This ultimate cheap city break, is packed with a punch. There is so much to see and do, that over the next 4 days of this Krakow itinerary, will have you visiting some the most amazing sights, eating delicious Polish food, that’s so colourful and flavourful.
Appreciate the blend of medieval and modern architecture, wander around the UNESCO World Heritage site of the Old Town, take a day trip to one of the most emotional places in Poland. We can assure you that you will just fall in love with this city, just as much as we did.
Bag yourself that deal, with 4 days in Krakow.
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Table of Contents
4 Days in Krakow Itinerary
Look for a cheap getaway that is packed with plenty to do, then this 4-days Krakow Itinerary is perfect for you.
How to get to Krakow
No matter where you’re coming from, you can easily get to Krakow, with the option of plane, train, bus or car.
The main airport for Krakow is Krakow John Paul II International airport, although some European budget airlines may fly into Katowice Airport which is about 108km away.
Connections from Krakow John Paul II International Airport to Krakow is via a direct train to Krakow Glowny Station, taking about 20 minutes. As you exit the arrivals, follow the sign to the train station, to take you to the city.
Arriving from a bordering country or elsewhere in Europe, then a bus or a train will make connections to Krakow easy and simple. The bus terminal and train terminal at Krakow Glowny are right next to each other.
On a road trip around Europe and spending 4 days in Krakow? Driving, is a convenient way to get around. BUT parking is limited and can be expensive. We would recommend parking the car outside the city and taking public transport to the centre. This will prevent congestion and stress from trying to drive in Krakow and find parking.
In our experience, we took a cheap flight with a budget airline, into Krakow John Paul II International airport and then caught the train to Krakow. It was so cheap at 8 Zloty (£1.52 – $2.10), easy and convenient.
Is 4 days in Krakow enough?
This 4 days in Krakow itinerary, will be enough time for you to see all the main sites and 2-day trips to Auschwitz-Birkenau and the Salt Mines.
If you find 4 days is a bit of a squeeze and wish to spend longer here, then 5-7 days will be sufficient.
Where to stay in Krakow?
To get the most out of your 4 days in Krakow, you will want to stay centrally located within the city.
We have a few options depending on your budget:
The Little Havana Party Hostel
This super cheap hostel in the middle of the Old Town of Krakow would be an ideal place to stay.
The facilities are very basic, but a great place to rest the head after exploring Krakow.
As in the name, it is more of a party themed hostel, with three bars, organised pub crawls and parties, to keep those party animals going the whole time.
Although it might be a lively hostel, the reviews are excellent, with many expressing how happy they were with the stay.
You can’t go wrong with a cheap stay in a hostel, for you shoestring travellers.
About half a mile from the Old Town of Krakow, but still a very cheap place to stay.
This is definitely a more relaxed and atmospheric hostel, compared to the Little Havana Party Hostel, with a contemporary design.
Some rooms include a small kitchen, a dishwasher, fridge and oven, which is ideal for budget travellers looking to make their own meals.
Most guests have offered excellent reviews on their stay at Das Hostel in Krakow.
If you need somewhere that’s cheap, in a good location for the next 4 nights in Krakow, then this is definitely a great option.
Ibis budget Krakow Stare Miasto
If hostels are not quite the place you would like to stay, then you could stay in a hotel. A little more expensive than a hostel, but you can still pick up somewhere cheap.
Ibis Hotels are generally very basic, with a room and private bathroom, but still quite cheap. We stayed in Hotel Ibis Gare du Nord in Paris and actually enjoyed our stay. Plus, breakfast was included.
Ibis Budget Krakow Stare Miasto, is in a good location, just a short few minutes’ walk from the main Krakow Glowny Station and a short distance from the Old Town of Krakow.
The only negative comments, came from the bathroom being inside the room, rather than inclosed separately.
You pay a little extra for a little bit more comfort and privacy.
Prices per room start at around £30.00+ per night depending on when you travel.
This cosy little apartment, is ideal if you want a small studio apartment with all the necessities.
This great looking apartment, has everything you will need for 4 days in Krakow, a small kitchen, dining room and bedroom, with separate bathroom all to yourself.
Located on the outskirts of the Old Town, with everything to do in Krakow nearby.
The reviews are all good and definitely one we would recommend, if you are looking for somewhere cheap to stay.
