Unlike many other Polish cities, Krakow has managed to retain its historic architecture and classical charm – making it a popular tourist destination for discovering the country’s culture! As the second largest city, it has a cosmopolitan atmosphere and plenty of attractions.
As it is quite a large city, figuring out where to stay can feel like a minefield. Each area has its own benefits and setbacks, and it’s important to navigate these before you arrive.
That’s where we come in! We’ve built this guide to the seven best neighborhoods in Krakow, and categorised them based on what they are best for. Whether you’re looking for history, nightlife, or the best place on a budget – we have you covered.
So without further ado, let’s get started!
Quick Tips – Where to Stay in Krakow
- Stare Miasto – Best neighborhood in Krakow for your first time
- Kleparz – Where to stay in Krakow close to everything
- Kazimierz – Where to stay in Krakow for nightlife
- Podgorze – Best neighborhood in Krakow for families
- Grzegorski – Where to stay in Krakow on a budget
- Salwator – Best neighborhood in Krakow for couples
- Ludwinow – Hippest neighborhood in Krakow
Where to Stay in Krakow
Looking for a specific place to stay? These are our highest recommendations for places to stay in Krakow.
Best Hostel in Krakow
This hostel gives you an intimate experience whilst also allowing you some additional privacy. Though all of their rooms are privates, they provide similar rates to dorm rooms elsewhere in the city – allowing you to spread your money further! The common areas are relaxed and perfect for meeting other guests.
Best Budget Hotel in Krakow
Based right in the heart of Kleparz, Hotel Lavender is ideally located for getting around the city – and perfect for visitors who have planned excursions to neighboring towns and attractions! Hotel Lavender comes with excellent guest reviews thanks to the high-quality facilities and great service standards.
Best Splurge Hotel in Krakow
If you want to splash the cash on a luxury hotel in Krakow, you can’t go wrong with Hotel Unicus Palace! The on-site spa centre is unbeatable, with an underground pool, well-equipped fitness centre and authentic hammam. They also provide free parking, making it the top choice for travellers with a car.
Krakow 7 Best Neighborhoods to Stay in
Let’s take a look, in more detail, at the five best neighbourhoods in Krakow. Each caters to different interests, so be sure to pick the neighbourhood that’s right for you.
(Best neighbourhood in Krakow for your first time!)
- COOLEST thing to do in Stare Miasto – get a great introduction to the city and meet other visitors with Krakow Free Walking Tour
- BEST place to visit in Stare Miasto – head to Sukiennice, a former cloth hall from the Renaissance era that is now one of the city’s most famous monuments
Stare Miasto, Polish for Old Town, is the historic centre of Krakow and where most of the best-known attractions are based! From historic churches, manors and streets to modern bars and cafes, Stare Miasto is a true microcosm of everything Krakow has to offer.
For first time visitors, this area gives you a great introduction to the city. Most of the tours – including Krakow Free Walking Tour, depart from the square in front of Sukiennice! Despite being such a large city, Krakow’s Old Town has quite a laid-back atmosphere during the day – though this changes at night when the bars and clubs open their doors.
- Head to Rynek Glowny, a medieval market square where you can pick up local produce, souvenirs and jewellery
- Go down to the Underground Museum, an interactive experience depicting over 1000 years of Polish history – admission is free on Tuesdays!
- Most of the more traditional restaurants in the area are quite expensive, so head to Trattoria La Famiglia for budget-friendly Italian cuisine
- Enter Wawel Castle, a significant monument in the city – the grounds are free, and entrance into the building is inexpensive
- For all your shopping needs, Galeria Krakowska is the largest mall in the city with a range of international brands and local boutiques
Best Hostel Stare Miasto
This central hostel is perfect for getting to know the city and meeting other travellers! They provide free city tours daily, as well as a vegetarian breakfast every morning. Rooms are spacious and have sturdy furnishings. The large communal spaces have board games and TVs.
Best Budget Hotel in Stare Miasto
Despite being a three-star hotel, Hotel Elektor is elegantly furnished with spacious rooms and modern en-suite bathrooms. A complimentary buffet breakfast is included for all guests with multiple options available. There is free WiFi across the property, as well as free on-site parking – perfect for budget tourists!
Best Splurge Hotel in Stare Miasto
This elegant hotel is our top pick for splurge hotels! The five-star accommodation has a luxurious indoor pool area, a large indoor spa facility and a great bar area where you can mingle with other guests. There is a sun terrace – perfect for enjoying the atmosphere during the summer – and bike hire is available.
Recommended reading – Check out the top hostels in Warsaw, Poland!
