10 Best Day Trips from Krakow

If you stay in Krakow for a couple of days, you could consider taking several memorable day trips from Krakow. The old Polish capital Krakow is a must-see place in Poland, but in the surrounding area, such as the Tatra Mountain, thermal Spa area, and the local Polish villages, are less-known to the outside.

Since Krakow has a moderately public transportation and road connection to the neighbouring areas, it is possible to explore more places described below within a day.

Restaurant with wooden architecture in zakopane, Poland; things to do in Zakopane; day trips from Krakow

Best days trips from Krakow

Here is my suggestion of the top day trips from Krakow, including the driving information and some tour options:

  • See the unique wooden house architecture in Zakopane
  • Explore the secret of the underground world, Wieliczka Salt Mine
  • Learn the history in Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum
  • Hiking to Morskie Oko in Tatras Mountains
  • Cycling to the historic village Tyniec Abbey
  • Journey to the beautiful Ojców National Park
  • Visit Oskar Schindler’s Factory
  • Spend a day in local thermal pools or SPA
  • Having a family excursion at Kryspinow Beach
  • Climbing up the peak in Babia Góra national park

Restaurantss near the main square in Krakow old town

See the unique wooden house architecture in Zakopane

Zakopane, a small Polish town, is at the foot of the famous Tatras Mountains. It is around two hours of driving from Krakow.

Zakopane has its unique wooden house architecture, which is very attractive. But the most beautiful area is the Tatras National Park, which offers gorgeous views and many outdoor activities all year round.

How to get there

Zakopane is about 110 km from the city of Krakow. It takes around two hours by car. Get on A4 and follow E77 to DK7 in Rabka-Zdrój, then follow DK47 and Zakopianka to Nowotarska/DW958 in Zakopane. You can also take buses there. It costs a few Euros by bus. Please check the information on omio.com.

Suggested tour


Explore the secret of the underground world, Wieliczka Salt Mine

Wieliczka Salt Mine has 287 kilometers of tunnels, but visitors can only access around 3,5 kilometers. It is hard to imagine that there are more than two thousand chambers in the mine. However, only a few are open to the public. The only way to visit the salt mine is to join a guided tour.

How to get there

Wieliczka Salt Mine is 16 kilometres southeast of Krakow. There are many ways to get there, by bus, by train or by car. Check here to get the detailed information.

Suggested tour


Wieliczka Salt Mine, Day trips from Krakow, Poland

Learn the history in the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum

Auschwitz-Birkenau refers to the cluster of concentration, labour, and extermination camps, established by the Nazis during World War II. Over the years, Auschwitz-Birkenau has become a pilgrimage place. It is one of the popular day trips from Krakow for many tourists as well. A visit to the museum is one of the most popular day trips from Krakow.

How to get there

Auschwitz-Birkenau is about 60 km away from the old Polish capital. The driving time is about one hour. You have to leave the A4 motorway at the Oświęcim/Balin and then follow road 933.

Frequent buses to and from the main bus station in the old Polish capital depart from the central bus station. The bus takes about 90 minutes and stops locally along the way. Please check the last bus returns to Kraków ahead.

There are several local trains each day, both from Kraków and Katowice, about each 1.5-2 hours to the train station of Oświęcim. From Kraków central station it takes a leisurely 2 hours, as the train goes slowly and stops frequently.

Suggested tour

Hiking to Morskie Oko in Tatras Mountains

Morskie Oko is a glacier lake near the border between Poland and Slovakia. In the Tatra mountains, the blue-green alpine lake is at the bottom of the valley on the Polish side.  I got to know this place in an article from the Wall Street Journal and had a hiking trip to the Morskie Oko during my Krakow weekend trip. It is a place for family holidaymakers and outdoor lovers.

How to get there

From Zakopane, it is about 23km to the parking place at the Morskie Oko trailhead by car.

Alternatively, you can take local buses from Zakopane. The buses also stop at Palenica Białczańska, the Morskie Oko trailhead.

From there, you can either walk or take a horse-carriage ride to the lake. Walking to the lake takes about 2 hours. The horse-carriage takes about one hour, but it doesn’t take you to the lakeside. Everyone still needs to walk further 20 minutes to the lakeside.

