Wadowice is a town located in the Lesser Region of Poland just 52 km southwest of Krakow. Known the world over for its medieval monuments, wooden churches and mountain scenery, a visit to Wadowice is one of the best things to do in Krakow if you are interested in exploring other parts of Poland.
Here are the Wadowice sightseeing options available in the city of Krakow, the attractions you can't miss and why it's worth a visit.
1. Half day excursion to Wadowice from Krakow.
Wadowice is a small town famous for being the birthplace of Pope John Paul II. It is one of the most popular visits for pilgrims visiting Poland as well as for curious tourists who wish to learn about the history and religious tradition of the Central European areas.
As a result, it has become one of the best tours and excursions from Krakow. Its main attractions are located in close proximity to each other and a tour of a few hours is usually enough to see all the important sights.
Note that the tour itinerary may vary depending on the company you hire for the experience.
Still, some of the highlights you could expect to see are Pope John Paul's family home, which functions as a museum and can be toured by visitors, the city's main square named John Paul II Square in honour of the pope, the Minor Basilica, the Shrine of Divine Mercy and the Kalwaria Zebrzydowska Shrine.
Most of the organising companies offer direct hotel pick-up. The tours are organised in small groups of travellers and leave Krakow early in the morning in order to make the most of the day's excursion.
- Price: This type of experience is available from €80 per traveller.
- Duration of tour: This is the shortest tour compared to other alternatives, so you should reserve half a day or 6 hours to complete this experience.
- Recommended if... You are on a short 3-day trip to Krakow or less and want to take advantage of some of the most notable sights. This tour can be done in half a day and can easily be combined with other experiences.
2. One day tour of Wadowice and Czestochowa from Krakow
Another interesting alternative tour from Krakow is a day trip to Wadowice and Czestochowa.
As you will see, this is a very special tour with a deep spiritual meaning, designed for travellers with an interest in the Catholic religion.
Although both cities are located in different directions from Krakow, it is clear that they are of great importance to the religion and history of the Catholic faith in Europe.
On the one hand Wadowice is famous as the birthplace of Pope John Paul II, while Czestochowa is considered the religious capital of Poland.
These tours depart from the city early in the morning, which is why most companies in Poland offer direct pick-up from your hotel in the centre of Krakow.
If you are up for it, you will be able to visit the above-mentioned villages to see important sites such as the house of Pope John Paul II, the miraculous Black Madonna and many other places of interest.
Finally, you will find that, due to its popularity, the tour is conducted with guides in several languages, including Spanish, English, Italian and French.
- Price: The price varies slightly depending on the number of travellers; large group tours are available from €90 and smaller groups from €140.
- Duration of tour: Due to the itinerary, this tour takes about 10-12 hours to complete, so you should reserve at least 1 full day for the experience.
- Recommended if... You want to make the most of your time in Krakow and want to explore the surrounding area.
3. Day trip to Wadowice and Kalwaria from Krakow.
A visit to Wadowice and Kalwaria from Krakow is another interesting alternative excursion to do during your visit to the city.
The tour is known by local companies as "The Pope John Paul II Route", as it includes two places in Poland that marked the life and youth of the important religious leader.
First you will have the opportunity to visit Wadowice, the town southwest of Krakow known as the birthplace of the pope.
Then you will visit Kalwaria Zebrzydowska, one of the most interesting areas of Central Europe, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999.
This town is known as the place where John Paul II received his religious training and is only a 20-minute drive from Wadowice.
Although the specific details of the tour itinerary may vary slightly depending on the company you hire for the experience, you will find companies in Krakow that offer both group and private tours, with private tours being more expensive than traditional tours.
Tours leave the city fairly early in the morning to make the most of the time. Finally, most companies offer this tour in English, but you may be able to find companies that offer the experience in several languages.
Some useful information
- Price: The cheapest tour option is around €70 per traveller. This is for groups of approximately 20 travellers or more. The private tour can cost up to €330 for two travellers in a private vehicle.
