Capital city of Lesser Poland is also often called a cultural capital of Poland. Not by mistake Cracow was rewarded in 2000 (as the first one, and yet only city in our country) with a title of European Culture Capital. Great historical treasures, large number of cultural facilities like museums, galleries, theatres, cinemas and unusually rich offer of shows and festivals, together with unique atmosphere makes this city special. The official website of the city reflects the great potential of Cracow. Run in many different language versions www.krakow.pl website provides information about tourists attractions, but also about current cultural events. The website is equipped witch search engine and calendars that help to find interesting entertainment. Everyone will find something responding to their needs.
Other (usually available in Polish and English versions) websites with culture news:
Information about cultural events – public Facebook groups:
Historical sites and cultural institutions:
All historical treasures, museums, theatres, cinemas and galleries are available for foreigners. There is also a possibility of organizing guided tours in foreign languages, with personal guide or multimedia/printed ones. When going out to cinema or theatre it is worth to understand Polish a bit, as most of screenings are in this language (usually subtitles with original voices, however Polish dubbing is also common so ask or the certain movie).
Plan your trip – check some general information about the site you are planning to visit:
- Days and open hours (some museums are closed on Mondays)
- ticket prices – and if it is necessary to make earlier reservation
- possibility of a guided tour
- overall time needed for sightseeing
The 'must-see' historical sites in Cracow:
Complex of historical buildings situated on the hill by the Vistula river, which for centuries served as the centre of monarchy and church authorities in Poland. Exceptional and significant place for Polish historical and cultural identity. It’s worth to see exhibitions on the Castle and Wawel Cathedral together with cardinal museum.
Main Square, The Old Town and Royal Road
The center of social, public and economic life of Cracow for about 750 years. The greatest square in Poland and Europe, considered the most beautiful in the world. For years the Main Square and surrounding areas witnessed many key events from the history of Poland. Cloth house (Sukiennice), St. Mary's Church (Kościól Mariacki) and remnants of fortifications together with St. Florian’s Gate and Barbican.
Once a separate city, later became a district of Cracow. Today it is the most popular touristic site with many museums of Jewish culture and Synagogues.
City established by the end of 18th century by Austrian emperor, since 1915 included in the administrative area of Cracow. The most interesting places are: The Market, Heroes of the Getto Square and Krakus Mould.
Part of Cracow established after World War II on the rural areas located on the north east. It was designed as an industrial centre is a great example of architecture of socialist realism.
Underground of the Main Market Square
Interactive exhibition – effect of archeological excavations under the plate of the Main Square conducted in 2005-2010. In an interesting way it describes medieval life of Cracow, emphasizing its European identity.
Kraków under Nazi Occupation 1939-1945 Exhibition at Oskar Schindler’s Enamel Factory
The exhibition takes us back in time to the occupied city of Cracow, with all its former dreadful atmosphere.
Historical Museum of the City of Krakow
The oldest museum of that type in Poland with 11 branches, presenting sets of Polish collectors and native artists.
“Wieliczka” Salt Mine
Unique on a global scale historical treasure (in 1978 it was placed on the UNESCO list of the World Heritage Sites). Currently the museum offers underground tours through corridors and chambers in two options: classic Tourist Route, and Miners’ Route for people who enjoy challenges.
Museum founded on former Nazi concentration camps’ grounds in Oświęcim and Brzezinka.
Toursit Information Points
City like Cracow must have information pints where people can receive detailed information concerning city, tourists attractions and cultural events. You will find 7 such points, known as City Information Points InfoKraków. They are located in places important for tourist traffic – mainly within the city centre and the airport.
InfoKraków points provide information concerning:
- tourists attractions of Cracow and Lesser Poland (places worth seeing, how to reach tourists sites, opening hours of museums and tickets costs)
- current events in the city (concerts, festivals)
- sleeping places
- guided tours (reservation is possible)
- points also sell tickets and souvenirs
City Information Points InfoKrakow:
Centrum Obsługi Ruchu Turystycznego (Tourist Traffic Service Centre)
11 Powiśle St
Tel.: (+48) 513-099-688
1/3 Rynek Główny (Main Square); at Sukiennice (Cloth Hall)
Tel.: (+48 12) 433-73-10
2 Św. Jana St (Saint Jean)
Tel.: (+48 12) 421-77-87
25 Szpitalna St
Tel.: (+48 12) 432-01-10, (+48 12) 432-00-60
2 Wszystkich Świętych Sq. (Pawilon Wyspiańskiego)
Tel.: (+48 12) 616-18-86
7 Józefa St
Tel.: (+48 12) 422-04-71
International Aiport Balice
Tel.: (+48 12) 285-53-41
Detailed information on certain points at:
Cracow is the city of festivals. During the season there is plenty to choose from as one event ends and the second begins immediately. Variety of themes and types is great: music, film, theatre, literature festivals and much more.
Top festival organized in Cracow
Off Plus Camera
Grolsch Art Boom Festival
Festiwal Kultury Żydowskiej
Coke Life Music Festival
Muzyka w Starym Krakowie
Film Music Festival
Międzynarodowy Festiwal Teatralny Boska Komedia