Poland

19 Ideas for Amazing Day Trips from Krakow

(Last Updated On: 24/11/2022)

When you plan your trip to Krakow be sure to set some extra days in your itinerary for a few day trips from Krakow. The area surrounding the second-largest Polish city is packed with attractions, some of them are among the best places to visit in Poland, and you simply don’t want to miss them!

There are a variety of attractions nearby: historical places, wonders of nature, UNESCO-listed monuments, industrial heritage, and more, and you can see them all as Krakow day trips!

Together with a help of fellow travel bloggers, I put together a list of the best day trips from Krakow. As you can see, there are plenty of different places to choose from and I’m sure everyone will find interesting places to visit near Krakow.

day trips from Krakow

How to go on day trips from Krakow

Many of the places described below are easily available by public transport (although, in a few cases this might not be the best option). You can check train and bus connections from Krakow here.

Some of the places, especially more remote ones, are reachable only by car so your best option would be renting one in Krakow. Check the best rental car options here.

There are also many highly-rated tours available from Krakow and in many cases, they are the best way to discover Krakow’s surroundings, especially if you don’t want to deal with the hassle of driving yourself or navigating the public transport.

day trips from Krakow

Best day trips from Krakow

Auschwitz

I think Auschwitz-Birkenau doesn’t need an introduction or explanation. The former concentration and extermination camp operated by Nazis during World War 2 was the most tragic place of that kind, where around 1,3 million people lost their lives, the majority of them were Jews.

Today Auschwitz is the world-known symbol of the war’s cruelty that should never be repeated.

During your visit to Auschwitz, you will visit two places: Auschwitz I Museum and Auschwitz-Birkenau II Memorial. In the first one, you will see the well-preserved camp’s grounds with the whole infrastructure: barracks, watchtowers, etc. You will also learn more about the place in the museum, where you will also find numerous objects that used to belong to the victims arriving at Auschwitz.

Birkenau is where the trains with people arrived and more barracks and crematoriums were located. Today this is more of a vast space that was partly destroyed, which helps you realize what a large camp this was.

During your Auschwitz tour, you will learn more about the camp as well as its victims and survivors. These are devastating stories to hear so be prepared to shed a tear or two.

Even if this might be one of the most somber and tragic places you will ever go to, I believe everyone should visit Auschwitz at least once. It will not be a mentally easy trip and most likely it will leave you heartbroken and confused yet this is one of the must-visit places in Poland.

Fortunately, you can go to Auschwitz as one of the day trips from Krakow since Oswiecim (the town where the former Nazi concentration camp is located) is located only some 70 km away.

You can go there independently by public transport but there are also numerous tours to choose from and I would recommend that option. The train station is some 30 minutes walking from the Auschwitz I site where you start your visit to the concentration camp.

In the peak season, it’s sometimes hard to get tickets as an independent visitor, especially if you plan your trip last minute, yet tours have them guaranteed.


Distance from Krakow: 70 km
How to get there: trains and buses are available but the best option is a tour
Recommended tours:

day trips from Krakow

day trips from Krakow

day trips from Krakow

Wieliczka and Bochnia Salt Mines

Wieliczka Salt Mine, together with Auschwitz, are among the most popular Krakow day trips and you also shouldn’t miss both of them during your trip to Krakow. Wieliczka is even easier to get to than Auschwitz since it’s located only 15 km from the center of Krakow and you can get near the mine by public transport (although tours are also available if you don’t want to deal with navigating tickets, schedules etc).

Wieliczka Salt Mine is one of the oldest operating salt mines in the world – salt was excavated here continuously from the 13th century until 2007. There are nine levels, the lowest one at 327 meters below the ground, and the total length of underground corridors is around 250 km (however you will see only around 3 km of corridors during your visit).

In 1978 Wieliczka Salt Mine was included in the first UNESCO World Heritage List (later the salt mine in nearby Bochnia was added to this inscription).

Besides the historical aspect, Wieliczka Salt Mine is a truly beautiful place, with numerous chambers, chapels, and underground lakes. There are also numerous impressive sculptures carved from salt.

Once you are done visiting Wieliczka Salt Mine but would like to learn more about the salt excavation in the region, you can go to the nearby mine in Bochnia. It is the oldest mine in Poland, operating between 1251 and 1990. During your visit, you will be able to take a boat through the underground flooded chamber – it’s the only attraction of that kind in the world.


