Although the city is small, there are lots of things to do in Krakow which will keep the whole family entertained. And luckily many of them are inside, so those cold temperatures will be a bit more manageable if you’re visiting in winter. Some of our favourite things to do in Krakow are below, and most of them are within a few minutes walk of each other. So it’s a really great city to explore with young kids who can’t to walk too far.
1. Wawel Royal Castle
Explore the state rooms, towers and gardens of Krakow’s impressive royal castle – an attraction the kids are sure to love. For centuries the residence of kings and the symbol of Polish statehood, the castle is now also one of the country’s most important art museums. It plays host to numerous seasonal exhibitions as well as permanent masterpieces from Italian Renaissance paintings to Asian tapestry. The Wawel Royal Castle also hosts a lively program of events including classical music concerts, opera and dance.
Address: Wawel 5, 31-001 Kraków, Poland
2. Wieliczka Salt Mine
One of the largest underground mining sites in the world lies just outside Krakow, and is sure to fascinate the kids as they delve into this immersive museum. Explore the underground labyrinth of galleries, chambers and lakes as you descend down beneath the earth. This UNESCO listed site covers a vast area of 245km, and was the workplace of many generations of Polish families. Travel through their history as you learn all about the mines , the workers and the salt they produced.
If you don’t have a hire car, there are plenty of companies which offer transport and guided tours, or take the 304 bus and admire some city sights along the way . The journey takes around 50 minutes by bus. Why not book this skip the queue ticket, so the kids don’t get bored waiting?
Fun fact: The micro-climate of the salt mine has great health benefits for visitors, helping respiratory problems and allergies.
3. Cloth Hall (Sukiennice)
This medieval cloth hall is rated as one of the best things to do in Krakow, and we thinks it’s a fantastic place for kids as there’s so much to see. The history of the place is palpable – stood at the centre of the Main Square, it has been an icon of the city since the mid 13th century. Originally a place to buy and sell textiles, it quickly became a powerhouse of East-West trade. In 2006 the building was updated to bring it into the 21st century, and now boasts lifts, air conditioning and several pretty terrace bars which overlook the Main Square. On a rainy day it’s the perfect place to while away an hour or two, perusing the local crafts, food and textiles.
4. Rynek Underground Museum
This highly-rated modern museum and archaeological excavation site explores the whole of the city’s history, from its first settlers right up to the present day. The high-tech nature of the museum will be a hit with little ones, with loads of interactive displays to help engage them . There’s also a great dedicated kids area with puppets and quizzes. This is a good place to visit on your first day in Krakow, as it gives a really informative yet fun start to your trip.
5. St Mary’s Basilica
This beautiful Roman Catholic church is sure to be one of the highlights of your trip. Dating back to the 13th century, its exterior is a fantastic example of Gothic architecture. But inside is even more impressive. The magnificent alter which took 12 years to make, the stained glass windows and the blue, starred ceiling will take your breath away. The 80 metre high watchtower over the city plays a bugle call every hour – a tradition to warn inhabitants of impending invasions. Admission to the church is free for worshippers, or for a small entry fee for tourists outside of service times. Adults and kids aged over 7 can also visit famous The Bugle Tower, which is open from March to December. Tickets for the tower tend to sell out quickly each day, so get there early as numbers are limited.
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