When to go to Kraków, the place festivals happen all yr lengthy

Poland’s liveliest metropolis appeals at any time of yr.

Most points of interest in Kraków keep open year-round and occasions happen each single month. In April, Could, September and October, delicate temperatures and decreased crowds make for a stunning weekend getaway. Summers are jam-packed with festivals (and guests), whereas a dusting of snow makes the town splendidly photogenic throughout searingly chilly winters. 

Right here’s our season-by-season, month-by-month information for when to go to Kraków.

Excessive season (June–August) is greatest for festivals 

Scorching days, lengthy sunlight hours and balmy summer season nights imply that Kraków bustles with guests in summertime, notably throughout July and August. It’s a wonderful time to take your youngsters to the hands-on Stanisław Lem’s Backyard of Experiments, for a stroll across the Zoological Gardens or to observe the swans in Krakówski Park. Alternatively, head underground into the Wieliczka Salt Mine or use the swimming pools and waterslides of Park Wodny to hunt respite from the warmth. That is Kraków’s busiest season, so count on lodging costs to shoot up correspondingly.

In late spring and summer season, the calendar fills up with festivals – such because the Lajkonik Pageant, held every June © Wiola Wiaderek / Shutterstock

Shoulder season (April–Could and September–October) is greatest for sightseeing  

Spring flowers deliver a burst of colour to Kraków’s tree-lined streets and boulevards, whereas delicate Could days imply it’s heat sufficient to deliver a packed lunch to the banks of the Vistula River or the picnic tables of Grazyna Park. Late spring and early autumn, when the leaves change colour, is the loveliest time to walk round Outdated City and Kazimierz, because it’s heat with out being sweltering, and lodging costs are affordable. It’s additionally a superb time to discover Kraków’s cultural choices, since crowds are thinner.

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Off-season (November–February) is greatest for pictures and finances journey 

Costs drop in the course of the winter months when guests are few, which makes it a wonderful time for finances vacationers to go to. It doesn’t snow right here all winter (some days it’s possible you’ll expertise icy winds and freezing rain as an alternative) however should you’re a photographer, you gained’t wish to miss Kraków’s citadel and different Outdated City monuments with a dusting of glowing white. You’ll be capable of discover Kraków’s many museums with out being jostled by crowds, and seasonal ice rinks spring up in Jordan Park and elsewhere. In December, twinkling lights add festive cheer to the Kraków Christmas market.

January is for snowy panoramas

Whereas most nationals use January to recover from Christmas hangovers, in Kraków the celebration’s simply getting began. New 12 months’s Day marks the beginning of the carnival season that lasts till Shrove Tuesday and is marked by feverish festivities within the metropolis’s many golf equipment. Usually, January additionally brings the heaviest snowfall of the yr.

Key occasions: Opera Rara, Nice Orchestra of Christmas Charity

In February, overeat

One other chilly and snowy month, February sees Kraków residents (Catholic or not) refill on Polish doughnut balls with rose jam filling on Fats Thursday, earlier than partying until daybreak on Shrove Tuesday. February additionally sees sea-shanty-singing teams from throughout dropping anchor in Kraków, whereas lovers of drum ’n’ bass head for the close by Tatra Mountains to ski and/or dance to the likes of Nero and Ghostface Killah.   

Key occasions: Shanties, Fats Thursday, Ostatki (Shrove Tuesday), SnowFest

Have fun Easter in March

The times are warming up, snow is melting and spring flowers are popping up. Lent sees quite a few ceremonies held in Kraków’s church buildings, culminating in particular companies over Holy Week. In the event you’re fortunate, you’ll catch a hooded procession by the Brothers of the Good Loss of life from the Basilica of the Virgin Mary each Friday throughout Lent. Be careful on Easter Monday: splashing water over each other is a neighborhood custom.

Key occasions: Easter, Chocolate Pageant, Early Music Days, Kraków Cello Spring

People in historical costumes participate in Rekawka, a Polish tradition on the Tuesday after Easter, Kraków, Malopolskie, Poland
On each Tuesday after Easter, Kraków residents don medieval-style costumes to take part within the Rekawka folks competition © De Visu / Shutterstock

April brings medieval festivities and artwork

The climate continues to be brisk, however even occasional April showers will not be sufficient to dampen the keenness of jousting and fencing individuals on the Rekawka medieval truthful on Krakus Mound. Dozens of up to date artwork exhibitions rework the town throughout Artwork Week.  

