With two days to explore Krakow, there’s ample time to see the UNESCO World Heritage–listed Old Town and its top sights, delve into the city’s unique museums, taste the riches of its culinary scene, and learn more about the region’s troubled history. Here’s how to get the most out of 48 hours in Krakow.
Day 1: Culture and Cuisine
Morning: Take a walking tour of the Old Town, starting in the main square of Rynek Glowny. Most of the city’s photo-worthy landmarks are clustered around the square, so stop by Cloth Hall (Sukiennice), Church of the Virgin Mary (Kosciol Mariacki), the Old Town Hall Tower, and the famous Empty Head sculpture. Alternatively, ride the hop-on hop-off bus to the city’s main sights at your own pace.
Afternoon: Take a scenic detour through Planty Park and follow it south to the medieval Wawel Castle, once home to the kings of Poland. Pay a visit to the castle museum and peek inside the neighboring Wawel Cathedral before walking down to the Vistula riverside to watch the sunset.
Night: Krakow’s former Jewish district, Kazimierz, is at its most atmospheric in the evening hours. Admire the historic architecture of the Corpus Christi Church, Tempel Synagogue, and Remuh Synagogue, then head to Ulica Szeroka street to drink and dine with the locals.
Day 2: History and Heritage
Morning: Take a half-day tour to the UNESCO-listed Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum, just outside of Krakow. On a guided exploration of the former Nazi concentration camp, see the barracks, crematorium, gas chambers, and prison blocks, and learn more about the atrocities of World War II.
Afternoon: Continue your education about Krakow’s dark history with a visit to Oskar Schindler’s Enamel Factory, a site immortalized in the Oscar-winning film Schindler’s List. With time to spare, other worthy sights include the nearby MOCAK Museum of Contemporary Art in Krakow and the Rynek Underground, an underground museum that lies in the vaults beneath Rynek Glowny.
Night: Spend your final night in Krakow tucking into traditional Polish cuisine at a local restaurant—don’t miss the delicious stuffed dumplings and borscht (beetroot soup). Alternatively, attend a classical music recital at St. Adalbert’s Church and listen to Mozart, Vivaldi, and Bach performed by the Royal Chamber Orchestra.