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Determining Where to Stay in Krakow Is Pretty Easy!

Looking for the best area to stay in Krakow? There is more than just the Krakow Old Town! We found this out when we explored Krakow for 3 days in the winter – and we absolutely fell in love with the Polish city. We actually discovered the city on our first trip together so it kind of makes it extra special!

If you want to know about the best neighbourhoods to stay in Krakow – we wondered the same thing. Having never visited Krakow before, we wanted to make sure we were in one of the cool places (as well as one of the safe areas in Krakow). Turns out, both of these things are not hard to find around the city centre.

So, whether you are looking for the best area to stay in Krakow for tourists or the best place to stay in Krakow for nightlife, we have you covered! For this guide, we first dive into the top areas in Krakow and then give suggestions for Krakow accommodations – from aparthotels and Krakow hostels to luxury and boutique Krakow hotels.

Where to Stay in Krakow – Best Neighbourhoods of Krakow

Once you arrive in Krakow and walk around, you will notice that the city centre isn’t all that big. This makes choosing where to stay in Krakow pretty simple as long as you know about the few areas that there are!

We stayed in an apartment right on the border of two main areas we list below (Stradom and Kazimierz). It was an Airbnb  very close to Genji Premium Sushi (which was amazing and you should go if you like sushi). The host was great and although the place sleeps 6 with private rooms, we had the whole apartment to ourselves!

This apartment was about a 15-minute walk to the centre of the Old Town. The whole route there was through historic areas, parks, or along pedestrian malls so we loved doing it each day. That said, there are plenty of great areas in Krakow. Here is a more detailed breakdown of the few areas for where to stay in Krakow.

Krakow Old Town (Stare Miasto)

orange market hall in old town public square where to stay in krakow
The famous Cloth Hall facing one half of the Rynek Główny (Market Square) in the Old Town.

Krakow’s Old Town, or Stare Miasto, is the heart of the city. The once fortified medieval old town is now a place where you can experience the rich history, great food, beautiful architecture, and many of the top attractions.

The middle of the main market square – Rynek Główny – is filled with the beautiful Cloth Hall, a medieval-era trading post for vendors. You’ll also find St. Mary’s Basilica dominating the one corner of the square. The entire Old Town is surrounded by a park – Planty Park – that is a beautiful green space following the once erected old town walls.

Another thing about the Old Town is that this is – in fact – the best area for nightlife in Krakow. While there are other pockets of bars and clubs around the city (like in Kazimierz), the Old Town just has the highest concentration and best variety. You can find the “party street” on Szewska where medieval cellars are converted into watering holes for people of all ages that stay open… pretty late.

If you know that staying here is for you, you can check here for a place to stay in Krakow’s Old Town. More specifically, check out the PURO Kraków Stare Miasto for a hotel option or Fresh Apartments for a really, really good apartment just outside the old town close to the train station.

Jewish Quarter (Kazimierz)

colourful old town buildings and public square where to stay in krakow jewish quarter
The square in Kazimierz is surrounded by colour. // Photo: Pixabay.

Probably the second most popular area to stay beside the Old Town is Kazimierz, or the old Jewish Quarter. Here you are still very much in the centre of Krakow. The neighbourhood was where the Jewish population lived for 500 years until the Second World War.

In recent decades, the neighbourhood fell into despair as it was neglected during the Communist era. These days, the entire neighbourhood has seen a massive rejuvenation. The shops have returned and people have moved back into the area.

Kazimierz is now one of the coolest places to stay in the city. There is a huge variety of shops, bars, cafes, and other things that any traveller would want to check out. There is also a great deal is history that you can learn about on a Jewish District walking tour. In fact, the area is considered one of the best-preserved examples of pre-war Jewish lifestyle and culture. We stayed just on the outskirts of Kazimierz and we really liked the area!

If you are keen to stay here, check for accommodation in Kazimierz. The area itself is quite large so you might want to check out the very popular Leone Aparthotel or Hotel Ester to stay right in the heart of the district.

