Cracow - practical information

Before coming to Cracow, find out all a visitor to this great city needs to know, especially a non-European tourist.


The time in Krakow is GMT +1 in winter, and GMT +2 in the summer months.


The climate in Krakow, as well as in Poland, is dependent on the wind. If it blows from the north - it is cooler, and if from the east - in the summer it is dry and hot, and in a dry winter - freezing, if from the west - in the summer it is cold and rainy, and warm and rainy in winter. Moreover, it is clear how the large urban agglomeration has an effect on the weather - the temperature has become higher, and rainfall has increased. Increasingly in Krakow, there are severe weather conditions such as severe storms and heavy rain or snow. In summer the average temperature is around 21 °C, but may also exceed 30 °C. The average temperature in winter is around -4 ° C, but it may also fall below -10 ° C.

Food and drink

In the city centre at almost every step you have bars and restaurants where you can eat quickly and inexpensively. There are also a lot of restaurant chains. If you want to eat delicious and inexpensive meals, you should visit the famous restaurants. The Klimaty Południa wine-bar comes recommended, where from 13.00 to midnight you can eat whilst drinking some delicious wine. Similarly there is the Ancora Restaurant , and if you want something quick, then go to Zazie Bistro in Kazimierz (ul. Józefa). Typical Polish dishes include bigos - which originally came from Lithuania - and pierogi (dumplings) authentic in Russia, Belarus, Ukraine and Poland, buckwheat with crackling - also appearing in the above countries, sauerkraut and pickled cucumber - also occuring in all Slavic countries, red borscht with dumplings - a variant adapted from Lithuanian cuisine, white borscht (also called zalewajką) and zurek - all occurring in northern Slavic countries, cabbage soup, pea soup, tripe soup (flaczki), chicken soup (rosół), mushroom soup, Czernin soup, kutia, Easter cake - originally made in Lithuania and Belarus, makówki poppy seed dessert, and honey - however honey was already being produced in ancient Greece.

Dishes of a higher pedigree, often similar to German and French cuisine, however are now very characteristic of Polish cuisine and eaten throughout the country: 'schabowy' - a German Schweineschnitzel, steak - from France, the art of meat with sauce - boiled beef served in horseradish sauce, German Tellerfleisch or Tafelspitz, mashed potatoes - also from France, boiled potatoes, 'mizeria' cucumber salad - from France, 'golonka' pork knuckle - Also popular in Germany where it is called Schweinehaxe, sausage - originally comes from Germany, but there are a lot of Polish varieties - such as Silesian, hunters', Krakow ('krakowska'), and black pudding ('kaszanka'), pancakes - probably a Slavik-wide dish but also adapted from Austrian cuisine, gingerbread - with dough from Hanseatic cities, including Gdansk and Torun.


As in every Polish city, in Krakow you can also find large shopping centres, including Galeria Kazimierz, Bonarka Shopping Centre and Galeria Centrum. They are open Monday to Saturday from 10.00 to 22.00 and on Sundays until 21.00. Also, if you want to buy some special souvenirs or antiques, you should look in the shops in the Old Town. The range available may surprise you.


Krakow is one of the richest museum cities of Central Europe. There is the Wawel Royal Castle,  numerous branches of the National Museum, such as the Cloth Hall, the Czartoryski Museum, Jan Matejko's home, the Wyspiański Museum, the Historical Museum of Krakow and its branches, such as the old synagogue, Pharmacy Under the Eagle (Apteka pod Orłem), the Underground Market; and the Jagiellonian University museums - for example the Collegium Maius.


The preserved original buildings of the Old Town - the Market Square, Cloth Hall, and St. Mary's Church with an altar by Veit Stoss. Be sure to listen to the bugle call from the tower of St. Mary's, played every hour to the four corners of the world in remembrance of the abrupt Tartar arrow, which pierced the trumpeter's neck when he was warning the city of the invasion of Wawel Castle and the Zygmunt Chapel.

A City for Children

Children should go to the exhibition "The World of the Senses" at the Collegium Maius. There are about 30 stands, featuring all sorts of puzzles and interesting facts related to the operation of the basic human senses: sight, hearing, smell and touch. Visitors, whilst following the instructions, can independently have an entertaining experience and learn about the functioning of the sensory organs.

You can also go to the Water Park (ul. Dobrego Pasterza 126) or to the Best4youKids play area in the Bonarka City Center. There is also a child-friendly walk around Krakow's legendary sites. For sightseeing tours of Krakow, contact: Anna Nieć, phone +48505855414 or e-mail:

Holidays and days off

On holidays and public holidays all shops are closed. On some holidays restaurants, museums, theatres and cinemas do not operate. The holiday season in Poland is in July and August, when most of the theatres are closed. In season the theatres are closed on Mondays. Regarding shops, only large shopping malls and supermarkets are open on Sundays.

Holidays, during which all stores are closed: 1.01 - New Year, 6.01 - Epiphany Easter (Sunday, date varies yearly), Easter Monday (date varies yearly), 1.05 (Labour Day), 3.05 - (national holiday), Whitsun (Sunday, date varies yearly), Corpus Christi (Thursday, date varies yearly), 15.08 - Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Our Lady of Assumption), 1.11 - All Saints, 11.11 - National Independence Day, 25.12 - Christmas, 26.12 - the second day of Christmas.

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