Are you planning a family vacation to Krakow, Poland with kids? It can be challenging to choose which attractions and activities to highlight when there is so much history, culture, and natural beauty to discover.
Fortunately, our list of the best 10 family-friendly activities in Krakow has you covered. We have something for everyone, whether you’re taking young children or teenagers on your trip. These activities are certain to entertain and engage your family!
From exploring the city’s medieval architecture to discovering its rich Jewish history. Pack your bags, take your camera, and get set for an unforgettable family adventure in one of Europe’s most intriguing cities.
Best Family Activities in Old Town Krakow
1. Visit the Wawel Castle
The Wawel Castle is a must-see for families visiting Krakow. The grounds are expansive, and there’s plenty to do for kids of all ages.
There are two main areas within the castle: Lower Wawel (the oldest part) and the Upper Wawel (a newer addition).
Both offer opportunities to explore, but the Upper Wawel has more attractions that will appeal to children including the Dragon’s Den: a fun play area where kids can climb on dragons’ backs or slide down their tails!
The National Cathedral in the Wawel is amazing, awe-inspiring, and full of rich history and art that will amaze children. I would recommend ages 7 and up because in order to tour the cathedral quiet is expected. In the cathedral there is a fun bell tower climb for spectacular views of the river and amazing gigantic, medieval bells that kids will love.
On the riverside of the Wawel is the Krakow Dragon and his cave den that kids will enjoy, as they watch it shoot flames of fire every five minutes.
2. Climb the Tower of St. Marys Basilica
St. Mary’s Basilica towers over the main square in Krakow. In its upper most tower, the hynal is played by trumpet every hour on the hour. It’s one of the iconic sounds of the Main Square in Krakow and it’s a tradition thats lasted for over 700 years!
The church is definitely worth visit as it’s one of the most beautiful and colorfully painted in Europe. You can purchase tickets for the cathedral and the tower climb in the ticket office across the street from the cathedral side entrance to view the amazing interior.
The highlight of the visit for kids will be the tower climb to the very top where they can meet and chat with the firefighter on duty and see his trumpet in action!
The climb to the top takes you up a steep and narrow wooden staircase, which can be a bit challenging. It’s 239 steps to the top but the view is worth it! You get 360 degree views of the city, including a Birds Eye view of the action on the Rynek Glowny below.
The hynal is played by local firefighters who share 24 hour duties. They speak English and are available to answer any questions your children might have.
3. Tour the Rynek Underground Museum
A great way to teach children about the fascinating history of the city in a fun and engaging way is to take them on a tour of the Rynek Underground Museum. The museum provides a unique look into Kraków’s history and is situated below the busy Main Square. You will experience a sense of time travel as you descend the steps into the museum and enter medieval Krakow.
The interactive displays at the museaum are one of its best features. Children will enjoy the opportunity to touch and engage with the exhibits, including climbing onto a bed from the Middle Ages and donning armor and helmets.
Additionally, the museum offers a range of multimedia exhibits, such as projections and interactive panels, which brings medieval Krakow to life!
Be sure to purchase tickets in advance as this is a popular site and is still restricted due to covid. There are only so many tickets sold per day and they sell out fast. You can buy tickets here: Rynek Underground Tickets
4. Take a Golf Cart Tour or Horse Carriage Tour of the Old Town and Jewish Quarter
You can’t miss them! Beautifully decorated horses and carriages as well as rows of golf carts lined up ready to take you on a journey around town.
We opted for the golf cart tour as it was less expensive and more expansive of a tour. There are several options you can choose, from just a ride around old town, or old town and the Jewish quarter, or old town, the Jewish quarter and the ghetto. It will depend on what you want to see and how much time you have. We toured all three and it took about 2 hours.
My kids really loved our guide and zipping around in the golf cart. They were taken to the Jewish ghetto that they had read about in books and to Oskar Schindlers factory where he saved over 1000 Jews from Auschwitz.
Our guide was amazing and took up to areas, churches, parks and synagogue we would not have visited otherwise. They know the city well, so ask them for recommendations about where to go, what to do and the best places to eat.
5. Explore the Wieliczka Salt Mine
If you have kids, then is is a MUST SEE! The mine was first opened in the 13th century and has been operating ever since, making it one of the oldest salt mines in Europe.