(Where to stay in Krakow close to everything!)
- COOLEST thing to do in Kleparz – wander around Stary Kleparz, the oldest market in Krakow with a wide range of local produce and souvenirs
- BEST place to visit in Kleparz – head to the gorgeous St Florian Church and marvel at the architecture whilst learning about the importance of Catholicism to Polish society
Kleparz is located just north of Stare Miasto, giving you easy access to the Old Centre whilst also providing some attractions of its own! One of the big appeals of the area is how much quieter it is than the Old Town, giving you a relaxing base from which you can explore the rest of the city.
Krakow’s main train station is located in Kleparz, allowing you to easily get around the city as well as further afield in Poland and Central Europe! Though a mostly residential area, Kleparz has a slightly more upmarket atmosphere and some great attractions for experiencing the city like a local.
- Head to Jan Matejko Square – the main meeting point in the area with some great bars and cafes
- Unwind at the Magia Day Spa in the north of Kleparz, offering a wide range of holistic treatments and spa facilities
- Check out the Grunwald Monument, dedicated to the battle between Poland and the Teutonic Knights and central to Polish national identity
- Want to visit Auschwitz on a self-guided tour? Trains depart from the main station in Kleparz – there are also some great companies offering guided tours in the area
- During the day, Glonojad is a vegetarian cafe offering a wide menu – it also transforms into a lively bar in the evenings
Best Hostel Kleparz
Lorf Hostel is one of the most central hostels in Krakow, giving you easy access to the train station and the main square! The on-site coffee shop is not only popular with guests, but also with locals from Kleparz. A buffet breakfast can be included for a small additional fee.
Best Budget Hotel in Kleparz
Hotel Lavender is also well located, only a short walk away from the main railway station! Rooms are well maintained with air conditioning and modern facilities. A buffet breakfast is provided every morning and comes with vegan and gluten-free options. Free WiFi is available throughout the property.
Best Splurge Hotel in Kleparz
This ultra-modern hotel is perfect for visitors looking to splurge and stay in a calm atmosphere! Rooms come with air conditioning and soundproofing, ensuring you enjoy a comfortable night of sleep. Bathrooms come with heated floors, luxury shower units and free toiletries. A breakfast buffet is provided every morning.
(Where to stay in Krakow for nightlife!)
- COOLEST thing to do in Kazimierz – visiting in June? The Jewish Cultural Festival is a local event that celebrates the heritage of Kazimierz
- BEST place to visit in Kazimierz – the Old Synagogue is the longest standing synagogue in Poland, and great for learning about local history
Kazimierz was once regarded as a separate city, and to this day still has a unique atmosphere compared to the rest of Krakow! It was once an important hub for the Jewish population, who were later forced out of the area in WWII. Since then, Jewish culture has seen a revival in the area and this is a great place to understand their dark history and vibrant modern culture.
Though most of the best-known nightlife destinations are in Stare Miasto, Kazimierz has some excellent bars and nightclubs allowing you to party like a local and enjoy the excellent drinks prices that Poland is known for!
- Visit the Plac Nowy market to pick up local produce and souvenirs – it is also a popular nightlife spot in the evenings
- Galicia Jewish Museum is a sobering experience featuring photographs of Jewish communities from around Poland
- Alchemia is the quintessential Kazimierz bar, with great drinks and music on the ground level, and concerts and film screenings in the underground area
- Propaganda is another interesting bar that draws inspiration from Poland’s communist era, featuring socialist party posters and themed drinks
- Head to the Okraglak building where you can grab some typical Polish street food – we suggest zapiekanka!
Best Hostel Kazimierz
The Secret Garden Hostel might be small, but it has an excellent communal atmosphere that is perfect for meeting other guests! All rooms are privates, however, they are well priced and the social spaces are excellent. A breakfast buffet is served every morning from the dining room.
Best Budget Hotel in Kazimierz
Despite being a budget-friendly accommodation, Hotel Eden offers some excellent facilities to guests! There is a sauna on-site, and massage therapies can be booked from the reception. They also have a traditional Jewish ritual bath and provide a complimentary buffet breakfast. Free WiFi is available throughout the property.
Best Splurge Hotel in Kazimierz
As the name suggests, this boutique hotel uses Dadaist design principles to create a modern and inviting space! The ultra-stylish hotel has excellent facilities at guest disposal, including a large garden area where you can unwind after a day of exploring. They provide a varied breakfast every morning.
P.S. – Save a bit of cash in Krakow with our EPIC guide to the best hostels in Krakow!
(Best neighbourhood in Krakow for families!)
