Ultimate 3 DAY Krakow Itinerary (Done by a Solo Traveler!)

Cazzy Magennis
Written By:
Cazzy Magennis
Last Updated:
April 2, 2024
Are you looking for inspiration on the best 3-day Krakow Itinerary? I spent a week there and have narrowed it down to the best things to see and do...
3 day krakow itinerary

In September 2023, I went on my first-ever solo adventure, and I chose to visit the beautiful city of Krakow in Poland!

I’ve already been to Poland a few times over the years with Brad and we LOVE the country!

We particularly loved our time in Warsaw.

But we had never been to Krakow and it’s somewhere I’ve always wanted to visit.

So, I went on my own solo adventure to Krakow for an entire week!

I had so much fun, and it’s such an “easy” city to visit, so I’m going to take you through everything I did in Krakow, where I ate and where I stayed! 

1 week is too much time in Krakow in my humble opinion (but I was working too!), so I've created a 3 day itinerary that I think will be perfect for most travelers.

I hope you find this 3 day itinerary covers all the main bases, and it’s the perfect way to spend a long weekend in Krakow if you can only get a couple off days of work!

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3 Day Krakow Itinerary 

I bet you’re asking yourself, is 3 days enough in Krakow?

Well, even though I did a full week (which is WAY more than needed!), 3 days in Krakow is the perfect amount of time to tick off some of the main attractions, and even take on a few day trips to other areas outside of Krakow center. 

Day 1- Old Town Sights

wawel hill

If you’ve placed yourself in the Old town with your accommodation, then you’ll be able to walk to everything I list within this part of the Krakow itinerary! 

I did a walking tour of Wawel Hill, which took me to Wawel Castle and Wawel Cathedral with a guide, and it truly was a brilliant idea.

It was excellent value at around £33 for my ticket, which included my entrance, but also I just got to learn so much more than what I would have if I was just wandering around the place myself! 

Since this was also my 1st solo trip, I particularly enjoyed being in the company of other people whilst learning lots of new information.

Also, having a guide is the best way to get tips for the rest of your trip, such as local spots, and great places to eat, so I always suggest you do some form of walking tour on your first day in any city, so you can get that extra knowledge to make your adventure more memorable and unique!

The Tour I Took
Krakow: Wawel Castle and Cathedral Guided Tour
Combine a full day of attractions including, Wawel Castle, Hill and Cathederal with a excellent guide to enhance your experience.

You can also take a boat tour along the Vistula river, and it’s pretty darn cheap at around £15 for a ticket. I suggest making that one of the last things you do in the day so you can catch a pretty sunset! But you can also do the tours at nighttime. This tour includes a glass of wine, because why not? You're on holiday! 

Here are the best Old Town Sights to see in Krakow (and trust me, you’ll have a busy day!) 

For you convivence, I've also included, where relevant, some tours with Get Your Guide, which are not only excellent value, but my favourite tour operator for Europe in general.

1. Oskar Schindler's Factory: If you haven’t watched Schindler's List yet, then perhaps watch it before you visit!

2. Jewish Quarter (there are free walking tours you can sign up to here that take you around the main areas and provide lots of good information) 

3. Chopin Concert Hall (Poland's most famous composer, and you can hear some renditions!) 

4. Get lost in the streets of the Old Town and when you see an advertisement in a window for vodka tasting…do it! 

5. St Marys Basicila 

6. Buy souvenirs at the Cloth Hall 

7. Grab a cocktail, vodka (or beer!)  in the main square Rynek (this is one of the largest squares in all of Europe and one of Krakow's top attractions)

8. Go up the town hall tower: even if you don’t want to go up it, be around it on the hour because they ring the bell!

9. Eat zapiekanka: one of the most popular street foods in the area, and it’s delicious, not to mention super cheap! 

Day 2- Auschwitz concentration camp

This is the day you head out of Krakow and visit, probably, one of the most known concentration camps in the world. I took a tour with Get Your Guide that included lunch, my transport to and from, and a tour guide. We spent 3.5 hours with a tour guide at both camps and we got so much information.

It cost £38 and was excellent value considering I was out for 8 hours.

I HIGHLY recommend you get a tour guide for visiting Auschwitz, it provides so much more information and context to what you are looking at. 

I’ve been to quite a few concentration camps across Europe, and this one is very harrowing.

There were quite a few people who teared up. I don’t want to give too much away about what I saw as I do think this is an important place to visit. 

In terms of the tour quality, I had a great experience. This was my first ever solo tour, and whilst I was the only solo person there, my guide made me feel super welcome. I also got a very fulfilling packed lunch, and the tour bus to and from the camp was comfortable. So I recommend the tour I purchased, which was this one. 

If you’re staying in the Old Town, then the meeting point for the tour is “Przystanek Turystyczny Kiss&Ride", type that into Google and you're only a 5-10 minute walk from the Old Town area (depending on where your hotel is located).

The Tour I Took
From Krakow: Auschwitz-Birkenau Guided Tour and Pickup Options
8 hour day tour to Auschwitz-Birkeanu with a full guide of 3.5 hours. Excellent knoweldge from guide, worth every penny. Can also opt for lunch and transport there and back (which I did and was worth it!).

Day 3: Wieliczka Salt Mine Guided Tour

So before I tell you about the Salt Mines, I will note that if you are short on time, you can combine this tour with the Auschwitz Tour in one very long day.

I found the concentration camp tour very intense, so I personally would not have wanted to combine it with another attraction, however, it’s entirely to your preference. 

Regardless of when or how you go, you should go! The Wieliczka Salt Mine is such a unique spot in Poland. 

It is one of the largest underground mining museums in the world and a UNESCO-listed attraction. 

