Deep in the heart of Kraków’s historic core, medieval houses rub shoulders with 19th-century palaces. The charming cobblestone streets lure inquisitive travelers into ancient districts where castles and cathedrals have stood for centuries.
Kraków has become one of the trendiest places to visit in Europe and is known as the country’s cultural capital. Check out these free walking tours in Kraków to discover what makes Poland’s second city so compelling.
How do free walking tours in Kraków work?
Free tours have taken the world by storm in the last few years and have fast become a popular way to explore a new destination. The excursions are often themed, taking you to some of the major landmarks as well more unusual places in the city.
You don’t have to pay anything to reserve a place on free walking tours in Kraków. Just turn up on the day with some cash so you can tip your guide after the jaunt.
How much should you tip for a free walking tour in Kraków?
There’s no hard and fast rule about how much you should tip your guide. However, we can let you in on a secret – most people give between €10 and €15 per person for free tours in Kraków.
To figure out an appropriate amount, take into consideration how informative your guide has been, and the length of the excursion. In a nutshell, just pay what you feel the experience was worth.
What are the best free walking tours in Kraków?
There are various free walking tours in Kraków to choose from, allowing you to discover the highlights of the city with an expert insider. The excursions generally have a theme, so you can pick the ones that spark your curiosity the most.
Old Town free walking tours
These historic excursions are ideal for first-timers, or anyone interested in peeling back the layers of history in Kraków. The charming Old Town is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site, and with good reason. The streets and buildings are little changed since medieval times, with lots of squares and churches to discover.
Most free tours begin in Rynek Główny, the main square, where the majestic St. Mary’s Church has pride of place. You’ll also have time to check out the Town Hall, the Slowacki Theater, and All Saint’s Square during your walk. All iconic sights that shouldn’t be missed.
Wander along the medieval city walls to the Barbican, which is the fortified gateway into the historic center. Next up is a stroll along the Royal Road, the most famous street in the city.
Other favorite stops include the Papal Window at the Bishop’s Palace, and the imposing 14th-century cathedral. Your adventure ends at Wawel Royal Castle, which has been home to both monarchs and dragons if you believe the legends!
Jewish Quarter free walking tours
Delve deep into the haunting Jewish Quarter and discover how the community thrived here before the Holocaust. Stroll down Szeroka Street and see where the original Jewish settlers first laid down their roots in the 14th century. The charming merchant houses give you a feel of what life was like here back in the day.
During the free tour, you’ll also stop at the most important synagogues in the district, including Remuh and Isaac. The latter is beautiful and famed for being the largest synagogue in Kraków. The Old Jewish Cemetery is a moving experience too, so take a few moments to reflect on the weight of history behind these walls.
Next up is the Ghetto where Jews were corralled during the Nazi occupation. Your guide will talk about key figures of the Holocaust and show you some of the filming locations from Spielberg’s Schindler’s List. Finish up at the memorial in Ghetto Heroes Square and try to make sense of all that you’ve learned.
Today, the old Jewish Quarter has become fashionable and is favored by artists and spiritual souls, searching for peace in this sad yet alluring place.
Haunted Kraków free walking tours
Feel your hair stand on end as you creep through the spooky streets on an evening ghost free tour. Discover the darker side of Kraków’s past with tales of vengeful ghosts and grisly deaths. You’ll hear about the city’s most notorious crimes and even see some of the sinful sites for yourself.
These free walking tours in Kraków aren’t for the faint-hearted, so steel your nerves for some surprises along the way. Find out about the curse of the king’s tomb and the mysterious Woman In Black who has haunting down to a fine art.
You’ll be joined in spirit by ghouls, serial killers, and even cannibals during this macabre excursion. If you’re after a spine-chilling tour where urban legends, gruesome executions, and Gothic romances collide, then you’ll love this. The topics are controversial, the questions taboo, and the answers truly terrifying.
World War II free walking tours
The legacy of the Second World War is an intrinsic part of Kraków’s history. During this unique walking tour, you will discover how the Nazi invasion in 1939 brought both terror and determination to the residents.
Listen in awe as your guide reveals the courage of the local resistance in the face of unimaginable suffering at the hands of the German occupants. You’ll hear tales of bravery and sacrifice, as well as fear and betrayal.
Tour highlights include the Cloth Hall, Planty Park, and Wawel Castle, all significant locations during the war. Want to see some of the famous artwork looted by the Nazis? Then return to the Cloth Hall after your tour and pop inside!
In which languages are free walking tours in Kraków operated?
Most of the free Kraków tours are available in either English or Spanish. There are a handful of free tours in German and Italian too, although you will have to search a little harder for these.
English is widely spoken in Kraków so you shouldn’t have any difficulty communicating during your stay.
Where do free walking tours in Kraków start?
Old Town free walking tours in Kraków generally start from the Rynek Główny square, often from outside St. Mary’s Church. Some excursions begin from a meeting point between St. Florian’s Gate and the Barbican.
For the Jewish Quarter tours, you will need to make your way to the Old Synagogue on Szeroka Street, or St Mary’s Church in the main square.
Ghost tours and World War II excursions also usually start in the main square at St. Mary’s Church. A few depart from beside the Barbican too.
How long do free walking tours in Kraków last?
The joy of free tours in Kraków is that they can easily be slotted into your schedule. There is plenty of choice when it comes to excursion length, as tours range from 1 hour 15 minutes to 3.5 hours. Most, however, tend to be around the 2-hour mark.
When is the best time to join a free walking tour in Kraków?
If you want to see the sights without the crowds, the morning free walking tours in Kraków are your best option. There are several excursions that run in the afternoon and early evening too if you prefer a later start to the day.
It’s a good idea to book your Kraków walking tour for the first day of your vacation. You’ll have a gentle city orientation and your guide will be full of suggestions about where to eat and explore next.
Should Kraków free walking tours be booked online?
To avoid missing out on your preferred date and time slot, we highly recommend booking a free tour online in advance of your visit. Free Kraków walking tours are super popular and get booked up pretty quickly, especially in summer.
You’ll also be optimizing your time spent in Kraków if you’ve already got your first tour in the bag.
There’s nothing to pay to confirm your booking, and no credit card details are required either. If you need to cancel, there is no penalty so really, you’ve got nothing to lose by reserving your place now.