Tips on Areas to Stay in Krakow, Poland

Being a quarter Polish I had always wanted to visit Poland, to sample the last remaining segment of my heritage that I had yet to explore. With wonderful architecture, food, nightlife and centuries of incredible history, Krakow didn’t let my high expectations down. This post highlights tips on areas to stay in Krakow. In a nutshell, Only-Apartments is a fantastic option for a comfortable stay. In the past we used their website on three occasions to book great stays in Budapest, Lisbon and Porto at a great value. All were lovely experiences, and you can make that four now!

Horse and carriage in Old Town, Tips on Areas to Stay in Krakow
Elegant horse and carriages are in abundance in Krakow’s Old Town (Stare Miastro), adding a fairy tale element for a truly memorable dinner in the main square.

Only-apartments has great options in Krakow’s Old Town (Stare Miastro), which is magnificent during the day and evening. But past 11pm there are some shady characters near the Main Market Square, particularly near St. Florians Gate on the north end, along Florianska street. If you are in a small group you’re better off, but if you are alone like I was, perhaps stay south of the main square for better peace of mind. If you want to stay out late and have nice drinks in cool bars, I personally think the old Jewish quarter of Kazimierz is a better choice to stay than the Old Town (or somewhere in between the two). Kazimierz has one of the most eclectic mixes of funky bars and restaurants I have ever seen. It’s less touristy so there are less scam bars, just great vibes and great value. You can also find great apartments in the Kazimierz area on the only-apartments website.

 

Florianska St. and St. Florian's Gate, Tips on Areas to Stay in Krakow
Florianska St. in Stare Miastro, the road to St. Florians Gate.

I stayed in the Debniki area, at a privately owned apartment called “Ginger Cat,” located just across the Vistula River from Wawel Castle. It’s a quiet middle class neighborhood close to the center and safe to walk at night. Upon arrival, the owner’s niece was waiting at the apartment with the keys. A Map and some brochures were provided and she was happy to answer any questions I had about Krakow and the neighborhood. If I had any additional questions or problems I was free to call her, and she lived close by. The apartment was spacious, recently renovated, lovingly decorated, comfortable and extremely clean. There was a full kitchen with new appliances so I could have cooked, but I chose not to. Nice coffee for the drip machine and tea were also provided.

Wawel Church, Tips on Areas to Stay in Krakow
The Wawel Cathedral, within the walls of Wawel Castle, is just one of many stunning churches in Krakow.

There was a grocery store less than a 2 minute walk from the apartment to get whatever I needed. There I found delicious lunch meats, vegetables and bread for snacking at very low prices. The grocery store was also stocked with a huge selection of fantastic Polish micro-brew beers that I had never previously encountered. That was quite special because the majority of bars in Krakow only serve lower quality mass produced beers, like Tyskie, which I can find at most Dublin grocery stores. Staying in Debniki at the Ginger Cat made me feel more like a local and provided better value. It’s a great apartment to stay at if you want a relaxing time in Krakow as the neighborhood is very peaceful but still close to the center. A stay in Stare Miastro or Kazimierz will most likely be noisier at night.

Kitchen in Debniki area of Krakow, Tips on Areas to Stay in Krakow
The kitchen of my lovely apartment in Krakow.

 

Polish and Ukrainian micro brews, Tips on Areas to Stay in Krakow
Fantastic Polish (and a couple Ukrainian) micro-brew beers I drank during my stay. These beers cannot be found in most Krakow pubs so it’s a major advantage to have a refrigerator where you’re staying. On a side note, the gimmicky titled Armageddon 2012 was the only terrible one, the others were delicious.

The apartment was only a 15 minute walk from the south end of Stare Miastro, so it’s walk-able for most. Taxis in Krakow are cheap, just be sure to negotiate roughly how much it will cost as a minority of taxis are scams. Be sure the rates are printed on the back windows of the vehicle and the car is an officially registered taxi company, otherwise you may pay far too much. Standard taxi rates are 7 zloty (under 2 euro) for the first kilometer and roughly 2.30 zloty (60 euro cents) each additional kilometer. As I prefer to walk shorter distances, I chose this option back to the apartment between around 11pm-midnight each of my 4 nights. It felt perfectly safe, but if you catch a cab from Stare Miastro to Debniki the fair price should be under 5 euro (including the taxi driver possibly taking you the longer way). I caught taxis to and from Central Train station with my luggage and each ride cost 20 zloty (5 euro). A taxi from the airport *should* cost around 80 zloty (20 euro). Prices to stay at the Ginger Cat start at 40 euro per night.