Distance from Krakow: 15 km
How to get there: trains and buses are available, you can also go on a tour
Recommended tours:

day trips from Krakow

day trips from Krakow

day trips from Krakow

Tarnow

Recommended by Jakub from tymrazem.pl

How about a city that has not changed its urban layout since the Middle Ages? Tarnów is such a place, and it is just over an hour’s drive from Krakow. You can get there by car, train or bus.

The aforementioned city layout is not the only thing that makes it worth visiting Tarnów. A nice main square, a beautiful town hall, interesting museums (including the only exhibition about the Gypsy in Poland), and castle ruins are waiting for you.

If you are interested in Jewish history, you should visit the Old Bathhouse, see the synagogue bima, or the huge Jewish cemetery.

The city is associated with blackthorn („tarnina” in Polish), so when you are here, be sure to try the tincture of this fruit or tea, which you can buy in various places. A visit to the city should begin with a visit to the Tourist Information on the Market Square, where you will receive all the tips for your stay.

Tarnów is also a great place for wine fans! There are many vineyards around the city concentrated in the EnoTarnowskie project. Each of the vineyards offers unique wines, and often also accommodation, tasting, and other forms of spending free time.


Distance from Krakow: 90 km
How to get there: by train (more frequent) or bus
Recommended tours: Tarnow private tour from Krakow

day trips from Krakow

day trips from Krakow

day trips from Krakow

Zalipie

Zalipie is one of the most unique villages in Poland, known for its beautifully painted houses and other structures. The tradition to decorate the buildings started at the end of the 19th century when local women started putting inside the houses flowers made of blotting paper, cutouts, or straw spiders as well as painting flowers both inside and outside.

Today there are over 20 colorfully decorated houses and a few painted fences, wells, and shrines in Zalipie. This is not an ethnographical museum as such but a regular yet beautiful village. Still, for a small fee, you can visit some of the houses to see the inside decorations too. There is also a small museum where you can attend painting workshops.


Distance from Krakow: 85 km
How to get there: by car or with a tour
Recommended tours:

day trips from Krakow

day trips from Krakow

Dunajec River Rafting

Dunajec River Rafting is among the best things to do in Poland and one of the biggest attractions of Polish mountains, with the starting point located a bit over 100 km away from Krakow. The trip on the Dunajec river goes through the gorge in Pieniny National Park, right at the border with Slovakia.

You will be going on a traditional wooden raft from which you will admire beautiful views of the mountains with the most famous ones being Trzy Korony and Sokolica.

The trip starts in Sromowce-Kąty and you have two destinations to choose from: Szczawnica (the rafting length is 18km and the time is 2h15min) and Kroscienko (23km and 2h45min). Dunajec River Rafting is available only between April 1st and October 31 (with the exception of two holidays: the first day of Easter and Corus Christi).


Distance from Krakow: 110 km
How to get there: by bus to Szczawnica, by car or with a tour
Recommended tours:

  • From Kraków: Dunajec River Rafting with Hotel Pickup
  • Dunajec River Full-Day River Rafting Tour from Krakow
  • Dunajec River Rafting, Cable Car and Castle Niedzica: Private Tour
  • day trips from Krakow

    Zakopane

    Recommended by Paulina from ukeveryday blog

    Zakopane is an ideal day trip from Krakow to one of the best winter destinations in Poland. Due to several bus services between Krakow and Zakopane, it is really easy to organize this kind of trip. You can choose from various transport companies like Majer Bus or MAXBUS ZAKOPANE and within 2 hours, you will be exploring the lovely town of Zakopane.

    Its scenic location, surrounded by the Tatra Mountains will make you fall in love with this place. Visit Kasprowy Wierch and Gubalowka to see spectacular views of the town. Make sure to also walk around Zakopane to admire traditional houses and try delicious Polish food.

    During winter Zakopane is full of white snow so you can always find impressive ice sculptures, snow castles, or snow labyrinths in the town. One of the popular attractions is also Upside Down House or the big sign of Zakopane, where you can take photos with a beautiful background of mountains.


    Distance from Krakow: 130 km
    How to get there: by bus or with a tour
    Recommended tours:

    day trips from Krakow

    day trips from Krakow

    Morskie Oko

    Recommended by Sean from LivingOutLau

    If you are looking to escape the hustle and bustle of Krakow, one of the best day trips you can take from Krakow is to Morskie Oko.

