A fairy-tale castle, ancient churches, colourful markets, memorable bars… There’s so much to see in Krakow, Poland’s vibrant city of kings, that a short trip is never enough. Self-catering is the perfect accommodation solution for longer holidays; the best apartments in Krakow, in our opinion, really have something to recommend them. Read on and we think you’ll agree.
Location is everything in picturesque, cobbled Stare Miasto (Old Town) – and this aparthotel places you just a minute’s walk from beautiful Rynek Główny, Europe’s largest medieval town square. All around you, throughout the area, are time-honoured landmarks and atmospheric places to eat. The apartments are very easy on the eye, displaying exposed brickwork and beams. Some have hot tubs, supersized beds – even pianos. If it’s a special weekend, consider the split-level Deluxe suite, which has mirrors on the ceiling.
You’ll need the tram (these stop nearby) to get you into the city centre – this imposing modern block is out near the Michała Bobrzyńskiego dual carriageway, in Ruczaj district. But there are wooded areas and nature reserves close by, and the apartments, in retro-tan tones, with five-star-smart furnishings and kitchenettes, are a bargain (breakfast included). There’s a shopping centre and restaurant in the building; the Cascada sports centre (jacuzzi, sauna, full size pool) is nearby; and a daily street-food market over the road sells everything from butter chicken to Buddha bowls.
Opened in 2016, a short stroll from the Royal Castle, river and main square, this aparthotel has bright loft rooms oozing contemporary appeal, and larger luxury apartments with stylish dark-wood veneers and statement art; in the latter, expect lounge-dining areas, full-size kitchens and (in some cases) a private terrace, hot tub on the balcony or unparalleled views across Krakow’s historic heart. The area is packed with drinking haunts and there’s an Indo-fusion restaurant on site. Its sister bar, Kalikut, serves Polish herring or kiełbasa (smoked sausage) alongside masala fries and samosas.
Minutes from the medieval Old Town, steps from the monuments of leafy Park Strzelecki and the main railway station, this residence is on the site of Krakow’s largest 19th-century brewery, now part of the city’s industrial heritage trail. The varied self-catering apartments are unobtrusively stylish – bright button-back headboards, calming pale-grey and white colour schemes – and good value. There’s the lively, hip-bare-brick Browar Lubicz pub next door.
Book one of these 34 affordable apartments, set in a 16th-century town house, and you’ll be staying as close to the historic centre as is possible. Run by travel-loving Cracovians, it’s the only aparthotel overlooking the main market square. Spotless studios with postcard views exude colourful minimalism. There’s peaceful courtyard dining at trendy Urban Garden cafe-bar: try traditional dishes Żurek soup (of fermented rye), cheese-and-onion dumplings and classic apple pie (szarlotka); also Polish vodka, and fruity wines from the Turnau vineyard in West Pomerania.
In a quiet corner of the bar-lined Kazimierz district, the Leone is well placed for pretty much any main sight you care to explore. It’s a characterful place: the eye is drawn first to the art nouveau facade of glazed blue bricks, with wrought-iron balcony and decorative faces above the windows. Entering, you take the original staircase up to first-floor rooms with ceramic-tiled old stoves, as well as modernised second and third-floor apartments. Before the bustle of sightseeing, enjoy breakfast in the brick-walled courtyard.
In a charming, low-rise street south of the Vistula River, this renovated merchant’s house has plenty of character: the big windows, barrel vaults and brickwork of the original building live on, while new injections of bold colours, rusted steel and shabby chic nod to the area’s heritage. If suffering after a boozy night in neighbouring Kazimierz, there are sun loungers in the courtyard and fresh breakfasts until noon in the cafe. Underfloor heating is a blessing in cold midwinter.
In an elegant building on a leafy backstreet just beyond the Old Town, these 13 brightly coloured, individually designed rental spaces are highly coveted by weekenders. For good reason: the cobbles of the city’s historic centre, and its surrounding parks, are a lazy five-minute amble from your door. You can hire bikes at reception to explore further. Later, enjoy the neighbourhood: the quirky dumpling cafe around the corner, as well as the bar and billiard club a few doors down.
The swish studios and multi-roomed apartments of Stradonia have great views: past the baroque edifice of St Bernardino’s church to the red roofs and towers of nearby Wawel castle. Immaculate, clean-lined, wood-floored rooms are airy, with vintage posters and cosy imitation log fires. You can order a choice of breakfasts in your room – or step out and follow the smell of baking bread and freshly ground coffee to the Lajkonik cafe-bakery.
Between the wide Vistula River and the popular sights of the old town is Kazimierz, Krakow’s historic Jewish quarter and one of its most bohemian areas. There are dozens of hipster bars and restaurants within staggering distance of these nine strikingly decorated, oak-floored apartments, with fitted kitchens and lots of space. But stop in for a night or two; there’s thoughtful extras including complimentary wine and Netflix, along with powerful rain showers and coffee machines with pods.
This 14th-century building stands on the smaller of Krakow’s chattery medieval market places, its name standing for mały rynek (or “small market square”). The five apartments are each uniquely furnished, from the monochrome modernism of Studio 2 to a two-bedroomed historic chandeliered apartment of wooden beams and gilded floral friezes. You look out over lovely scenes: across the square to the round tower of St Barbara’s Church and the sky-piercing gothic watchtower of St Mary’s Basilica.
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