An umbrella is a must as Poland's unpredictable weather always includes some wetness. In addition, make sure you make so you can dress in layers since some days can be mild whilst other can be cool and during the colder months, very cold indeed.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: take along all prescriptions and make sure you have enough. It may not be as easy to refill as in other parts of Europe.
Photo Equipment: bring camera and make sure you have ample space on digital cards. You'll be taking lots of pictures.
On my second visit to Krakow, which was already my 6th visit of Poland, I felt the need to buy a good guide book, as this trip also covered some smaller Polish cities.
So I finally decided to get myself "The Rough Guide to Poland - 7th edition". It includes approximately 40 pages about Krakow and the surounding region.
I found the guide quite handy for this trip as it offers many practical tips for independent travels.
Rough Guides: http://www.roughguides.com/
In Your Pocket Guide - Krakow (33, 34, 35)
I must admit that I am a huge fan of the "In Your Pocket" guides. They are usually an excellent resource for information about travels to Eastern or Central European cities.
I got my first Krakow "In Your Pocket" guide in 2004 at the airport in Warsaw. In 2010 we got the guide at the 6th VT Euromeeting.
Usually, the price is 5 Zloty but if you are lucky you might even get a complimentary copy at your hotel.
The guides can also downloaded free of charge from the "In Your Pocket" website.
It not only provides helpful information about transport, accomodation and sights, but also many off the beaten path tips and background information. Apart from that the guide is usually entertaining to read.
Luggage and bags:
Getting from the airport by taxi/bus/train to the centre isn't too difficult, but suitcase on wheels makes it a bit easier. Day sac for sightseeing
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Krakow is easy to get around on foot, but some of the roadfs/paving is uneven-so comfy flat shoes/boots are advised. We were there in May, when we experienced sun and rain-so waterproof jacket/umbrella (Though shops around main square sell umbrellas
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Carry prescription drugs-though there are pharmacies here.
Photo Equipment: Photogenic city! carry as much photographic equipment as you need. Photographic shops etc to re-stock.
Miscellaneous: Wet wipes, hand gel, bubble wrap to protect any pottery/bottles of bison grass vodka etc.
Guide book-I brought Rough Guide to Poland (2007) with me DK Eye Witness to Poland had just published 2010 version, which, I didn't get a copy of pre departure. Krakow in your pocket is recommended - got a free copy, Thanks to Matt- can pick up a free copy from various hotels/tourist info offices or download/buy online
While we were in Krakow in May, it rained quite a bit, so I was glad I brought along two folding umbrellas. I also brought my rain-proof windbreaker jacket, that when folded, doesn't take up any space in my suitcase. I was also glad I brought along a cardigan sweater and my hoodie as it was cool some nights. An absolute must is good walking shoes. Many streets and sidewalks are paved with stones, making walking surfaces uneven.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Our Hotel supplied liquid soap and shampoo, but I always bring my own anyway, in small bottles.I also bring washcloths, as we like to use them and European Hotels do not usually provide them.
For medical, I always bring a small first-aid kit with bandaids & anti-bacteria ointment.
And of course our prescriptions, with enough to last us during our whole stay.
Photo Equipment: For my digital camera, I need my battery charger and rechargeable batteries - usually four sets just in case. I also need a converter and 2-prong adaptor.
Miscellaneous: In our goody bag that we got from Matt for VT members, we received "Krakow in your pocket" - a handy little booklet with hotels, restaurants, sightseeing, transportation, etc. We got ours for free, but you can pick up yours at any tourist information center for 5zl which is only about $2.00.
I don't suppose it's always as wet as it was when we visited but we definitely made use of raincoats as it rained on and off the whole time we were there.
Most of the restaurants we ate at were lower budget to mid budget, we were fine wearing casual clothes (jeans, khaki pants, polo type shirts). I needed long sleeved shirts on several of the days but only used my fleece pullover one night and even then I probably didn't need it
Good walking shoes, much of the old city is on uneven ground
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Our mid range hotel only had soap and shampoo, if you need anything else you'll want to bring it along
Photo Equipment: To recharge my camera battery, I needed the charger and a 2 prong adapter for Europe, I did not need a converter . Check the electrical item you will be plugging in, if it says the voltage rating is 100V-240V or something like that then it is dual voltage and you don't need a converter.
