If you’re travelling to Kraków, it’s helpful to be aware of certain public holidays, particularly when shops and public attractions are likely to be closed. Here’s a list of all the key dates, including information about festivals and spectacular events, and how they will affect services.
Kazimierz Historical Mural: Esterka and Casimir the Great – image © Jason Weaver
Public holidays in Poland fall into roughly two categories. There are the big religious dates – Easter and Christmas are the obvious highlights, as well as significant events such as All Saints’ Day – and there are historical celebrations – such as Constitution Day and Independence Day. All events will have an impact on which shops, museums, and other attractions and services are open, and public transport is sometimes affected. We explain what each holiday is and what you can expect. We also include the handful of days that are not public holidays but which you will still need to watch out for.
Finally, we have listed some key annual festivals from Kraków’s busy cultural calendar.
Polish Public Holidays In 2022
Public institutions, businesses, and stores are officially closed on the following public holidays. In most cases, malls and large shops will be closed, as well as banks, but some local convenience stores will remain open. Public transport will generally run a reduced, Sunday service. Many bars and restaurants will be open, except on the most significant religious days. You should assume that most museums and galleries will be closed on any public holiday, although many will be open on New Year’s Day. See individual dates for more information.
- January 1 – New Year’s Day: Banks, malls and larger stores are closed, but convenience stores may be open. Many restaurants and bars will be open. Most museums and galleries will also be open, and New Year’s Day concerts are traditional in many venues.
- January 6 – Three Kings / Epiphany: Three Kings Day marks the end of Christmas, and is traditionally celebrated in Kraków with three parades, congregating on the main square shortly after 11am. This is a religious festival, when banks and stores are closed. Some museums and restaurants, however, will be open.
- April 15 – Good Friday: Not a public holiday, but Good Friday is a solemn and important date in Poland, marked by processions and fasting. A great many businesses, including bars and restaurants, may close for the entire weekend. Museums and galleries should be open but with reduced hours. Galeria Krakowska remains open and public transport will be running, but don’t expect everything to be available.
- April 16 – Holy Saturday: Easter continues into Saturday with the blessing of food baskets. Galeria Krakowska is open but, as with Good Friday, it’s best not to assume everything will be open as normal.
- April 17 – Easter Sunday: Easter is probably the most important Polish festival of the year. Easter Sunday begins with a morning mass, to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus, followed by a big family breakfast. Although Easter Sunday and Monday are the official public holidays, you can expect many bars and restaurants to be closed from Good Friday. Very few shops will be open on Easter Sunday and almost every museum and gallery.
- April 18 – Easter Monday: Traditionally a day when people soak each other in the street with water. As with Easter Sunday, most things will be closed today.
- May 1 – Labor Day / May Day: Although you may still witness political marches for workers’ rights, Labor Day is simply a public holiday for most. Banks, malls, and larger shops will be closed but many museums and places to eat and drink remain open.
- May 3 – Constitution Day: Celebrating the passing of the 1791 constitution, this is a patriotic public holiday and often a good opportunity for Poles to get away for a few days. Though many shops remain open, it’s likely that many restaurants, bars, and public attractions will be closed.
- June 5 – Pentecost Sunday: Though this celebration of the Holy Spirit is a date of religious significance, smaller shops, restaurants, and museums will retain their usual Sunday opening hours on the Pentecost.
- June 16 – Corpus Christi: Corpus Christi is another important festival in the Polish calendar with a large outdoor procession in every parish. All banks, malls, and large stores will be closed, as well as museums and galleries. Restaurants and bars remain open.
- August 15 – Assumption Day / Polish Army Day: A military-focused public holiday with a number of historical and religious connotations. Banks, malls, and large shops will be closed, as well as most museums and galleries. Restaurants and bars should be open.
- November 1 – All Saints’ Day: All Saints is a day for remembering the departed with candlelit vigils in Kraków’s cemeteries. It is an intensely evocative experience. However, it is also a non-working day and nearly everything, except public transport and small convenience stores, is likely to be closed.
- November 11 – Independence Day: Marking the restoration of Poland’s independence at the end of WWI, this is public holiday with parades and a show of patriotism. Banks, museums, and larger shops will be closed. Restaurants and bars remain open.
- December 24 – Christmas Eve: Though not a public holiday, Christmas Eve (or Wigilia) is one of the most significant dates on the Polish calendar. Most shops and businesses will close around 2pm.
- December 25 – First Day of Christmas: Although the main Christmas meal takes place on December 24 in Poland, the following two days are public holidays when banks, malls, and larger shops are shut. Many restaurants, bars, and convenience stores will open, however, and public transport will run on a reduced service. Museums and galleries will be shut on December 25.
- December 26 – Second Day of Christmas: As with December 25, banks, malls, and larger shops will be closed today. But plenty of restaurants, bars, and convenience stores will be open, as well as most musueums and galleries.