We stayed in a 1-bedroom apartment in Krakow via Airbnb and loved it. It was very similar to this apartment and would definitely stay here on our next trip.
Radisson Blu Hotel Krakow
Not worried about a budget, or how much you spend per night in Krakow, then Radisson Blu Hotel in Krakow is the place to stay.
This 5* hotel is just on the outskirts of the Old Town, with luxury rooms and facilities.
Relax for a few drinks in the bar, burn off some of the delicious Polish food in the gym and sauna facilities. This is definitely a relaxed hotel, but at a cost.
There certainly aren’t any complaints, as many of the reviews are complementing the hotel on the service, room standard and cleanliness.
Stay in luxury at Radisson Blu Hotel in Krakow.
Where will you stay on your 4 days in Krakow?
Related post: Poland travel guide
Day 1 – UNESCO World Heritage site Krakow Old Town
Rise bright and early on your first day in Krakow as we will be exploring the historic UNESCO World Heritage site of Krakow Old Town.
Make sure you have breakfast either at your hotel, or in a cheap café in the Old Town.
Royal Route through Krakow Old Town
Feel like royalty as you take on the Royal Walk, walk in the footsteps of the previous kings of Poland. Yes, Krakow was once the capital of Poland and the royal capital, until it was moved to Warsaw in the 16th century.
The Royal Walk will take you through the Old Town, passing some historic spots before finishing south of the Old Town at Wawel Castle.
Make your way to the north of the Planty, this is the large green belt that surrounds the Old Town and was once the moat during the medieval period.
Wander around the park and relax on the park benches taking in the atmosphere, before heading to Krakow Barbican on the north of the Old Town.
Cost: Entrance costs zt 14.00 (£2.52, €3.02, $3.28) per adult.
The Barbican is a fortified outpost that was once connected to the city walls that surrounded Krakow Old Town. Sadly, not much of the old medieval city walls and outpost remain, apart from The Barbican and a couple of other spots which you will cover in the Royal Route.
Inside the Barbican is the Historical Museum of the City of Krakow, with displays detailing the history behind Krakow fortifications.
St Florian’s Gate
Only a short few minutes’ walk is the St Florian’s Gate, the original entrance to the Old Town and the only remaining entrance from 8 entrances that remain. A long bridge would have crossed the moat connecting to The Barbican.
Walk in a southerly direction through the arch of St Florian’s Gate down Florianska Street into the Main Square.
The largest medieval market square in Europe and there are a few places to explore here.
To your left is St Mary’s Basilica. This beautiful gothic church dates back to the 13th century. Standing at 80 meters gorgeously watching over the Main Square of Krakow.
You’ll want to be here when the famous trumpet sounds out, on the hour every hour, before it is abruptly stopped. This is called the Hejnal Mariacki.
This tradition goes as far back as the 13th century and the sound was a warning to residence of Krakow, of an incoming threat. The defensive gates would be closed, to stop the cities invasion. One fateful day, the trumpeter was sounding the horn, when he was shot in the throat and the trumpet warning abruptly stopped.
To the centre of the Main Square is the Cloth Hall.
During the 15th century, the Cloth Hall was a major centre for international trade, importing from the east such as spices, silk, leather and wax.
Krakow would export their goods such as textiles, lead and salt from the salt mines at Wieliczka.
It has somewhat changed trading from import and exporting to a home for small independent shops and markets selling souvenirs and more.
While it gets busy inside the Cloth Hall, it is well worth it. You could also find a budget friendly souvenir to take home as a reminder of your trip.
The last stop in the Main Square is St Wojciech, which is south east of the square. The small church dates back about 1000 years. It was first a wooden church, before further renovation work over the later years to a stone Church.
Grab something to eat before you leave the Old Town and head up to Wawel Castle and Cathedral.
Places to eat nearby:
- Vintage Restauracja & Winiarnia – serving excellent Polish food and beer, at a very cheap price. You must order the pierogi (dumplings stuffed with a savoury or sweet filling), a Polish dish.
- There are plenty of other spots in the popular Main Square to order delicious Polish food.
After lunch, make your way down Grodzka Street in a southerly direction towards Wawel Castle and Cathedral
Cost: from zt 10.00 (£1.80, €2.16, $2.35) per adult
As you make your way towards Wawel Castle, you will pass some further churches. You may wish to stop at any of the churches as you go.
