Best things to do in Krakow & Warsaw

While both of these Polish cities have tumultuous histories, Krakow and Warsaw have both emerged on top as glorious cultural hubs. Festivals (yes, even a pierogi festival), stunning architecture, a thriving gastronomic scene and of course, plenty of vodka, are all here in abundance to delight every visitor. 🎊  Here are our local Flytographers’ favourite picks for your next visit to Krakow and Warsaw.

Table of Contents

  1. EAT: Best places to eat 
  2. DRINK: Best places to go for drinks
  3. SEE & DO: Best things to do, off the beaten path
  4. SHOP: Where the locals go shopping
  5. PHOTOS: Best places to take photos

What are the best places to eat in Krakow?

  • Portobello. The best Italian restaurant in Kraków! They import every little product from Sicily and then cook it in a special way. The owners go to Italy a couple times a year to discover new meals and bring them to their clients. They also have the best coffee, especially affogato! ☕
  • Forum Przestrzenie. A favourite of the young crowd for its live music and chic industrial feel, it has great views of Wawel Castle and the Vistula river. 
  • Pino Garden. As the name suggests, you can enjoy your meal in a beautiful open garden space, which is a relaxing retreat in the middle of the city. A tasty menu and choice of wines make for a relaxing lunch while exploring the Old Town.
  • Charlotte. Come here for brunch! It’s special because of their bakery in the basement, and they have homemade chocolate and jam to add to your delicious and fresh croissant. 
  • Okrąglak. A round building where you can find and try famous “zapiekanka,” which is one of the most popular foods in Kazimierz Quarter. Known as “Polish pizza,” this street food has been around since the 70’s.

Honourable Mentions: Gruba Buła, Plac Izaaka – Street Food, Judah Food Market, Bunkier Café

What are the best places to eat in Warsaw?

  • Prasowy. Milk bars were once a communist worker’s staple; they have since re-emerged as a trendy dining option. With an extensive menu and great prices, this is the spot to refuel on a budget.
  • Tel Aviv. Street food is one of the easiest ways to immerse yourself in the local scene and leave plenty of time for activities! Stop here for mouthwatering vegan Israeli street food. 🌱
  • Zielnik. Small and elegant with a family-run feel in the heart of the Old Mokotow. Make reservations – they book quickly!
  • Bazar Kocha.  Fresh and tasty in a post-industrial interior. This is a great breakfast or lunch spot with traditional Polish dishes.
  • Kieliszki na Próżnej.  Come for the delicious, modern Polish cuisine. Stay for the extensive wine list!

Honourable Mentions: ĆMA by Mateusz Gessler, U Fukiera

Photo: Marta in Krakow for Flytographer. Annie and their partner capture memories in Krakow on a couple photoshoot at the Main Square.

What are the best places to go for drinks in Krakow?

  • Wódka Café Bar. Vodka is the national drink of Poland, and making a night of it at an authentic vodka bar is part of your duty as a visitor to the country! Try the flight at Wódka Café Bar before settling down with your favourite. 
  • Dzikie Wino Wine Bar. Vodka isn’t the only popular drink in Poland! Sample a variety of Polish wines to discover your favourite. 🍷
  • WiśniOFFka. Try out this local spot stocked with fruit vodkas. 
  • Movida Cocktail Bar. This spot is one of the best cocktail bars in Krakow, with an eclectic menu and inviting interior. A crowd favourite is the Katarinka, which fuses the flavors of classic Polish vodka with pear, lime and fresh mint. 
  • Piec Art Acoustic Jazz Club. Ready for a change of pace? Sipping on a cocktail to the tune of Coltrane is a relaxing juxtaposition to the trendy nightclubs surrounding this spot on Szewska Street. 

Honourable Mentions: Singer, Eszeweria

What are the best places to go for drinks in Warsaw?

  • Elixir by Dom Wódki. Vodka bar meets stylish eatery. 
  • MiTo. Avant-garde café, bookshop and art gallery.
  • Barka Wynurzenie. Enjoy a drink on the river in this floating bar. 
  • Prasowy. Milk bars were once a communist worker’s staple; they have since re-emerged as a trendy dining option. 🍶
  • Panorama Sky Bar. Warsaw looks good from on high. If you prefer your view accompanied by a trendy cocktail, book a table at Panorama Sky Bar at the Marriot. (Hint: You can also find some of the best views of the city from the 30th floor of The Palace of Culture and Science!)

Honourable Mentions: Piw Paw, Plan B

Photo: Diana in Warsaw for Flytographer. Janet and their family capture memories in Warsaw with a family photoshoot in Old Town.

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What are the best things to do in Krakow?

  • Vistula River. Best experienced on a boat tour, or on your own ship with a kayak rental, which incidentally gives you the freedom to go for a swim anytime you so desire! If you prefer to stay on dry ground, an evening walk along the river bank is a relaxing end to the day. 🚤
  • Wieliczka Salt Mine. Go underground to experience the tradition and history in one of the biggest tourist attractions in Poland.  
  • Nowa Huta. This was the Utopian dream community of the post-war socialists, and although it was never fully completed, it stands today as a fascinating monument to communist urban planning.
  • Auschwitz-Birkenau. Located near Krakow, this was the biggest and most notorious Nazi concentration camp from WWII. A visit to the site is a tough but important reminder of this sad history and our place in it today.
  • Market Square. You can’t visit Krakow without a wander through the bustling Market Square. Cellar bars, cafes lining the streets, Town Hall Tower and quirky art installations make this a meeting point for seemingly everyone in the city. 

