The photography guide to Poland Krakow
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Krakow photography guide

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Introduction

As a former capital of Polish kingdom, Krakow has a lot to offer to photographers. Fascinating history is reflected in its architecture and treasure trove of castles, churches, squares, monuments. Krakow is the second largest city in Poland but the Old Town is relatively small. Most of Krakow’s photo spots are within walking distance of one another; this makes photography in the city enjoyable and convenient.

Krakow is a nice alternative or a perfect addition to visiting historical Central European cities such as Prague, Budapest and Vienna. It is less busy and cheaper, but it offers an equally satisfying experience, both for regular tourists or as a photography trip.

The most pleasant time to visit Krakow is in spring or autumn. The weather is warm enough to enjoy a local beer at the street cafe but not as busy as in summer. May is particularly nice with lush green parks such as Planty Park. Winters can be harsh, cold and windy, but this can also be a good time to visit as you have the Christmas markets at Rynek Glowny. These are great for shooting Christmas lights, plus you can treat yourself to a hearty snack and warming drink to start your evening - maybe you'll even end the evening at one of Krakow’s cool nightclubs after your shoot! Snowfall often gives unique photo opportunities all around the old town.

Most popular Krakow photo spots


Top Picks

You'll need a minimum of 2 nights to fully explore and photograph Krakow's best photo locations. Most of the immediate locations will be covered in the old town, starting with sights around Rynek Glowny and finishing at Wawel hill with its castle and cathedral. With a three-night stay you'll be able to add some more remote photo spots such as Kazimierz, the old Jewish quarter, Rakowski cemetery or Kościuszko Mound. Add another night and visit the Wieliczka salt mine (take a public bus) or the WWII Auschwitz concentration camps at Oswiecim (the easiest is to take a group tour).

A few tips on photography in Krakow: You are allowed to photograph in most churches although tripods are prohibited. Some of the places will require a special photography permit (St Mary’s basilica, Wieliczka salt mine) which is well worth purchasing. It costs a little bit more than a regular ticket, but you can freely take photos. Most churches have published prayer times which helps organising your day itinerary. But don’t worry, most churches are within a short distance walk, so returning at another time is easy. Krakow is a relatively safe city, especially in the historical old town. This said, pickpockets can be around as in most tourist cities so apply usual common sense when out and about.


Travel

Krakow airport is well connected with other European airports which makes the city easy to visit for a city break. It’s location in southern Poland, not far from the Czech and Slovak borders make it easy to visit with a car if doing a self drive trip through central Europe. Ideally choose accommodation within the old town for ease - there are plenty of small hotels or apartments to rent. The old town is small enough to walk from Florianska gate to Wawel hill in about 20 minutes. The Kazimierz is also within walking distance from the old town as is Rakowski cemetery. Poland uses standard European two-pin plugs at 220V. The currency is the Polish złoty which can be exchanged in numerous exchange offices in town or use the ATMs. The prices in Krakow are still lower than in other European tourist destinations, but it is more expensive than other places in Poland. If you are in this part of the country you should consider visiting the Polish Tatra mountains on the border with Slovakia. Zakopane is a popular destination and a good starting point from which to explore the mountains.


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Curated By

Luka Esenko Admin
I love travelling with Neja (my wife), Brin and Fran (my little boys) and of course my camera.
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