The KrakowCard is a 2- or 3-day pass which gives access to many of the city’s main museums, and unlimited travel on Kraków’s buses and trams. We break down the card’s benefits and where to buy one
What Is The KrakowCard?
KrakowCard is a 2- or 3-day pass which gives access to almost 40 of the city’s museums and galleries, as well as up to 15% discount on food and drink outlets like Starbucks and Subway, and on Avis car rentals. The more expensive Tourist Card also includes unlimited use of Kraków’s public bus and tram system, including buses to and from airport and transport to Wieliczka Salt Mine and back. There is also a cheaper 3-day Museum & Attraction Pass available for any student who is 25 years and under.
Where Can I Buy A KrakowCard?
You can buy all varieties online before you leave, directly from the official KrakowCard website. You’ll be sent a voucher which must be printed out and exchanged at one of three locations:
- John Paul II International Airport: Go to the tourist information counter in the Arrivals Hall. Open 9am-7pm.
- plac. Szczepański 8: This is a tourist information point a few minutes to the north west of Kraków’s main square. Open 6am-7pm.
- plac. Wolnica 13: This is a tourist information point close to the Ethnography Museum in Kazimierz. Open 6am-7pm.
Alternatively, you can also book a KrakowCard through GetYourGuide. There’s a small additional charge but it’s handy if you’re booking other tours at the same time. The collection point is usually from plac. Szczepański in the Old Town but you’ll be given full instructions when you purchase.
The card is also available over the counter at over 20 locations around the city. There are sales points at the train and bus stations, for example, and at various spots in Floriańska and Grodzka. See the full list of KrakowCard outlets here.
You don’t need to specify dates in advance. The card is valid from the moment you collect the card, so time your pickup to coincide with intended use.
What Attractions Does The KrakowCard Give Entry To?
We’ve mapped and listed the 40-odd museums and galleries that are included with the KrakowCard. Some museums are split over two venues. Please note that venues are subject to closure and change, and that there is sometimes an extra charge for temporary exhibitions.
Central Kraków and Old Town
St. Mary’s Basilica – image © Jason Weaver
A highlight of any visit to Kraków, the Catholic Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary is a dizzying treat for the eyes, from the Jan Metejko wall paintings to the celebrated Veit Stoss altarpiece. Essential.
The cobbled streets of the Rynek Underground Museum – image © Jason Weaver
Rynek Underground Museum
Directly beneath the main square, this fascinating museum lets visitors wander back through 1000 years of Kraków’s history. Built around an extensive archeological dig, Rynek Underground is enhanced by imaginative interactive technology. Recommended.
Kraków Sukiennice – image © Jason Weaver
The Gallery of 19th-Century Polish Art in Sukiennice
Above the famous indoor market, the upper floor of Kraków’s Cloth Hall now houses the largest collection of 19th-century Polish painting, with themed rooms ranging from late Baroque through to Impressionist and Symbolist.
Town Hall Tower – image © Jason Weaver
Town Hall Tower
Unmissable on the opposite side of the main square to St. Mary’s, this gothic tower is all that remains of the 15th-century town hall. There is an exhibition devoted to local government, but the real star is the 70m climb for views over the Old Town.
St. Adalbert’s Church – image © Jason Weaver
St. Adalbert’s Church
Located on the south east corner of the main square, St. Adalbert’s is one of the oldest churches in Kraków and named after the saint who once apparently preached here. The exhibition space below continues the theme of the Rynek Underground Museum.
Kraków Barbican – image © Jason Weaver
Part of Kraków’s 15th-century defences, the Barbican was originally surrounded by a moat and now offers a vivid insight into the history of military technology. Best visited in conjunction with the City Defence Walls.
City Defence Walls – image © Jason Weaver
From the late 13th century, Kraków was protected by a series of fortifications. The Barbican, Florian Gate, and these defensive walls are all that now remain. The museum gives a taste of how the city once looked and some of Kraków’s historical craft guilds.
The Czartoryski Museum – image © Jason Weaver
The Czartoryski Museum
Once the most famous museum in Kraków due to da Vinci’s sublime ‘Lady with an Ermine’, the Czartoryski is currently closed for major renovation. Until it reopens, you’ll find the painting in the Main Building of the National Museum.
The Jan Matejko House – image © Jason Weaver
The Jan Matejko House
Jan Matejko, one of Poland’s most celebrated painters, was born and died in this impressive house on ul. Floriańska. The rooms on the first floor are unchanged since then, whilst the second floor has a display of his works. Matejko was also a collector, as demonstrated on the third floor.
Sgraffitos on the front wall of the Hipolit House – image © Wojciech.pospula / Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International
The Hipolit House
Very close to St. Mary’s, The Hipolit House has faithful recreations of bourgois interiors from the 17th to early 19th centuries, complete with furniture, artworks, and other objects from each period.
The Szołayski House
This branch of the National Museum offers ever-changing temporary exhibitions. It’s located on beautiful Szczepański, close to the main square, and is worth the visit to find out what is currently on display.
