From historic hotels, hiding in the grounds of palatial mansions that once belonged to Krakow’s noble families, to luxurious heritage hotels with a penchant for all things boutique, this list of the top places to stay in Poland’s second city is nothing if not eclectic. Whether you visit to explore Wawel Castle or feast on pierogi, welcome to the Slavic city of kings.
Few hotels in Krakow can boast such a range of former VIP patrons as the Hotel Stary – think star Polish footballers and the like. Set on the edge of Plac Szcepanski in the Unesco-attested Krakow Old Town, the establishment oozes style from its converted medieval interiors. The rooms all have leather seating and large king beds, while the pièce de résistance is the subterranean pool and wellness centre in the historic cellar space below the city.
Hotel Copernicus carries on the charm of the cobbled streets and centuries-old facades that surround it on beautiful Kanonicza Street. The large lobbies and suites have a Gothic edge to them, while even the hotel’s logo – as well as its name – is a homage to Poland’s own great astronomer and scientist extraordinaire, Copernicus. The on-site restaurant also has accolades of Michelin quality and a number of other excellence awards for fine-dining.
Just 10 minutes by foot from Planty Park and the start of the Krakow Old Town, in a quiet and peaceful section of the city centre, Cracowdays offers a range of boutique rooms. They’re all done out in chic, contemporary decor that borrows from classic Polish interior styles – think exposed brick walls and cavernous ceilings. Each suite has stylish bathrooms, and access to large communal areas that are set over two floors.
Bursting with four-poster beds and plush leather sofas, elegant rococo patterns and lavish upholstery, the suites at Kanonicza 22 are surely amongst the most opulent in the entire city. Just a stone’s throw from both the Main Square and the iconic Wawel Castle, this acclaimed hotel also comes with a beautiful restaurant – where the curated menu offers up tasty stroganoff, Polish tartare and refined Slavic dishes aplenty.
The Metropolitan Boutique Hotel is a stylish accommodation option with good access to the bohemian neighborhood of Kazimierz. True to its name, the suites here come with lots of swish design features – leather sofas, bespoke coffee tables, sprawling bed spreads, marble-clad bathrooms – and plenty of mod cons. There’s also an on-site gym and a free buffet breakfast served each day.
Just outside the ring road that delineates the Krakow Old Town and the historic heart of the city, the Hotel Grottger Boutique Hotel offers a range of plush suites in a pleasant and quiet locale. The boutique element is apparent in the real-wood adornments in the lobby, and the calming colour scheme of monochrome greys that runs throughout the rooms. Buffet breakfasts, flat-screen TVs and on-street parking (for a fee) all add to the mix.
Oozing in history, luxury and prestige, the Bonerowksi Palace is one of the finest hotels in Krakow. The hotel prides itself on excellent customer service, evident by the smiling, welcoming staff. It’s right in the heart of Krakow’s historic Old Town – each room has its own unique decor, while the luxury rooms have an incredible view over Krakow’s picturesque main square. The lobby is furnished like a royal mansion and the elegant ground floor bar is a wonderful place to relax with a coffee or a beer.
The Pod Roza Hotel translates as “under the rose” and claims to be Krakow’s first hotel. Right in the middle of Old Town Krakow, varying room styles either give you a glimpse of modern day Krakow or send you back to the city’s yesteryear with an antique appeal. The hotel cellar contains an old world hideaway, serving up fine wines, local beers and ice cold vodka. There is also a fitness centre for gym buffs.
The elegant Grand Hotel Krakow is housed in a building that dates back to the city’s Medieval times. Drenched in architectural charm, the intact main entrance is covered with an intricate awning while the corridors and restaurant have stained glass windows. Famous writers Joseph Conrad and Henryk Sienkiewicz used to spend time here. Aside from all the history within these walls, you can find a room suited to your budget – which includes the Marble Suite with imperial furniture and chandeliers, or the Executive Suite with its historic crystal mirrors.
Named after the Polish coat of arms, Hotel Polski pod Białym Orłem translates as the “White Eagle Inn”. Spacious, luxurious rooms overlook the streets of Krakow’s old town in a traditional tenement building, converted into a top-notch hotel. The finest Polish cuisine, including pierogi and bigos, can be devoured in the hotel’s well-recommended Pijarska 17 restaurant. There’s also a conference centre, which caters for business events up to 150 people.
The Balthazar Design Hotel is on Grodzka Street, at the foot of Krakow’s iconic Wawel Castle, in a beautifully restored building that dates back to the 1870s. Inside, the modern interior draws its design inspiration from the boutique hotels of New York and London. The in-house restaurant Fiorentina has won awards for its gastronomic delights, while a picturesque garden allows you to relax to your heart’s content.
Hotel Pugetow enjoys the rare distinction of occupying the old stables of a noble family estate. Now entirely converted and the proud holder of an historic hotels tag, the establishment has just six individual suites – each decorated in elegant and classical styles. You can expect sumptuous furnishings in the private lounge spaces adjoining each room, along with extras like underfloor heating and rich artworks on the walls. There’s also an enchanting breakfast room, hidden below the hotel in the old medieval basement.