Krakow is the second-largest city in Poland yet most of the interesting things to see/do are almost within walking distance.
There are currently over 760,000 citizens living in Kraków and 1,4 million if the larger metropolitan area is included. A perk of visiting Kraków is that the main neighborhoods and attractions are very close to the Old Town.
Best Neighborhoods in Kraków
The two most popular neighborhoods to stay in Kraków are definitely Stare Miasto (Old Town) and Kazimierz (Jewish quarter). Old Town with its central location and stunning beauty is still the most attractive, but it is relatively crowded and expensive.
Main areas of Kraków:
- Stare Miasto is the most important sightseeing area of Kraków, which means Old Town in Polish. It is packed with fascinating landmarks.
- Kazimierz was established during the fourteenth century. Kazimierz was once known as the Jewish City and is one of the areas most crippled during World War II.
- Podgórze was a city across the Vistula river until 1795. The Nazis created a ghetto here where all the Jews from Kraków were placed during WW2.
- Nowa Huta is a district founded during the Polish People’s Republic in Kraków. It is based on Socialist realism, the popular architectural style of the time
What is the best area to stay in Krakow?
One of the best areas in Krakow is the Kazimierz district.
By choosing an apartment or hotel in Kazimierz you will have a chance to catch a more local atmosphere – a few steps from your doors you will find the best pubs, art cafes, and restaurants that are visited mostly by locals in the city.
Not only staying here but also eating and drinking will save you some money. You can reach the Krakow Market Square within 15 minutes by walk.
The other good alternatives can be Podgórze or Dębniki.
Both of them are still within walking distance from the Rynek Główny (Main Square), on the other part of the Wisła river. Especially Podgorze is getting a lot of attention- recently lots of cafes, bars, and restaurants were opened in this district.
How safe is Krakow?
Kraków is a very safe city. You can walk everywhere, there are no dangerous districts or so. Also coming back home at night normally does not create any disturbances. According to tourists, this is one of the safer places in Europe.
As everywhere, it’s better to remember to keep a few rules that will allow you to move freely around the city, visit monuments with a guide, photograph the most beautiful nooks and crannies of the city, or dive into its atmosphere and culture.
Walking wandering through the center of the city you will feel completely secure.
If you go to Main Square, you will be delighted with the spaciousness and architecture of the place. Once you find yourself inside the Old Town, you will immediately mix into the crowd of other visitors, which will increase your sense of security.
It is similar to Kazimierz District, another interesting place in Krakow.
Kazimierz is worth visiting to learn more about the turbulent history of Polish Jews who once lived in these areas.
Kazimierz has a completely different atmosphere and is a bit less crowded, but if you like visiting historic places with a guide and photographing old synagogues, you must visit this district.
The historical part of the city is safe for visitors from all over the world. The risk of someone attacking you in broad daylight is so low that it almost doesn’t exist. In that case, what are some areas to avoid in Krakow?
Areas to avoid in Krakow
Krakow is not considered dangerous, but it’s worth knowing which situations and places to avoid so that only pleasant memories will remain from the trip. Areas to avoid in Krakow include some of the old residential areas and the city’s outskirts.
There are also interesting tourist destinations in places further out. A perfect example is the raw architecture of Nowa Huta. This utopian district will melt the heart of every photographer and history lover.
However, in these areas, tourist traffic is much lower than in the very center, and therefore, a foreigner might catch some unwanted attention.
In the old days, Nowa Huta was considered by Cracovians as one of the most dangerous districts due to the frequent skirmishes among football fans. Current statistics now show that the smallest number of dangerous events occur in Nowa Huta in comparison to other parts of the city.
Also, you should not leave the center in the evenings and at night. You may encounter some provocation from, let’s say a homeless person under the influence of alcohol, or if unlucky you might run into some aggressive football fans.
The best solution to avoid Krakow dangers is to navigate around unusual locations during the day, especially on weekends, when tourism is the most intense.