Suggested tour

Morskie Oko, Poland; day trips from Krakow

Cycling to the historic village Tyniec Abbey

Tyniec is a historic village in the southwest of Kraków, 8 km from the city center. The location is famous for its imposing historical Benedictine Abbey perched high above the Vistula River. Tyniec Abbey is the oldest monastery in Poland, and one of the oldest in Eastern Europe, dating back almost 1000 years. Take a casual stroll along the river or wander through the Tyniec neighborhood to experience rural Polish life. It takes you only 25 minutes to drive there.

How to get there

Yu take bus 112 from the bus stop MOST GRUNWALDZKI and get off at the 17th stop called Tyniec. The journey is ca 20 km and takes about 30-45 minutes.

Suggested tour


Journey to the beautiful Ojców National Park

The smallest of Poland’s twenty national parks, Ojców National Park, its rank is among the most attractive recreational areas in the country. It is just 24 kilometers northwest of central Krakow. The main attractions are the beautiful Pradnik river valley, many-shaped limestone rocks, Pieskowa Skala Castle, Ojcow village, and caves. 

How to get there

The distance between Kraków and the national park is about 24 km by car. And if you want to take public transport, it takes 30 minutes to get there. Just catch an MPK bus, number 210.

Suggested tour


Visit Oskar Schindler’s Factory

The film Schindler’s List is based on the history of Schindler’s Factory. Oskar Schindler’s Factory consists of three parts: the permanent show, temporary displays, and the screening room. The permanent exhibition is dedicated to Oskar Schindler, his factory, and the fate of its Jewish workforce.

How to get there

Oskar Schindler’s Factory is about three kilometers southeast of Krakow Old Town historical center. It takes eight minutes of drive across the Wisla river. 

The nearest bus stop within walking distance of Schindler’s Factory is the Krakowska Akademia stop at Herlinga Grudzinskiego street. The closest tram stop is at Plac Bohaterow Getta square.

Suggested tour


Spend a day in a local thermal pools or SPA in Bukowina

The Tatra Mountains region has numerous thermal springs and sources of mineral water. Thermal pools in Bukowina (in Bukowina Tatrzańska village, around 25 minutes drive from Zakopane) are rich in quality mineral water.

How to get there

It takes around 1hour and 45 minutes to reach Zakopane from Krakow by car. Get on A4 and follow E77to DK7 in Rabka-Zdrój, then follow DK47 and Zakopianka to Nowotarska/DW958 in Zakopane. And, Bukowina Tatrzańska village is around 25 minutes drive from Zakopane.

Suggested tour


Having a family excursion at Kryspinow Beach

Kryspinow beach is an ideal place for all the family to enjoy and escape the hustle and bustle of the city limits. A beach volleyball court, a swimming area with slides, and a separate play area for younger children are available on the beach. It is one of the popular day trips from Krakow for the locals. You can combine the trip to Tyniec in one day.

How to get there

The Kryspinow beach is 15 km outside of Krakow. To drive there takes around 30 minutes. Follow Road 780 and then Road 774, the lake and the beach are to the west side of Road 774.

Suggested tour


Climbing up the peak in Babia Góra national park

The Babia Góra national park is in the Beskid Żywiecki mountain range, Poland’s second-highest mountain range (after the Tatras). This protected area encompasses a portion of the Babia Góra massif, including the highest peak in Beskid Żywiecki – Diablak, frequently called Babia Góra. Babia Góra massif offers breathtaking views and outstanding ski pistes. The national park is home to animals such as deer, lynx, wolves, and bears. The area is also on the Unesco list of world biosphere reserves. It is a place for outdoor adventure since many hiking trails lead to the summit.

How to get there

Babia Góra mountain range is at the Poland-Slovakia border some forty kilometers northwest of the Tatras. It is 75 kilometres southwest of Krakow. The fastest way to drive there is via DW957. It takes around 90 minutes from Krakow.

Where to stay in Krakow

Hotel Polski Pod Białym Orłem is opposite the St. Florian’s Gate, a 4-minute walk from the Main Market Square and a 15-minute walk from the Wawel Royal Castle. The bus and railway stations are only 300 m away. Meanwhile, you can enjoy the evening scenes of the old town without hurrying back to the hotel.

Hilton Garden Inn Krakow Airport is suitable for both business travelers as well as solo travelers. It is just outside of Krakow Balice Airport. When we picked up our car from the rental office, we realized that the office is right next to the hotel’s lobby.

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