Stradom

orange sunset and girl in winter hat where to stay in krakow wawel castle
From the Wawel Castle grounds near the Vistula River, Stradom is just to the left.

Stradom isn’t so much a separate neighbourhood – more of a distinct area in the city’s centre. Stradom is this weird strip of land that lays between the Jewish Quarter to the south and the Old Town to the north. Stradom’s northern border basically follows Planty Park around the east side of the Old Town and ends at the Vistula River – right beside Wawel Castle.

The area itself is beautiful – in fact, this is where we stayed when we were in Krakow. The area is full of little restaurants but mostly beautiful residential architecture and lots of places to stay. The water boardwalk is lovely to just stroll along and the area is quieter yet still well-connected to the best attractions!

If you are interested in the Stradom area, you can stay at the Hotel Royal which is SO close to Wawel Castle and located in the same building as our favourite restaurant in Krakow, Pod Wawelem. You can also consider Krak Apartments for a cheaper apartment option.

Kleparz

theatre with blue dome roof where to stay in krakow
Juliusz Słowacki Theatre is JUST to the south of the Kleparz area.

Located just north of the Old Town’s entrance near the St. Florian’s Gate and the Kraków Barbican, Kleparz is a smaller district with a ton of culture. The architecture, like other places in the city, gives off this historic Art Nouveau vibe. There is a main square here too (Stary Kleparz) with tons of little pop-up shops and vendors.

The area also has a few attractions like churches, museums, and green spaces. Here you can also find a bunch of restaurants that lack the “touristy” feel that the ones in the Old Town sometimes have. It borders the mall near the train station if you need to grab anything or are taking the train which makes the location handy. Generally, it’s cheaper than right in the Old Town but you are SO close to the main attractions.

If you are considering a stay in Kleparz, you can check out Hotel Atrium or Yarden Aparthotel for a stay in Kleparz with a great breakfast.

Nowy Świat

wawel castle with blue sky where to stay in krakow
The views of Wawel Castle from the Vistula River bank in Nowy Świat.

If you want to stay in a quieter area where you have the Vistula River all to yourself, a stay in Nowy Świat is for you. This small region borders the river to the south, Wawel Castle to the east, and part of Planty Park to the north. It’s just an extension of another nice area with a ton of hotels and restaurants waiting to be explored.

We walked along the river near the Castle and it was lovely. There were geese, swans, and ducks all just hanging out doing their thing. Another fun thing in the area (or very close by) is the Wawel Dragon, a statue that breathes actual fire every few minutes!

If you want to stay near the water, Nowy Swait is the place to be. There are a few great names here like The Sheraton Grand Krakow and The Radisson Blu Hotel but there are also smaller classy hotels like The Metropolis Design Hotel.

Grzegórzki

red church in large square where to stay in krakow
Grzegórzki starts just a short walk behind St Mary’s Basilica. Seriously.

Grzegórzki is a more laid back area that is, geographically, quite long and tall as it extends away from the Old Town to the east of Planty Park, to the south of the train station, and north of the Vistula River. The area is definitely more residential with many green spaces like the Botanical Gardens in the middle.

It’s a quieter location but still a great area that is well connected to the Jewish Quarter, Old Town, etc. There are lots of places to stay as well. If Grzegórzki interests you, you can find a place to stay in Grzegórzki here. Alternatively, you can check out Vienna House Easy Cracow or Topolowa Residence for a cheap hotel with a good quality and good location close to the old town.

Heading into Eastern Europe? – Here is a Sample Eastern Europe Itinerary!

Where to Stay in Krakow – Accommodation by Styles

Now that we have walked through a few of the main areas in Krakow, we’re going to divide the post into Krakow accommodation types. We’ll also offer up a few recommended places for you to look at!

This way, if you know you want a certain style of accommodation, you can easily find and book what you are looking for. Remember, stay open-minded about the areas these hotels, aparthotels, hostels, and bed and breakfasts are located in if it is not the Old Town.

Aparthotels in Krakow

old town buildings along pedestrian street where to stay in krakow poland
The Venetian Aparthotel is the yellow building on the left – right on the Old Town Square!