Miscellaneous: ATM cards and credit cards are widely accepted
I had the Rough Guide to Poland and Fodor's Poland, I think Rough Guide gives a lot more information, Fodor's is sort of dumbed down. I also really liked the Eyewitness Guide to Poland but it's too heavy to lug around, since my copy is 7-8 years old, I tore out the relevant pages and brought them with
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: bring a rain jacket. Preferably a proper waterproof windbreaker of such. Waterproof shoes etc. You will get soaked there but don't let it ruin your holiday. Just except it will happen and deal with it.
It is possible you will need very good comfortable shoes when walking in Krakow. It seems city is full of sightseeing objects and old town is big.
Photo Equipment: Photo camera is must. I am architecture photography lover, so found very much places to take photos.
Almost all of the significant tourist sights in Krakow are within a 20 minute walk of each other, so you can go an entire week without using a car, taxi, or public transportation. However, you MUST have comfortable shoes, because you will be doing a lot of walking in Krakow.
In terms of clothing, Krakow is a relatively informal city. WIth the exception of a few very high-end restaurant, suits/ties for men and dresses for women are not necessary. Decent pants and a decent shirt (with a collar for men) will be fine for nearly 100% of the places that most tourists go to, including the vast majority of bars and restaurants.
A windbreaker is helpful in the summer, as rainy and cloudy days can get cool, especially at night.
Photo Equipment: Bring extra memory cards and extra videocassettes. Krakow has a ton of great things to photograph and videotape, and digital photo supplies are not always easily available.
Miscellaneous: Guidebooks - We used the Poland book published by Eyewitness Travel Guides and the Krakow book published by Landmark Visitors Guides
Electricity - Poland, like most Eastern European nations, uses two-pronged 240 volt plugs. Americans will need to bring an adapter.
Mobile Telephone - Poland, like the rest of the EU, uses GSM phones.
When visiting Krakow and surrounding areas I used as my main tool Lonely Planets Central Europe guidebook.
It offers a wealth of information on what to see, where to stay and how to get there.
Although it was June when we visited, the wind was quite chilly early in the morning and at night, so it would be useful to bring along a light jacket.
It also rained quite a lot, but was too warm for raingear, an umberella will suffice.
Photo Equipment: Loads of film because there is so much to take piccies of!
Oh remember your batteries, mine ran out and it was fairly expensive to replace them!
Miscellaneous: A good pair of walking shoes!
Something to cover your head when visiting the Kazimierz area.
There is no special rainy season
Avg. Temp. in Spring: max.: 6 – 18°C ( 43 - 64°F ); min: 0 - 8°C ( 32 - 47°F )
Avg. Temp. in Summer: max.: 19 – 23°C ( 66 - 73°F ); min: 10 - 12°C ( 50 - 53°F )
Avg. Temp. in Autumn: max.: 4 – 17°C ( 39 - 62°F); min: 0 - 8°C ( 32 – 47°F )
Avg. Temp. in Winter: max.: 1 – 3°C ( 33 - 38°F); min: -4 - -1°C ( 25 - 30°F )
Luggage and bags:
Krakow’s central Old Town historic district, turned into a pedestrian precinct, teems with stores of all sorts. They line every street in the area, at the main avenues.
So, don't forget large and many suitcases and bags. Some gifts are large in size :-)))
Pants with stripes! I was told I had to dress like a Pole, but I did not know what Maciek meant, could it be you have a pair of these pants in your closet? :o)
If not, you can buy some there..........hehe!
Miscellaneous: Ok, I am joking, can u see Maciek in a pair of these? Or only folk bands?
I will never tell - top secret!
Check the climate in Krakow:
Check the weather (5-day forecast for Krakow) just before you go:
or even 10-DAY FORECAST:
Don't forget good walking shoes :-).
The warmest month is June with average temp. (24h) : 18.4C = 65.1F
The coldest is January: -3.7C = 25.3F.