- December 31 – New Year’s Eve: Sylwester is not an official public holiday, however most businesses and stores will close around 5pm.
Polish Public Holidays In 2023
See Public Holidays in 2022 above for more information.
- January 1 – New Year’s Day
- January 6 – Three Kings / Epiphany
- April 7 – Good Friday: Not a public holiday, but some disruption is possible
- April 8 – Holy Saturday: Not a public holiday, but some disruption is possible
- April 9 – Easter Sunday
- April 10 – Easter Monday
- May 1 – Labor Day / May Day
- May 3 – Constitution Day
- May 28 – Pentecost Sunday
- June 8 – Corpus Christi
- August 15 – Assumption Day / Polish Army Day
- November 1 – All Saints’ Day
- November 11 – Independence Day
- December 24 – Christmas Eve: Not a public holiday, but some disruption is possible
- December 25 – First Day of Christmas
- December 26 – Second Day of Christmas
- December 31 – New Year’s Eve: Not a public holiday, but some disruption is possible
In addition to food, drink, and beautiful buildings, Kraków is also a great destination for culture, with a number of excellent festivals and art events every year. Here is a selection of the most interesting, complete with links to find out more.
- Shanties – Kraków’s Shanties has found itself unexpectedly fashionable, thanks to social media. But every February for over 30 years, Kraków has been serenaded by the songs of the sea.
March / April
- Misteria Paschalia – Misteria Paschalia is an early music festival that coincides with Easter every year.
- Photomonth – Kraków Photomonth, as the name implies, is a month-long photography festival, starting at the end of May, across the entire city, with a fringe event running alongside.
- Dragon Parade – Once a year, the dragon escapes from beneath Wawel Castle and becomes the star of this fun two-day pageant and parade. There are river floats and spectacular lights, and lots of music and noise.
- Kraków Film Festival – Starting at the end of May, Kraków Film Festival is an eight-day showcase of the best in contemporary international and home-grown cinema.
- Jewish Culture Festival – Now running for more than 30 years, the Jewish Culture Festival is a huge event with artists from all over the Diaspora.
- Cracovia Cantans – Cracovia Cantans is an annual festival and competition, that brings choirs from all over the world to perform in some of the city’s most stunning locations.
- Wianki – Traditionally a midsummer solstice festival and pagan ritutal, Wianki has been updated to a big music festival with medieval elements, such as the floating of wreaths down the Vistula river.
- Summer Jazz Festival Kraków – Summer Jazz Festival Kraków is a whole month of music from around the world at the Kabaret Piwnica Pod Baranami in the Old Town.
- Wawel at Dusk – The castle courtyard provides the atmospheric setting for Wawel at Dusk, a series of nine classical concerts that take place each weekend.
- Kraków Live Festival – Kraków Live Festival takes place over nights on two stages and features some of the biggest names in pop.
- Pierogi Festival – If you’re in Kraków during the second week of August, your trip may coincide with the annual celebration of the humble Polish dumpling, the Pierogi Festival. Hundreds of varieties will be vying to win the prize for the tastiest.
- Dachshund Parade – Every September, on the first or second Sunday of the month, dozens of dachshunds take to the streets of Kraków for the Marsz Jamnikow, many of them in little costumes. Eventually two of the little fellows are crowned king and queen of the festival.
- Kraków Film Music Festival – With previous visits from Hans Zimmer, Howard Shore, and Cliff Martinez, the Kraków Film Music Festival celebrates the art of the score.
- Sfogato Festival – Kraków’s annual tribute to national hero Frederic Chopin, the Sfogato Festival takes place over four days every September.
- Sacrum Profanum – Sacrum Profanum is an experimental music festival with contemporary classical composition mixed with other modern genres.
- International Royal Cracow Piano Festival – Designed to encourage the best pianists in the world to perform in Kraków, the International Royal Cracow Piano Festival has been running since 2009 and showcases piano masters and prodigies.
- Unsound Festival – Unsound Festival features electronic, experimental, and dance music at a number of venues across Kraków, alongside other art events.
- Conrad Festival – Some of literature’s heavy hitters gather each year at the Conrad Festival – named in honour of the Polish writer Joseph Conrad. The festival coincides with Kraków Book Fair.
- Jazz Autumn – Taking place in a number of cool locations, Jazz Autumn is a festival with the best of contemporary and improvisatory music.
- Jazz All Souls’ Day – As the oldest jazz festival in Kraków, Jazz All Souls’ Day has a venerable history behind it.
- Etiuda & Anima International Film Festival – Etiuda & Anima has twin ambitions: to highlight the work of film students and art schools around the world, and to bring the best in animation to the festival.
- Silent Film Festival – Every December, Kino Pod Baranami – a cute art cinema tucked into a palace on the main market square – organises a festival of silent films, accompanied by live music.