If you want your own space to call your base for a few days in Krakow, then an apartment or aparthotel might be for you. These aparthotels are apartment style properties that usually have a full kitchen or kitchenette included in the place. Since we usually like to cook our own meals, this is a style we go for often.

A key consideration is that some of the aparthotels DO have breakfast included which is nice! Just be sure to check that the set-up of the aparthotel works for you before you book. That said, there are aparthotels all over the city – with many of them concentrated in and around the Old Town.

Aparthotels are also a surprisingly cheap way to keep costs down and not have to sacrifice quality of location. If you’re set on this style of accommodation, then check here to find an apartment or aparthotel in Krakow.

Venetian House Market Square Aparthotel – Check Now

If you want to stay right on the Old Town Square facing the Cloth Hall and all the action in Krakow, the Venetian House is for you. The area doesn’t get much better, and you get your space in a beautiful aparthotel. Just imagine staying in the photograph above!

Blue Aparthotel – Check Now

Located right on the edge of Planty Park with breakfast included, Blue Aparthotel is the perfect location between the historic tourist attractions and the train station to the north.

Cheap Hotels in Krakow

Krakow is a city made for cheap accommodation. This isn’t to say that the city is bad – it’s just that the cost of living is cheaper than in many other places in Europe. There are lots of great cheap hotels that are still absolutely stunning and in great locations (like the heart of the Old Town)! If you’re set on this style of accommodation, check here for some of the best cheap hotels in Krakow. We’ve also highlighted a few below:

Pollera – Check Now

Right in the heart of the Old Town just a short walk from the Main Square, Pollera is basically as cheap as you can get for an actual hotel style accommodation that isn’t an apartment (because apartments are numerous and pretty cheap). Pollera mixes beautiful old design with a buffet breakfast. As far as cheap hotels go, the price and the location might be very hard to beat in the city!

Hotel Royal – Check Now

Hotel Royal is located in Stradom right near Wawel Castle. No, seriously. Literally, walk outside and the Wawel castle is there. This cheaper hotel is housed in a beautiful Art Nouveau building with spacious rooms and a buffet breakfast. Hotel Royal is also located in the same building as our favourite restaurant in Krakow – Pod Wawelem. Pod is basically the touristy place that is actually super good at serving authentic cuisine and a great Polish meal experience!

Boutique Hotels in Krakow

Finding a boutique hotel in Krakow isn’t too difficult but there are definitely not as many boutique style hotels as in other cities. The “boutique style” is also defined little different between cities (and between hotels, for that matter) so what makes these unique hotels boutique is kind of up to interpretation. That said, if you’re set on this style of accommodation, then check here for some of the best boutique hotels in Krakow. We’ve listed a few of them below for you to check out:

Queen Boutique Hotel – Check Now

Located right on Dietla Street, the Queen Boutique is very close to where we stayed in Krakow. We would have walked right by it a few times – honestly. The area is lovely with the strip of green space dividing the boulevard-type street. Queen Boutique is stylish and modern making it perfect for an upscale stay close to Wawel Castle.

Metropolitan Boutique Hotel – Check Now

Looking for a modern and elegant style and solid attention to detail? The Metropolitan Boutique Hotel is for you. The Metropolitan is located in the Jewish Quarter but not quite in the heart of it. As such, you’re pretty close to the train station which can be convenient depending on how you’re getting to and leaving Krakow!

Luxury Hotels in Krakow

Even though Krakow is a cheaper city for accommodations, there are definitely great options if you are looking for a luxury hotel to pamper yourself in for a few days. If you’re set on this style of accommodation, then check here for some of the best luxury hotels in Krakow. We’ve listed a few of the top ones below:

Hotel Stary – Check Now

As one of the most famous luxury hotels in Krakow, the Hotel Stary has a lot to live up to. Luckily, its location on the northwest corner of the Old Town Market Square means that you get amazing views of the Old Town and access to all the best attractions – all at a 5-star level of quality.

