As one of the oldest towns in Poland, Krakow is definitely worth a visit. Most travelers use Krakow as a hub to visit Auschwitz or the salt mines of Wieliczka. The town itself has a lot to offer as well. Krakow isn’t a number one destination for lesbian travel, but it is a highlight in Poland that is not to be missed, gay or not.
Accommodation and transportation
Getting there and away
Krakow has an international airport, which means you can fly in from most European cities. If you’re traveling from outside Europe, you might have to switch planes in Warsaw. Or take a train. We traveled by train and loved this option a lot. The railway station is very close to the old town and you can walk anywhere from there. All transportation arrives and leaves at the same place: the railway station. The bus terminal is just next to it. Inside Krakow, you can walk most distances. For destinations further away, use a taxi, bus or train.
Where to sleep
We recommend finding accommodation in the old town or right next to it. We found a cute apartment a very short walk from the old town through Airbnb. It was cheap, cozy and served us well. We used Airbnb on many occasions and have always had a great experience. If you sign up to the platform using our link, you get a discount on your first booking.
Things to do in Krakow
Krakow is known for its escape room challenges. There are dozens of places where you can do this. We didn’t! We did other stuff! See what Krakow has to offer and which day trips you can make.
Krakow Old Town
The Old Town is really cool. The city is walled in completely and surrounded by a beautiful green belt. The park that surrounds the city is a great way to walk all the way around. One day of strolling is more than enough to see the entire town. It’s worth waiting for nightfall to see the city center by night. It’s also possible to ride through the ancient streets by horse and carriage. Those carriages light up at night and we didn’t mind to pay extra for our drinks on the main square to watch the life in the square. Don’t skip the Cloth Hall, but keep your wallet safe.
Ok. Escape rooms are a big thing in this town. Fear, panic and muffled screams are combined with the sounds of growling chain saws and other horrible noises. It seems as if Krakow has a love for horror. We’re not into it, but if you are, check out this link with more information on the best and most horrifying Krakow escape rooms.
A lot of history is written in the Krakow area. A few kilometers from the old town, you can visit Oskar Schindler’s factory and the Jewish District. The factory is now a museum and it’s a true eye opener. Even more eye opening is, of course, the Auschwitz Site, located 70 kilometers outside of town. We’ll have a detailed post about how to visit Auschwitz and Birkenau sites soon.
Wieliczka Salt mine
Due to a severe hangover, we didn’t manage to visit the salt mines. So they are still on our list because I’ve been told they are impressive. The mines are extremely busy some times. Friends we met in Krakow told us they had to wait over an hour to use the one elevator that gets you out of the mines. So if you’re claustrophobic, you might want to think about doing this first.
Krakow doesn’t have a lot to offer for the LGBT traveler. The gay male visitor has a few options, but these seem to be dying out as well. A lot of gay clubs and bars that existed are now closed. For women, there are no bars or cafés. The good news is that you’re welcome in most other venues. Poland isn’t known for its gay tolerance and it’s not the best place to draw attention to it. Each year in March there’s the Equality March in Krakow, which is a Pride festival. Protesters are present every year, but they usually can’t bring the good atmosphere down. Still, there is a lot of work to be done in some regions of Poland.
LGBT travelers to Krakow don’t need to worry much about safety. A lot of tourists visit Krakow each year and whether you’re LGBT or not, no one will make a fuss about it. Aside from some regular misgendering and bathroom issues, we didn’t encounter any trouble while we were in Poland.