Cracow - Samba Walker was here:
Krakow airport & transportation
Krakow Airport is 11 kilometers from the city. Officially, Krakow Poland airport is John Paul II Kraków-Balice International Airport. (The city name is spelled many ways, such as Kracow or Krakov, but the correct Polish spelling is: Kraków. In English, Cracow is accepted) Transportation options include:
- Krakow bus
- public Krakow bus service, operated by MPK, offers two buses to Krakow city: 208 & 292, plus a night service: 902, which costs 3.40 złoty. Tickets can be obtained on the bus, from machines in the terminals and at bus stops outside the terminals.
- private Krakow bus service to the city center, operated by Matuszek, costs 20 złoty with reservations or 25 złoty onboard the bus.
- Zone 1 under 5 kilometers 29 złoty
- Zone 2 under 10 kilometers 49 złoty
- Zone 3 under 15 kilometers (includes Krakow city center) 69 złoty
- Zones 4 & 5 under 24 kilometers 89 - 109 złoty
The Krakow airport train goes to the city center in 20 minutes. Departures from Krakow airport to the main railway station run every half hour from 05:58 to 22:42. Buy tickets onboard trains or from machines in terminal 1, the cost is 15 złoty. Trains to Krakow Poland from other areas arrive at the main Krakow train station directly.
Central Krakow train station – Kraków Główny / Dworzec Główny
The central Krakow train station offers connections to and from Krakow city and the airport, plus a network of domestic and international destinations. For getting to and from the airport, Balice Ekspres is the train to take. Other destinations include Berlin, Hamburg, Budapest, Bucharest, Romania, Kiev, Lviv, Odessa, Prague and Vienna. Domestic train service runs from Bydgoszcz and Gdynia in the north, Lublin to the east and Wrocław to the west. There are trains to Warszawa every hour and connections to Nowy Sącz and Krynica-Zdrój to the south.
When arriving at Dworzec Glowny, the Central Krakow Train Station, get to Old Town by fllowing Wyjscie do centrum (Exit to Center) signs, which lead to the Main Square, Rynek Główny.
Krakow weather is mild. The average temperature in Krakow in January is -3°C to -5°C (with nighttime lows of -15°C that rise during the day), and July and August, 12°C – 25°C. Krakow temperature fluctuations are drastic, from a high of 25°C down to 11°C. There’s a phenomenon, due to the city’s proximity to the Tatra Mountains, where a warm wind, halny, can affect the average temperature in Krakow during October, November, February and March. While halny offers an instant reprieve from cold, it can also arrive as a wind storm. The ideal times for visiting Krakow are between June & August or in December, where the weather Krakow offers has highs of 2°C and lows of -3°C.
Use Sambawalker’s map of Krakow to find where to eat or stop for cocktails near landmarks. For a Krakow map with nightlife venues, including nightclubs and funky bars, use the mobile application that gives directions. Map Krakow districts by using a few main landmarks:
- Old Town (Stare Miasto):
- Wawel Castle Complex:
- Kazimierz District:
Stare Miasto, Old Town, is marked on the Krakow city map, and includes Rynek Główny (Main Square), Kościół Mariacki (St. Mary's Basilica), the Church of St. Wojciech, Church of St. Barbara, Sukiennice Hall and Wieża ratuszowa, Town Hall Tower. Rynek Główny is a massive medieval square surrounded by townhouses and alleys leading to restaurants and underground cellar bars. Using a mobile map of Krakow, follow Droga Królewska, the Royal Road, to Florian Gate, St Florian’s Church, Barbakan, Church of Saints Peter & Paul and Wawel Castle & Cathedral on Wawel Hill.
Wawel Castle complex, beside the Vistula River, includes Wawel Cathedral. On the Krakow city map note “Zamek wawelski” south of Old Town. Walk between Rynek Główny (Main Square) and Wawel Castle by going southwest along Rynek Główny until it turns into Grodzka. Then turn right onto Senacka and left onto Kanonicza, following it onto Podzamcze, then up the hill to Wawel Castle.
Kazimierz is the old Jewish quarter in Kraków with a central Town Square, Wolnica (meaning Free Square), and a market at Plac Nowy surrounded by bohemian bars, restaurants, and funky jazz clubs. Getting to Kazimierz, using the mobile map of Krakow, is easy. Get the position of Wawel Castle; follow Droga do Zamku, turn right onto świętego Idziego, which turns into Stradomska, then into Krakowska. Follow it straight to Plac Wolnica, then go east and turn left on Bożego Ciała, then right onto Beera Meiselsa and left to Plac Nowy. (Following directions to Alchemia Club will lead you to the new market square.