- COOLEST thing to do in Podgorze – catch the sunset over the city from Krakus Mound
- BEST place to visit in Podgorze – head to Oskar Schindler’s Factory, the setting of the film Schindler’s List
Podgorze is a little off-the-beaten path, but it has an up and coming vibe that makes it a great spot for families visiting the city! The lack of popular tourism makes it a more peaceful area than the Old Town, however, it is still within walking distance of the major sites thanks to a footbridge over the Vistula.
Podgorze is also steeped in history – once the site of the Jewish ghettos during WWII, it also contains many historic buildings and interesting attractions. The bars and restaurants here are a little more understated – so even solo travellers and couples will find something for them in this area!
- St Joseph’s Church is a large, historic building with excellent architecture and interesting interiors – it is also far less touristy than the churches in the centre
- Ghetto Heroes Square contains a large monument that commemorates Krakóws Jewish population during WWII
- Bednarski Park is an interesting example of urban renovation in the area – what was once an industrial area is now the perfect spot for a relaxing stroll
- Head to MOCAK – Krakow’s Modern Art Museum featuring exhibits from across Poland, Eastern Europe and the world!
- If you want to sample traditional Polish cuisine, Bar Poludniowy is a fantastic restaurant with a varied menu and great prices
Best Hostel Podgorze
This basic hostel is great if you are on an extreme budget and want to stay within walking distance of the Old Town! Whilst firmly within Podgorze, it is only a short walk away from the major attractions of the city centre. Free WiFi is available throughout the property.
Best Budget Hotel in Podgorze
This sleek hotel is perfect for families on a budget looking to stay in Krakow. The 24-hour reception offers discounts on tickets to local attractions, as well as great prices on airport transfers. There is a bowling alley within the hotel, as well as a small games area – perfect for family fun!
Best Splurge Hotel in Podgorze
Despite being a four-star hotel, Plaza Boutique is pretty well priced and lets you experience the luxury of high-end accommodation without breaking the bank! Rooms are air-conditioned and soundproofed, and they also offer large suites that are perfect for families. A complimentary breakfast is available to all guests.
(Where to stay in Krakow on a budget!)
- COOLEST thing to do in Grzegorski – catch a world-class performance at the Krakow Opera House
- BEST place to visit in Grzegorski – wander around the Botanical Garden at Jagiellonian University
Just east of Stare Miasto, Grzegorski is Krakow’s student neighborhood. This large area is great for budget conscious travellers looking for cheap food, bars and attractions! Built during the communist era, some of the architecture can appear grey and bland, however, some of the most unique attractions in the city are waiting just around the corner.
Grzegorski has excellent transport links to the city centre, allowing you to take in all of the main attractions on offer. There are also some great tour companies operating in the area, taking you further afield in Southern Poland. If you want your cash to go further, Grzegorski is the place to be!
- Visit the Hala Targowa market every Sunday – the busiest flea market in the city with some interesting goods on offer
- Check out the campus of Krakow University of Economics – an important architectural monument in the city with cheap restaurants nearby
- Next to the Hala Targowa is the famous Blue Van, serving local street food with long lines of locals waiting to pick up a kielbasa
- Based in Grzegorski, Wheelovelo are a popular chain of bike tours across Europe offering a unique perspective on the city
- Get the adrenaline pumping at Bungee Jumping Krakow
Best Hostel Grzegorski
This is the perfect hostel if you are sticking to a strict budget! They have large dorms that come with sturdy furniture, reading lights and charging ports. It has excellent reviews by previous guests thanks to its simple offering and great levels of service. WiFi is available throughout.
Best Budget Hotel in Grzegorski
Located in the north of Grzegorski, Vienna House is only a short walk from Kleparz, giving you easy access to the train station! There is an on-site fitness centre, as well as a complimentary sauna until 5pm every day. A buffet breakfast is provided every morning.
Best Splurge Hotel in Grzegorski
This is another excellent splurge option that nevertheless provides great prices on luxury rooms and suites! There is a large spa centre on-site with an indoor swimming pool, hot tubs and a fitness suite. Various holistic therapies are also available and can be pre-booked at the reception.
(Best neighbourhood in Krakow for couples!)
- COOLEST thing to do in Salwator – pick up some excellent local produce at the Plac Na Stawach farmers market
- BEST place to visit in Salwator – marvel at Kosciuszko Mound, an artificial hill constructed to commemorate a former leader of Poland
Salwator is located west of Stare Miasto, and is perfect for couples looking for a relaxing city break in Krakow! It has a strong local spirit, with the local farmers market being a focal point for visitors and residents alike. The area is steeped in tradition and is a great place to discover the local way of life in Krakow.
