Poland is a budget friendly country to visit in Europe. So, Krakow is ideal, if you are looking for a cheap getaway. You could easily visit Krakow on a budget, without breaking the bank.
Krakow is steeped in so much history and was once the capital of Poland. Stay in Krakow like royalty, as the previous Monachs once did, take on the royal walk, learn more about the effects of World War II on Krakow and so much more.
We fell in love with Krakow, not only because it was so cheap, but there was so much to see and do. We can’t wait to go back
So how can you visit all these highlights, stay so cheaply in Krakow and enjoy delicious Polish food all on the cheap?
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How to visit Krakow on a Budget
First thing we need to understand is what the meaning is behind a budget.
A budget is an estimated cost or expense.
So, in this case we are estimating the cost of your holiday to Krakow.
Don’t worry if you are looking at ways to travel to Krakow on a shoestring and to save money while you travel, then we have you covered in this how to visit Krakow on a budget.
We will also address the burning question; of how much it will cost to visit Krakow?
How to set a budget
To find your estimated cost (budget) for Krakow, we need to split each section up into heads. Flights/transport, accommodation, sightseeing, food and drinks, public transport, miscellaneous expenses.
Flights/transport – The cost of flights/transport will vary depending on where you’re travelling from. European travellers can pick up cheap budget airline tickets to Krakow or catch a bus or train to Krakow. If you are travelling from the USA or anywhere else, flights are likely to be more expensive. Do some research on the cost of flights to get an estimate. This will go towards your Krakow budget.
Accommodation – If you are on a tight budget, your cheapest option is to stay in a hostel. A dorm room will cost between zt25.00-zt120.00 (£4.44-£21.33, €5.31-€25.51, $5.83-$27.99), with a shared bathroom per night. A Private room will cost between zt120.00-zt340.00 (£21.33-£60.43, €25.51-€72.27, $27.99-$79.30), with a shared bathroom. Hostels are a great way to meet new friends, keep to a tight budget and some can be very basic, but others can be lavish. Hostels are not for everyone, as some can have a party vibe.
If a hostel isn’t a favoured option, then you could stay in a cheap hotel. Hotel prices in Krakow range between zt160.00-zt1100.00+ (£28.44-£195.51+, €34.01-€233.80+, $37.32-$256.56+) per night.
We stayed in a small one-bedroom apartment through Airbnb for zt140.00 (£24.88, €29.76, $32.65) per night. We had a lovely little place, only about 5 minutes’ walk from the main Krakow Glowny Train station and 10 minutes’ walk from the old town.
You can check the rates and availability via Booking.com below:
Do a little research and include this in your estimated budget for Krakow.
Sightseeing – There are so many free things to do in Krakow, that you don’t need to pay a penny. If you want to visit some of the top tourist attractions such as Wawel Castle and Cathedral, the Salt Mines, Oscar Schindler’s Factory, Auschwitz-Birkenau, you’ll need to factor this into your budget and if this makes it affordable. Although the admission fees to these top tourist attractions range from zt50.00 to zt100.00+ (£8.89-£17.77+, €10.63-€21.25+, $11.66-$23.32+).
Food and drink – Food and drinks are a bit harder to set a budget. You can research the flight, accommodation and sightseeing prices, to get a more accurate estimate. But when it comes to food and drink, it is harder to be accurate.
In our experience, food and drinks in Krakow is very cheap. Depending on how tight your budget really is, you could be spending as little as zt20.00 (£3.55, €4.25, $4.66) a day. If you are happy to spend a bit more and enjoy the Polish food, then you could easily spend upwards of zt75.00 (£13.33, €15.94, $17.49) a day.
How do we work this out.
This great tool below helped us with setting our Krakow budget.Krakow Travel Costs
Public transport – Public transport is so cheap in Krakow. Although most of the top tourist attractions such as Krakow old Town, Krakow Cloth Hall, the royal walk, Wawel Castle and Cathedral are all within walking distance.
The other tourist attractions are a little further but ideal for a day trip out of the town, such as Auschwitz.
