The southern city of Poland – Krakow – is visited by thousands of tourists every year. A special admiration for this city is comprehensible: the second largest city of Poland has an impressive Old Town that is famous for its ancient buildings as well as largest market square in Europe, called Rynek Główny. Wawel Royal Castle, Schindler’s factory, St. Mary’s Basilica… That’s only a few spots from a large must-see list and we are pretty sure you will visit them. Our mission here is to take you to those spots in Krakow where you won’t face a rush of tourists. These are the places where locals are gathering together, having a nice conversation and just enjoying their time. Hence, this is an ultimate local’s guide for 48 hours in Krakow. Enjoy!
Day 1: 09:00 – 13:00
First morning in Krakow? Then let’s go for coffee and bagels at Bagelmama! Yes, the name of the café speaks for itself – it’s a cozy and welcoming place with a charming view of old Krakow. Our local Anna is a huge fan of bagels and she highly recommends Bagelmama – not only because it serves oh-so-delicious bagels, but also because it is off the beaten path. Tourists are not frequent visitors here, so the spot is mostly popular amongst locals. Bagelmama has a wide selection of bagels, so just choose whatever you like, depending on your needs. And don’t forget your morning coffee!
It’s still the early morning, so after your breakfast at Bagelmama, we think you need to relax and enjoy the great spirit of Krakow. There is no rush! A perfect place for relaxation is Czajownia. If you are a huge fan of tea, it’s the place to be. Here you will find fifty different types of tea, passionate (and professional!) staff and a nice atmosphere. If you don’t know how to choose from that many types of tea, that’s not a problem at all – just ask the staff to help you, they will suggest the best option to match your tastebuds! You even can choose where you want to enjoy your tea and tranquillity – there are three differently designed rooms.
Moreover, Czajownia is located at Józefa street which is well-known as a former Jewish district. Nowadays Józefa is famous for its artistic and relaxed atmosphere. Hence, if you have some extra time, we recommend you to take a walk along this street and enjoy the great history and art of Krakow.
Day 1: 13:00 – 19:00
So, where shall we have some lunch? Our local Małgorzata recommends Kanton dim sum house – a place with delicious, comfort food. It is located on the left from Krakowska street, in a smaller and inconspicuous street, so make sure you don’t miss it! Here you can taste some really delicious dumplings straight from bamboo streamers, served with various sauces. Of course, you simply can grab some food to go, but Małgorzata says it’s much better to stay at the tiny, but cozy restaurant and enjoy the mixture of fantastic flavours. Dim sum is becoming really popular in Krakow, so locals really enjoy eating at Kanton dim sum house, which is clear evidence that this place is worth your attention.
For this spot, called Forum Przestrzenie, you will need to head a little bit further and get to the other side of Wisła river (it will be a perfect opportunity to explore the city a little bit more). A few years ago, this spot was called Hotel Forum, but eventually it was closed and locals’ didn’t believe that it would be renewed. Surprisingly, a part of the old building was turned into Forum Przestrzenie and this place was taken to a whole new level. First of all, Forum is built in one of the most picturesque locations of the city: from here you can see Wawel castle, Kazimierz district and Wisła‘s river banks. The building, even though it has been renovated, still has an industrial vibe to it. You can chill outside on sunbeds (and enjoy the last days of sunny weather), have some snacks or even catch a concert. Our spotter Małgorzata says that even though Forum Przestrzenie was re-opened only a few months ago, it has already become one of the most popular places amongst locals! By the way, really close to Forum Przestrzenie you can find the store called Pan tu nie stał, where you can buy original souvenirs from Krakow. For example, you can purchase a t-shirt with the popular Polish slogan “Pan tu nie stał” (which means “You didn’t stand here”). Our local Zuzanna explains that this saying refers to the endless queues in the times of communism.
Day 1: 19:00 – 23:00
We really want to suggest something a little different for your dinner. For this reason, let’s catch up at Big Red Bustaurant. It’s an actual restaurant which is set in a brightly red double decker. The inside of the bus is completely renovated and turned into a proper restaurant. But wait, it gets even better. The owners put a lot of effort into installing the sound system, so while you have your meal, it is supplemented with nice old-school music. And the food here is great! Our spotter Zuzanna recommends fish and chips or home-made sausages. The bar is located in an alcohol-free zone! Thus, keep in mind that you won’t be able to buy some beer, BUT Bustaurant will offer you some really good kvass!
Our next stop is Artefakt Café which is situated in Kazimierz district. The name simply translates as “Shot of Art”, so it clearly speaks for itself: the café’s interior and the people who gather together create an artistic atmosphere and a positive vibe. Our local Ewelina simply loves this place and especially the events that are organized here: travelers’ lecture series, board games, concerts and even political debates. Despite all the action that takes place here, you can also buy some beer with snacks to compliment a pleasant evening.
