Kraków

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About Kraków

Kraków has always been Poland's artistic and cultural centre, but for 500 years it was also the royal capital. Only for 500 years though, and the fact that it’s no longer the capital might be why its beautiful Baroque, Gothic, Romanesque and Renaissance architecture survived WW2. And it’s this architecture, as well as Kraków’s incredible art collection, that many people are coming to see today. That or the food, drink and festival scene. But whatever the reason for your visit we can recommend the best places to stay in Kraków for you, from 5* properties with fine dining restaurants to boutique townhouse hotels and smart apartments that won't break the bank.

Many of our recommendations for the best places to stay in Kraków can be found in the Old Town, and because of this city’s small footprint, you can walk to most of Kraków’s main sights from here. And every stroll around this city offers an opportunity to see more of the gorgeous architecture, and run across more fantastic places to eat and drink. The public transport service is very efficient for anywhere you can’t walk to.

Kraków really knows how to host an event! The summer is packed with festivals celebrating and showcasing everything from film to opera to street theatre, so this is a really busy time to visit, but a fun time too. If you are planning to attend a festival and you want to stay in one of the hotels we recommend as the best places to stay in Kraków then it’s worth booking in advance.

Where to Stay? Which Neighbourhood?

  • Stare Miasto is Kraków’s Heritage Listed, medieval Old Town, a lively, beautiful neighbourhood which escaped bomb damage during WW2, and so has much of the city’s oldest, and most impressive architecture. Stare Miasto is also where you’ll find many of Kraków’s major sights and sites, including Wawel Castle, Gothic treasure the Kraków Cloth House, the Main Market Square (Europe’s largest at a whopping ten acres!) and Wawel Cathedral (more than 900 years old and known for its wonderful collection of religious art). Being central, Stare Miasto has some great places to eat and drink too, mostly centred around charming Florianska Street, apparently it’s got more bars per square metre than anywhere else in Europe.
  • Kleparz is a pretty residential neighbourhood just north of Stare Miasto, only minutes from the Main Market Square, so it’s still central, but nowhere near as busy. Its own main square is busy with local boutiques, with a few market-style traders, but it’s much more sedate and refined, and if you’re looking for the real local market you’ll find it in Stary Kleparz, which is known for its clothes stalls. If you’re looking for an upmarket apartment hotel or boutique hotel Kleparz is one of the best places to stay in Kraków. We also recommend Kleparz to anyone wanting to stay somewhere that local people actually live.
  • Kazimierz is the old Jewish part of town, and now one of the coolest. Today you’ll find galleries, cafes, boutiques and antique shops — many with a chic, bohemian edge — as well as synagogues and the Old Jewish Cemetery. It’s a funny juxtaposition that Kazimierz is a particularly poignant and historic part of town, though also one of the best places to go out in Kraków of an evening.
  • Podgórze is just across the river from Kazimierz and the centre of town. It’s charming and affordable, but it does have a rather dark history, having been used as a Jewish ghetto.
  • Debniki is also across the river and slightly off centre (directly opposite Wawel Castle), but it’s still convenient. It has a leafy residential feel that will appeal to families and anyone planning a longer stay. Debniki is also home to a number of great guesthouses.
  • Grzegórzki runs from the east of Planty Park in the Old Town to the central train station, and is one of the best neighbourhoods if you’re looking for great value. From the outset it might look a bit grey and run down, but just below the surface are some really fantastic hotels and apartment hotels, plus plenty of excellent local restaurants. Grzegórzki is also where you’ll find the botanical gardens, and Kraków’s largest flea market, the Hala Targowa. And it’s got some great family friendly options too.
  • Ludwinow is another good place to consider if you’re looking for great value accommodation, it’s hip, and on the river, but you have to travel to get into the centre of town, so that’s why prices are so low.
  • Krowodrza is to the west of centre. Formerly its own village, but long since absorbed into Kraków, this is a great place to stay in Kraków for families, with a relaxed, residential feel, and plenty of parkland and open space. Krowodrza is where you’ll find the Royal Palace of Lobzow, and Jordan Park, and it’s only 15 minutes from the centre of town by tram.
  • Zwierzyniec is another good neighbourhood if you’re lookingt travelling with kids. This is where you’ll find the zoo! It’s to the west, close to the protected forest of Laswolski, a beautiful spot perfect for strolling and city views.