    Situated in the heart of the Polish Tatra National Park, Morskie Oko is the biggest lake in the park. The lake was originally called Rybie Jezioro, or Fish Lake in English, because of the high number of fish that lived in the lake.

    Nowadays, visitors can see a few different species of fish swimming inside the crystal clear lake. Surrounding Morskie Oko are breathtaking swiss pines that add to its stunning natural beauty, quite the contrast to the chaos of Krakow.

    Getting from Krakow to Morskie Oko is not the easiest feat. The trailhead of Morskie Oko is situated 2 hours away from Krakow, and then visitors must hike to Morskie Oko, which is another 2 hours. The trail is super easy, but you can get one of the horse-drawn carriages to minimize your hiking time.


    Distance from Krakow: 150 km
    How to get there: by car or with a tour
    Recommended tours:

    day trips from Krakow

    UNESCO Wooden Churches

    One of the lesser-known UNESCO World Heritage sites in Poland are the wooden churches located in the Carpathian region south of Krakow (there are included in the UNESCO list together with similar churches in Ukraine). There are eight of them (and eight more in Ukraine) awarded by UNESCO and many more without this title yet equally beautiful and interesting.

    You can visit some of the wooden churches on one of the day trips from Krakow and learn more about the history, culture, and architecture of the region. Some of the churches date back to the 14th and 15th centuries which is pretty impressive considering they are made of wood.

    If you are looking for a unique place to add to your Poland itinerary you should definitely consider the UNESCO wooden churches.


    Distance from Krakow: 170 km
    How to get there: by car or with a tour
    Recommended tour: From Kraków: UNESCO Wooden Churches Guided Tour

    day trips from Krakow

    day trips from Krakow

    Mountains

    The area south of Krakow is where you will find many of the Polish mountain ranges and national parks so if you enjoy hiking you can easily hit a trail as one of the Krakow day trips. The most popular (and the highest) Polish mountains are Tatras which were already mentioned above but they are not the only option.

    Other mountains you can consider include Gorce, Pieniny, or Beskidy (a few different ranges) – all of them are parts of the Carpathian mountains.


    Distance from Krakow: 70-150 km, depending on the destination
    How to get there: by car

    day trips from Krakow

    day trips from Krakow

    day trips from Krakow

    Ojców and Castles in Jura

    Recommended by Ania from The Travelling Twins

    Anyone visiting Krakow will want to take day trips to see the beautiful countryside and stunning castles in the area. Ojców is a charming village with a stunning castle and a beautiful National Park.

    The place is only 27 km from, and it is easily accessible by public and private buses from Kraków.

    Ojców National Park is a great place to start your day. The park has many hiking and biking trails, caves, and a castle to explore.

    If you want to see more castles, head towards nearby The Trail of the Eagles’ Nests with over 20 medieval castles. Some of the most famous are Pieskowa Skała which is located only 40 minutes from Krakow or Ogrodzieniec (a 1-hour drive)

    Pieskowa Skała is located on a limestone cliff and was built in the 14th century. It was later expanded and rebuilt in the 16th century, and you can still see some of the original features. Next to the castle, you will “Maczuga Herkulesa” – a limestone rock that is said to have been left there by Hercules. The castle has a museum, part of the Wawel Museum, a garden labyrinth, and a great restaurant.

    Ogrodzieniec is the largest castle in Jura, and it has an eventful history. It was first built in the 13th century but was later expanded and fortified. The castle was captured by the Swedes and destroyed. It was finally abandoned in the 19th century. Today, you can explore the castle ruins and the surrounding park.

    Ogrodzieniec is one of the most charming ruins castles in Poland. The place is well managed and has great shows, including knight’s fights and bone fires. On weekends you can try here archery or throwing the medieval ax.

    Both of these day trips are sure to be a hit with anyone visiting Krakow. So get out there and enjoy all that this beautiful region has to offer!


    Distance from Krakow: 65 km to Ogrodzieniec
    How to get there: by car or with a tour
    Recommended tours:

    day trips from Krakow

    day trips from Krakow

    Czestochowa

    Czestochowa is known as the holiest place in Poland, the spiritual heart of the country, visited by a few million pilgrims each year (the biggest celebrations are always on the 15th of August).

    The city got this title thanks to the Jasna Góra Monastery with the “Black Madonna” miraculous painting. But the whole monastery is an interesting place to visit. Besides the famous painting (that is hidden in the chapel), you can also go to the beautiful main Basilica, and visit the 600th-Anniversary Museum and the Treasury (where you will be intimidated by the wealth that belongs to the church).

