Not sure what the best area to stay in Krakow is? Are you looking to be close to tourist attractions? Or maybe you want to experience the nightlife? This blog post will help guide you through all of the best areas in Krakow and help you decide which would be the ideal location for you.
Krakow has exploded in popularity in recent years. Little wonder, it’s a compact but beautiful city located relatively centrally in Europe. It’s only a two-hour flight away from the U.K. The city is rich in history and culture, and is a budget-friendly destination too!
If you’ve heard someone talking about Krakow, you’ve probably heard them talk about the beautiful Old Town. There’s no denial, it is very beautiful. Home to some of the city’s most famous landmarks including the Main Market Square, the Wawel Royal Castle, and the St. Mary’s Basilica. The Old Town is as charming as it sounds.
The Main Market Square is the largest medieval town square in Europe and is surrounded on all sides by shops, bars and restaurants. St Mary’s Basilica is in one corner, and the Cloth Hall is in the centre.
The Old Town is right in the centre of the city, with everything being so close to it, it is a great area to stay in Krakow. There are plenty of Hotels, Hostels and rental apartments to choose from. So you won’t struggle to find somewhere to stay.
Unfortunately, due to the reputation of the Old Town, it’s very touristy. It can get very busy, especially in peak season.
Additionally, since the area primarily targets tourism, you’ll find that the prices for food, drinks, and accommodations aren’t as budget-friendly as in other parts of the city.
Krakow is a cheap city to visit, but staying in the Old Town won’t do any favours for your budget.
Overall, staying in the Old Town is a great choice for those who want to be in the centre of the city and within walking distance of all the main attractions. But, if you’re looking to save money and don’t really want to be in an area full of tourists, it’s probably not the area for you.
Value for Money: 7/10
Kazimierz is probably our favourite area in Krakow. Once a separate town, Kazimierz is now part of the city. It’s located just south of the Old Town and is about a ten to fifteen-minute walk to the Main Square depending on where you are in Kazimierz. It’s well connected with trams passing through and good bus connections.
Because this area was once the Jewish quarter of Krakow, there’s an abundance of synagogues to visit. As well as the Galicia Jewish Museum which is well worth a visit if you’re interested in Jewish history. If you get a feeling of deja vu, a lot of Schindlers List was filmed here, so you may recognise streets and buildings.
Kazimierz was very run down in the communist era. But since the fall of communism, the area has been rejuvenated. It’s now a brilliant district, known for its trendy vibe and artistic flair.
We loved staying here and spent many days wandering around, stumbling into little shops, cafes and bars. There’s definitely a younger crowd here, with not as many obvious tourists. Because of this, the vibe is much more relaxed.
There are lots of independent galleries and clothes shops selling vintage clothes, art and homemade items. Kazimierz boasts a vibrant nightlife with plenty of excellent restaurants and cool bars to try out. The prices here are much more reasonable in comparison to the Old Town too.
If you like your street art, Kazimierz has plenty on offer. You’ll see plenty just walking around but if you want a more extensive guide, here’s a good guide to finding the best street art.
Value for Money: 8/10
Podgórze is an up-and-coming neighbourhood in Krakow that’s full of character and history. Located south of the river, it’s the site of the former walled ghetto, about a thirty-minute walk from the Old Town and a fifteen-minute walk from Kazimierz. There are regular trams and buses that service the area so it isn’t isolated.
Here you’ll find Schindler’s Factory Museum, which tells the story of Oskar Schindler and everything thing he did to save Krakows Jews during the Holocaust. There is also the Pharmacy under the Eagle Museum and ghetto hero’s square.
If Jewish history isn’t your thing, there are other attractions in Podgórze. MOCAK is worth a visit for art lovers.
Krakus mound is one of two prehistoric manmade mounds in Krakow along with Wanda mound. Found just south of Podgórze, it offers amazing views of the city. It’s definitely worth a walk down on a nice day.
There definitely isn’t as much going on in Podgórze in comparison to Kazimierz or the Old Town as it’s more of a residential area. This area would be a good option for those that aren’t bothered about being close to the main attractions. Due to it being a mostly residential area, there aren’t as many bars, restaurants or hotels. But, the ones you find are more likely to be cheaper than the more touristy areas.
Value for Money: 9/10
In addition to the Old Town, Kazimierz, and Podgórze, there are several other neighbourhoods in Krakow worth considering when looking for the best place to stay.
- Kleparz: This neighbourhood is located just north of the Old Town and is known for its charming streets and peaceful atmosphere.
- Zwierzyniec: Located on the western side of the Vistula River. Zwierzyniec is a quiet residential area, on the doorstep of the city’s green space. It’s a short walk from the Old Town and Kazimierz. So it’s a good option for those that want to be away from the hustle and bustle of the city centre.
- Debniki: Located just south of the Old Town, Debniki is a residential neighbourhood that’s great for those who want to be close to the city centre but away from the crowds.
No matter which neighbourhood you choose, Krakow has plenty of accommodation options to suit your needs and budget.
There are plenty of good areas to stay in Krakow, but, really it all boils down to personal preference. We’ve done a brief summary.
If you want to be close to all the tourist attractions, stay in the Old Town. Everything will be on your doorstep and will be easy to find.
The best area in Krakow for nightlife is Kazimierz. This fun, vibrant area is full of bars and restaurants. There’s a fun, cool vibe that is great for young people and couples.
Podgórze or Debniki are the best areas to stay in if you’re on a budget. Because these are more residential areas, you’ll pay less for food and accommodation. But, you’ll still find it easy to get to the main attractions on foot or by public transport.
For couples we would recommend staying in Kazimierz, it’s within walking distance of the Old Town. But has a much more relaxed vibe. There are plenty of restaurants, bars and cafes to enjoy. With cuisines from all over the world to choose from.
If you’re planning a trip to Krakow we hope this blog has been helpful! Wherever you end up staying, we’re sure you’ll have an amazing time!
Gareth is an avid city adventurer with a particular passion for finding amazing food! There’s quite literally nothing he doesn’t like. He spends most of his travelling time trying to find great restaurants and cafes to eat at. Alongside trying local street food which he loves! He’s done most of his travelling in Europe so far but would love to visit Japan and Mexico
When not travelling you can find Gareth boxing, running, or in the gym. He’s got a passion for exercise and loves physical challenges.
You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org