This city has become an increasingly popular year round destination, so if you want to guarantee a room in one of the best places to stay in Krakow, do your homework, and book well ahead.

The Best Places to Stay in Kraków

For a city break

  • Elegant and rather traditional, the Hotel Pod Roza is perfectly positioned, in Stare Miasto, close to the basilica. Its 57 rooms and suites are simply decorated, with heavy wooden furniture and a warm, creamy colour palette. The bathrooms are marble, and despite being old they have every modern luxury. There are two restaurants, one in the property’s former courtyard, which is now protected from the elements by a glass roof.
  • The Hotel Grodek is a boutique-style hotel in a quiet Old Town location, also close to the basilica. It has only 23 rooms and suites, traditionally, and individually decorated with varying degrees of chintz. There’s a charming library bar, with a log fire, perfectly cosy on a winter’s evening, and an award-winning restaurant. In the morning you can take your breakfast and coffee on the roof terrace overlooking the spires of St. Mary’s Basilica.

For a romantic stay

  • If you want to book somewhere really memorable Hotel Wentzl is ideal. Converted from a 15th century stately home, it’s the only hotel overlooking Rynek Glówny, so you'll not miss any of the action, and there are many other Kraków highlights within a few minutes walk. There are only 18 rooms and suites, all of them individually designed and decorated, the majority with an elegant, bohemian flavour. There’s also a fantastic restaurant.
  • The Hotel Stary is a five star hotel in central Kraków: right opposite the Museum Kraków. Its 53 rooms and suites are all uniquely decorated, so if you want frescoes and painted ceilings, you can opt for that, but they also have rooms with polished concrete floors, baths centre stage and sloping roofs with huge skylights. There’s an impressive spa and gym, with a large indoor pool, and the restaurant does not disappoint.
  • The Hotel Polski is another Old Town option, located close to the old city walls. This is a large townhouse conversion, and now has 60 good sized rooms and suites, with some really beautiful features. Think large frescoes, marble fireplaces. heavy curtains and tapestries, and some lovely art and antiques. There’s a traditional feel to the place, an atmosphere that fits perfectly into this beautiful, old part of town. Most rooms have floor to ceiling windows with charming views, and there’s a great traditional restaurant too.

Some of Kraków’s Best Luxury Hotels

  • The Hotel Copernicus is a truly special place to stay. It’s just below Wawel Castle, in the very oldest part of the Old Town, with a beautiful terrace with castle views. It has only 29 rooms and suites, complete with renaissance frescoes, carved stone portals and statuary, an indoor pool in a vaulted cellar, and Gothic details, like dark wood furniture and huge, sweeping velvet drapes. The roof top bar is quite something, and its Michelin recommended Polish restaurant is very highly regarded.

Off centre

  • Modern and comfortable, the 20 room Hotel Benefis is on a quiet street on the other side of the river from Stare Miasto, away from any traffic noise, but still only about 15 minutes walk from the Main Market Square. The rooms are simple, spacious and comfortable, and the best rooms and suites have views of Wawel Castle. Breakfast is served in the elegant cellar, which has contemporary decor and an impressive spread every morning. This is the perfect place to stay if you’re willing to walk a little distance to save a bit of money.

For great value

  • The Hotel Pugetow is another converted, 16th century townhouse, though this time a smaller one, with only seven rooms and suites. Each room is uniquely, and traditionally decorated, with a different theme, so it feels a bit like a private home, rather than a hotel. The Italian restaurant is reasonable too, occupying an atmospheric, vaulted cellar.
  • The Hotel Amber is an impressive, yet affordable hotel, sitting behind an elegant pink and white Renaissance façade. You’re only minutes from the Main Market Square, and yet the hotel is quite quiet, with just 18 rooms and suites, and a swanky dining room. The decor has an Art Deco twist, and a neutral palette, and some of the rooms are quite grand, despite being included in our ‘great value’ category. There’s also a gym and sauna in the basement.
  • Overlooking Plenty Park, the Maltanski Hotel is in a delightfully leafy spot, complete with its own garden. It has 16 rooms and suites which feature parquet floor, wood burning stoves, rounded windows and garden views.

Prefer a Kraków Apartment?