Hotel Pod Polski Białem – Check Now

If you want to stay right by the old gate (St. Florian’s Gate) that enters/exits the north end of the Old Town, then stay at Hotel Pod Polski Białem. The patio area almost feels private and protected by the medieval walls while luxury and authentic design are a signature piece of this luxury Krakow hotel.

Bed and Breakfast in Krakow

If you are looking for a traditional bed and breakfast, there aren’t a ton to choose from in Krakow. That said, they do exist. They are generally more outside the old town but still in central areas. If you’re set on this style of accommodation, check here for the available bed and breakfasts in Krakow. Here are two of the best ones below:

Angel House Bed and Breakfast – Check Now

Angel House Bed and Breakfast is technically located in Grzegórzki but it’s actually right on the edge of the area that backs on the Old Town. Angel House is a bed and breakfast with beautifully decorated suites that are super affordable and very close to the heart of the city. It’s also only a short walk to the train/bus station should you need it!

Indalo Rooms – Check Now

Located in Nowy Świat, Indalo Rooms provides a great stay with cozy and clean furnishings. With a cafe bar on the ground floor and Wawel Castle a short walk away, Indalo is an affordable option for those looking for a simple accommodation option.

Hostels in Krakow

Hostels are a great choice if you are looking for a place to stay in Krakow. They are cheap and come in all different styles from party hostels to boutique style hostels. If you’re looking for the best hostels in Krakow, you will have plenty to choose from since youth hostels are definitively a key accommodation style in Krakow.

Eric has stayed in A LOT of hostels in Europe but never in any in Krakow. That said, he knows the ones that get talked about the most because he’s travelled the circuit before. Krakow hostels can be found in the centre of the Old Town but also in the quieter neighbourhoods that are safe, clean, and perfect for lots of different travel styles.

If you are looking for hostels, you can find a suitable Krakow hostel here. If you know what kind of hostel vibe you are looking for, here are a few of the best Krakow hostels for a bunch of different styles: party, boutique, and friendly/social.

The Little Havana Party Hostel – Check Now 

If you are in Krakow looking to get a little crazy and want to stay in a party hostel, Little Havana might be for you. As one of the biggest party hostels (by bed count) with three bars, a comprehensive breakfast, and fun staff, Little Havana is the place to meet other travellers looking to have fun in Krakow. If you’re in it for the party scene, check it out – you’ll have no regrets… or maybe a few?

We also can’t mention the party hostel scene in Krakow without mentioning Greg & Tom Party Hostel but we talk about another Greg and Tom (an even more popular one, if you can believe it) down below so we didn’t want to double up.

Ginger Hostel – Check Now

A relatively new hostel in the Krakow hostel scene, Ginger Hostel has received great reviews. Located in Nowy Świat, the hostel has a bright, friendly atmosphere with new, sleek furnishings, and a great style.

Greg & Tom Hostel – Check Now

Greg & Tom have been making a name for themselves in Krakow with three hostels of various styles. Their signature hostel is their most sociable, welcoming, and best overall experience in Krakow. Travellers absolutely LOVE this hostel because it provides a place for those that want fun without the crazy. Greg & Tom Hostel is located just outside the Old Town right across from the train station. This makes it a great choice to catch your connecting bus/train in the morning!

And there you have it – a detailed guide on where to stay in Krakow and a few of the best options for each! In the end, there are so many accommodation options in Krakow at such great prices. That said, you should book early because the summer season can get pretty busy and places book up! Let us know what you think about Krakow when you go – we’d love to hear about where you stayed and what you thought of the Polish city!

As always, Happy Krakow Accommodation Waddlin’,
-L&E

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Where to stay in Krakow Poland

Author

Eric is a Canadian & Hungarian content writer with over 45 countries under his belt. From volunteering in Australia to studying his Master's degree abroad in Edinburgh, Scotland, his travel experiences have taken him across the globe. Next to writing on Penguin and Pia, he has also contributed to companies in the travel space such as Matador, GoOverseas, and Spot.

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