Krakow is known for its rich cultural history, stunning architecture, and delicious cuisine, but it’s often overlooked for its natural beauty. However, the city is also home to some of Europe’s most beautiful and charming parks, with plenty of scenic hiking routes and nature reserves to explore.
To help you discover the city’s natural beauty, our local Spotters have handpicked some of their favourite parks and scenic routes for nature lovers. From tranquil green spaces to rugged trails, each location is guaranteed to provide a refreshing escape from the bustle of the city.
Join us as we explore Krakow’s stunning natural beauty, as seen through the eyes of our local Spotters, who have picked these places because they are beautiful and worth visiting.
Royal Mlynowka Park – Walk by the old river.
“If you are a fan of long walks like myself, then you will be happy to know that you can find Poland’s longest park in Krakow. I usually visit the part closest to my apartment, but Royal Mlynowka stretches from Mydlniki to Slowackiego Avenue and has a total length of 7.4 km! The Royal Mlynowka is a promenade, a remnant of the former Mlynowka river, which once supplied water to Krakow.
Luckily, I live close to the difficult part and less visited. Even though I am so close to the city centre, I can quickly access a more isolated and natural area. Spring and autumn are the seasons when this park is most beautiful. When I go for a walk here, I always stop at the same spot with a beautiful view of the Wolski forest, Pilsudski mound and Kosciuszko mound.
If you decide to visit, you can start from different places, but I suggest getting off at the “Zakliki” bus stop where Balicka str. meets Zakliki z Mydlnik str. There you will find Hotel Zakliki, and from there you can walk almost 3 km to the “Bronowice Male” bus terminal.”- Magda Bekou.
Park Debnicki – An oasis by the Vistula river
“I discovered Park Debnicki while going on a long walk with my sister, who was visiting me from Greece. I was surprised that I was unaware it was even there, but that is part of its charm.
The park has a beautiful neo-Renaissance palace that, unfortunately does not accept visitors. When I looked up more information regarding the park’s history, I found out that the family who owns this palace gave Krakow the land for the park about a century ago.
But that is only part of what I discovered in this park. At the centre, I found the sculpture “Rock Notes,” which belongs to the “musical collection of sculptures” by Bronislaw Chromy. You can see more of his sculptures here.
For me, this park is quite romantic because of the wooden bridges, the flower pergola and the small bookshelf for park visitors. The terrain is hilly, which complements the variety of plants and trees.
If you decide to visit, look for the QR codes that engage you in a pirate game around the park which is ideal for younger and older children.”- Magda Bekou.
Decius Park – An art gallery in the park
“Decius Park is one of the oldest parks in Krakow, but luckily it is relatively quiet because it is located a bit further away from the city centre. The park used to be an army station during World War I. Unfortunately, this meant that many trees were destroyed during that time, but new trees were planted.
Decius park is only a 20-minute walk from my home, so I prefer to visit it when I want to take my dog for a longer walk. This green oasis stands out for me because it is the home of an art gallery and a beautiful Italian-style villa.
When you walk around the park, you can see monuments and sculptures created by Bronislaw Chromy and his art gallery in the park’s communist-era band shell. Bronislaw Chromy is the same artist who created Wawel’s dragon.
I like to start my walk by the parking area, move to the newly built playground area, visit the sculpture gallery and then continue my way to the Decius Villa. 3 Italian architects designed the Decius Villa and it even housed the Nazi police headquarters during World War II.
If you are ever in Krakow in the fall, could you make sure to add Decius Park to your list? During this time of the year, the tree leaves turn golden, and the scenery is even more magical.”- Magda Bekou
Łąki Nowohuckie – Meadows in the city
“Łąki Nowohuckie is a giant meadow in the centre of Nowa Huta. It’s been preserved and kept away from the developers’ paws due to its ecological uniqueness. It’s home to hundreds of different species, some on the verge of extinction. Luckily, Łąki Nowohuckie is a peat bog, so it is not easy to utilise for any investment, but it makes a wonderful spot to unwind and stretch your legs!
Why else do I, and many other Cracovians. It makes you feel like you are in the countryside, away from the city’s constant rush, while in reality, the centre of Krakow’s most populated area is just around the corner. NCK cultural centre, which hosts Beksiński Gallery, is situated right there on the hill above the meadows. After visiting the gallery, I like heading to the food trucks out front, grabbing some Belgian fries or a lunch box from Turlaj Klopsa, and going for a walk in the meadows! It is especially beautiful during autumn, as you can observe all the beautiful colours of the golden Polish autumn from there!
Just a note: the meadows can get boggy, so wearing appropriate shoes are obligatory!”- Katarzyna Hausner
Kopiec Kraka – Pagan burial mound with a view
“Krakow’s history goes way back pre-966 when Poland adopted Christianity, back to Pagan times, and there are still remnants throughout the city. A few of the most significant and visible remains are the mounds that appear throughout the city. Although a number of them have only emerged in the last few centuries to commemorate fallen heroes, there are those that originate from this early period when Pagan rulers ruled Krakow.
Kopiec Kraka, one of these sites, is an ancient burial mound thought to be the resting place of Krakow’s founder. Despite its location across the river in the Podgorze district of town, it was significant enough throughout Krakow’s history to be visible from the Senator Room in Wawel Castle.
I used to live near this location and would frequent it quite often on weekends or in my free time, the reason for my visits wasn’t the historical significance of this spot, but the panoramic views and best of all, unlike the other mounds this was free of charge to visit!” – Greg Ryzio.
Zakrzowek – Quarry oasis in the city centre
“It took me a while to get out to Zakrzowek because for some reason I thought it was very far and not that interesting, but boy was I wrong. The first time I made it here was in early Spring with a friend and we managed to walk around the water filled quarry and along the nearby cliffs. The turquoise water and steep drop made me feel like I was somewhere on the Adriatic Sea. Nearby there are cliffs where you can spot rock climbers or join them if you’d like, and if not make your way to the top of the cliff from the side of the quarry and enjoy the views of Krakow.
Closed for swimming, there are paths around the lake and hiking/biking trails in a nearby park. You can even take scuba diving lessons here as the water is 30 meters deep and the school has permission for diving. There are a number of items that have been sunk in the quarry including an old bus and there is a plaque commemorating the spot where John Paul II worked during World War II when the quarry was still functioning.” – Greg Ryzio