Telephone area code 012 (from outside Poland , dial 0048-12)
(Currency mentioned on this page is Polish Zloty (PLN) , with approx UK Pounds
Some establishments price in Euros only). $1 (USA) = 2.21PLN (June 15,
XE.com Personal Currency Assistant for
There are no restrictions for people
with HIV/AIDS entering Poland.
Website for current Polish regulations.
Last updated: 19 September, 2010
With the advent of low cost airlines flying to Kraków,
this university city - the third largest in Poland - is becoming an
attractive bet for a long weekend break. While Poland is largely
regarded as a somewhat "homophobic" country, it is only because of the Roman
Catholic Church and the ruling political party. Yes, the city can be conservative, yet it is also
enchantingly eccentric. At no time did we feel at all "threatened".
Kraków, with Prague and Vienna, ranks as
one of the architectural gems of Central Europe and is in itself a good
enough reason to visit Poland. At the heart of its Old Town is one of the
grandest of European squares, the Rynek Glówny, and the streets of Kraków
are a cavalcade of churches and aristocratic palaces. The Wawel Hill, with
its castle and cathedral, is home to an amazing collection of art. The Main
Market Square hosts a plethora of restaurants, cafés and cellar bars
immersed in its somewhat Italian atmosphere.
Climate: Average temperature in July and August is about
23 degrees. Coldest months are mid-November to February when the mean temperature
is around zero.
Frequent rain (like UK) and snow in winter
Getting There: There are a number of "low cost" airlines
flying between the UK (and other European cities) to Kraków
John Paul II International Airport. There are also flights by LOT (about £180 return). Flying time from London is about two
Low cost airlines are
Centralwings - owned
by LOT Polish Airline (London Gatwick from about £60 return including all
taxes), Sky Europe
- a Slovakian airline - flies daily from London Stansted (from £55 return)
and from Manchester (from £65 return), and
easyJet with daily
flights from London Luton from £55 return.
a British/Hungarian/Polish airline, flies between Liverpool John Lennon (Monday, Wednesday, Friday
and Sunday) or London Luton (at least one flight a day) and
Katowice, with connecting coach service to Kraków.
Return fares, including all taxes, start at about £70 from Liverpool and from about £50 from London Luton. Return shuttle coach is 75PLN
Tourist Office: Centre of Cultural Information. ul
421 77 78 website
Ridiculously cheap, especially if you go to Tesco! Even the "smart"
shops in the city centre offer fantastic prices, even though the VAT rate is
higher than in UK. Being in the European Union, you can shop to you
drop - and Customs are not interested as long as items are for your personal
use. American brand cigarettes like Marlboro can be bought for around
15.20) a carton of 200, so don't fall for
the "duty free" trap on your outward flight if you are a 'nico-addict'!
Getting Around: The cheapest is by bus or tram. A 72
hour ticket allowing unlimited travel costs 25PLN (£4,
5.85). Taxis are, by comparison with
the UK, very cheap - as low as 6PLN (£1, 1.40) for a couple of miles.
Famous natives of Kraków:
Pope John Paul II
Have you anything to say about Kraków?
Perhaps you have knowledge of one of the listing below and would like to
give your view, or suggest a new listing. Send us
an email and we will include your thoughts
Culture for Tolerance - Pride
April each year
Campaign Against Homphobia (KPH), ul. Sobieskiego 7/3.
websites: English or
Political lobbying, actions fighting discrimination and homophobia. KPH has
several branches Warsaw, Kraców, Gdansk, Wroclaw, Lodz, Slask (Silesia
Region). Meetings are every Tuesday at 7 pm.
Kraków Gay Guide.
Crakow City Tours. Plac Matejki 2.
421 13 33. website
Daily trips to the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial - a "must" when visiting Kraków
- from 80PLN (advance booking is recommended). Also daily trips to the
Wieliczka Salt Mine, one of the top tourist attractions in Poland - from
90PLN. If you want to stay in the city, there is the Oscar Schindler
Sites tour (60PLN), and the Kraków Ghost
Tour (60PLN). For something fun, try the "Good Bye Capitalism, the
Communist Era Is Back!" tour - you tour guide drives an East German Trabant
and takes you through the old "communist" district built around the
steelworks, maybe stopping off at the communist disco!
Telephone area code 012 (from outside Poland , dial 0048-12)
ul Nowowiejska 4. (
294 56 99. website
2nd Floor was created as a small guest house exclusively for the gay
tourist. Three guest rooms with IKEA furnishings in an apartment.