  • Cracowdays Apartments are a collection of just ten really charming apartments close to the Park Krakówski. Expect exposed beams and brick, and contemporary furnishings. Some of the apartments have their own cooking facilities, but they also offer a friendly communal breakfast area. There's complimentary bike hire too, so it’s ideal if you’re staying in Kraków for a bit longer and you’re looking for a home from home.
  • If you’d prefer to look at other apartments or self-catering accommodation we recommend you visit our online partner, booking.com.

Travel Information

  • Kraków Airport, or John Paul II Airport, is the most convenient entry point for international visitors arriving by plane. It’s about 15 kms from the centre of town, and well connected by bus, train, private transfers, which are like taxis arranged in advance, and taxis. Depending on traffic your journey will take between 20 and 30 minutes. Some budget airlines fly to Katowise, which is 110kms to the north west of Kraków, and doesn’t have the excellent transport infrastructure of John Paul II, so you really need to get a shuttle bus, which takes about two hours, or a private transfer or taxi into Kraków. Kraków’s main train station is called Kraków Glówny, and it’s directly linked with Berlin, Vienna, Prague, Budapest, Bratislava and Kiev. The train from John Paul II Airport also arrives into Kraków Glówny. The station is only five minutes from the Old Town, and it’s got its own shopping mall, which makes it quite convenient for visitors.
  • If you’re thinking about hiring a car we recommend checking what our online partners, Rentalcars have to offer.
  • Kraków is in a really beautiful spot, on the Vistula River at the foot of the Carpathian Mountains, but its weather is known for being temperamental, with bouts of cold and wet when you’re not necessarily expecting it. Winter is very cold, expect many days below freezing, and summer can be rainy, but spring and autumn are comparatively dry and mild, so they’re probably the best times to visit. May, June and September, October are probably the nicest time to visit weather-wise.

Still not sure which is the best place to stay in Kraków?

  • If you’ve perused all our recommendations and not found the perfect place to stay you might want to consider our recommendations for the best places to stay in Warsaw?
  • or you could contact one of our friendly Gurus for personalised advice.

Weather

Monthly Weather in Kraków

Best Hotels in Kraków

  • Hotel Pugetow Kraków 6 rooms from AU$122

    Local exploring  -  A charming historic property right in the centre, within a castle complex, ideal for submerging yourself in the old town.
    Sights nearby  -  Positioned next to the 19th Century Pugetow Palace.
    Full of character
    Romantic  -  Good for couples.
    Recommended by  -  Michelin Travel

    Unique setting in a small 19th-century townhouse. Individually decorated rooms with traditional elegance - creams, pastels, mahogany furnishings. Dinners and conferences are arranged in the atmospheric vaulted cellar. Well situated to explore the city. See More

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  • Hotel Benefis Kraków 20 rooms from AU$126

    City Style  -  A chic hotel located in a quiet are of the city but close to many of the sights.
    Value chic  -  Excellent value; stylish accommodation
    Sights nearby  -  Walking distance to the Royal Wawel Castle.
    Secluded setting  -  For escaping.
    Recommended by  -  Michelin Travel

    Modern, unassuming hotel. Separated from the traffic noise of the major streets, it is a perfect location for families with children. Comfortable contemporary rooms with statement pieces of art. Atmospheric cellar restaurant. Walking distance to many of the main sights. See More

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  • Cracowdays Apartments Kraków 10 rooms from AU$126

    Groups  -  A hip 'home away from home' located in the heart of the Old Town, perfect for groups who crave independent travel.
    Sights nearby  -  Guests must visit the nearby Royal Wawel Castle, a fascinating historic site.
    Great walks  -  This is a great city to wander and discover hidden treasures.
    Restrictions on children  -  Children above 6 yrs welcome

    Charming apartments with modern interiors in the heart of the Old Town. Exposed brick walls, beamed ceilings and clean, crisp furnishing with all the mod cons. A friendly atmosphere with communal breakfasts - a trendy home from home. Ideal for travellers who search for a true local experience. See More

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  • Maltanski Hotel Kraków 16 rooms from AU$131

    Value chic  -  A charming hotel, well situated in the Old Town within close proximity to the Wawel Royal Castle and totally affordable.
    Great walks  -  For a breath of fresh air, take a turn around the tranquil Planty Park.
    Sights nearby  -  Within a few minutes walkof Krakow's famed Wawel Royal Castle.
    Full of character

    An utterly charming small hotel overlooking Planty Park on a leafy street. Wood burning stoves, parquet floors, lovely garden. No restaurant but many in the local area. Friendly efficient staff. A really cosy place to stay in an ideal location for exploring the city. See More

