Where to Stay in Krakow: The Best Places for All Budgets
Krakow is a city that has astounded and mesmerised travellers for centuries. This is the old Polish capital and the second-largest city in the country, and it’s one of the most iconic destinations in Eastern Europe.
With a long history stretching back to the 7th century AD, Krakow has a long heritage waiting to be discovered, but it’s a modern and vibrant place to visit, too.
Stay in the Old Town for classic Polish architecture within the UNESCO World Heritage-listed area, or branch out and stay in the old Jewish quarter of Kazimierz or the up-and-coming Kleparz district.
There’s a lot to do in Krakow and you’ll want to be based in the right area, so we’ve put together this in-depth guide detailing the best places to stay for all budgets.
Stare Miasto: The Old Town
If it’s your first time in Krakow or if you simply want to be close to all the action, then you’re probably going to want to stay in Stare Miasto.
This is Krakow’s historic Old Town, and the UNESCO World Heritage listed area is one of the most beautiful old towns in Europe.
In Stare Miasto, you can find most of the major historic sights in the city, including the Wawel Castle and numerous churches. Don’t forget that Krakow was the royal capital of Poland until the 16th century, so there’s much to see!
Enjoy the history and then indulge your taste buds by eating at the numerous local restaurants, or by drinking a few local brews at the many bars.
There’s a huge range of accommodation in the Old Town, from hostels to luxury hotels, so you’re sure to find a suitable place to stay that’s in line with your style and budget.
Budget: Bubble Hostel
Bubble Hostel is an excellent budget hostel that’s located on the edge of the Old Town, right outside the old gate that leads into the centre. There are spacious dorm rooms and great shared facilities.
Mid Range: Hotel Wentzel
Located in the heart of the Old Town, Hotel Wentzel is the perfect location for exploring Krakow’s most historic sites. As a bonus, the hotel is found within an old 15th century building.
Luxury: Hotel Stary
This elegant hotel is located within a renovated and converted historic building that dates back to the 14th century. If you’re looking to delve into Krakow’s history, then there are few better places to stay in the Old Town than Hotel Stary.
Kazimierz: The Jewish Quarter
Kazimierz is the most famous Krakow district, after the Old Town. But unfortunately, it’s also the most infamous.
This was once the thriving heart of the Jewish community in Krakow and one of the biggest communities in Europe. But the tumultuous events of World War II saw the district turned into a ghetto before being systematically destroyed by the Nazis.
For many decades after the war, Kazimierz was seen as one of Krakow’s most dangerous areas, but in recent years things have begun to change as the district has taken on a new lease of life.
In fact, this is now one of the trendiest areas to be in Krakow. After learning about Kazimierz’s long Jewish history, you can sit out on the cobbled market square and enjoy great coffee or drinks before visiting some of the liveliest restaurants in the city.
Kazimierz is renowned for its nightlife these days too, so if you’re looking to party, then this is the area for you!
Budget: Goodbye Lenin
To delve into the communist history of Krakow, and for an idea of what the Kazimierz district might have been like just a few decades ago, then book into the Goodbye Lenin hostel. This is a communist themed and inspired hostel, which takes its name from the East German film that portrays life immediately after the fall of communism and the Berlin Wall – when the people are saying a final goodbye to Lenin.
Mid Range: INX Design Hotel
Seen as one of the quirkiest hotels in Krakow, the INX Design Hotel is the place to stay if you’re looking for a taste of the new, up-and-coming Kazimierz. Rooms are simple yet colourful, and the decor is minimalist yet bright and loud all through the property.
Luxury: Dada Boutique Home Hotel
A surprisingly great value yet semi-luxurious offering in Kazimierz is the Dada Boutique Home Hotel. This modern hotel is in a fantastic location and each room is designed differently and is wonderfully boutique.
Kleparz: Great Value, Great Location
The Kleparz district is in many ways a continuation of the Old Town, but it’s very different too.
While Kleparz is just down the road from Stare Miasto, the area was, in fact, its own town for centuries and only merged with Krakow in the late 18th century.
It’s wonderfully historic and has managed to retain its own sense of character and tradition, which, while of course similar to the Old Town, is very unique too.
Kleparz is known for its lovely, historic streets and famed Barbican fortress, as well as its great array of local restaurants.
It’s much less touristy here than in the Old Town, and this is perhaps how the Old Town felt a few years ago before Krakow became so popular. There are fewer bars, more local eateries and cheaper accommodation too, than you’ll find in Stare Miasto.
Budget: Dizzy Daisy Downtown Hostel
This quiet hostel is the best place to stay in Krakow if you’re looking for a peaceful yet communal stay. Unlike other hostels, there are no parties and the emphasis isn’t on the bars and clubs, but more on the culture and history.
Mid Range: Old Time Hotel
This quirky, boutique hotel is located in the heart of Kleparz, and offers visitors the chance to stay in rustic, homely yet refined accommodation during their stay in the city.
Luxury: Grand Ascot Hotel
The Grand Ascot Hotel offers all the trappings of an international hotel and is surprisingly great value too.