The Krzysztofory Palace – image © Andrzej Otrębski / Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International
The Krzysztofory Palace
Located on directly on the main market square, the Krzysztofory Palace is a Baroque house containing a branch of the Kraków Museum. Parts of the museum are undergoing renovation but there is a permanent exhibition called ‘Cyberteka’, which looks at the urban development of the city until the early part of the 20th century.
Garden at the Archaeological Museum of Kraków – image © Skelanard / Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International
The Museum of Archeology
Though the main collection features the pre- and early history of the Małopolska region, Kraków’s archeology museum is also worth a visit for exhibits from ancient Egypt, including human and animal mummies. The museum is noted for its splendid gardens and also has a separate branch in the Nowa Huta district.
The Bishop Erazm Ciołek Palace
Tucked away in Kanonicza, this branch of the National Museum features religious art from the 12th to 17th centuries, as well as a collection of Orthodox art. There’s a room devoted to Veit Stoss, the sculptor who made St. Mary’s fine altarpiece.
The Archdiocese Museum – image © Jason Weaver
The Archdiocese Museum
In addition to religious sculptures and paintings from the 13th to 16th centuries, this museum is notable for the room where Karol Wojtyła (the future Pope John Paul II) lived. His furniture and belongings are on display.
The Józef Mehoffer House – image © AlbertHerring / Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Poland
The Józef Mehoffer House
The home of early-20th-century artist Mehoffer includes accurate period interiors, as well as stained glass and paintings by the man. The house also has an elegant garden.
The EUROPEUM Centre for European Culture – image © Januszk57 / Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Poland
The EUROPEUM Centre for European Culture
Home to the most important non-Polish European art from the National Museum collection, EUROPEUM features over 100 works and covers seven centuries of painting and sculpture, in a renovated 17th-century granary.
The Emeryk Hutten-Czapski Palace – image © Mateusz Giełczyński / Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International
The Emeryk Hutten-Czapski Museum
Accumulated in the late 19th century, this collection of antique Polish coins, banknotes, and medals is housed in an elegant Renaissance Revival-style villa. The buiding itself it beautiful, even if the contents does not appeal to you.
National Museum – image © Jason Weaver
The National Museum Main Building
The National Museum has a number of different branches across Kraków but the Main Building is one of the city’s key attractions. In addition to the permanent collections of 20th-century Polish painting, decorative art, and military items, the museum always has a handful of excellent temporary shows of an international standard. The museum is also temporary home to da Vinci’s glorious ‘Lady with an Ermine’ but there’s a separate fee to see it.
The site of the Gestapo headquarters, including the cells where many Poles were held captive and tortured, Pomorska Street also looks at resistance during the Stalinist era of Kraków’s history. This excellent museum is a sobering and memorable experience.
The History of Photography Museum
The original photography museum shown above is currently closed for renovation. Until then, KrakowCard holders receive 20% discount on admission to a permanent exhibition space in the Old Shooting Range to the west of the city centre.
The Academy of Mining and Metallurgy Museum
Mining is intimately bound to Kraków’s propserous development and, indeed, to Poland’s history as a whole. This museum gathers items and instruments from the Academy’s past, as well as mementos connected to the patron saints of metallurgy.
Celestat Krakow – image © Muzeum1942 / Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International
Found in a park behind the bus station, reasonably close to the Old Town, Celestat is curious neo-Gothic palace dedicated to a Kraków fraternity of marksmen. The activities of the cult-like Fowler Brotherhood are pretty strange and may appeal to the lovers of the bizarre.
The Home Army Museum – image © Wojciech.pospula / Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International
The Home Army Museum
A huge museum dedicated to Poland’s underground resistance to both Nazi and Soviet occupation. The building itself is beautiful, with a stunning glass atrium, and the exhibits include a comprehensive collection of uniforms, weapons, and medals. There’s even a life-size V2 rocket.
Kazimierz and Podgórze
The Old Synagogue – image © Jason Weaver
The Old Synagogue
Dating from the 15th century, the Old Synagogue houses Kraków’s Jewish Museum. The Prayer Hall features a bimah where the Torah is traditionally read and the original kodesh, where the scrolls are kept. There is also a photographic display upstairs.
Galicia Jewish Museum – image © Jason Weaver
Galicia Jewish Museum
This splendid gallery has permanent and temporary displays of photographs designed to explore themes around Jewishness in light of the area’s deep history and the impact of the Holocaust. If that sounds academic, don’t worry, the photographs are well curated and speak for themselves.
The Ethnographic Museum of Kraków
This fascinating museum includes reconstructions of traditional Polish cottages and workshops, and other folk artifacts, such as costumes and religious icons. There is also an 18th-century collection of Tibetan items, a library with some 30,000 books, and manuscripts, drawings, and photographs.
