Day trip outside Kraków
There is no doubt that Kraków is one of the hottest tourist destinations in Poland. Its unique history and beauty encourage people from all over the world to visit this city and spend there at least a few days, sightseeing and enjoying the food & drink that Kraków has to offer (to plan your trip in Krakow read ‘Things to do and see in Cracow’). What many people don’t know is that the surroundings of Krakow are as interesting as the city itself.
Of course if you are in Krakow just for a day or two you should definitely stay in Krakow (and you will probably still feel like you haven’t seen everything you wanted). However, if you have more time or you have visited Kraków before we highly recommend a day trip outside Kraków.
Your day trip plan
Wieliczka Salt Mine
One of the most visited places outside Kraków is “Wieliczka” salt mine. In 1978 the mine was placed on the original UNESCO list of the World Heritage Sites. It has a very long history – being built in 13th century, it produced salt until 2007 – making it one of the oldest salt mines in operation in Europe. On this tour you will go underground and explore the saline chambers. There are few routes divided into special main themes e.g. Mysteries of the Wieliczka Mine, “God Bless” Pilgrims’ and challenging Miners’ Route.
Wieliczka salt mine is a breath-taking experience for everyone. You should note it down on your list “Must do” in Poland!
1 April – 31 October: 7.30am – 7.30 pm
2 November – 31 March: 8am – 5 pm
It is a good idea to always check whether Wieliczka is open or not as it sometimes closes for a variety of reasons.
How to get there:
- By train – from the Main Railway Station in Krakow to the Rynek Kopalnia train station;
- By bus – number 304 departs from mall Galeria Krakowska at the stop called Wieliczka Koplania Soli;
- By minivan – departing from Main Railway Station in Krakow. Your stop is called Wieliczka Rynek.
Polish tour – regular 52zl per person, discount* 38zl per person
Foreign tour – regular 75zl per person, discount* 60zl per person
Sanctuary of the Passion and of the Madonna in Kalwaria Zebrzydowska
Placed on the UNESCO-list, it is a place where pilgrims worship the Passion of the Christ. Established in 1600 by Mikołaj Zebrzydowski, it was created for Franciscan Monks. Its unique beauty is caused both by landscape and architectural style (mannerism style). The sanctuary is not only a place to admire but also to worship God. Mass is celebrated every day. However, the best time for a pilgrimage to Kalwaria Zebrzydowska is the Holy Week, when the Passion Celebrations are performed.
If you would like to visit the Sanctuary, there are four tourist routes: the history of the sanctuary (9am-5pm daily), way of the cross-ways from Pilat (9am,11am,1pm,3pm), the paths of Christ or Virgin Mary (reservation only).
How to get there:
By bus – depart from Main Bus Station in Kraków to Kalwaria Zebrzydowska.
Ojców National Park
Ojców National Park, even though it is the smallest national Park in Poland, it is a very unique place. First, it is situated in the Jurassic Kraków-Częstochowa Upland, which is famous for its beauty and ideal conditions to take up climbing as there are a lot of cliffs, ravines and caves. Secondly, Ojców National Park has great biodiversity, so if you love nature – it is the ideal place for you! Last but not least, believe it or not, it is a historical and culture place! You can find here Łokietek’s Cave, ruins of the castle in Ojców or the castle at Pieskowa Skała.
You can go to the Ojców National Park every day from April to November. The entrance is free, however the entrances to exhibitions or caves requires a payment.
How to get there:
Generally, you go to the Ojców National Park by bus. If you want to go by MPK Kraków, choose the bus number 210. Also, there is a company called UNIBAS which will take you from 2 bus-stops: Worcella street and Nowy Kleparz.
Memorial and Museum Auschwitz-Birkenau
Auschwitz Museum is a Polish memorial to the Holocaust and people who died as victims of the Nazis during the Second World War. The largest of the death camps were established in 1942 as a concentration camp for Poles and Jews. The museum consists of two parts: Auschwitz I and Auschwitz II-Birkenau. The shortest tour lasts 90 minutes and the longest about 4 hours. Long as it may seem, it’s worth your attention to learn something more about the tragic history of the place and to honour those who were killed there.
8:00 AM – 3:00 PM December – February
8:00 AM – 4:00 PM March, November
8:00 AM – 5:00 PM April, October
8:00 AM – 6:00 PM May, September
8:00 AM – 7:00 PM June – August
Always check whether it is open or not before travelling.
How to get there:
The easiest way to get to Oświęcim is to go by train. You can reach the museum by a local bus from the train station.
Admission to the Museum is free but a guided tour must be paid for.
Polish language tour: Regular 25zl per person, discount*20zl per person.
Other languages: Regular 40zl per person, discount*30zl per person.
*pupils and students up to 26 years of age upon presenting a valid ID.