Krakow is the most recognizable tourist brand in Poland. In recent years, one of the most popular destinations among European cities. The compact nature of the city, the well-preserved old town entered as one of the first in the world on the UNESCO list in 1978, the accumulation of attractions around the metropolis and the unique atmosphere of the student center attract millions of tourists every year. · City of CultureThe charms of the capital of Malopolska Voivodship were appreciated even before Poland joined the European Union. Already in 2000, Krakow received the honorable title of the European Capital of Culture, thanks to which it was able to present the cultural life not only of the city itself, but also of the region and the entire country. A place where many national and international festivals are organized.
- City of Meeitngs and Congresses
In recent years, the capital of Malopolska region has focused heavily on the development of the meetings industry, promoting itself as a city of innovative and creative initiatives in various fields.
- City of Sience, Krakow, the oldest university city in Poland, is currently a home of five renowned universities. Over 160,000 students are educated annually at the 26 universities in the area. Their teaching process is supervised by almost 12,000 academic teachers, including 794 full professors. Due to the reputation and access to highly qualified staff, many international concerns have been locating their research and development centers in the region in recent years.
- City of Business
The city has become a leading platform for cooperation between local government, science and business in Poland, attracting numerous foreign investments, both from smaller companies and international concerns. It is consistently and successfully promoted as a center of high technologies and the IT sector. The Kraków Technology Park manages a Special Economic Zone, located in 36 subzones in the Malopolskie, Podkarpackie and Swietokrzyskie voivodships.
In 2020, Krakow is once again among the most technologically advanced “cities of the future“.The international ranking “Top 25 Tech Cities of the Future 2020/2021” was prepared by fDi Magazine.
For years, Krakow has also been appreciated in the Tholons Services Globalization CITY INDEX ranking: taking the 11th position in its latest edition.
Krakow has an excellent offer of business hotels, both in five, four and three star standards. They include hotels of large international chains and boutique hotels located in the heart of the city. Below are some of the most interesting facilities, especially those with conference facilities:
- 5 * Bachleda Luxury Hotel Krakow MGallery by Sofitel
- 5 * Radisson Blue Hotel
- 5 * Hotel Unicus Palace
- 5 *Sheraton Hotel
- 5 *Balthazar Hotel
- 5 * Stary Hotel
- 5* The Bonerowski Palace
- 5 * Copernicus Hotel
- 5 * Hotel Holiday Inn Kraków City Center
- 4* DoubleTree by Hilton Kraków Hotel & Convention Center –
- 4 *Park INN by Radisson Kraków
- 4*Hilton Garden Inn
- 4*Qubus Hotel 500
- 4* Hotel Kossak
- 4* Quenn Wawel –
- 4* Boutique Quenn Wawel Hotel-
- 4* Grand Ascot
- 4* Hotel Metropolo by Golden Tulip
- 4* Garden Square Hotel
- 4* Hotel Centrum
- 4* Hotel Swing
- 4* Hotel Sympozjum
- 4* Hotel Rubinstein
- 4* Hotel Indigo 4* Mercure Centrum
- 4* Best Western Premier
- 4* Puro Kraków
- 4* Hotel Galaxy
- 3* Hotel Polonia
- 3* Best Western Plus Old Town 3
- 3* Hotel Perła
- 3* Hotel Wyspiański PTTK
- 3* Hotel Farmona –
Hotel in the vicinity of
- 4* Hotel Lenart 4- a design hotel located in Wieliczka
- 4* Hotel Turowka- located in Wieliczka, elegant, 4 conference rooms, the largest up to 120 people
- 4* Sierakow- a historic manor house from 1847 in Dobczyce,
Business & Conference Venues
According to the latest report “The meetings industry in Krakow”, in 2019 over 8,400 events took place in the capital of Malopolska. The largest number of meetings and events was generated by the trade and service industry, which is consistent with global trends. The medical industry was next in terms of the number of events.
The above data shows that Krakow, next to Warsaw, is the city most often appreciated by the meetings industry and therefore selected for the conference both at the national and international level. The advantages, apart from numerous monuments, a rich gastronomic and cultural offer, is a long list of various conference and event facilities.
The city is well connected by all means of transportation:
- Balice Airport is connected with city center by a train that goes to the Main Railway Station.
- Excellent rail connections with major cities in Poland,
- International rail connections eg. with Prague, Vienna, Budapest and Lviv.
- The A4 motorway and fast traffic routes through the city.
The city is perfectly prepared for business and conference facilities. In addition to the above-mentioned business hotels with conference facilities, we present a list of the most interesting conference, training and event venues in the city:
- ICE Krakow Congress Center – the city’s business and cultural showpiece. Located in the heart of Krakow, The great advantage of the facility is the view of Wawel and Kazimierz. · EXPO Kraków – a fair and congress facility located in Krakow in the Czyzyny district.