    You should also climb the monastery tower for the panorama of the city and beyond. If you have time you should also walk a bit into the city as it’s a nice place to visit.

    Just outside of Czestochowa you will find the impressive ruins of the Olsztyn castle and some beautiful rock formations of Kraków-Częstochowa Upland (this was always my favorite place to go to when I studied and lived in Czestochowa).


    Distance from Krakow: 150 km
    How to get there: by train or with a tour
    Recommended tours:

    day trips from Krakow

    Lancut Castle and Rzeszow

    Lancut Castle is among the most beautiful castles in Poland and one of the very few that still have the original interior (most of the places all over the country were robbed during and after World War 2). Originally it dates back to the second half of the 16th century but it really flourished under the rule of the Lubomirski family when the building was changed into the palace-manor style with fortifications around (they were changed into the garden later).

    Today you can visit the castle inside and be impressed with the beautiful interiors, furniture and decor. Once you are done with the castle don’t miss the largest carriage collection in Poland (it is included in your ticket) and the nearby synagogue from the mid-18th century, one of the most beautiful buildings of that kind in the country.

    On the way back to Krakow you can stop in Rzeszow, the capital of the Subcarpathian province and a surprisingly nice city. For me, the biggest highlight of Rzeszow was the quirky Monument to the Revolutionary Act (a concrete masterpiece) but the city offers many more attractions: a lovely Market Square with one of the most beautiful town halls in Poland, some really beautiful townhouses, and a nice castle originally from the 15th century.

    The best thing to do in Rzeszow is to simply wander around the center and enjoy the vibrant atmosphere of the city.


    Distance from Krakow: 180 km
    How to get there: by train or by car

    day trips from Krakow

    day trips from Krakow

    rzeszow poland

    Sandomierz

    Sandomierz is one of the prettiest towns in Poland, popular among local tourists yet hardly any international visitors get there. It is also one of the oldest towns in Poland, with a history dating back to the 10th century, with numerous and diverse attractions.

    You will find there impressive architecture and historical places, beautiful nature, and some amazing local culinary scenes. On the Market Square, you will see one of the most beautiful town halls in Poland, dating back to the 14th century and with a peculiar mix of Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque styles.

    Be sure to stop in the Cathedral to see its stunning interior and frescoes. If you would like to escape the crowds (that are very likely to be in Sandomierz after a popular TV show was filmed there) you can go to one of the nearby gorges or Pepper Mountains.


    Distance from Krakow: 160 km
    How to get there: by car

    day trips from Krakow

    day trips from Krakow

    day trips from Krakow

    Solec Zdroj

    Recommended by Karolina from Polish Foodies blog

    You may be surprised that Poland is a pretty amazing destination for a spa holiday!

    If you are in Krakow, you may either take a day trip to the Tatra Mountains or go to one of the thermal baths in the Zakopane area. Alternatively, you may visit a less-popular destination which is Solec Zdrój.

    This lovely spa town is famous for one of the world’s best sulfur water. The mineral baths in Solec Zdroj are open all year round. You can choose from indoor and outdoor pools, as well as relax in the sauna and wellness area.

    If you are taking a day trip from Krakow to Solec Zdroj, be sure to stop by in Pacanów. It’s the hometown of Koziołek Matołek, a famous cartoon character. Visit European Fairytale Centre to get to know more about this billy goat. If you get hungry, eat delicious Polish food at Kuźnia Smaków restaurant. They serve delicious naleśniki (Polish crepes) and grilled trout!


    Distance from Krakow: 85 km
    How to get there: by car

    day trips from Krakow

    Kielce

    Recommended by Jakub from tymrazem.pl

    The road to Kielce from Krakow will take you less than two hours, but this time is worth the effort! You can cover it by train, bus or car.

    Kielce is the capital of the Świetokrzyskie region, nice and a compact city. There are as many as 5 nature reserves on its territory that impress tourists both during the day and at night!

    The central part of Kielce is occupied by Castle Hill with a beautiful, baroque palace. Some say that it is one of the most beautiful baroque palaces in Europe.

    The city also has many examples of interesting architecture from other periods, and one of the city’s landmarks is the UFO-shaped bus station, which has been awarded many times in architectural competitions.

    Kielce also has interesting museums, a botanical garden, and the Geoeducation Center. The city is located in the Holy Cross Mountains Geopark with the UNESCO Geopark status.