- Duration of the tour: It may vary slightly depending on the company you hire for the experience, but you should book between 5 to 7 hours approximately.
- Recommended if... Your main interest in touring this part of Poland is not only for the religious background but also for the life and history of Pope John Paul II himself. You will find this tour entirely focused on his life in Poland very interesting.
4. Day trip to Wadowice, Kalwaria and Łagiewniki from Krakow.
This tour combines the Wadowice experiences available from Krakow into one tour. Thus, you will be able to visit three of the places around Kraków with the greatest weight for the history of Catholicism in Central Europe: Wadowice, Kalwaria and Łagiewniki.
Wadowice is known as the birthplace of Pope John Paul II, while Kalwaria was his place of formation. Finally, in the district of Łagiewniki you will have the opportunity to visit the Shrine of Divine Mercy, which is visited every year by millions of pilgrims from all over the world.
Łagiewniki is located northeast of Wadowice at a distance of approximately 45 km.
The specific details of the experience may vary depending on the company you hire for the tour. However, they all start the adventure early in the morning to make the most of the tour time.
Some additional aspects that are often not included in the price are the accompaniment of a guide at historical sites, food and tips.
- Price: From 100€ for group tours.
- Duration of tour: Depending on the company you book with, you should allow between 08 and 10 hours for the experience.
- Recommended if... You have taken the most popular sightseeing tours in Krakow, including a visit to the Wieliczka Salt Mine or an Auschwitz tour from Krakow.
What I will see on this type of tour
Wadowice and the surrounding area is known throughout the world for offering the traveller an impressive cultural environment of great spiritual significance.
Since the beginning of the 17th century a number of symbolic places of worship related to the Passion of Jesus Christ and the Virgin Mary have been arranged in the area. These places have remained virtually unchanged over time and today constitute an important pilgrimage site for devotees of Catholicism.
Finally, Wadowice, despite its small size, is famous as the birthplace of Pope John Paul II. Visitors come to the area to explore their own faith and to learn about the life of the supreme pontiff during his early years.
Tips for an excursion to Wadowice from Krakow
If you want to undertake this type of experience there are a few tips to consider before your trip. Consider them in addition to other important Krakow travel tips and prepare for the most amazing holiday.
Wear comfortable walking shoes
Although you will find that Wadowice and the surrounding areas are actually small towns, once you get there you will have to walk quite a bit from one point to another.
My recommendation is to wear the most comfortable shoes possible so that you can move around all day without experiencing sore feet. In the same vein, carry water with you, so that you stay hydrated at all times.
Whenever possible, make your reservation in advance.
When organising your holiday in Krakow you can book most tours online. This is an invaluable resource if you like to have your itinerary fully organised and also if you decide to visit Poland during peak tourist seasons such as the summer months in Krakow.
Enjoy the local food
Whether you have the opportunity to visit Wadowice or explore other nearby towns, I highly recommend sampling the local food. This whole area of Poland is known for its attachment to ancient customs and its desire to maintain Polish culture through its cuisine.
However, if you don't have the opportunity or desire to try traditional recipes on your trip to Wadowice, an excellent alternative is to explore the best restaurants in Krakow for delicious dishes.
What are the advantages of taking a guided tour vs. visiting Wadowice from Krakow on my own?
Seeing Wadowice from Krakow on a guided tour is the smartest decision and recommended in several scenarios: firstly, if it is your first time visiting Poland and you don't have much experience getting around.
Secondly, consider an organised tour if you are not fluent in languages such as Polish or English beyond simple basic expressions...
These languages are the ones used to communicate with the locals, but in tour operating companies you will find trained staff fluent in other languages including Spanish, French, German and Italian.
Finally, the organised tour is the perfect alternative for those who want to simplify their holiday planning as much as possible.
By hiring a tour company, essential aspects such as transport to and from Wadowice, the route to follow and the itinerary are fully organised, so your only concern is to show up at your destination on the agreed date and time.