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Potential weekend Krakow trip ... please review itinerary

Potential weekend Krakow trip ... please review itinerary

Old Feb 5th, 2007, 03:05 PM
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Potential weekend Krakow trip ... please review itinerary

I'm considering a weekend trip to Krakow. I can get decent airfare and room in Pension Trecius, so now I'm thinking about what to see. I'm realizing there is a lot more than I had considered, so I know I will have to cut. The main question is ... is such a trip even worth it?

I'm young, move quickly, love art museums and churches:

Arrive Thursday at 8 pm. Go to hotel


Start at Wawel complex at 9 am. See:

Cathedral Museum
Royal Chambers

Walk to Jewish district to see Temple, Isaac and Old Synagogue.

Perhaps see a museum with 6 pm closing.


early morning walking around to see outside (inside too?) of some churches, the main square and gates.

3-4 museums


1-2 museums and additional churches.
Leave airport around 12:30 for 2:10 pm flight.

I have several museums written down that I am considering. I'll post these as my next post to see what can be cut.
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Old Feb 5th, 2007, 03:11 PM
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Of museums, I especially love 19th century and impressionist-like paintings.

Considered museums:

1) Archdioscean Museum:

Of interest to me as a Catholic

2) Czartoryski Museum

Would really like to see. Seems open as late as 5:30 some days.

3) Collegium Maius and museum

Would really like to see. What time are tours?

4) History Museum

I think this may open at 9, so would be good for an early morning activity. Sounds interesting to me.

5) Cloth Hall and 19th Century Paintings

The 19th century part is moved to a castle about 20 km outside of Krakow. Is this a big deal? What else is in the Cloth Hall besides this?

6) Józef Mehoffer House

I think this is open till 6 pm on Friday. I read somewhere about it having art deco and impressionist-era paintings, which appeals to me.

7) Museums - National Museum

I think this is open until 6 most days. I can't remember why I have this on there, but it seems to be a biggie.

8) Wyspiañski Museum

The displayed paintings on the website look pretty and colorful.

As for churches, I feel like St. Mary's Basilica/tower and St. Peter/Paul are musts. What about these:

St. Catherine’s Church
Holy Cross
St. Anne’s

Thanks so much for your thoughts. I realize I will have to cull the museums and churches, but the main question is just to assess the viability of such a short trip. It's a real bummer that things don't seem to be open very late, which cuts into the sightseeing time, and it also sucks that I'd have to leave at 2 pm.
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Old Feb 5th, 2007, 05:26 PM
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My husband & I spent 3 nights in Krakow in September, although we arrived early in the day. We stayed in the Pension Trecius & it was really great, especially the location! We loved Krakow! Just being in the huge town square was an experience. We did day tours to the salt mine & Auschwich so that took a lot of our time there. The Castle complex is really interesting. I think your weekend trip would be very worthwhile.
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Old Feb 6th, 2007, 08:23 AM
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Krakow is lovely, whether visiting places or just roaming around. I strongly recommend the Czartoryski Museum. Its collection centers on Old Masters, rather than 19th century or Impressionist work, but it has some gems! Enjoy!
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Old Feb 6th, 2007, 10:22 AM
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I certainly think Krakow is worth a 3 day trip, but it might depend where you are coming from. I wouldn't go there all the way from the US for that due to time change and airfare cost.

Your Friday is very very full, if you cut anything, you can leave out the Jewish quarter, I'd say. Some museums do close early, it has surprised me and I've missed a few I would have liked to see because of that. Some of the ones you chose wouldn't all be must-sees to me, nor the churches. You've missed some of the major churches, I think.

If the art upstairs has moved, the Cloth Hall is mainly a market with vendors who have permanent booths. It's the place to go for souvenirs -- they have lots of jewelry, wood carvings, crafts, etc. I did like the art upstairs, but wouldn't make a trip out in some burbs to see it. You will not doubt spend some time walking in there to pick out a few gifts or something.

I haven't gotten to the National Museum because it's a little out of the center town area, and so take more time to get to/from (as well as figuring out how). I also haven't been to the Collegium Maius (which is also called Jagiellonian University). I think they may not have set tour times, I know you have to call to reserve to maybe they play that by ear.