- The Tauron Arena Kraków sports and entertainment hall – a place of music and sports performances as well as a space for business
- Balice Airport – offers 3 conference rooms in the modern VIP Terminal and additional services for “VIP” customers.
- Cracovia Stadium – the stands will seat over 17,000 spectators. The stadium also offers the organization of events in conference rooms
- In recent years, in Krakow, museum facilities and institutions related to the promotion of culture have joined the list of interesting, unusual sites intended for the organization of events: Theatre of J.Slowacki, the Krakow Philharmonic, the Aviation Museum, the Center for Jewish Culture, the Mahgha Center for Japanese Culture
- International Cultural Center – the seat of a cultural institution whose mission is public diplomacy through international dialogue in culture – an unusual and at the same time a perfect place to organize conferences, trainings and other prestigious events. is located in the historic tenement house “Pod Kruki” at Main Square 25.
- Galicia Jewish Museum – conducts cultural activities and rents out its spaces to organize, among others, conferences, trainings and banquets. The facility is located in a restored, post-industrial building of a pre-war mill in Krakow’s Kazimierz district.
- The “Wieliczka” Salt Mine – a unique place on the conference map of the Krakow area, is one of the greatest tourist attractions in Poland. Natural salt chambers, located over 100 meters underground, are the perfect scenery for the implementation of even the most unusual event scenarios
- Folwark Zalesie – located 25 km from Kraków, on a hill overlooking the entire Beskidy Mountains, Babia Gora ( Mt) ,Dobczycki Lagoon and the Tatra Mountains.
- Alvernia Planet – the largest film studio in Poland and one of the most modern in Europe, distinguished by its remarkable futuristic architectural solutions. · Business Centres
- Business Link High5ive Kraków – a modern space for business offering a co-working zone,
- Jagiellonian Center of Innovation.
- Fronton Office Center –
Krakow as academic centre has many interesting places for congresses or conferences in scientific buildings.
- Auditorium Maximum belonging to the Jagiellonian University
- Didactic Center of the Faculty of Law and Administration of the Jagiellonian University
- Congress Center of the University of Agriculture
For those looking for unusual places:
- in the summer season, an interesting proposition for a banquet, event or training will be a Vistula barge, which can be used for cruises for several hours, admiring the picturesque views. The barge, as an event facility, is also available in the evening.
- Plac Nowy 1. Located in the center of Kazimierz, the facility serves restaurant, club, leisure and business functions.
The resilient Kraków Convention Bureau provides invaluable substantive support for MICE Agencies and Clients looking for perfect place to organize meeting or event.
Local cuisine and restaurants
Krakow’s cuisine is inextricably linked with the rich history of the city located at the crossroads of trade routes. For centuries, the market has attracted merchants who brought goods from various countries in Europe and the Middle East. In the 16th century, Bona Sforza arrived at Wawel Castle and brought culinary innovations including numerous vegetables to the royal table. In the following centuries, apart from exotic spices and fresh vegetables Krakow’s, cuisnes was influenced by Jewish, German, Austrian, Czech and Balkan Thanks to this the inhabitants of Krakow drew the best from worlds’ cuisine to create their own traditional dishes.
The symbol of the city is the “obwarzanek”, which has been baked in the region for over 600 years. Round baking with poppy seeds, salt or sesame seeds is available on every corner of the city, what’s more, it has its museum, and since 2010 it has been included in the list of protected products.
Traditional Krakow delicacies also include: “maczanka”, a roll dipped in goulash, Krakow-style duck served with groats and mushrooms, sausage known as Krakow’s sausage, and for dessert, a cheesecake or pischinge – a waffle cake layered with chocolate mass and a cream (custard) cake made famous by the Pope John Paul II.
Gastronomy in Krakow,
The richness of the gastronomic offer in Krakow is extraordinary and suites the tastes of various guests.
Demanding customers, can find in the Michelin guide precommendations for several restaurants in Krakow. In 2019, Przemysław Klima, the chef of the Bottiglieria restaurant in Krakow in 1991, received the first Michelin star in the city.
For lovers of tradition and regional cuisine, there are numerous restaurants at various price levels. The most famous – “Wierzynek” is a restaurant located at the Market Square in Krakow, it reminds of the monarchs who came to Krakow for a sumptuous feast over 600 years ago. Other popular places serving local cuisine are:” Wesele”, “Pod Baranem”, “Miód i Malina”, “Kompania Kuflowa pod Wawelem”, “Wentzl”, “Pod Aniołami” and “Szara”.