According to the table above, budget travellers to Krakow should expect to pay about zt9.19 (£1.63, €1.95, $2.14) per day.
Miscellaneous – This could be for cost of bottled water, tips and emergency funds. We always set a little bit of extra in the event of an emergency. You could set aside an additional zt10.00 – zt50.00 (£1.78-£8.89, €2.13-€10.63, $2.33-11.66) per day, as an emergency fund.
Related post: Poland Travel Guide
Krakow Travel Costs – Estimate
So, the biggest question you probably have right now is, how much will it cost me to travel to Krakow? What should my budget be?
We mentioned this before, but it will vary from person to person, depending on where they are coming from.
The first thing we would recommend, is doing your research on the cost of flights/transport, accommodation and sightseeing.
Then set a budget for the food and drink, public transport and miscellaneous expenses.
Use the budget tool above to help, with setting a budget.
Download our FREE Travel Planner to help you plan and set a budget for your trip to Krakow.
Don’t worry, we will give you an example of how much it will cost us to visit Krakow on a budget. Please note, this is an estimate of how much it will cost us, travelling from London, England. This includes two passengers.
Example Krakow Budget for 3 nights in the middle of September.
Flights/Transport – On Skyscanner, we have found flights for £37.00 (€44.24, $48.55) per person totalling £74.00 (€88.48, $97.096). (With many budget airlines, baggage isn’t included in the price. If you can’t pack everything into a small hand luggage, then you will need to pay extra for the convenience).
Accommodation – To stay in a cheap and basic hostel for 3 nights will cost a total of £55.00 (€65.76, $72.16) for both adults and one room (Rates obtained from Hostelworld.com). We could stay in a mid-range hotel for around £100.00+ (€119.57+, $131.20+) for 3 nights, but this costs more (Rates from booking.com).
Sightseeing – We would visit the free places in Krakow, such as the Old Town and Krakow Cloth Hall. For the first day, we won’t be spending any money on sightseeing. Day two, we would take a day trip to Auschwitz. You can book any one of these great tours, or purchase just the bus from Krakow to Auschwitz, but then you will need to book the entrance ticket to Auschwitz separately.
We found this tour, which includes Schindler’s Factory for £26.55 (€31.74, $34.83) per person. So total is £53.10 (€63.49, $69.67)
Day three we would visit Wawel Castle, at a cost of zt10.00 (£1.78, €2.13, $2.33) per person. For two traveller’s totals £3.56, (€4.26, $4.67). We would also cover Oscar Schindlers factory.
So, in total for sightseeing, we estimate a total cost of £56.66 (€67.75, $74.34)
Food and drinks – We would use the budget tool above, which suggests zt17.00 (£3.02, €3.61, $3.96) per meal. Three meals a day £9.06 €11.83, $11.89), per person for the day. Over the four days, the total per person is £36.24 x 2 travellers totals £72.48 (€86.66, $95.10)
Miscellaneous – In case of emergency, we will set a budget of £10.00 (€11.96, $13.12) per person, per day, totalling £40.00 (€47.83, $52.48) over four days for one person. For two travellers £80.00 (€95.66, $104.96).
The grand total for a 4-day trip to Krakow should be about £338.14 (€464.08, $509.26).
We would like to stress, that a budget is an estimate cost. We have therefore estimated for two travellers, flying from London to Krakow, staying in a cheap hostel etc will costs us £338.14.
Although your budget will be different, depending on the cost of transport to get to Krakow, where you stay and what sights you choose to visit.
If you follow the process we have taken, then you will come to your own budget.
What does your budget come too? How much did it actually cost you to visit Krakow? Did you stay on budget? Let us know in the comments below.
Now that we have set a budget, there are ways you could actually save some money while you travel. You could actually cut that budget down by about £50.00 (€59.78, $65.50 or more.
Let’s look at some ways you could save some money.
Related post: Things to do in Warsaw
Money Saving Tips for Krakow on a budget
We highlighted above, how to go about setting a budget and we have an example of our very own budget for a trip to Krakow. But are there ways we could reduce our budget.