It’s a full-service hotel with large and spacious rooms, and the option to upgrade to even larger suites if you’re looking for more luxury.
Grzegórzki: Alternative Vibes
Grzegórzki is located outside of the traditional city centre, and it’s a bit more of a journey from this district to the Old Town.
This is the start of the eastern suburbs and, until recently, it’s never been a popular place to stay. But with rising prices in the Old Town and ever-larger numbers of tourists visiting Krakow, the savvy traveller is always looking to expand their reach, so Grzegórzki looks set to be a great alternative neighbourhood.
There aren’t so many tourist sights in Grzegórzki, so for first-time visitors to Krakow, it’s not necessarily the best place to stay. If you have been here before, though, then the district offers a more intimate look at local life in the city that you just can’t find in the touristy areas.
And of course, being further out and being more residential, Grzegórzki is much a cheaper place to be based than the city centre if you’re looking for hotels or apartments. Unfortunately, though, there aren’t so many hostels in the area for budget travellers.
Budget: Vienna House Easy Cracow
Located on the western edge of the Grzegórzki district, the Vienna House Easy Cracow is actually not too far away from the Old Town, and is perfectly suited for someone looking for both a local experience and to see all the touristy sites.
Mid Range: Airbnb Apartments
This is a residential and business area primarily, but that means that there are some great apartments available on Airbnb and other booking sites. If you’re looking for longer-term stays these are great, and the prices and value are excellent in Grzegórzki.
Luxury: DoubleTree by Hilton Krakow Hotel and Convention Center
Located in the business district, this is an underrated branch of the Hilton brand that offers excellent service and amenities in an out-of-the-way location on the east of the district. Pre-booking a taxi transfer from Krakow International will get take you smoothly to the hotel and you’ll never feel like your feet are hitting the floor the entire journey. If you’re here on business, it’s perfect, or if you just want to get away from the crowds, there are few better places to be based.
Ludwinów: Budget Travellers and Sightseers
Ludwinow is a colourful and lively part of Krakow that sits on the banks of the river, opposite the Old Town.
This is the best district for budget travellers who want to be near the action but who don’t want to pay the ever-increasing prices of the Old Town.
Ludwinow is incredibly close to the Old Town though, and from the riverbank, you can even see the impressive shape of the Wawel Castle on the opposite side.
This is an up-and-coming part of the city, which means there’s plenty to do after you’ve explored the touristy sites and want to get away from the bustling city centre. There are bars, clubs and plenty of cafes and restaurants to enjoy in your downtime.
There are lots of hostels here in Ludwinow, and you’re just a short walk from the buzzing nightlife of Kazimierz.
Budget: Chili Hostel
Located close to the river, Chili Hostel is often rated as the best hostel in Ludwinow. There are spacious dorms, a garden and great value private rooms too, if you don’t fancy sleeping in a room with strangers during your stay in Krakow!
Mid Range: B and B Hotel Krakow Centrum
This lovely boutique-style hotel has just two stars, but B and B Hotel Krakow deserves much more. This is a great value place to stay, in an excellent location, with a bar and working areas yet a more homely feel than most other hotels in Krakow.
The hotel has a great price and is perfect for anyone looking for a refined place to stay on work trips.
Luxury: Hilton Garden Inn
The Hilton Garden Inn is one of the more expensive offerings to be found in Ludwinow.
This international brand brings its excellent service and style to Krakow, and offers an escape from the Old Town on the other side of the river, with views of Wawel Castle.
While the districts around the Old Town might offer some respite from the tourist crowds in Krakow, there’s no better way to escape it all than to get out of the city.
Krakow is surrounded by glorious countryside, and with good transport connections, it’s easier than ever to stay further out and to day trip into the city centre before retiring in the evening to the countryside and peace and quiet.
One of the best places to stay is Zwierzyniec, a large district located to the west of the Vistula River and the Old Town, which includes huge swathes of national park and protected land.
It’s a beautiful part of Poland and a wonderfully rural place to stay.
There’s a fantastic selection of Airbnbs and apartments across the area, many with great access to the parks.
Mid Range: Hotel Wolski
You can’t find a hotel with such spacious rooms and great service anywhere in Krakow itself for this sort of price!
Luxury: Villa Zakamycze
This charming villa in the countryside is your escape from the city. Featuring spa pools, swimming pools and sauna, there are few better places to relax.
What’s the best time of year to visit Krakow?
Krakow experiences hot summers and cold winters, and there can be huge changes in temperature and the weather. The best time to be here is summer but it’s also the busiest!
What’s the best food to eat in Krakow?
Polish food is hearty and filling, and you’ll find stews and meaty dishes to warm you up on a cold winter’s day. The best dish by far though is Pierogi, the local take on Eastern European style dumplings.
Where’s the best nightlife?
Krakow has somewhat of a reputation as a nightlife city, and you’ll find that there are lots of clubs and bars across the Old Town. The best district is Kazimierz.