Wondering what to do in Kraków? We visited Kraków in December with our young family (Kit was three months old and Nova was two years old) and we had a great time. If I’m honest, it was better than we anticipated and we’re keen to go back (but without our little ones – sorry kids! – read on and you’ll see why!).
Visit the cool cafes
Kraków is full of hipster cafes, many of which turn into little bars in the evening. Do you research beforehand so that you have an address to hand as we found them hard to stumble across.
We loved Alchemia od Kuchni. It doesn’t look much from the outside, but it’s pretty cool inside. We went for an early breakfast and it was really quiet, so we didn’t have to worry about our mini-explorers. They offer cooked breakfasts, yoghurts and things, but the pancakes get my vote and the boys loved the bacon.
Where? Alchemia od Kuchni, Estery 5, 31-056 Kraków
Drink all the beer
We found everything to be SO cheap in Kraków. Every time we ate out we were shocked to have such a little bill. We were constantly checking we’d converted the prices correctly!
We’d order whatever we liked and have a cheeky beer with our meal and it never cost us more than £20, despite eating out in the main tourist square. That area is lined with lots of restaurants, terraces and bars so you can just pop into whichever ones take your fancy. Just like the cafes, appearances can be deceiving. You’ll often find that a small, indiscreet doorway leads down a narrow staircase into a beautiful, sweeping cellar restaurant.
We’d love to go back without our little ones so that we could drink all of the beer!
Where? Plaza in Kraków (aka the Main Square)
Visit Wawel Castle
This is a great spot for everyone. Perched on a hill, the castle offers generous views of the city. You don’t have to pay to enter the grounds. We spent half a day up here letting Nova run about, whilst we enjoyed the look outs. We visited in the morning and it wasn’t too busy at all. Nova chased the pigeons and offered sympathy to the one with a gammy leg, whilst we sat and chatted with a coffee in hand. Everyone was a winner (well, except the pigeons).
If castles and history are your thing then you can pay to visit inside the castle. There’s loads of information on the website, including prices, opening times and details of the various collections.
There’s also a seasonal dragon, but as we visited Kraków in December we missed out on seeing it.
Where? Wawel Castle, 31-001 Kraków
Splash about at Aqua Park
If you also have a water baby bookmark Aqua Park for a rainy day. It’s one of the largest indoor water parks in Poland, offering eight slides spanning 800 metres, a rapid river and a dedicated children’s paddling pool. It also has eight Jacuzzi tubs and saunas if you’re just looking for somewhere to relax. The water is a balmy 29-32 degrees, so it’s perfect for all the family.
The weather was kind to us so we didn’t head here in the end (though we did go to a water park in Zakopane).
Where? Aqua Park, Park Wodny w Krakowie S.A, ul. Dobrego Pasterza 126, 31-416 Kraków
Chase the pigeons
Okay so this point is for fellow parents with young kids and I wouldn’t recommend visiting a new country just for this (though Nova would say otherwise!). The old town is ringed by Planty Park and remnants of the city’s medieval walls and with that comes pigeons. It’s an easy loop to wear little legs out and a nice escape from the noisy square. It’s also paved so works well for strollers.
Visit the Main/Market Square
As mentioned, we visited Kraków in December so the Kraków Christmas Market was in full swing. At weekends it was super busy – like, impossible to navigate with a buggy – but during the weekdays it was more manageable.
We’ve visited quite a few Christmas markets in Europe and this one is one of the better ones; lots of stalls selling original crafts and delicious food and drink. Basically everything you’d want from a Xmas market.
If you’re visiting outside of the Christmas period I’d still recommend visiting the square for the gorgeous architecture, cute makeshift terraces where you can enjoy food and drink, and just for that typical European city vibe.
Where? Plaza in Kraków (aka the Main Square)
Head to Zakopane
If you have enough time and fancy a change of scenery, head to Zakopane for a mountain experience. It’s a two hour drive away (depending on traffic – some of the roads are notoriously slow).
We stayed in an amazing hotel called Villa Nova. It has a really lovely playroom on one of the floors, so if the weather is rubbish the kids can still have fun. There’s also a really awesome café hidden in an art gallery that serves really good food and has a play area.
Unless your skiing I think a day or two in Zakopane is plenty. You can read more in my Zakopane with kids post.
Kraków is a really affordable spot for a family break. We visited in mid-December and the weather wasn’t as bad as we thought it might be. It was colder back in England! Some days we didn’t even bother with the thermals.
Have you been? Anything to add to this list? X
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