Of course, there are.
We could easily get our budget down from £338.14 to around £250.00 (€298.91, $328.01) for the entire trip if not more. That would be a saving of £88.14 (€105.39, $115.64). That is insane.
Want to find out ways you could save money while travelling to Krakow?
Our biggest budget hack that saves us so much money when we travel is the food and drinks. Instead of setting a budget per meal, per person. We will buy our food and drinks from the local store and make a packed lunch for the day or evening meal.
The food we buy, will last us for a good couple of days and cost us a fraction of the price it would if we ate at a café or restaurant.
It is really easy to buy a loaf of bread and jam or spread and make a delicious sandwich.
Money in the bank, that could be spent on sightseeing, if there’s something you really want to do.
This is just the start, there are so many other ways you can save money as you travel.
We go through some more tips below, but if you are looking for more in-depth ways to save money while travelling, then check out our post on How to travel on a budget.
We break down some really easy tips on how to save money on accommodation, when the best time is to travel on a budget, how to get around a city to save money, how you can cut back on food and drinks and so much more.
Things to do in Krakow on a budget
Krakow is one of the cheapest cities to visit in Europe, so you won’t need to spend a lot of money on the things to do in Krakow.
Although, if you really don’t want to spend any money on sightseeing, then you really should visit the free things to do in Krakow, which are:
Take a wander around the Old Town, admire the architecture. Feel like royalty as you take on the royal walk, do a bit of window shopping in the Cloth Hall, or just take a stroll around Kazimierz and the Jewish quarter, while learning about Jewish culture.
Krakow is steeped in so much history, that you really can’t miss out on visiting some of the other top paid for tourist attractions. Such as Auschwitz-Birkenau, the Salt Mines and Oscar Schindler’s Factory. You won’t be disappointed, with paying a little extra to learn more about Krakow history.
How to get around Krakow
Public transport in Krakow is so cheap. But we are not here to tell you that, we want to share with you practical ways of visiting Krakow on a budget and ways to save money.
Our main money saving tip for visiting Krakow on a budget is to walk as much as possible. Most of the top tourist attractions are within walking distance, however you may need to take public transport to some of the other attractions.
If you have to take public transport, make sure this is included within your budget.
To help you plan your Krakow trip, here are some other methods of getting around Krakow:
The closest airport to Krakow is John Paul II International Airport, located about 17 miles from the town centre.
The cheapest way to get from the airport to Krakow, is via train that will take you straight to Glowny Station. The journey takes about 17 minutes and costs about zt8.00 (£1.42, €1.70 $1.87).
A taxi is far more expensive, but will take you straight to your hotel at an estimated cost of zt80.00 (£14.22, €17.00 $18.66).
A no brainer really, would be to take the train from the airport to Krakow city centre.
The main bus terminal is located at Krakow Glowny Train Station.
Buses include travel to the capital Warsaw and Wroctaw. While more local route will include destinations within Krakow and the surrounding area.
The Flixbus connects Krakow with neighbouring countries.
The main train transportation hub is located at Krakow Glowny Station.
Not only can you travel locally around the country, but trains connect other European countries too.
Connections include Gdansk, Lublin, Poznan, Torun, Warsaw, Wroctaw, Bratislava, Berlin, Budapest, Lviv and Prague.
Going on a road trip around Europe is an amazing idea. But it can sometimes be a challenge when you want to spend a couple of days in Krakow.
Parking is limited, if you are not familiar with the roads in Krakow, then driving can be more problematic and stressful, than travelling by public transport.
If you do intend on taking a road trip that includes Krakow for a few days, then park the car out of the city and catch public transport in. That way, you don’t need to congest the city with more traffic, you won’t need to find parking and you can have a stress-free holiday.
Our only caveat to this, is if you’re on a budget, hiring a vehicle can get expensive. If you haven’t got your own vehicle, then we would recommend travelling by public transport, to save some money.
We did mention this above, but want to mention it again, to get the point across about saving money and staying on that tight budget.
