Planning for Krakow

Dear Diary,

It’s time to tell you how we planned our trip to Krakow. We’ll start by detailing how we got there, estimated costs for transportation, entries to sightseeing, public transportation and accommodation.

We left Cluj by car on a Friday night. We decided to go by car because there is no direct airplane connection from Cluj-Napoca to Krakow and because it is more cost-effective. We also wanted to go on a little road trip and visit other places on our way to Poland. For example, we visited the Tatra Mountains and one day we went to Auschwitz-Birkenau, which is located 43 km from Krakow. So the choice of transport for us was easy, we made 10 hours on the road and traveled 700 km.

If you stay 700 km from Krakow then maybe it is more profitable to go by car. Considering that there are about 700 km, 1400 km round-trip, the cost of fuel for a car that has the fuel consumption of 6 l/100km (extra-urban) would be somewhere at 80 euros. But you also have to pay road taxes. In Hungary the 10-day tax is 2975ft/12 euros, in Slovakia is 10 euros and in Poland you don’t have to pay taxes 😂. So a total of 102 euros.

If you don’t like being in a car for so long then you can just take the airplane. The companies that you can fly with to get to Krakow are: Aeroflot, Air Berlin, easyJet, Eurolot, Finnair,, JetAir, LOT, Lufthansa, Norwegian and Ryanair. If you want to go by airplane, you should know that Krakow has direct connections from these European destinations: Alicante, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Belfast, Bergen, Berlin, Billund, Birmingham, Bologna, Bristol, Brussels, Charleroi, Cagliari, Copenhagen, Dortmund, Dublin, Dubrovnik, Dusseldorf, East Midlands, Edinburgh, Eindhoven, Frankfurt, Gdansk, Helsinki, Leeds Bradford, Liverpool, London, Madrid, Milan/Bergamo, Moscow, Munich, Newcastle, Oslo, Paris, Paris Beauvais, Poznan, Rome, Stavanger, Stockholm, Arlanda, Vienna, Warszawa, Wroclaw, Zurich. Unfortunately there are no direct connections to other countries outside Europe, but you can fly to London or Paris and then take a flight to Krakow. If you want more information regarding the flights you can check this link. The cost of the ticket should be around 150 euros, if you buy it at least three weeks earlier before the trip.

In terms of accommodation you can find below some estimated costs for renting an apartment or a hotel room for two people between the 29th of June and the 2nd of July:

  • Laiko Apartaments – a very nice apartment located 850 meters from the main square and 1.7 km from Wawel Castle. It has a 9.4 score on Booking. The price for three nights would be 259 euros for two people.
  • The Hampton Hotel – located 3.5 km from Krakow’s touristic zone, the hotel has a score of 8.9 on Booking. The cost of a three-night stay is 217 euros with breakfast included, for two persons.
  • Leone Aparthotel – it is situated at the border between the Jewish Quarter and the Old Town. It a score of 8.5 on Booking and the price for two people staying three nights would be 244 euros.

Public transportation in Krakow can be done by tram, bus, bicycle or of course on foot to feel the city’s vibe. But let’s give you some examples to get an idea about prices:

  • Bus and tram tickets for one hour 3.1 PLN / 0.6 euro
  • One day bus and tram tickets 10.40 PLN / 2.5 euro
  • Bus and tram tickets for two days 18,80 PLN / 4,1 euro
  • Tickets for bus and tram available 72 hours 25 PLN / 5.5 euro
  • Tickets for bus and tram per week 39 PLN / 8.6 euro
  • Renting a bicycle would cost somewhere at 20 zlotys per day / 4.39 euros

Entrance fees to main attractions

Krakow has so many beautiful attractions that three days are not enough for a traveler to discover the city’s true potential. But they are enough to learn a little bit of history, to get to know the cultures, the traditions and their culinary arts. So here are the main tourist attractions or activities for which you do not have to pay an entrance:

  • The Main Square is located on the Royal Road once traversed during the Royal Coronations at Wawel Cathedral, it is one of the most spectacular tourist attractions in Krakow and one of the largest medieval squares in Europe. The Main Square is surrounded by old brick buildings and palaces, almost all of them being several centuries old.
  • The Jewish Quarter, also known as Kazimierz is where the Jewish residences once lived. Nowadays, a small part of the Jews still live there. It is a nice place to visit and try some traditional food and also learn more about the Jewish lifestyle.
  • Walking along the Vistula, the river passing through the heart of Krakow is a promenade for urban residents. It’s nice to walk along the river, especially in the evening because it is a very romantic place.
  • Church of St. Anne it’s located in the middle of the Jewish Quarter and it has an impressive décor. It is one of the leading examples of Polish Baroque architecture. The church’s history dates back to the 14th century. Initially it was a Gothic building, but it was demolished because it turned out to be too steady. Then people began building churches in the new Baroque style, so they build the church after the model of Sant’Andrea della Valle church in Rome.
  • St. Mary’s Basilica in the medieval main square, also called Church of Our Lady Assumed into Heaven or St. Mary’s Church is a Brick Gothic church built in the 14th century. Standing 80 m (262 ft) tall, it is particularly famous for its wooden altarpiece carved by Veit Stoss (Wit Stwosz) and its two uneven towers.

Sights for which you have to pay the entrance:

  • Wawel Castle is the most important tourist attraction of the city being declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site as part of the Historic Centre of Kraków. It is situated on the bank of the Vistula and it is one of the largest castle residencies in Poland. It is designed in nearly all European architectural styles of medieval, renaissance and baroque periods. The entry fee for people over 6 years old is 28.66 euros.
  • The Wieliczka Salt Mine is about 10 km from Krakow and the visit takes about three hours. The entrance fee is 89 PLN / 20 euros and it includes an English guide.
  • Auschwitz-Birchenau, the former Nazi concentration camp can be visited in the memory of those who have suffered. You will appreciate life more after this visit and you will definitely learn a little a little bit of the world’s history. The entry price may be different, in the same day we found tickets for an English guided tour for 60PLN/13 euros and also for 70PLN/15 euros. Here is the link where you can check the tickets price.
  • Sightseeing by Golf Cart, a guided tour of the city with the golf car is highly recommended. We had so much fun and we also learned about the history of the city. Cars are equipped with audio guides, but you also have a tour guid with you. We paid 25PLN/5 euros per person and visited the medieval city center, the Jewish Quarter and Ghetto, churches and basilicas.

For a four-day holiday in Krakow you will pay around 162 euros per person, if you choose to get there by car, including accommodation and public transport. If you choose to get there by plane you will pay around 270 euros per person including public transport and accommodation. So go pack your things and prepare for a trip to this awesome historic, medieval, cosmopolitan city.