Thought a little further out, there is a tram in Salwator that takes you to the city centre in five minutes, making all of the major sites easily accessible! Its relaxed atmosphere takes you away from the hustle and bustle of the city centre, and the large park feels like you are right in the countryside.
- Wander around Bielansko-Tyniecki Park, a large green space with great outdoor facilities and a romantic atmosphere
- Visit Zwierzyniec House, a small historical museum that features exhibits depicting traditional Polish houses from throughout the years
- At the Monastery of the Norbertine Sisters, you can discover the importance of religion to Poland and its lasting role in modern society
- Looking for a great venue for date night? Restauracja Pino Garden is a cute little restaurant offering a wide range of food and drinks
- Dydo Poster Gallery features posters from across Poland’s history – including during the communist era right through to modern times
Best Hostel Salwator
Ginger Hostel has a calm atmosphere, making it the perfect place to unwind after a day of exploring Krakow! They offer both dorms and privates – making it a great choice for young couples on a budget who want to meet other visitors to the city. Rooms come with orthopaedic mattresses.
Best Budget Hotel in Salwator
Ibis are known worldwide for their budget-friendly comfort, and their Salwator hotel is perfect for couples on a budget! They offer a complimentary buffet breakfast morning, setting you up for the day ahead. Rooms are spacious and come with all the modern conveniences you could need.
Best Splurge Hotel in Salwator
For a truly romantic getaway, you can’t go wrong with splurging on Bachleda Luxury Hotel! Rooms are elegantly decorated and come with Nespresso coffee machines and luxury cosmetics. The on-site spa has massage pools, a large swimming pool and dry sauna. Breakfast is provided every morning with a wide range of local delicacies.
(Hippest neighborhood in Krakow!)
- COOLEST thing to do in Ludwinow – try your hand at axe throwing at Axe Nation – they also have a great bar on-site
- BEST place to visit in Ludwinow – head to the artificial beach located on the riverside – the perfect spot to relax in the summer
Just east of Podgorze, Ludwinow has seen major redevelopment over the years and is now one of Krakow’s major up and coming neighborhoods! If you are interested in hipster bars, unique entertainment and innovative restaurants, Ludwinow is without a doubt the place to be.
It has a very youthful atmosphere and is well connected to the rest of the city. Whether you are looking for authentic Polish culture or modern cosmopolitan clubs, Ludwinow has something to offer everyone! It is also incredibly budget-friendly, making it perfect for backpackers looking for something unique.
- Dine at Forum Przestrzenie, a modern café hosted in a former communist building – they have great local cuisine and unbeatable beer
- For a truly unique museum in the heart of Ludwinow, head to Krakow Pinball Museum where you can try out some classic arcade games
- Next to the artificial beach are some stalls offering kayak and boat hire, allowing you to take in views across the city in style
- There are plenty of modern tour companies in the area offering alternative tours of Krakow, as well as trips to surrounding towns and natural attractions
- Head to Joker Kebab, a popular haunt with locals
Best Hotel for Backpackers Ludwinow
Though there are no hostels in Ludwinow, Hotel Wilga is the next best thing for backpackers on a tight budget in the area! There are excellent communal facilities on-site, including a large restaurant, bowling alley and games rooms. The high-speed WiFi makes this a great choice for digital nomads.
Best Budget Hotel in Ludwinow
This two-star hotel is excellent if you are looking to save as much money as possible without compromising on basic comforts! They provide a large buffet breakfast every morning with cuisine from across Poland. Rooms are air-conditioned and have basic bathroom suites, as well as WiFi.
Best Splurge Hotel in Ludwinow
Located in neighbouring Debniki, Q Hotel Plus has some great additional facilities if you want to upgrade on your accommodation! The 24-hour reception offers airport transfers and discounted tickets on local attractions. A continental buffet is served every morning and is highly rated by previous guests.
Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in Krakow?
Krakow is a truly mesmerising city in the heart of Southern Poland that has a lot to offer. Though many people visit for the history and architecture, it has plenty of great modern attractions on offer and a unique culinary scene!
For the best area, we’re going to have to go with Kazimierz! Just south of Stare Miasto, it provides great access to all the other areas on this list and has an intoxicatingly vibrant atmosphere. This is the perfect area for discovering Krakow’s blend of old and new.
That being said, every area mentioned in this guide has its own charms that appeal to a variety of tourists. We hope we have helped you to pick the best place for you on your upcoming trip to Krakow.
Have we forgotten something? Let us know in the comments!
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