In recent years a lot of places with cooking by recognized Polish chefs have opened in Krakow. At Adam Chrzastowski’s (Ed Red) or Rafał Targosz’ Unicus Hotel ), we will encounter familiar accents. On the other hand, the chefs of three restaurants in LHR hotel chain “Pod Różą”, “Copernicus” and “Trzy Rybki” are the followers of modern Polish cuisine, which is routed in Polish tradiiton and at the same time draws on the world’s achievemnets in culinary techniques. European in character with local accents – have such places as “Szara” or Culinary Studio.
It should be mentioned that Krakow has long been known for its literary cafes. There are also places with an artistic atmosphere. Province on Bracka, Cafe Camelot in “Zaułek Niewiernego Tomasza”, right next to the Market Square, or a bit further, in Planty, next to the contemporary art gallery, glazed “Bunkier”.
There is no shortage of places with traditional Jewish cuisine in Kazimierz. In recent years, the district has become synonymous with atmospheric cafes and clubs open until the morning hours. The most famous are Les Couleurs, Moment, Alchemia, Singer. In the nearby Podgórze, it is worth visiting Drukarnia or Cawa, forerunner of the of the famous Bernatka Footbridge connecting two banks of the VistulaRiver,
Street food Krakow For street food lovers , an interesting place will be “Plac Nowy” and local casserole stalls or the iconic blue “nyska” foodtruck serving sausages from the market hall, where in the atmosphere of the communist era, we can try traditional grilled meats with mustard. There are many places in the city where we can try dishes straight from the food truck, and in Krakow’s Kazimierz we will try maczanka or kumpir – traditional potatoes with additions.
The vast number of attractions: historic monuments, galleries and museums will satisfy the most demanding guests. Below we present the most important routes of the city
- Old Town
The Old Town in Krakow, one of the first in the world entered on the UNESCO list. We can see here: the Main Square, the largest square in Europe, with a well-preserved Town Hall Tower and the Cloth Hall building, which for centuries served as city stalls. Currently, we can find local souvenirs and handicrafts at the stands. The paintings of the most important Polish artists are exhibited in the gallery on the first floor of the National Museum. In the Market Square and around it, we come across ancient churches, including St. Mary’s Church with an impressive gilded altar by Wit Stwosz dates XIV century. The bugle call can be heard from the church tower every hour on the hour. Picturesque streets with historic tenement houses leave the Market Square, all within the city park called Planty.
Wawel Royal Castle, one of the most important monuments of Poland, for centuries the seat of crowned heads. In addition to the royal chambers, the treasury, the beautiful Renaissance courtyard and the Royal Cathedral with the Renaissance Sigismund Chapel are worth visiting. Over the centuries, coronations and funerals of monarchs took place in the cathedral. The Royal Crypts are located in the basement of the church.
- Jagiellonian University
The oldest Polish university and one of the oldest universities in the world. It was founded on May 12, 1364. The golden age of Collegium Maius fell on the 15th and 16th centuries. Many of the most famous Polish scientists studied and studied at the university, incl. Nicolaus Copernicus
- Rynek Underground
The multimedia underground exhibition presents archaeological excavations carried out in 2005-2010. The exhibition was created on the basis of the works of archaeologists who reached the Main Market Square in Krakow, thanks to their work 11,000 exhibits were found. The individual parts of the exhibition show scenes related to the salt, lead and copper trade as well as the ancient everyday life of Krakow.
- Dragon’s Den
Limestone cave near Wawel. It is one of the most famous Krakow attractions related to the 13th-century legend of the Wawel Dragon. According to stories, a cruel dragon once lived in the cave, now part of the Wawel Castle complex. He terrorized the city for many months, requiring weekly donations of cattle.
- Jewish Krakow (Kazimierz and Podgorze)
Kazimierz, formerly a separate city, then a Jewish district, today a conglomerate of contrasts: historic synagogues function here in harmony, including probably the oldest one preserved in Poland; Hasidim strolling during the day and clubbers at night; festivals and solemn celebrations; elegant restaurants and night clubs and bars; weekend bazaar and antique shops.
Podgorze – once an independent city outside Krakow, today it is experiencing a second youth: investors, modern museums and amateurs of evening life are more and more willing to move to the right bank of the Vistula. Many new restaurants, cafes and clubs are opening nowadays.
- Nowa Huta
A socialist realist incarnation of the utopian dream of a proletarian city that combines symmetry and beauty with functionality.
- Oskar Schindler’s Enamelware Factory
Part of the National Museum, located in Krakow’s Zabłocie, in the administrative building of the former enamelware factory. An extremely interesting exhibition, where we will see souvenirs, photos of the list, presents the history of Oscar Schindler and life in the occupied city. The museum is located in the building where O. Schindler saved over 1,000 people during the war. The exhibition is partially presented in a multimedia manner.