This former royal residence and medieval castle, has been a home to Polish kings for centuries, until they moved the capital to Warsaw.
This was once an affluent residential area which prompted a castle to be built on Wawel Hill.
You can explore the grounds and exhibitions inside the castle. Some exhibitions are permanent, while others are seasonal and some temporary.
Check out the permanent exhibition of Lost Wawel, where you can learn about the history at Wawel Hill and Castle.
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Cost: zt 22.00 (£3.96, €4.74, $5.16) per adult
A Roman Catholic Cathedral located on Wawel Hill, forming part of the Wawel Castle complex.
Little is known about the original Wawel Cathedral that was built here probably about 1000 years ago. Although the later Cathedral was consecrated in 1142 and built-in limestone and sandstone. The one we see today, is the third built on this site in a gothic style.
Coronations of new reigning monarch would take place at Wawel Cathedral and Pope John Paul II gave his first mass, when he was ordained into the priesthood.
This is your last stop for the day, so once you have explored the cathedral, make your way back to your hotel, hostel or apartment for a good night’s sleep, as day 2 will be an early rise for a day trip to another UNESCO World Heritage site.
Day 2 – Day trip to UNESCO World Heritage Site of Auschwitz-Birkenau
Rise bright and early for day 2 of your 4 days in Krakow itinerary. Today you get out of the city and visit the UNESCO World Heritage site of Auschwitz-Birkenau.
Day Trip to Auschwitz-Birkenau
Cost: zt 85.00 (£3.60, $4.69, €4.31) per adult
Rise bright and early to take the bus from MDA bus station, located at Krakow Glowny Train Station.
This is one emotional but educational place to visit in Krakow. Learn more about the people who were sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau, find out how they were treated and what happened to them on arrival to Auschwitz.
There was a large complex of concentration camps that formed part of Auschwitz-Birkenau, but there are only two camps that remain. These are the two you will visit today.
Sadly, an estimated 1.1 million people mainly Jews died at Auschwitz-Birkenau.
Be prepared to hear harrowing stories, told by the tour guides, you’ll see the conditions prisoners would have had to endure and so much more.
Tickets must be purchased online before arrival and you will need to get there around 15-30 minutes earlier, to get through the queues.
Don’t take a bag or backpack if you can avoid it, as there are bag restrictions. If you do need to take a bag, you’ll have to leave it at the bag stop for under 10 Zloty (£1.90 – $2.62). It is safe to leave it there, you’ll be given a ticket, to pick up your bag after your tour. Just don’t leave any valuables in the bag, just in case they are stolen.
There’s a free bus between both camps, as Auschwitz and Birkenau are about 5-minute drive from each other. Once your tour ends, you can explore Birkenau camp at your own leisure and we would highly recommend doing so.
When you are ready, head back to the first camp, via the free shuttle bus and head to the small café for lunch. A small selection of hot and cold food available to purchase.
You have a couple of options in getting to Auschwitz-Birkenau. If you have hired a vehicle for a road trip, then you could drive and park at the camp.
Alternatively, you could book your coach from Krakow to Auschwitz-Birkenau. This is exactly what we did. We purchased a return ticket from Get Your Guide. It was super easy, convenient and it got us to the camp and back for the day. You can purchase the exact trip here.
Alternatively, these tickets via Get Your Guide, that will allow you entry to the camp and with some, will include transport from Krakow to Auschwitz-Birkenau.
You can check the options, availability and purchase your ticket here:
If you don’t want to visit Auschwitz-Birkenau. We would recommend taking a day trip to the Wieliczka Salt Mines.
You can book your day trip here:
Day 3 – Kazimierz
After a long and emotional day trip to Auschwitz Birkenau, this will be a relaxed day taking a wander around Kazimierz and Oscar Schindler’s Factory.
Only a short distance south of Wawel Castle is Kazimierz, known as the Jewish district.
Take a wander around the area at your own leisure before heading to Galicia Jewish Museum.
The museum is home to exhibitions, showcasing Jewish culture and history in Poland, including the Holocaust.
They also offer guided tours around the Jewish sites of Kazimierz.
We took a guided tour around Kazimierz on an electric golf buggy. The guide provided more information, while stopping off at important points as we went.
You can also book a similar tour that we took here:
Oscar Schindler’s Factory
Have you seen Schindler’s List? If not, it is worth watching before you visit Krakow, to get a good understanding of what Oscar Schindler did for his Jewish workforce during World War II.