I did really like the Czartorysk Museum and Mehoffer House, as well as the castle, of course. I really liked the Ethnography museum, actually, although you don't see that mentioned much. It's one of my top sights in Krakow, but it's over in the Jewish Quarter area and not as easily in line with the rest. It closes early, also, which is a bummer -- 2 or 3 every day. You have tons to see, already. I think the History museum wasn't quite as fascinating as it sounded, but it's right in the center so easy to check out, and does open earlier than the others.

AS for the churches, you have to see St Mary's on the main square, I think it's the most famous one. I also really liked St Francis basilica which has beautiful art nouveau stained glass windows and interesting art. It's not too far south of the main square -- on the way from the castle back to the square. I also enjoyed SS Peter and Paul and St Andrews, but they are on the way, and I think maybe the inside is not as special. But to your list, you must add St Mary's and I'd recommend St Francis.

The Mehoffer house is open until 6 on Friday. The Czartoryski is until 5:30, almost the same. The problem is Saturday when many close early, which is kind of weird. I assume when you mention seeing a museum on Friday, you are talking about the Jewish museum in the Jewish district, as that's where you will be. It is worth seeing, as much as the synagogues you named. That is clled Galicia Jewish Museum and is open until 5 pm.
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Old Feb 6th, 2007, 10:23 AM
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Old Feb 6th, 2007, 11:22 AM
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Thanks very much for all your comments, Christina. You are invaluable for Paris tips and now Krakow I see as well. I am coming from London.

The Friday museum was maybe high-tailing it back to see one of the other museums on my list, but I know the Jewish quarter is 20-25 minutes walking from the center, so I know that is really pushing it. I think I can only spend a few minutes in the Cloth Hall (though I would have loved to have seen the 19th Century art!) which will help a little with the time crunch. I'm not into shopping.
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Old Feb 6th, 2007, 11:53 AM
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Joe, thanks for your post, we leave next Monday for a six-day trip to Krakow so the responses here are helpful to me too.

Christina, thanks for sharing your impression of the Ethnography Museum--it's on my list of "must sees" and I was surprised that it's hardly mentioned here. I believe it's open late on Mondays (10-6) but I get the impression that it's best to reconfirm opening times for museums in Krakow once you arrive (especially in the winter months).
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Old Feb 6th, 2007, 02:06 PM
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yes, it isn't just that the ethnography museum is barely mentioned on here (which wouldn't surprise me), it is barely mentioned anywhere in any guidebook, etc. It is outstanding, they have many rooms with wonderful authentic folkart, furniture, great displays of how they have traditionally observed POlish holidays, many example of authentic historic Polish costumes from various parts of the country, etc. They have rooms set up showing a typical house 100 years ago, etc., things like that. They had one room full of Christmas creches and things like that which were astounding. I just loved that museum, but I really like folklore, historic costumes, etc. I found it mentioned in inyourpocket.com probably, but it doesn't even say much about it nor present it as a "must see". I think it really is.

It's actually a very nice building over in that area, also, (it is in the Jewish Quarter, or Kazimierz, Town Hall, and a fairly easy walk along a major street back to the main street (Grodzka) leading from the castle back to Rynek Glowny. There aren't that many people in it, either.

I think the Jewish Quarter where those synagogues are is a little more than a 20 minute walk from Rynek Glowny, but I wasn't in a hurry. There are buses that go there, but it seemed more trouble to figure them out than just walk there, which I did. I was staying in a hotel on that side of town, though, which made it easier.
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Old Feb 6th, 2007, 09:01 PM
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Old Feb 6th, 2007, 10:25 PM
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we liked Krakow. salt mine may b.when we were there last time, some people went to near-by ski place for a day trip (about2-3 hours by arranged bus group fr Krakow), but we cldn't make it coz we had to leave Krakow.sorry cldn't provide more infor but shouldn't be difficult to find out. Not sure if that was good but u can always ask others for further opinion
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Old Feb 7th, 2007, 04:22 AM
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mvor - could you post a trip report on your return from Krakow and any recommendations for restaurants please? I'll be there for 4 nights in April for my birthday so any tips will be appreciated (also staying at Trecius)

Have a good trip yourself!
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Old Feb 7th, 2007, 04:57 AM
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Christina, thanks for the additional details. I, too, enjoy folklore so I think this museum will be a real treat. I actually read about the museum in Lonely Planet's Best of Krakow-- they dedicate a full page to the museum. I am actually quite impressed by this small book and would recommend it for others.

dmjapril, I don't write trip reports but will be glad to post restaurant info here if we find something special (we're vegetarian so that will influence our choices). I have found good resto information at the following sites:


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