Krakow shoppingKrakow shopping possibilities include:
- Sukiennice Hall:
- Rynek Glowny:
Buy genuine Baltic amber jewelry at Sukiennice Hall, once a medieval trading center for cloth, now a bazaar for Polish amber, formations from Krakow salt mines and creations by local artists. When you visit Krakow Sukiennice Hall, pop down into AB Gallery (Anita’s Playground – owned by Anita Bialic also of BB Gallery). Collections include crystal, ceramics, sculptures and dolls. Krakow shopping in and around Sukiennice is for those seeking art, antiques, amber and items made by artisans.
Shopping in Krakow can include a visit to Blazko Kindery Jewelers in Kazimierz for hand crafted pieces with inlaid geometric shapes using unusual metal combinations and gemstones. Speaking of unusual combinations, that’s what awaits Krakow shoppers who venture into the Kazimierz market. Buy anything from a live pigeon to vintage clothing, jewelry, antiques and wicker furniture.
Art galleries and artists studios in the Old City are abundant. Rynek Glowny has the International Culture Center with historic photographs and modern works. Shop for contemporary art at BB Gallery, on Garbarska Street, where eccentric, avant-garde pieces are on display.
Top Krakow restaurants include Polish fare & international cuisine. Old Town Krakow has two famed places: Wierzynek Restaurant & La Fontaine Krakow.
- Wierzynek Restaurant Krakow
- La Fontaine Krakow Restaurant
- The Streets of Old Town Krakow
Wierzynek Restaurant offers gourmet Polish food in a medieval ambiance said to be the first restaurant in the city. It’s one of the premier restaurants in Krakow with a guest list including kings, queens, heads of state and Hollywood celebrities.
One of the best places to eat in Old Town is French. La Fontaine serves duck foie gras, salmon en papillote and St Tropez tarts with Chiboust crème, yet the ambiance is old town Krakow – set in an underground cellar.
The streets are peppered with vendors serving oszczypek, a smoked cheese made from sheep’s milk, and obwarzanki, a twisted bread roll somewhat like a bagel.
Krakow nightlife, music clubs & VIP lounges
Krakow nightlife offers upscale dance clubs and bars in Old Town plus funky jazz clubs and bohemian hangouts in Kazimierz. To be part of what the locals are up to in Krakow at night, go to Kazimierz, sit on a rickety chair and absorb the improvised jazz at Alchemia. Although Kazimierz is the place for jazz in an arty ambiance, there’s a new side to the district. Elite Krakow nightlife is now being served at Taawa Music Club, on Estery Street in Kazimierz. Taawa makes it clear that the old Jewish quarter has come a long way from the old days by flaunting a posh lounge, chic dance club with live shows and two VIP lounges with leather sofas, draperies and contemporary neon lighting.
In Old Town, near the main square, the nightlife Krakow delivers comes in chic flavours including avant-garde Stalowe Magnolie on świętego Jana. Stalowe Magnolie is a live music club with theme parties, outlandish performances, ladies nights and Sexy-Flexi Fridays for guys, plus a lavish VIP room for private events. Not far from Stalowe Magnolie is another one of the top club-style bars in Krakow: Movida (previously Paparazzi) on Mikołajska Street. Movida has excellent cocktails, live music & karaoke.
Krakow clubs, bars and romance in Old Town & Kazimierz
Ministerstwo nightclub Krakow, on Szpitalna Street, is just one of the places to party, dance and sip cocktails in underground chambers. It’s near Rynek Główny (the main square in Old Town) and is one vibrant Krakow club (even on Tuesdays) catering to students with hip-hop, rap and house. Live electronic music events on weekends rock the medieval cellar walls and vaulted ceilings with improvised musical genius. Ministerstwo is a legend amongst clubs in Krakow; famed for bringing top turntablists to the city.
Amongst night clubs Krakow shows-off near its central square is Hard Rock Café. Fans claim Elton John sounds better and barbequed ribs are tastier with a medieval backdrop. But for a place with no rock’n’roll or ribs that still offers a medieval milieu, there’s Budda Drink & Garden on Rynek Główny. It’s a luxurious Asian fusion club, lounge bar and coffee house that’s decadent and situated partly underground. It’s sexy, romantic and cozy; a place to snuggle, converse or throw a private party.
Away from Old Town, one of the top romantic nightclubs Krakow has is situated in Kazimierz. It’s called Mleczarnia, on Beera Meiselsa Street, not far from Plac Nowy. It’s ideal for summertime romance when the garden is open, bbut closes at the end of October. Mleczarnia is one of the only Krakow clubs that can boast being situated beside the set where Schindler’s List was filmed, and the only Krakow club with a name that means “dairy” or “creamery”.