There are oodles of pretty parks in Krakow, ranging from winding green belts that encase the Old Town’s cobbles to hidden little gardens between the boho bars of Podgorze district. They make for some great summertime strolling, look beautiful when in bloom in the spring, host regular events and come doused in ice and snow during the winter months. Check out the best parks in Krakow here…
The Planty is the most definitive of all the parks in Krakow. Running the whole length around the Old Town area, it can even be made out on tourist maps of the city. It actually marks the spot where the medieval town walls once rose to defend the centre, sprouting out from the colossal Wawel Hill in the south and going all the way to the turrets of the Barbikan in the north. Today, the walls have been almost entirely (you can still see one small section of historic wall) with green parklands. Streams of pedestrians and joggers hit the cobbled paths; folk laze on the benches; children enjoy the playgrounds and there’s some of the top dog watching in town. Also, don’t miss Bunkier Sztuki café, which has some great coffee just on the edge of the Planty itself.
Park Jordanow is much more a local’s park than many of the other green spaces closer to Krakow’s centre. A patchwork of wide meadows (the grass is annoying left quite long for much of the year) and little clutches of trees, it’s a great place to go for a wander. The eastern edge of the park is filled with statue-lined walkways, which is great if you want to get to know some of the luminaries of Krakow. The western side of the park, meanwhile, has a large hill and playground. And the southern side is packed with basketball courts, outdoor exercise equipment and a café or two. It also spills out on the huge meadow of Blonia, but more of that one later.
Okay, so it’s fair to say that Blonia is hardly a park at all, but rather one huge meadow that forms a triangle of swaying grass and oak trees just on the western edge of the Krakow Old Town. It conveniently separates the city’s two large football stadiums (helpful on match days!) and is often used to host big events, like game screenings and festivals. During the summer, the path that encircles the Blonia is a hubbub of activity. Joggers hit it in the evening, there are always rollerbladers about, a couple of cafes thrum in the warm airs, there’s a small rugby (yep, rugby!) ground, and the people watching is top notch.
Spreading out on the hills of Podgorze, away from the usual hustle and bustle of the tourist districts in Old Town and Kazimierz, pretty Park Bednarskiego is a great place for a little peace and quiet. From spring time, it comes alive with blooms of pretty tulips and green lawns. There are the usual ubiquitous statues to Adam Mickiewicz and other Polish national heroes. And the walking paths are more interesting (and challenging) than other parks on this list, weaving between craggy outcrops of rock, winding up steep stairs and even alighting on clifftops that overlook the south side of the city.
Park Lotnikow Polskich
You’ll have to head out to the eastern edge of the city to get to the vast green spaces of Park Lotnikow Polskich, which spread out right next to the colossal events space of the Tauron Arena. Popular with locals, the place has winding running paths (these are even marked with length to make it easy to count distance) and plenty of open green spaces with shade and picnic facilities. Summertime also opens up one of the larger playgrounds in the city, making this one a top choice for the younger visitors or travelers with kids in tow.
Can you think of any more beautiful parks in Krakow? We’d love to hear about them in the comments below. Or, if you want more info on any of the other parks in Krakow, be sure to ask away.