You’ll be going deep underground (125 meters deep to be precise), and you’ll be led through several chambers and see underground lakes, shrines, and monuments carved from salt. Pass through numerous drifts and galleries where evidence of mining activity has been preserved. There’s a chapel under there!

Just remember it can get cold below, so bring a jacket, and if you’re claustrophobic, it may not be the best place to visit. 

There are so many GREAT value tours to the salt mine (starting at £12!), and you can opt for transport included, or get the train there yourself from Krakow main station. 

It’s super easy to do, and cheap! 

  • Where from: Main Train Station Krakow (the trains leaves once per half an hour).
  • Train sign: SKA1, KMŁ
  • Ticket price: €1,20 (5,50 PLN) for an adult one-way ticket, available to be bought in a ticket machine in Main Station in addition to traditional offices.
  • Travel time: 20-30 minutes.
  • Distance to Museum after stop: only 8-10 minutes walking (depending on how fast you walk ;) 
Krakow: Wieliczka Salt Mine Guided Tour
This is the same company who runs the Auschwitz tour. Excellent value tour and can also include transport options.

That’s your 3 nights done in Krakow, and you’ll have been pretty busy!

You will have seen the main highlights and you can feel satisfied that you’ve experienced a lot of what Krakow has to offer. 

However, if you do decide to stay an extra night then I recommend you go on a day tour to the Tatra Mountains (Zakopane) and enjoy the mountainous views Poland has to offer, alongside some really great thermal hot springs (that are super cheap too!), and you can even try some local delicacies such as cheese and vodka! ;) 

Krakow: Zakopane Tour with Thermal Pools and Hotel Pickup
A full day tour at 11 hours for less than £50! Choose one of the most frequently booked and best reviewed tours from Krakow. Wander the streets of charming Zakopane, discover its thermal baths, and try the local cheese and vodka.

Where to eat in Krakow 

When visiting Krakow, I did a mix of eating out in local restaurants and simply ordering in when I was tired from a day of exploring! 

But that means I did get to try some awesome restaurants and I wanted to share them with you for inspiration on where to eat in Krakow. 

Fun note: all these recommendations offer vegetarian options because I am a vegetarian!

1. W Starej Kuchni Restaurant

This is an authentic, traditional Polish restaurant located in the Old Town. It offers all the best types of Polish food, including my favorite, Pierogi, which are dumplings that come with a variety of fillings, potato pancakes with mushroom sauce, and of course, vodka! 

The prices are competitive, I’d mark it as “mid-range” for the area, but the staff and the atmosphere are super friendly and super cozy. It’s truly a fantastic place to eat and there’s a reason you need to make a reservation to get a table! I forgot to make a reservation on the night I went, and was just SUPER lucky that a table finished eating earlier than planned.

2. No7 Restaurant

I dined here for lunch/dinner on my first day in Krakow. It’s located in the heart of the main square, just a few doors up from the “Hard Rock Cafe”, and it serves a range of Polish dishes and more international cuisine. I opted for some Polish dumplings, and an Espresso Martini (which was bloody excellent). They had heaters outside for dining, and the weather was pleasant so it’s a nice place to sit outdoors and enjoy the surrounding atmosphere. The staff was great too and overall I recommend it! I would say it’s mid-range price-wise. 

3. Cakester Cafe

I’ll be honest and say before I ended up in Cakester Cafe, I was trying to get a spot in MilkBar Tomasza, but because it’s so popular, and not very big, I was unable to do so on two occasions, so I ended up in this place next door which was excellent! This was a brunch-style location and the food is delicious, fresh, and at a great price! 

Visiting Krakow: FAQ

How long should you stay in Krakow? 

I spent a week in Krakow, which was technically too long for a city break and you don’t need to spend that all to see all the best sights, so I’m going to recommend a typical city break duration of 3 days and 2 nights. Catch an early flight there, and a later one back and you'll be able to do lots on a weekend break to Krakow.

Best time to visit Krakow?

Krakow is truly one of those places that you really can visit all year round!

If you want sunshine with less crowds, then visit in the spring and end of summer/autumn.

I visited Krakow in September and had a fantastic time.

There was still temperatures of 20 degrees Celsius and the crowds were not as crazy as peak summer.

However, if you want fantastic Christmas markets and a snowy vibe, then Krakow is also a brilliant place to visit in late November/December.

July and August are popular times to visit and the weather will be hot, but so will the crowds! 

Staying connected in Krakow

Just a quick note on staying connected whilst visiting Krakow.

eSIMS are the new way to get data on your phone without the need to switch out physical sims, and I've got a full guide on staying connected in Europe with eSIMS, but my top recommendation is Maya Mobile!

Where to stay in Krakow

My comfy Marriott bed!

There are SO many options when it comes to accommodation in Krakow and you’ve truly got something to suit all budgets. 

Regardless of the style of accommodation, you go for (hotel, hostel, Airbnb), I do suggest you stay within the Old Town. 

If you do, you’re going to be in great walking distance to a lot of the best attractions in Krakow, and to the starting points for tours further afield. 

Because this was my first solo trip, I wanted accommodation within the Old Town, which had a front reception that was open 24 hours, and had a kitchen in the room, so I could eat in if I didn’t feel like going out (or ordering in!). 

I stayed in “Amber Design Residence”, which was the perfect place for me! Beautifully decorated room, excellent value, great location, had a bath, and had a mini kitchen! 

I also stayed in the AC by Marriott which is just outside the Old Town, and easy to access via Metro or cheap Uber! Also a great hotel, a newly renovated, swimming pool, and well, you can’t go wrong with a Marriot.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this travel guide to Krakow, and hopefully, you’ll have an awesome time visiting with my 3-day itinerary!

If you’ve got any questions, do pop them below, or let me know if you’ve got any other suggestions for things to see in Krakow. 

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Some images courtesy of Deposit Photos.
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