Walking is free. Why take public transport and spend money, when you can walk and not pay a penny.
Walking as much as possible, isn’t just good for your wallet, it is good for the environment and your health.
When planning your holiday to Krakow, only plan to use public transport when it really isn’t possible to walk it. You will definitely save money in the long run.
When to visit Krakow on a budget
If you are wanting to travel to Krakow on a budget, you are going to have to be flexible with your travel dates and the seasons.
Do you travel during the summer when the weather will be lovely and hot, or during the winter when it can get bitterly cold? We dive into the best time to visit Krakow on a budget:
Cheapest months to visit Krakow on a budget
The winter months are by far the cheapest time to visit Krakow.
Although you may wish to avoid December as prices increase during the festive season. If you want to get into the festive spirit, Krakow comes to life with Christmas Markets.
BUT, the weather in Krakow during winter can get bitterly cold. You may not find it all that pleasant visiting Krakow in such cold conditions.
Visiting Krakow during the shoulder months
In our opinion this will be the ideal time to visit Krakow.
The weather would have improved, with warmer conditions, even though there will be a few days that are cooler.
AND travel to Krakow will still be at their lowest point.
As a budget traveller, you want to be visiting Krakow when prices are still cheap, so the shoulder months of March to May and September to November, will be the ideal time to visit.
Visiting Krakow during the summer months
Oh, the weather will be glorious, with the hot sunshine beaming down, with the occasional downpour.
That does sound good.
But it doesn’t sound great on the purse strings.
The summer months not only sees an increase in tourism, but prices will increase, meaning you will have to increase that tight budget you set.
We would definitely recommend visiting Krakow during the shoulder months, to visit on a shoestring. But when will you choose to visit Krakow?
Related post: Best Places to visit in Europe
How to stay safe in Krakow
Are you worried about how safe it is in Krakow? Is Krakow a safe place to visit?
In our experience, Krakow is definitely a safe place for tourists to visit. We didn’t encounter any issues as a couple travelling together in Krakow.
Needless to say, this doesn’t mean you should be naïve to think you will be safe. Most tourist get caught out on scams, theft and pickpocketing.
The best way to stay safe, is be aware of your surroundings, do research on any tourist scams and if there are any areas within the city you should avoid.
As female traveller’s, we have some great tips on how to stay safe while travelling. By following these tips, you should feel safer to travel, be that as a solo traveller, or traveling as part of a family or group.
What to Pack for Krakow
A short stay in Krakow, will only require a small amount of luggage. You really don’t want to over pack on unnecessary things, that will just weigh your bags down.
Packing smart is the way to ensure you have all the right things you need for a trip to Krakow.
It’s also important to remember that most budget airlines, have a weight limit. Anything over this limit, will cost you more.
When packing, you need to factor in what season you are travelling in, to pack the correct clothes. You will want to pack all the right documents, from your passport, visa’s, to insurance and cameras.
For an extensive check list on what to pack for Poland, check out our comprehensive guide to what to pack for a holiday in Poland.
We loved visiting Krakow, simply because it was so cheap for us, but it is packed with so much to see, do and the Polish food is just incredible.
If you want to get away on a short holiday without spending too much money, then Krakow is definitely the place to visit.
To visit Krakow on a budget and save money while travelling, you really need to plan the holiday. Choose the cheapest months for airfares and stay in cheap hostels. If hostels are not your jam, then book into a cheap hotel, or stay in an apartment when you book through Airbnb.
Buy your food from local Polish shops and make a packed lunch and snacks for the day, then treat yourself with a cheap meal in a café or restaurant.
Walk off your food for cheap ways to get around Krakow.
It really is possible to visit Krakow on a budget and still save money along the way.
We can’t wait to go back to Krakow for a cheap getaway.
Have you visited Krakow? Did you set a budget and were you able to keep to it? Where did you go in Krakow? Do you have any tips on visiting Krakow on a budget, that we haven’t included? Have you maybe not been before, but now feeling it really is possible to visit Krakow on a budget? Let us know, by leaving a comment below.
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