Krakow has a dizzying number of tours to choose from, and it’s important to know which ones are reputable and worth spending your time and money on. Whether you are visiting the city for the first time and want to see all the main sights like Auschwitz, and the Main Square, or you are on a return visit and want to learn more about Polish cuisine through a food tour, finding the right fit for your personal needs is important. Here’s a list of the best Krakow tours, each specializing on different sights throughout the city.
Krakow Tourist Attractions
First, you have to decide which sights you want to prioritize for a tour. The following are sights around the city and the surrounding area that are popular for sightseeing with an organized tour group.
Auschwitz-located in Oswiecim (an hour away from Krakow), this site of a former concentration camp is one of the most harrowing local experiences, but also one of the most important sites to visit and learn about this dark moment in history.
Wieliczka Salt Mine-as one of the longest operating salt mines (it closed in 2007), this cavernous mine has highlights like the St. Kinga’s Chapel that is made entirely of salt and is the location of many weddings.
Main Square/Old Town-where most of the main historical sights including the Cloth Hall, and St. Mary’s Basilica are located.
Wawel-the former home of Polish royalty that includes an enormous castle, a chapel, and a dragon’s den.
Nowa Huta-time travel back to Communist Poland to the Soviet-created city of Nowa Huta, which was built as an example of an idealist socialist district, but ultimately backfired and instead became a place of resistance against communism.
Kazimierz-the historical Jewish neighborhood that has been transformed into a trendy neighborhood with hip cafes, bars and restaurants.
Best Krakow Tours
Delicious Poland-Krakow Food Tour
This food tour is an excellent choice for those who want to learn more about Polish cuisine and the history behind it. The tour samples 14-15 different types of food through a 3.5 hour-long tour as well as some Polish craft beer and vodka. Make sure not to eat beforehand, since the quantity of food provided will feel like a meal in itself. Make sure to mention any food restrictions before the tour begins, so the guide can accommodate accordingly.
This company also provides other culinary-based tours in Krakow, including a vodka tour where you can sample Poland national drink, a craft beer tour where you can sample some of the city’s finest small batch brews, a bike & food tour, and a pierogi cooking course.
Tours range in price from 190-250 PLN ($51.59-$70.60)
Crazy Guides-Communism Tour
Arrive in style in an authentic Trabant car that was a popular ride during this time period and tour the main sights and streets that were made to resemble Paris. This 2.5 tour brings you to sights like the Central Square, residential buildings, the Lord’s Ark church, a soviet tank, and the steelworks headquarters. Pick-up/drop-off is from your hotel.
Other tour options from this same company include a deluxe communism tour, which is similar to the regular communism tour, but includes lunch at a milk bar canteen; and a bunker tour within Nowa Huta.
Tours range in price from 159-219 PLN ($43.20-$59.50)
Free Walkative! Tour-Old Town Krakow
Not all tours need to cost something, and this solid tour company has plenty of worthwhile tours, which run on donations. This tour will give you a good understanding of the history of the Main Square and surrounding area. The 2.5 tour will take you to sights like St. Mary’s Square, Cloth Hall, Barbican and St. Florian’s Gate, Wawel, Bishop’s Palace and Papal Window, and St. Francis Church. There’s no need to sign up for this tour, just show up at the designated meeting area between St. Florian’s Gate and Barbican and look for the bright yellow umbrella.
Other free walking tours include Macabre Krakow, Jewish Krakow, Street Art, and World War II in Krakow. There are also paid tours that include Communist Krakow, Schindler’s factory, Food and Vodka of Krakow, Beers of Krakow, and Main Square Underground. The meeting areas for the tours differ, so make sure to check the website for details. For the paid tours, it’s recommended that you sign up in advance and bring payment in the form of cash.
Paid tours range in price from 40-80 PLN ($10.87-$21.74)
This tour company provides private van transfer to Auschwitz with pick-up/drop-off from your hotel. They also set you up on a tour once you arrive to Auschwitz with one of the guides that work on the property. There are a lot of Auschwitz Krakow tours, but this one is great because it’s small in size, making it feel more personal and less like you are part of a large tour bus group.
Other tour options include a trip to the Wieliczka Salt Mines or you can also buy a combination ticket and visit Auschwitz and the Salt Mines in the same day if you have limited time.
For tour prices check the company’s website here.
What are your favorite Krakow tours?
Photo source: Nowa Huta