Day 1: 23:00 – …
If you want to spice up your night here in Krakow, you definitely should visit Klub Kabaret. It may be a bit complicated to find this spot since it is located in a courtyard and isn’t clearly visible from the outside, but we are sure that you will manage it! Klub Kabaret clearly looks like an old-fashioned French cabaret club. Almost every evening different kinds of events take place: starting with a Polish retro evening and ending with drag queens shows. Check out the list of events before hitting the road to Klub Kabaret. Or just dive straight into Krakow’s nightlife!
Day 2: 09:00 – 13:00
Want a proper selection of dishes for your stodgy breakfast? Then your next stop will be Café Botanica. The name of the café actually reflects its interior: you will be surrounded by plants that are mainly made of…metal. Moreover, all the cozy lightning and candles create a soothing atmosphere. Also, it’s the very first café on Bracka street, so it’s very popular amongst locals! But what about the food? Here you will find a wide selection of meals: tarts, salads, ciabatta sandwiches. Furthermore, you can try toast made from podpłomyk. Our spotter Ewelina explains that it’s “a simple kind of flat bread made without yeast, a common kind of food in ancient Slavic societies.” By the way, she particularly recommends cheese tart with three types of cheese, rucola and tomatoes!
So, where to go next? No doubt about it, the next spot (and persistently recommended!) is Krakowski Kredens. Here you can actually smell and taste the flavour of old Krakow. How? Krakowski Kredens is a shop which sells traditional Polish products that are made according to old recipes dating back to the beginning of the 20th century (which were saved and collected through generations of Galician families). You can find a wide selection of products: sausages, sweets, tea, liqueurs… Grab whatever you find delicious: as a gift or just for yourself as a tasty memory from Krakow. Only keep in mind that some of the products are on the pricey side, so pay attention!
Day 2: 13:00 – 19:00
We are pretty sure that you are super ready to finally try out some Polish cuisine. Thus, Wesele (which is translated as “wedding”) is the perfect spot to satisfy your appetite. This restaurant is one of the most popular places in Krakow, which has actually been awarded for its high quality. Unsurprisingly, it is usually really crowded, so if you want to get the table, you will need to make a reservation. Our local Anna claims that Wesele has the best meat filled pierogi in Krakow and you definitely can’t leave the city without trying it out! To sum up: lovely interior, delicious food and a professional service, what else do you need for a great experience in Krakow?
After a delicious introduction to Polish cuisine, now it’s time to meet Krakow’s artsy side, or, to be more precise, its folklore. Krakuska Sztuka Ludowa is a store/gallery where you can find folk art which encompasses not only Krakow’s, but also Poland’s culture as a whole. Here you will get an opportunity to buy some memorable gifts for your friends, family or for yourself that will reflect the great Polish heritage. If you feel that you have some more energy left after visiting Krakuska Sztuka Ludowa, keep in mind that Krakow’s Main Market is super close to the store! But if you are not in the mood for shopping or you feel the need to experience the tranquillity of Krakow, you definitely have to visit Błonia – a peaceful green space and one of the biggest parks in Europe. It’s one of the most popular recreation areas in Krakow where events and even exhibitions take place. Błonia is a much loved spot among locals – they come here to exercise, take a walk or just to simply relax.
Day 2: 19:00 – 23:00
Already feeling homesick? You want some homemade, warm-hearted food? We have a perfect solution – Gospoda Koko. This homey café is located in the city centre and is amazingly cheap! Koko is especially popular amongst students who want to satisfy their tastebuds with a hearty Polish meal for a reasonable price. The menu is super big, so it can be difficult to choose: soups, pierogi, meat dishes, salads, and so on, and so on. The portions are really generous, so our spotter
If you feel the need for some more Krakow uniqueness, then Piwnica pod Baranami is a top-notch choice. This place was opened in 1956 and from the very beginning (till now!) it was/is full of laughter, music and great artists – actors, musicians, writers. Our local Ewelina says that “for many years the most renowned political cabaret in the country was performed in the basement ; and it still continues its activities”. Piwnica is also highly connected with jazz music: every year it organizes Summer Jazz Festival. Thus, it’s a special place in Krakow and it perfectly reflects its artistic spirit. So, visit Piwnica if you want to feel it as well. Grab a drink and enjoy the moment at this spectacular place!
Day 2: 23:00 – …
It’s your last night in Krakow, so you need to say a proper ‘Goodbye’. Let’s head to Społem, where you will definitely have a memorable night! Społem has a well-liked interior – the DJ is playing the beats while sitting in a big van. Moreover, the music mostly includes Polish 80s and 90s hits! So, be ready to show your special dance moves on the dance-floor. By the way, it’s our spotter Zuzanna’s favourite club! Don’t hesitate and have your wildest dance here, in Krakow’s Społem!