoor market with traditional stalls selling all things Polish. It’s a great place to pick up some souvenirs.

Above the Cloth Hall, you will find the Krakow National Museum and downstairs you will find the fabulous Underground Museum. I recommend visiting the unique Underground Museum especially if you fancy getting out of the summer heat for an hour or two. 

Most visitors don’t even realise this museum is here, utterly oblivious to what is underneath the square. In 2005, excavations took place on the eastern part of the square, which took five years to complete.

Today, the Underground Museum displays a treasure trove of artefacts and findings of Krakow’s historic past. This is a great museum, especially for those interested in local history. It gives an insight into medieval Krakow, including how best to bury vampires! It’s definitely something different to do while in Krakow!

By this point, it’s time to grab some lunch. Why not choose one of the fabulous restaurants lining the square, have a bite to eat and maybe a beer or two?

Wawel Hill

After lunch, take a walk along Grodzka and check out the magnificent baroque church of St Peter and Paul. Afterwards, continue walking, and you will arrive at Wawel Hill, home to Wawel Royal Castle and Krakow Cathedral. 

Wawel Royal Castle grounds are free to enter. However, you will need to pay a fee to visit each of the individual buildings. I recommend skipping the first ticket office if you want to buy tickets as there is usually a large queue. Instead, walk into the grounds, and you will see another ticket office at the opposite end.

If you are short on time, I recommend at least visiting the beautiful Krakow Cathedral. It’s stunning! It’s probably one of my favourite cathedrals I’ve ever seen. Built in the 11th Century, the cathedral holds a special place in Polish history. Today, you can visit the many chapels and sarcophagi of past Polish Kings and admire the beautiful architecture within.

By now, you will probably be worn out, so it’s time to head back to your hostel or hotel, rest, refresh, and then head back into town for dinner and enjoy some of the lively nightlife.

4-Day Krakow itinerary – Day 2:

Wieliczka Salt Mine

Only 14km from Krakow, you will find one of Poland’s most visited attractions, the Wieliczka Salt Mine. The mine has welcomed visitors since 1722 and became only one of twelve objects on the UNESCO World Cultural and Natural Heritage list in 1978.

This place is fantastic! You will marvel at the sheer scale of the place and the precise detail that went into building these stunning chambers. The site is a labyrinth of tunnels and chambers over 300km long. In places, it’s 327 meters deep, with the first mine shafts dating back to the 13th century.

You will find tunnels and chambers all carved out of rock salt and incredible wooden structures. The chapels, in particular, are astounding, all adorned with statues and monuments. There is also an underground lake!

There are a couple of different tours you can take. Most visitors take the ‘Tourist Route’; however, there is also a more immersive tour called the ‘Miners Route’, which lets you get a first-hand view of what it would have been like working in the mine.

The mine is also known to have therapeutic qualities which can help cleanse the respiratory tract. If you want to take advantage of this, why not book an overnight stay in the mine’s very own spa, the Graduation Tower?

You can visit the mine independently or via an organised tour. For more detailed information on visiting the mine, check out my Wieliczka Salt Mine guide.

After returning to Krakow, why not spend the afternoon revisiting some places around the Old Town or Wawel Hill? One of my favourite things to do in Krakow is wander around all the side streets, checking out some unique shops and architecture.

4-Day Krakow itinerary – Day 3:

Auschwitz – Birkenau Memorial Museum

Visiting Auschwitz whilst in Krakow is a must for everyone. It may not be the most enjoyable experience when on holiday, but these places must always be remembered!

Auschwitz and Birkenau were the largest concentration and extermination centres of the Nazi regime. At times, a visit can be extremely overwhelming, but I believe it’s essential to learn about such events in the hope that they don’t happen again!

You can visit the memorial independently or by organised tour; either way, expect to spend around 90 minutes visiting Auschwitz and another 60 minutes visiting Birkenau. I chose an organised tour with a guide inside providing detailed information about certain aspects of the camps. However, the only drawback was there wasn’t much opportunity to freely walk around and reflect on what you saw, and you sometimes felt rushed. Although if short on time, most tours have you back in Krakow in time for lunch.

After visiting Auschwitz, you will probably feel quite subdued, so I recommend getting out in the fresh air and relaxing on one of the scenic boats that sail up and down the beautiful River Wisla. 

If you head to the banks of the river close to Wawel Castle, you will find various boats offering leisure trips down the River Wisla. Many of these boats have a bar on board and have an informative commentary giving information on the different sites along the river. It’s the perfect way to unwind after an intense day!

4-Day Krakow itinerary – Day 4:

Krakow’s Jewish History

Head out of the old town towards the River, and you’ll find a lovely little district called Kazimierz. This place has an entirely different feel from the rest of Krakow. It’s filled with charming little streets, boutique shops and a unique laid-back atmosphere. It’s a great place to wander around and explore, as well as visit some of the museums and memorials for Jews who the Nazis persecuted during WWII.

Originally, the area was a separate city until it merged with Krakow in the 19th century. Before 1939 Kazimierz had a population of 60,000 Jews living in the area; however, after the Nazis occupied the city, most of these were forcibly moved to ghettos across the river. Gradually the Nazis deported the Jewish people from the ghettos into various concentration camps, many of which ended up in Auschwitz. Today, it is thought that only around 1000 Jewish people live in the area.

Oskar Schindler Enamel Factory

The story of Oskar Schindler and his enamel factory was made famous by the 1993 film Schindler’s List. It tells the story of Oskar Schindler, a nazi supporter who arrived in Krakow to make his fortune. However, after staffing his factory with Jews, he soon learnt of exterminations happening at the camps and arranged to have his workers protected. 

The factory is now an excellent museum. Not only telling the story of Oskar Schindler but the everyday life of the Jews in Krakow throughout the Nazi occupation from 1939 to 1945. This is a very well-thought-out museum with many different displays and interactive exhibits to explore. It’s a must if you are interested in history. Plan to spend at least a few hours here. It’s bigger than you think!

Eagle Pharmacy & Hero’s Square

In the heart of what was once the Krakow Ghetto lies Hero’s Square and the Eagle Pharmacy. 

Hero’s Square, as it has been called since 1948, is situated at the entrance of what was the Krakow ghetto. It is now a memorial to the Polish Jews who lost their lives between 1941 to 1943. The square holds 33 Iron and bronze chairs varying in size, symbolising the tragedy.

Also, on the square, you will find the Eagle Pharmacy. The one and only non-Jewish inhabitant of the Krakow Ghetto was Tadeusz Pankiewicz, who had a pharmacy within the ghetto walls. During the existence of the ghetto, he and his personnel provided all kinds of help and aid for the Jews imprisoned there. Today, the Pharmacy has been kept almost exactly as it was at that time and is now open as a museum. Although small, it provides information on what happened within the pharmacy and some of the personal stories of those it helped.

Final Thoughts:

Of course, this is only one itinerary of many, but it gives my experience a good way of experiencing a bit of everything Krakow offers. You could change things around, leave things out, or even add others, but I hope this guide gives you a starting point when planning a visit to Krakow.

So there you have it, my 4-day itinerary of Krakow. Of course, there are plenty more things to do in Krakow, so if you fancy changing a few things and looking for inspiration, check my 13 Best things to do in Krakow.

Thanks so much for stopping by; I appreciate everyone who takes the time to read and make it to the end! I have lots of exciting new content in the next few weeks, so make sure you pop back to catch up! 

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Happy travels!

The perfect 4-day Krakow Itinerary for first timers!
The perfect 4-day Krakow Itinerary for first timers!

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