    Kielce is a good starting point for exploring the region, but also a great proposition for the weekend.


    Distance from Krakow: 110 km
    How to get there: by train

    day trips from Krakow

    Kielce Poland

    Katowice

    Katowice is such an easy yet underrated day trip from Krakow, located only 80 km away. The capital of the Silesia province and the center of the mining region, the city has always been known as the industrial heart of Poland and today you can visit many of the heritage places (in Katowice itself and in nearby cities): mines, adits, shafts and more.

    In recent years, Katowice went through a major revitalization process and it’s a great destination for culture-lovers, offering some interesting museums (like the Silesian Museum, located in the former coal mine), concert venues, exhibitions, and some great street art.

    Fans of architecture, especially the 20th-century one, will appreciate Katowice too as the city has some beautiful modernist buildings as well as Spodek – the famous arena that looks like a giant UFO. You can also visit Nikiszowiec, the most beautiful residential area of Katowice where everything is made of red bricks (it’s a bit outside of the center but worth a detour).


    Distance from Krakow: 80 km
    How to get there: by train or by bus
    Recommended tour: Katowice Old Town Highlights Private Walking Tour

    day trips from Krakow

    day trips from Krakow

    day trips from Krakow

    Bielsko-Biala

    Bielsko-Biala is often referred to as “little Vienna“, mostly thanks to the architecture from the turn of the 19th and 20th that resembles the one in the capital of Austria. Even if the place dates back to the Middle Ages, the city became one only in 1951 when Bielsko and Biala were connected.

    Due to its long history, Bielsko-Biala is full of attractions and beautiful architecture, and in general, it’s a nice city to wander around and enjoy the atmosphere.

    Once you are done with the sightseeing in the center, you can go to the southern outskirts of the city and take the cable car to the top of Szyndzielnia mountain from where you can admire the beautiful panorama of Bielsko-Biala and Beskidy mountains.


    Distance from Krakow: 100 km
    How to get there: by bus

    day trips from Krakow

    day trips from Krakow

    Cieszyn

    Cieszyn is one of my favorite places to visit in Poland and definitely worth a day trip from Krakow, especially if you would like to visit more than one country. For centuries it was one city, the former capital of the Duchy of Teschen, but the history had different plans for the place and in 1920 it was divided by the Polish-Czech border.

    Today you can easily visit both the Polish and Czech sides and jump between the border and countries. The majority of Cieszyn attractions are located on the Polish side though.

    You can wander around the beautiful center, visit the second-oldest Polish museum and go to the castle hill where you can see the 11th-century rotunda that is present on the Polish 20 zloty bill.

    The Czech side is a bit different as it’s developed mostly after the division of the city yet it’s still interesting. Cieszyn is like Central Europe in a nutshell, with a multicultural atmosphere and numerous cafes to relax in.


    Distance from Krakow: 150 km
    How to get there: by bus

    day trips from Krakow

    day trips from Krakow

    day trips from Krakow

    Lanckorona

    Lanckorona is one of the most picturesque towns you can find near Krakow, known also as the city of angels. The place is known for its wooden architecture (with most of the buildings dating back to the 19th century) and the slow travel and artistic vibe.

    And these are the main reasons to visit Lanckorona, to enjoy the small-town atmosphere, visit artists’ studios or drink coffee in the beautiful surrounding – a perfect way to escape the hustle and bustle of the busy city.

    While you are in Lanckorona you can also stop in the nearby Kalwaria Zebrzydowska (only 5 km away) with the UNESCO-listed monastery and Calvary.


    Distance from Krakow: 40 km
    How to get there: by bus or with a tour

    day trips from Krakow

    day trips from Krakow

    Krakow day trips – map

    Travel Resources

    Revolut bank card is the best way to save money when traveling. It’s a pre-paid service that offers very good exchange rates and no fees for ATM’s use. Click here to learn more and order your Revolut card.

    You can find the best accommodation options at Booking. They have many discounts and excellent customer service. Click here to look for the place to stay in Krakow

    Never travel without travel insurance, you never know what might happen and better safe than sorry. You can check the insurance policy for Poland here.

    I recommend joining organized tours to get to know the place better and to visit more places during your trip. You can find a great selection of tours at Get Your Guide – click here.

    Make sure to have the offline map always installed on your phone, they can save you so many troubles. I always use the free app Maps.Me.


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    day trips from Krakow


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