The best way to explore this UNESCO World Heritage Site is to buy guided tickets ahead of time and take a quick 1 hour train ride from Kraków’s main train station. The guided tour will take you and your family through underground tunnels and into chambers filled with sculptures carved out of salt! The sculptures and caverns are truely spectacular!
You guide will tell you all about how miners made their way through the mine without modern equipment or technology, so dont miss out on learning this fascinating history lesson!
You’ll also get the opportunity to visit an enormous underground chapel carved completely out of salt…it is breathtakingly beautiful and incredible.
6. Wander the Old Town after Dark
With its historic buildings, narrow lanes and bustling squares, Kraków’s old town is charming, picturesque and walkable. Even though it’s a wonderful area to explore during the day, exploring the old town in the evening can be just as magical.
The old town comes alive at night and offers a completely different view of the city with its romantic ambiance, twinkling lights and lively street performers.
Kids will love the energy that comes out at night. There are many street performers, concerts and people watching galore. They can run wild in the main square, chill out at a cafe with some lody (ice cream) or hot chocolate, or explore the many cute little shops that line the square.
Old Town Krakow caters to tourists and is a safe place to wander at night, ( I did, alone with my 3 young children several nights and never felt unsafe), just use your usual street smart skills and keep your money safe from pickpocketers by using a money belt or hidden pouch.
7. Feed the Pidgeons in the Main Square
Feeding the pigeons in the Rynek Glowny in Krakow is a must-do activity for families with kids and was a highlight of our entire trip, according to my 8 and 10 year old. It’s a fun and inexpensive way to make unforgettable memories with your loved ones. Here are a few reasons why you should try it out.
The pigeons in the Rynek Glowny are a beloved part of the city’s culture and heritage. They are a constant presence in the market square, and feeding them is a traditional activity that’s been enjoyed by visitors for generations. Kids will love the excitement of watching the pigeons flock around them and the feeling of being surrounded by these friendly birds.
Feeding the pigeons is just plain fun! It’s a simple pleasure that kids of all ages can enjoy. It’s a chance to slow down, take a break from sightseeing, and have a moment of pure joy with your family.
Just be sure to bring some bread crumbs, barley or seeds to attract the birds, and watch out for their excited fluttering wings as they gather around you. You can pop into any market or grocery store and buy several cheap boxes or barley or other grains. By a lot because this is all your kids are gonna wanna do!
8. Spend an afternoon in the Rynek Glowny and the Old Cloth Hall
Krakow is a beautiful city with a rich history and culture, and one of the best places to experience this is in the Rynek Glowny and the Old Cloth Hall. This bustling market square is the heart of the city and has been the center of Krakow’s public life for over 700 years, plus it the largest Market Square in Europe! It’s a must-visit spot for families with kids, and here’s why.
There’s nothing quite like the energy of the Rynek Glowny. The square is always bustling with activity, and there’s a constant stream of locals and tourists wandering around, taking in the sights, sounds, and smells.
Kids will love the excitement of the market, the colorful stalls, and the street performers. They might even get a chance to feed the pigeons, which are a staple of the square and a beloved pastime for many visitors.
The Old Cloth Hall is a fascinating piece of history that’s sure to capture the curiosity of kids. The building dates back to the 14th century and was once a major center of international trade.
Today, it’s a bustling market filled with traditional crafts, souvenirs, and local delicacies. Families can wander through the stalls, pick up unique gifts, and learn about the rich history of Krakow’s trading past.
9. Dive into the Krakow Aquarium
The Krakow Aquarium is one of Poland’s most popular attractions for families, drawing over 1 million visitors every year! It features over 500 species of fish, including sea lions and penguins!
Children can learn about how ecosystems work by watching them interact with each other in their habitat is, or they can take part in interactive activities like feeding time or touch tanks where kids can touch animals up close!
10. Check out the Krakow Zoo
The Krakow Zoo is a great place to spend the day with kids. There are over 2000 animals from all over the world, including gorillas, elephants and lions. You can see them in their natural habitats or take part in educational activities like feeding time or an animal show.
The zoo has beautiful gardens where you can relax with your family after spending time exploring all of its exhibits!