This interactive museum that’s located inside Oscar Schindler’s former industrial factory, covers everything to do with World War II in Krakow. Exhibitions provide a story of the city from 1939 to 1945.
History buffs will love learning more about World War II on these 4 days in Krakow itinerary.
Day 4 – Day trip to Wieliczka Salt Mines
This is your last day of your 4 days in Krakow itinerary.
If you have the time, then take another great day trip to Wieliczka Salt Mines.
Rise early to be picked up by your tour guide and be taken to the famous Salt Mines. Or catch a mini bus near Krakow Glowny Train Station.
Be taken down three levels of the Salt Mines, to the lowest point at 135m below ground. Some 22 chambers are open to the public, with each chamber different, from chapels, statues and monuments all sculptured within the mine.
If you did this in place of Auschwitz, then why not take on a food tour of Krakow. Learn more about Polish food and try something different. Check these out:
After the tour, return back to Krakow, have some lunch and visit any spot you were unable to complete in day one or three.
How to visit Krakow on a budget
The most common question we get asked is, how do you visit Krakow on a budget? And how much does it cost to visit Krakow?
The first thing you need to understand, is the meaning behind the word budget.
So, a budget is an estimated cost or expenditure. In this case, an estimate of how much it will cost to visit Krakow.
To visit Krakow on a budget, you first need to split your costs into groups, such as flights, accommodation, transport, food and drinks, sightseeing etc.
After splitting your costs into groups, it’s now a case of establishing your estimated budget for Krakow.
You can determine your budget, based on visiting Krakow on the cheap, on a mid-range budget, or a luxury budget.
Do you need more help with setting your budget and want to find out how much we spent on our 4 days in Krakow? Then check out our post on How to visit Krakow on a budget + ways you can save money while travelling.
Yes, that’s right, you can even save money as you travel in Krakow, cutting that budget and saving some money.
If you follow these simple tips; you could easily drop that budget and return home with some $s in your pocket.
When to visit Krakow?
Krakow is an ideal travel destination all year round.
Summers are warm, but during June and July see the most rainfall. Winters can get bitterly cold and snow isn’t uncommon.
So, when is the best time to visit Krakow?
The cheapest time to travel to Krakow would normally be the shoulder months and winter, however the cheapest month for travel to Krakow is June.
As mentioned before, June and July experience the most rainfall. While it might be the cheapest month, it certainly will be the wettest though.
We visited Krakow in June and from the moment we landed, to the time of our return flight, it felt like it rained non-stop. That is a bit of an exaggeration, but for most of the 4 days we were in Krakow, it rained.
You could pay a little extra for travel and accommodation during the shoulder months, and better weather predictions. Although temperatures won’t be hot, but at least it will be much drier.
Get into the festive spirit and visit Krakow for the Christmas markets, during the month of December. Closer to Christmas, airfares and accommodation prices increase.
When will you travel to Krakow?
What to Pack?
Packing is essential, you really don’t want to leave anything at home.
What should you pack on your 4 days in Krakow?
Check out our post, on what to pack for a holiday to Poland. We cover everything from all the relevant documents and visas, to clothing, shoes and cameras.
This ultimate 4 days in Krakow Itinerary, is packed with so much to see and do, from visiting the historic UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Old Town, to taking a couple of day trips to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Auschwitz-Birkenau and the Salt Mines. If you love history, then Krakow is packed with so much in every corner of the city. You will definitely learn more about World War II and the affects it had on Poland.
You no longer need to stress about planning your holiday to Krakow, just follow this simple itinerary to discover all the wonders Krakow has to offer. All you now need to do is book your flights and accommodation, pack those suitcases and off you go.
If you found that 4 days in Krakow wasn’t enough or that you only need 3 days in the city, then you can easily adapt the itinerary to suit your needs. Some people don’t wish to visit Auschwitz-Birkenau, so just leave this off the itinerary and replace it with the Salt Mines.
We hope that you love visiting Krakow as much as we do. We loved it that much, that we are planning to return to Krakow for a cheap getaway in the coming months. You never know, we might meet you out there.
Have you visited Krakow? How long did you stay? Is there somewhere you visited in Krakow that you feel should be included in these 4 days in Krakow itinerary? Then let us know, by leaving a comment below.
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