Shared kitchen (with fridge and microwave), bathroom and toilet. Three
tram stops from the centre. Local well-stocked supermarket 100 yards
away - and it is open literally 24/7. Free wireless internet connection for
your laptop and 60-channel colour TV in every room.
Exceptional value at prices from
15 (£10.16) per person a night! Summer rates slightly more.
Greg & Tom Hostel, ul
422 41 00. website
Gay-friendly hostel in the centre of the city (opposite the main train
station) that offers dorm (no bunk beds) accomodation and double rooms.
Recommended by Lonely Planet.
"All you can eat" breakfast is included. Evening meal is also offered.
ul. Warszawska 18.
16. website (English)
Located in the centre of Kraków close to the Old town, Market Square and
Railway/Bus Station. Clean and inexpensive guest rooms, all with en
suite showers, from
33 (£22) single or 42
(£29) double a night. Apartment is available for 80
(£53) a night.
Express by Holiday Inn, ul Opolska 14. (
614 57 00
Situated in the northern part of the city (about 7km - 4 miles) from
city centre. International Airport in Balice is 4km (2.5 miles away) and
close to the roads to Warsaw, Wroclaw and Katowice. Room rate varies, but a
double room can be as low as 44 (£30) a
ul. Lubicz 5. (
423 25 10 website
An "upscale" hotel,
but with reasonable rates. Located in the city centre. A double
room with ensuite facilities including jacuzzi starts at
77 (£52) per room/night, for a stay of two
days or more - and breakfast is included.
7 Klub, ul
Filipa 7. (
631 95 00
(in English) Main website
The oldest gay bar in Kraków - and frankly the
best! Mixed (male/female; young/old) About 5 minutes walk from centre and is in the basement.
Very stylish in a fairly "old fashioned" way. Dance area and no
smoking room. Drinks very reasonably priced - 5PLN (£0.80;
for a half litre (English pint) of draught lager! Bar snacks (a
toasted ham and cheese sandwich - actually you get two sandwiches - is
around 6.50PLN (£1 ; 1.52)
Open seven days a week from 6pm. Closes at 2am Sunday to Thursday and
at 5am on Friday and Saturday nights. Door charge of 5PLN (£0.80;
1.17) on Friday and Saturday, otherwise free
admission. Entrance to the 7 Klub can be difficult to find! Go into
the main door of ul Filipa 7 and the door to the club is the first on the
left - ring the doorbell to be let in!
A'Tak. Plac Szczepanski 2.
Gay pub/club is now closed
Ciemnia Club, ul Krowoderska 31. ( 0 692 651 311 (during opening hours).
website (English language option)
"Ciemnia" is Polish for "darkroom". Men only. Primarily a
sex club, but they do have a bar. Drinks expensive - about twice the
price of other bars. Few of the staff speak English and the place is
generally not too friendly to foreigners. But then, it is a ciemnia!
Admission price is 8PLN (£1.27 ; 1.87),
increased to 14PLN (£2.22; 3.27)
on Fridays and Saturdays. Open from 6pm to 5am every night except for
Wednesday and Thursday when it closes at 2am.
Kitsch Night Club, ul Wielopole 15 (second floor). (
422 52 99 website (in
Gay-friendly. With over 300 square metres of space, this club is
located on the second floor of an old tenement building, just opposite the
Jazz Club "U Muniaka". ul
Floriańska 3. (
This is one of the wonders of the world of jazz!
For connoisseurs, its truly a musical
sanctuary from the omni-present din of techno, rap and disco that engulfs us
these days, the club's website proclaims. And how right they are! The
proprietor is legendary Polish saxophonist
Janusz Muniak. Things get wild
around 9.30pm every Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Good food and a
'metric pint' (50cl) of draught Żywiec
beer for 6PLN (£1; 1.60)
Black & White Sex Shop, ul Westerplatte 3. (
429 20 91
Gay and Straight mixed, Cabins,
Dark/Backroom, Sex shop
Spartakus Sauna, ul Konopnickiej 20. (
266 60 22
The only gay sauna in the region and open since 1990. 500 sqm on 3 floors.
Finnish sauna and steam room, rest areas, cafeteria, solarium during the
summer, mini fitness, cabins and lockers, sun deck. A unique opportunity of
nude sun bath in the centre of the city with a view on Vistula river. Don't
expect a very modern sauna. The staff is friendly. Open Monday to
Saturday from 11 am to 11 pm and on Sundays from 2 pm to 9 pm.
Entrance fee 25PLN (£3.95; 5.85)