Is Krakow Expensive? A Guide to Prices in Krakow

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by Lizzie Fitzgerald


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As one of the most popular destinations to visit in Poland and, arguably, Central Europe, many potential visitors to Poland’s second city are excited for an affordable escape to a beautiful historic metropolis. But is Krakow expensive to visit?

In general, Krakow may be the most expensive city to visit in Poland, with an average price of roughly €40-155 (around 173-671 PLN or $44-169 USD) per day. However, in comparison with other popular European destinations, it can still prove to be an affordable city for a holiday.

Whether you’re interested in taking in the history of the Old Town, partying in the hip Kazimierz quarter or taking a day trip to a nearby area, the prices in Krakow can vary depending on the holiday you’re after. Here, we’ll outline the average costs you can expect on your trip so you can budget accordingly.

Krakow Prices Guide

This Krakow trip cost guide focuses on five main areas: accommodation, transport, food, activities & entertainment prices.

Accommodation Prices

Krakow offers many different places to stay, with all budgets catered for.

Hostel rooms start at around €12-15 per night in a dorm in a centrally located place. This will also generally include breakfast and, sometimes, dinner.

Hostelworld has many options, including private rooms going for approximately €30 per night. Many of the hostels run pub crawls and other social evenings so, as usual, if you are looking to meet other people – this type of accommodation may be the place for you.

Krakow also offers lots of self-catering apartments in the city centre from €50-70 per night. This could work really well if travelling as a group, as many have more than one bedroom, and add a touch of luxury to your trip, without a hefty price tag.

Four of us stayed in the Moja Apartments on Starowslnka — which were in a traditional building, with bay windows and high-quality interior — and with the cost divided by 4 was €25-30 each/night.

If you’re looking for a room in a mid-range hotel, then expect to spend about €60 per night for a room in a centrally located place with good reviews.

If you are visiting Krakow, for a special occasion, or want to experience some of Europe’s old-world luxury while on a European trip, Krakow offers an incredible range of 5-star hotels.

Rooms in some of the country’s most beautiful hotels are offered for rates such as €200 per night per double. While this is out of the question for most travellers, if you are considering treating yourself to accommodation fit for royalty, check out Hotel Copernicus or the Grand Hotel.

If you plan on staying in Krakow for longer than a few days or making a base as you explore other cities in Poland, it may be worth looking into dormitory accommodation attached to Jagiellonian University. Prices are advertised by the month and can be quite low per month for a single room with en suite. (Prices are even lower if you are a student of the university).

I stayed in the dormitory affiliated to the College of Medicine, which had free washing facilities and access to a communal kitchen, and provided bed linen.

While this is excellent value for money, it is worth noting that the dormitories are located further outside the city than most of the hostels and hotels so make sure to check transport links before booking — my dormitory had bus and train links right across the street. This is also another cool place to meet other students.

Krakow Old Town
Beautiful Krakow

Transportation Prices

Krakow’s city centre and old town are easily explored on foot — there are wonderful walks by the Vistula River and Wawel Castle and in the green areas surrounding the Rynek Glowny.

If you are staying in the centre, then the only transport you may require is to and from the airport — Uber or booking a private transfer is the best option.

If you arrive by train — Krakow Glowny (the main station) is located in the city’s main Galleria and is also accessible on foot. However, travellers requiring extra mobility support may prefer to take the tram, particularly in the hot sun or the below-freezing winter temperatures.

Public transit is quite affordable in Krakow, with prices ranging from 4 PLN (around €0.90) for a 20-minute ticket to 50 PLN (about €11.50) for a 72-hour pass and lots of options in between.

The Krakow Card is a city pass that includes unlimited public transport, transfers to the airport and Auschwitz Museum and Wieliczka Salt Mine, along with discounted admission prices to different attractions. There is a 2-day or 3-day pass option and it can be purchased online or from local vendors.

Jakdojade Krakow is your navigation tool of choice when using Krakow’s transport. It has live information on trams and buses and gives you different route options.

Krakow Glowny has international train connections with Budapest, Prague, Vienna and Bratislava or for those travelling with a Eurail or Interrail pass. It’s worth booking train tickets in advance if you want to lower your Krakow trip cost – click here to view schedules and availability.

While you certainly don’t need a car for exploring Krakow itself, it may prove helpful and give you flexibility if you would like to go on a day trip or two fro the city.

It is possible to rent a car for less than €20 per day, which may save some cash if travelling in a group. If you want to find great prices on car hire, we recommend using RentalCars.com, which compares rates across many major car hire companies.

Tram in Krakow
Trams are a great way to get around Krakow

Food Prices

Krakow food and drink prices, like everything else in the city, are pretty affordable when compared to prices in many Western European cities especially if you’re looking to eat some traditional Polish food.

Many streets are lined with locals selling pretzel-like breads for as little as 50 cents. There are also fruit merchants and Zabka stores everywhere.

There are also various opportunities to try local cuisine with 3 course set lunch menus starting at just over €3! The Kazimierz or Jewish district has many little restaurants and probably offers the best value, too. We tried a little place on Miodowa – with offerings such as local fish, pierogi and sweet cake for dessert.