Key occasions: Rekawka Conventional Medieval Honest, Krakers (Kraków Art Week), Kraków Festival of Comics

Could is for holy processions and pupil celebrations 

Heat and sunny with ever-longer sunlight hours, Could sees native college students dressing up in outlandish disguises to wreak havoc within the Outdated City for per week. Poland’s trustworthy observe the relics of Poland’s patron saints from the Wawel Cathedral, whereas the Lajkonik Parade brings lighthearted pageantry, led by a bearded Tatar.  

Key occasions: Structure Day, Saint Stanislaw’s Procession, Juwenalia, Lajkonik Parade, Film Music Festival

Have fun Midsummer in June

Flower wreaths with candles float down Vistula River for the exuberant Midsummer celebrations whereas Kraków rocks out into the lengthy summer season evening at a live performance venue reverse Wawel Citadel. Ten days of Jewish arts, music and movie kick off in Kazimierz.   

Key occasions: Wianki (Midsummer Pageant), Jewish Culture Festival, Kraków Film Festival, Ephemera Pageant

Jazz music players take part in the “New Orleans Parade” during the Summer Jazz Festival in Kraków, Malopolskie, Poland
Each July, jazz musicians take to the medieval streets as a part of the Kraków Jazz Pageant © Omar Marques / SOPA Pictures / LightRocket by way of Getty Pictures

July is all about festivals

That is Kraków’s hottest and rainiest month, so deliver your waterproof gear. The rain doesn’t deter most guests, nonetheless, so count on excessive lodging costs, notably in the course of the standard Kraków Jazz Pageant.

Key occasions: Jewish Tradition Pageant, International Festival of Street Theatre, Kraków Jazz Festival

Take pleasure in classical music with a aspect of pierogi in August

Anticipate one other scorching and wet month, with temperatures a mean of 77°F (25°C). String quartets, violinists, organists and choirs carry out for a cosmopolitan crowd as a part of a classical music competition in Outdated Kraków. Village artisans and countryside entertainers arrange store on Główny Rynek (Predominant Sq.), whereas Maly Rynek fills up with pierogi stalls.

Key occasions: Kraków Folks Honest, Music in Old Kraków, Pierogi Pageant

Take it straightforward in September 

As summer season crowds depart and lodging costs fall, the climate stays a balmy 68°F (20°F). It’s a quiet month event-wise, nevertheless it’s an exquisite time to wander across the metropolis simply because the leaves start to vary colour.   

Key occasions: Veganmania, Fermentation Pageant

Anticipate literature, experimental artwork and music in October

Brisk days shouldn’t deter you from visiting simply as fall reveals its splendor and the bushes are of their full autumnal glory. Chilly nights are perfect for heading indoors and partaking in offbeat music and literary occasions.

Key occasions: Unsound, Conrad Festival

November permits you to commune with the lifeless

As the times get colder, Kraków sees its first snowfall of the season and mournful strains of jazz present musical accompaniment to the gathering darkness. Locals head for the cemeteries on November 1 – All Saints’ Day – to gentle candles on the graves of family members and deck them out with contemporary flowers.    

Key occasions: All Saints’ Day, Andzejki, Kraków Jazz Autumn

The huge Christmas market in the main square of Kraków, Malopolskie, Poland
The primary sq. in Kraków’s Outdated City twinkles with the lights from its big Christmas market each December © martin-dm / iStockphoto / Getty Pictures

December is all about Christmas markets 

It’s chilly and snowy, however the Outdated City’s predominant sq. is aglow with lights from the Christmas market, the place you’ll be able to admire the frilly “Christmas cribs” (or Nativity scenes). On New 12 months’s Eve, lodging costs soar and Kraków’s Outdated City and predominant sq. get swamped by tens of hundreds of revelers counting right down to the brand new yr.  

Key occasions: Mikolaj, Kraków Christmas Crib Competitors, Christmas Eve, New 12 months’s Eve