Honourable Mentions: Barbican, Wawel Castle, Planty Park

What are the best things to do in Warsaw?

  • Old Town. After the devastation of WWII razed the city to the ground, the area of Old Town was carefully rebuilt to authentic perfection. Now a UNESCO-Heritage site, Warsaw’s architectural and cultural beauty is forever preserved for its citizens and visitors.
  • Wilanów Palace. Spend a day lost in romance and art, with gardens, ponds, an extensive painting collection and lavish architecture. Can’t get enough of the outdoors? A perfect day out also includes strolling the magnificent gardens of Łazienki Park, complete with palaces, galleries, theatres and concerts. 🎭
  • Holy Cross Church. Visit this historical site and pay homage to Chopin. Though the great composer’s body lies in Paris, his heart is buried in Warsaw, and the story around it is fascinating. 
  • Praga. Once run-down and ignored, the Praga district on the other side of the river is turning into an up-and-coming hotspot. With lots of industrial grit and authenticity, it’s a good antidote to the crowds and colour of Old Town. See it now before it becomes too fashionable.
  • Visit a museum. There are a variety of museums across the city for every interest. After the death of Stalin, the city attempted to brighten up with neon signs to add more “glamour” to the streets. Modernist artists of the day produced fantastic creations throughout the Cold War, which are now housed in the Neon Museum. To better understand the climate of WWII and the extent of Nazi wrath unleashed on the city and its residents after the Warsaw Uprising of 1944, visit the Warsaw Rising Museum. In spite of all odds against her, Marie Curie became one of the world’s most important and accomplished scientists. 🔬 A museum dedicated to the life of this trailblazing pioneer exhibits artifacts at the home where she was born.

Honourable Mentions: Old Town Observation Tower, Castle Square

Photo: Marta in Krakow for Flytographer. Heather and their family capture memories on a trip to Krakow on a family photoshoot with Flytographer.

Heather’s Travel Tip for Krakow

“Check out St. Mary’s Basilica – beautiful colors. Wish we had gotten tickets sooner after our shoot since we were there before the crowds and could have avoided the line.”Heather (photographed above)

Read more Krakow Travel Tips from Flytographer customers.

Where do the locals go shopping in Krakow?

  • Krakowska Manufaktura Czekolady. Sign up for a chocolate-making 🍫 workshop at  Krakowska Manufaktura Czekolady, one of the city’s most beloved chocolate factories, or immediately satisfy your sweet tooth with any of the tempting goodies ready to go. 
  • Kanonicza. Amber was historically transported down the Vistula River to the south of Poland all the way to the Baltic Sea. Pick up a beautiful Amber souvenir from one of the specialist stores on the Royal Route: Grodzka or Florianska street.
  • Jewish Square. Head to the Jewish district on Joseph Street for a stunning variety of hand-painted ceramics decorated with beautiful, regional designs across multiple shops.
  • Krakowski Kredens. Like what you taste? From local mountain cheeses to prunes in chocolate to of course, vodka, this is the spot to fill your suitcase with a taste of Poland.
  • Massolit Books & Cafe. Even if you don’t have room for another book (but of course, we bet you do!), come here for coffee and soup as you chat with other travellers and expats who frequent this cozy shop. 📚

Honourable Mentions: Nowy Kleparz, Szambelan

Where do the locals go shopping in Warsaw?

  • Nocny Market. Market stalls and food trucks come together in this eclectic modern market setting. 
  • Polish Poster Gallery. Poster art in Poland is world-renowned for its artistic visionary and creative freedom. Pick up your favourite graphic at the Polish Poster Gallery at the University of Warsaw library. 🖼
  • Pan tu nie stał. For quirky and original Polish fashion, homewares, and novelties, stop by Pan tu nie stał
  • Bazar Olimpia. For a true local experience, this buzzing Sunday flea market is a treasure-hunter’s adventure. Browse through neverending stalls in search of the perfect, one-of-a-kind souvenir. 
  • Mysia 3. This isn’t just any department store. A variety of boutiques dedicated to Polish designers is a great way to support local! Psst… there is also the Leica Gallery on the second floor with year-round photography exhibitions! 

Honourable Mentions: Hush Warsaw, Vitkac

Photo: Diana in Warsaw for Flytographer. Asrar captures memories on a trip to Warsaw with a Modern Headshot photoshoot.

Best places to take photos in Krakow

  1. Main Square

  2. Street Art Tour

  3. Wawel Castle Grounds

Explore all three expertly-curated Flytographer routes in Krakow.

Best places to take photos in Warsaw

  1. Old Town

  2. Mariensztat

  3. BUW Roof Gardens

Explore all three expertly-curated Flytographer routes in Warsaw.

Capturing memories in Krakow and Warsaw

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