Mid-range restaurants offer some serious value – with pizza in an Italian restaurant coming between €6-8 and mussels or steak coming in at €8-11. Compared to other European cities, Krakow’s prices are a complete steal. Make sure to check out small pierogi shops or traditional milk bars to find some great, traditional food for low prices.

Of course, the best way to save some cash on a meal in Krakow is to venture away from the tourist-centric restaurants lining the Market Square and find eateries more catered toward locals.

If you feel like a mid-afternoon snack there are many ice-cream parlours dotted across the city.  A personal favourite is Good Lood, a haunt frequented by Krakow locals.

The flavours change daily and offer some originals like prosecco or peanut butter and jelly, along with the solids such as vanilla and strawberry — they announce the daily flavour on their Facebook page so you can check in advance. Prices are pretty reasonable for a generous portion.

Kazimierz in Krakow
There are many places to eat in the cool area of Kazimierz

Activities Prices

The real reason you came — the authenticity and genuine preservation of the historical sites the city has to offer. Activities are perhaps the most expensive aspect to consider when planning a trip to the city of the Dragon.

While most attractions charge an admission fee; some free things that are worth doing include a riverside walk, visiting the grounds of the castle (there’s a fee to enter the building), the murals in the Kazimierz, chilling in the main square and hiking up to Krakow mound to take in the views. There are also various “Free Walking Tours” run by donation.

The bigger attractions tend to be relatively costly though; pre-booked tickets to, for example, a tour of Oskar Schindler’s Factory Museum come in at around €13-16.

Guided tours to Auschwitz-Birkenau including transportation come in around €30-40 and it is a similar price for the Wieliczka Salt Mine. You can also buy a ticket to Auschwitz-Birkenau that allows for self-guided entry and similarly a skip-the-line ticket for the Wieliczka Salt Mine,

There is a discount for students with valid student ID (The International Student Identity Card – ISIC is accepted widely in Poland and may be worth the investment before you travel if you plan on visiting a lot of attractions). The Krakow Card also provides reduced admission price.

Alternative activities that are slightly more affordable are the science park and a visit out to Zakopane. During the winter, Zakopane is a ski resort and in summer it has a lovely walk on an asphalt track the whole way to a scenic lake — Morskie Oko.

The track is pretty accessible — suitable for prams or wheelchairs, and admission to the National park is just more than €1. Although Zakopane is accessible by public bus, you will have to pay for another bus from the main station up to the National Park.

After your hike to the lake, the little town is worth a visit. It has a charming main street and has a little market close by that sells delicious fried cheese with a berry sauce, freshly prepared on the spot for as little as €1. This is a cool place to grab some souvenirs – even some cheese to fry at home.

Wieliczka Salt Mine
Tunnels in the Wieliczka salt mine

Entertainment Prices

Entertainment prices in Krakow are fairly cheap considering the vibrancy of the nightlife in the city. The city has a host of rooftop cars, themed bars (Harry Potter fans, listen up!) and nightclubs. 

Local alcohol is generally cheaper than imported international options, and for liquor lovers, the city has vodka bars and a gin bar with lots of different flavours.

So how much is a beer in Krakow? How much should you expect to spend on going out at night? Well, alcohol in supermarkets or local stores is by far the cheapest, but there are plenty of cool places that offer affordable options out.

The Forum is an open-top bar located on the river with lots of deck chairs, and with beers starting at as little as €2-3. In general, you don’t need to budget a lot to have a pint in Krakow.

Outside the party scene, there are cool piano concerts with tickets for about €15, and in summer there are often arts displays in the Rynek Glowny. Cinema here is also in English with Polish subtitles should that tickle your fancy while on holiday.

Average Prices in Krakow

So coming back to our original question; Is Krakow expensive? Well, I suppose this depends on your home currency, but Krakow is more affordable than many of its European counterparts, particularly with the euro and dollar exchange rate to zloty.

When working out a daily budget, this is assuming that you’re using public transport and splitting costs, such as for accommodation, between two people.

Accommodation: €15 – 100 / night

Transportation: €1 – 5 / day

Food: €5 – 15 / day

Activities: €15 – 20 / day

Entertainment: €5-15 / day

All in all, plan for the daily average cost of your trip to Krakow to be around €40 – 155 per person per day. While this may seem a little more than expected – this is two meals out which if staying in a hostel could be made there and save a lot, and I also did not include the discount from the Krakow Card for various museums.

The activities may be the most difficult to budget for as the guided tours are costly but with careful planning, the high costs can be avoided.

Keep in mind, that this average cost doesn’t include any pre-trip expenses such as flights or travel insurance. For travel insurance, SafetyWing is a good option if you’re travelling in Krakow on a budget.

Krakow's beautiful skyline
Krakow’s beautiful skyline

Krakow is an amazing city with such a rich history and special culture. A visit is well worth the money- whatever it costs. While Krakow is undoubtedly an affordable city to visit at the moment, prices do keep rising as more people visit this beautiful gem.

Are you planning a trip to Krakow? Are you wondering about the prices? Let us know in the comments!

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Lizzie is a writer for The World Was Here First. She loves travelling and discovering new places but also often finds herself returning to her favourite destinations. She has a particular affinity for Greece where she has visited countless islands and destinations on the mainland.

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