The Museum of Municipal Engineering in Kraków – image © Ludvig14 / Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International
The Museum of Municiple Engineering
This collection of Polish vehicles sits in a former tram shed. There are cars, trucks, motorcycles, and trams, as well as an exhibition about printing and some hands-on science and technology for kids.
Entrance to Schindler’s Factory – image © Jason Weaver
Steven Spielberg’s film ‘Schindler’s List’ told the story of Oskar Schindler’s attempts to protect Jewish employees from the Nazi Holocaust. Here, the enamal factory of the German industrialist has been converted into an excellent museum, vividly portraying the occupation of Kraków during the Second World War and its aftermath. Recommended.
MOCAK with Schindler’s Factory to the right – image © Jason Weaver
MOCAK Museum of Contemporary Art in Kraków
MOCAK is a major new centre for contemporary art and is actually a repurposed part of Schindler’s Factory. Well designed, the main halls are suitably minimal and display the cream of today’s Polish art scene. It also hosts temporary international shows. Recommended.
Entrance to Pharmacy Under The Eagle – image © Jason Weaver
Pharmacy Under The Eagle
A tiny but excellent museum, the Kraków ghetto grew up around this pharmacy which continued to serve the Jews living there under Nazi occupation. The period interior is delightful and telling the story of the ghetto through this particular perspective is both moving and ingenious.
Cricoteka – image © Jason Weaver
Worth a look just for the astonishing architecture, Cricoteka is dedicated to the work of Polish theatre giant Tadeusz Kantor. The space features mannequins and props but also stages performances. You can also visit Kantor’s studio in ul. Sienna in the Old Town.
This 34m-high mound gives spectacular views of Kraków’s Old Town, roughly 3km away. The structure is made from the soil of the battlefields where miliary hero Tadeusz Kościuszko fought. There is also a 19th-century fort and other attractions surrounding the mound.
Tyniec Benedictine Abbey
To the south west of the city lies Sts. Peter and Paul, a 20th-century reconstruction of the dissolved Benedictine abbey, sat imposing on a cliff overlooking the Vistula River. You can eat here (and drink some of the local brew) and the monks are happy to talk about life there.
The Rydlówka Museum
A manor house in the north west Bronowice district of Kraków, this museum represents the interest of the area to artists and writers of the Young Poland era in the early 20th century, principally Wyspiański’s play ‘The Wedding’, which was set here.
The Nowa Huta Museum – image © Jason Weaver
The Nowa Huta Museum
A new museum in Nowa Huta is currently being planned. Meanwhile, it is still possible to visit the exhbition in the old Kino Światowid building. The museum is mainly of interest to Polish visitors, though access to the underground nuclear shelters is possible.
The Polish Aviation Museum – image © Zala / Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International
The Polish Aviation Museum
Within one of Europe’s old military airports, the Polish Aviation Museum houses more than 140 different planes, helicopters, and other equipment, including Hermann Goering’s collection of aircraft.
Stanisław Lem Garden of Experiences
Named in honour of the author of ‘Solaris’, the Garden of Experiences is an outdoor science park with almost 60 imaginative experiments in acoustics, optics, and the like. Excellent for kids.
What Else Do I Get With a KrakowCard?
All forms of KrakowCard offer a 10-15% discount in Moaburger, EDO Sushi, Fab Fusion, Starbucks, and Subway, as well a 15% discount on Avis car hire and entry to the Pinball Museum. A discount is advertised for Kino Ars but this has now closed down.
In addition to museum entry and discounts, the 2- and 3-day Krakow Tourist Cards offer unlimited use of public transport, including buses to and from the airport (routes 902 and 208) and Wieliczka Salt Mine (route 304). Please note: public transport is limited to buses and trams, and does not include trains.
You can also download a free audio guide that covers a dozen key attractions.
Is The KrakowCard Worth It?
The KrakowCard comes in four flavours. The 3-day Museum & Attraction Pass costs 18€ and doesn’t include public transport. Students under 25 pay 15€ for the same card.
The Krakow Tourist Card option offers the same benefits but also includes unlimited use of buses and trams. These are available for two (25€) and three (30€) days, with no discount for students.
Entry fees and transport costs are very cheap in Kraków so, in truth, you’re going to have to work hard to save money with a KrakowCard. You should set aside two or three days to focus purely on the museums covered to get the most out of the pass. Entry to the Wawel Hill attractions and Collegium Maius are not included, for example, so you could save those for another day. It’s quite possible to use the KrakowCard for an entire day just seeing attractions on the main square.
For me, the real attraction of the card is the freedom and convenience of knowing you can hop on and off trams without fussing around with ticket machines. And, whilst it’s true that you can pay with a card at most attractions, some (like St. Mary’s Church) are cash only. Officially, KrakowCard holders are supposed to queue up with everybody else. I can’t verify this personally but there are many reports of people turning up to find Schindler’s Factory sold out and simply being waved in, thanks to the pass.
Ultimately, you’re unlikely to make big savings with the KrakowCard but it can make aspects of your trip easier. This convenience is, I think, worth paying 10€ a day for.