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  • Hotel Grodek Kraków 23 rooms from AU$147

    City Style  -  An elegant boutique hotel in the heart of the Old Town, with a charming roofterrace and fantastic restaurant.
    Great walks  -  Wander through the pretty streets of the Old Town.
    Sights nearby  -  Just 200m from the St. Mary's Basilica.
    Full of character
    Recommended by  -  Fodors, Michelin Travel

    A boutique gem you won’t be disappointed with. Set in a quiet cul de sac but still in the heart of the medieval town. Award-winning restaurant serving fusion cuisine, beautiful individually themed rooms. A warming library bar for winter evenings. A lovely base to explore the city from. See More

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  • Hotel Wentzl Kraków 18 rooms from AU$167

    City Style  -  A 15th-century tenement turned luxurious hotel, in the Main Market Square with lovely views of the Old Town.
    Sights nearby  -  Easy access to the pretty Old Town and walking distance from Wawel Castle.
    Views  -  Great views from hotel
    Full of character
    Recommended by  -  Michelin Travel

    The only hotel overlooking Krakow’s principal square. Traditional elegance and beautifully decorated rooms with paintings, four poster beds, and stunning views. A stately house with a fantastic restaurant. A totally charming place to stay for local exploring. See More

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  • Hotel Amber Kraków 18 rooms from AU$180

    Sights nearby  -  Visit the nearby Wawel Castle and Jewish District.
    Recommended by  -  Michelin Travel

    An impressive hotel on a quiet street. Elegant pink-and-white Renaissance façade and polished modern interiors with neutral tones and Art Deco influences. Lovely breakfasts and the added extra of a basement gym and sauna. An immaculate and friendly base for exploring the city. See More

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  • Hotel Pod Roza Kraków 57 rooms from AU$180

    City Style  -  An elegant hotel right in the heart of the Old Town, with charming suites and a rich history.
    Sights nearby  -  A short walk from the Jewish District and the Wawel Royal Castle.
    Full of character
    Romantic  -  Good for couples.

    Krakow’s first hotel in the heart of the Old Town. Its original heritage features with their traditional European elegance have been melded with modern luxuries. Two restaurants sit in the lovely former courtyard under a glazed roof. A luxurious base to explore the city from. See More

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  • Hotel Polski Kraków 60 rooms from AU$173

    Local exploring  -  Well located near the main market and within walking distance to many of the city's sights.
    Sights nearby  -  Admire St. Florian’s Gate just opposite the hotel and make a trip to the Main Market Square.
    Full of character
    Romantic  -  Good for couples.

    An elegant townhouse property in the centre of Krakow. The traditionally styled opulent rooms boast large frescoes, heavy curtains and delicate floral motifs. An atmospheric restaurant, with exposed stonework and floor to ceiling windows, serves traditional fare. An ideal base for city exploring. See More

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  • Hotel Copernicus Kraków 29 rooms from AU$310

    City Style  -  A stunning historical building full of character, boasting sumptuous suites with handwoven rugs, and hardwood floors.
    Foodies  -  The Michelin recommended Copernicus Restaurant is not to be missed, neither are the 200 plus wines in their cellar!
    Sights nearby  -  Just a three minute walk to the Wawel Royal Castle and close to the Jewish District and Main Market Square.
    Swimming Pool  -  Indoor Pool
    Recommended by  -  Kiwi Collection, Relais & Chateaux

    The Copernicus is truly special - Renaissance frescoes, carved stone portals, and Gothic rooms with dark woods and velvets. Fabulous roof top bar with views over the Old Town. An indoor pool in the vaulted cellar. An accoladed Polish restaurant. A luxury base to explore the city. See More

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  • Hotel Stary Kraków 53 rooms from AU$313

    Romantic Break  -  With its chic interiors and superb dining options, this is an excellent choice for a romantic break
    Foodies  -  Dine in the restaurant's Michelin recommended restaurant
    Sights nearby  -  Be sure to visit the historic Wawel Royal Castle
    Swimming Pool  -  Indoor pool
    Recommended by  -  Tablet

    The 5* Hotel Stary is located in central Krakow. Featuring contemporary designer interiors, a Michelin recommended restaurant and an extensive spa. Boutique rooms and suites blend elegant stonework with wooden furnishings. A top city spot for the luxury traveller. See More

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