With its UNESCO World Heritage–listed historic center, lively Jewish district, and fascinating museums, it’s easy to see why Krakow is known as Poland’s cultural capital. With just one day in town, planning ahead will help you maximize your time and fit as much as possible into your visit. Here’s how to see Krakow in a single day.
Start your day with a hop-on hop-off bus tour, which lets you take in the sights at your own pace and save time traveling between attractions. Spend the morning exploring Krakow’s UNESCO-listed Old Town, starting in the central square of Rynek Glowny. Take time to admire the square’s architectural landmarks, including the Cloth Hall (Sukiennice), Church of the Virgin Mary (Kosciol Mariacki), and the Old Town Hall Tower—plus the famous Empty Head, a popular photo spot. Continue to Wawel Castle and, after visiting the neighbouring Wawel Cathedral, stroll over the Grunwaldzki Bridge for a fantastic view of the castle on the banks of the Vistula River.
A visit to Oskar Schindler’s Enamel Factory offers insight into one of the most moving stories of Nazi-occupied Poland. On a tour of the museum, learn about the horrific events that happened in Krakow during World War II and hear how Schindler’s story was retold in the Oscar-winning film Schindler’s List. Continue to nearby Kazimierz, the former Jewish quarter, which is now one of Krakow’s most atmospheric neighborhoods. Spend the rest of the afternoon exploring the district, including sights such as Corpus Christi Church, Tempel Synagogue, and Remuh Synagogue, or browsing the market stalls around Plac Nowy (New Square).
It’s worth staying in Kazimierz until the evening hours, when the main street—Ulica Szeroka—buzzes with activity. There’s a huge selection of bars and restaurants here, as well as live music venues and nightclubs that stay open until the early hours. Enjoy dinner at one of the traditional Polish restaurants, or join an evening street food walking tour and sample local specialties like smoked cheese, stuffed dumplings, and borscht (beetroot soup).