- MOCAK-Museum of Contemporary Art in Krakow
One of the newest tourist attractions in the city that cannot be missed while visiting. The museum is located in the former halls of the Schindler’s Factory. It presents the art of the last 20 years in the context of post-war avant-garde and conceptualism.
- Wieliczka Salt Mine
There is a historic salt mine in Wieliczka near Krakow. A Polish monument inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1989. While exploring the full guided tourist route (the whole takes about 3 hours), we will see the Chapel of St. Kinga with chandeliers made of salt crystals and bas-reliefs and a floor carved in lumps of salt, we will ride mining lifts, we will walk along the mine’s pavements, we will see chambers, chapels and brine lakes. You can organize a company meeting, concert or conference in the Wieliczka Salt Mine. A health resort was also established. You can use there, among others from the offer of accommodation in salt pits in a specific, healthy microclimate.
Auschwitz is another place worth seeing in the vicinity of Krakow. It should not be considered as an attraction. A place of great historical importance, commemorating the greatest crimes of mankind, which every adult should see. The visit is not easy, but perhaps it will only reveal to some people the enormity of the tragedy from the Second World War. The rooms dedicated to the collected evidence of mass crime are especially remembered.
Incentive Travel Ideas in Cracow
Krakow and its surroundings offer the potential of unlimited opportunities for organizing incentive events.
- Discovering the attractions of the old town
Everyone coming to Krakow should get to know the treasures of the Old Town. The most important monuments can be visited during a classic guided tour. For those looking for an unusual form of learning about the history of Krakow, we recommend customized city games, night tours, theme or fictionalized walks.
- Jewish Trial
In Krakow, we encounter with places connected to the Jewish community at every step. Undoubtedly, an interesting form of getting to know the city will be a themed guided tour of Kazimierz, Podgorze or the exhibition at the Museum located in the former Schindler’s Factory. Culinary and Jewish culture enthusiasts will be happy to try traditional dishes in one of the restaurants and listen to a concert of klezmer music.
- In the climate of the Polish People’s Republic
The socialist realist atmosphere of Nowa Huta is the perfect place to move into the communist era. A drive by Nysa ( van) or the iconic car-Fiat 126 P, a traditional home and evening sausages from Nysa near the market hall and dancing madness at one of flats will be great fun for both Poles and foreigners.
- An industrial trail
Zablocie is a dynamically developing district, which until recently was associated with uninteresting industrial Krakow. MOCAK and the Schindler’s Factory are located here. There are numerous eateries around, where you can try cuisine from around the world and organize culinary workshops
- Culinary trial
The rich offer of various restaurants is an inspiration for culinary events. Workshops of local specialties will be an interesting idea, e.g. classes at the Obwarzanek Museum or making dumplings or a walk along the street food trail, an evening with vodka and an appetizer in numerous bars of this type. Numerous restaurants and culinary studios offer cooking lessons and can be combined with shopping at traditional Krakow markets.
- Clubs and cafes
Krakow’s clubs and cafes delight with their décor and unique atmosphere. For lovers of nightlife, there are clubs in the vicinity of the Market Square and in Kazimierz. The city is famous for its underground pubs and cellars converted into clubs. It probably has more clubs per square kilometer than any other city in Europe. The Friday and Saturday nights here are considered the hottest in Poland.
It is worth mentioning that everyone will find something to enjoy. The city is famous for its jazz music clubs, many organize live concerts.
- In an idyllic atmosphere
You can get away from the hustle and bustle of the metropolis, go to the countryside near Krakow, eat dinner in a traditional manor house, contemplate the silence in Tyniec Benedictine abbey, soak up the idyllic 20th-century atmosphere of Lanckorona, admire the picturesque landscapes of the Valleys and Niepolomice Forest near Krakow or immerse yourself in the nature of Ojcow National Park smoked trout.
- Krakow Beach
A modern complex that is to attract not only sunbathers to the Vistula River. 10,000 square meters of sand, deckchairs, volleyball courts, and … a swimming pool located on a barge moored to the quay.
- Krakow from a bird’s eye view
A balloon with a viewing platform located at the Vistula Boulevards (on the opposite side of Wawel) is a unique idea.A tethered balloon can lift 30 people at a time to a height of 185 meters.
- Water Sports
In Krakow, there is the most modern canoe track in Europe. It will be a good idea to organize a regatta on the Vistula River.
Fans of elite entertainment will certainly appreciate the golf courses near Krakow in Ochmanów or Paczołtowice.