Only-apartments living room in Krakow, Tips on Areas to Stay in Krakow
The living room was super comfortable for enjoying a bit of satellite cable. Most channels are dubbed over in Polish, but BBC, CNN and Bloomberg can keep you up to date on news. Not that you should be watching so much TV in Krakow anyway! The apartment was also equipped with wi-fi.
short term apartments in Krakow with Only-apartments, Tips on Areas to Stay in Krakow
It’s common in Europe to have 2 single beds pushed together because it’s more practical for some guests. The couch also pulled out into a sofa bed so the 50 sq. meter apartment sleeps 4. Both the bed and couch were extremely comfortable.

 

Polish shower, Tips on Areas to Stay in Krakow
The bathroom was newly renovated and spotlessly clean.

 

Only-apartments provides outstanding value, where you get a kitchen and comfortable living room for in most cases less than a basic hotel room. Check-out is sometimes flexible in your favor if no other guests are arriving that day. Nobody had booked to arrive the day I was departing Ginger Cat, so the owner informed me I could check-out of the apartment whenever I wanted that day.

Another great thing about booking through only-apartments is that you are usually helping to support individuals over large hotel chains. We know which one we prefer to support when possible, and only-apartments has loads of great privately owned apartments listed in many fantastic European locales and elsewhere around the world.

Disclosure:  only-apartments provided this stay free of charge as a thank you for the positive experiences we wrote about when paying out of pocket for apartments in Lisbon, Porto and BudapestWe extend a personal thanks to Maike Mocikat and Estela Franco for their gracious assistance and wonderful support of our website. It’s greatly appreciated.  

 

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12 thoughts on “Tips on Areas to Stay in Krakow, Poland

  1. What a nice alternative to a hotel! I like the idea and from what I see it looks like it was a very cozy apartment right?

    I’ve never been to Krakow but it sure is lovely!

    I will have to add it to my Bucket List (which by the way keeps getting longer)

    Thank you for sharing this!

    K 😉

    1. Thank you, yes all of the apartments we have stayed in with Only-Apartments have been lovely! Very cosy and so nice to kind of pretend like you’re a local 😉 and as we said so nice to support the small guy rather then large chains.

      Haha, yes our list of places we want to go keeps getting longer too, so many beautiful places to visit!

  2. Looks fantastic just out of a fairy tale. It has so much old world value to offer the traveller. The apartment option is great as you can cook and it offers a different outlook on a city, so much more personal.

    1. Thank you for the comment! Krakow’s horse and carriages are top notch!….And yes, cooking can be great for saving money- but even if you choose not to the fridge provides an added experience for keeping local treats cold- like boutique beer and sausage 🙂

  3. Hey, this place is awesome. I’ve never been to Poland and I think Krakow would be the best destination to go to here in Poland once I visit this place soon. The elegant horses found outside with all the magnificent looking castles will be perfect. It’s as if I’m in the movies and experience this. I’m sure my 2 girls will enjoy it here. Thanks for sharing!

    1. You and your family will love Krakow Joseff! Krakow is the former capital of Poland before Warsaw took over the reign. While we haven’t been to Warsaw it’s a bigger city with a smaller historic centre…so if you visit one city in Poland Krakow is probably the place!

  4. Krakow is a beautiful city ! I was there last year in Good Bye Lenin Hostel. Place in the city center , nice and clean. The prices are good for the city center. Cool

  5. It’s my pleasure:) I know this place , so you want to share your opinions with other 🙂 . Good traveling ! PS: Krakow is beautiful !

  6. Yes, Krakow is beautiful city but if you dont know where 2 stay it can be expensive. Everybody love Kazimierz and the Old City but i prefere sleep somewhere else, rent a small flat with everything next to the good pleaces. Then can be a good time. Every year i go to the place Nicola and this year i will go with my friend there 2. See the place on fb.

    1. Hi Sandra. Thanks for sharing your thoughts since you’re a frequent visitor to Krakow. You certainly do get more bang for your buck in an apartment outside the old town or Kazimierz. It’s a wonderful town that can offer so much value given how beautiful it is. Enjoy your upcoming visit to Krakow!

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