Whether you're a lover of culture, outdoor sports, or simply enjoy walking around the city, Krakow in October is a good choice. Temperatures usually hover around 10 degrees Celsius and although it often rains, you still have enough sunshine to enjoy an unforgettable trip.
Thereis always plenty to see and do in Krakow. In this post I'll tell you about the city's cultural offerings in October (there's theatre, lots of music, books) and the best outdoor activities in the city before winter arrives. If you're one of those who don't want to miss anything when you travel, read on!
1. Enjoy the Krakow Music Festival in unique surroundings
Krakow is a historic, medieval city. This makes it an unbeatable setting for the Krakow Music Festival.
In the city centre, on Rynek Square (imagine the setting: between the Gothic St. Mary's Basilica and the King's Castle) and the surrounding churches, this international festival of choral and orchestral music takes place between the end of September and the beginning of October.
In addition to the music, the concert venues create a unique atmosphere. If this series of church concerts whets your appetite for more, take a look at the ten most beautiful churches in Kraków.
- Where are they located? In the historical centre of the city, in Rynek Square and surroundings.
- When will it take place? Five days of concerts at the beginning of October. You can go to one concert or attend the whole festival.
- How much does it cost? Prices vary according to the concert or the number of concerts you want to attend. You have all the alternatives on the festival website
- Do I have to book? Yes, the number of places is limited.
- I recommend it if... you enjoy concerts in historical venues.
2. Find your next story at the International Book Fair
The Krakow International Book Fair is Poland's most important publishing event. If you like books and everything related to the world of publishing, you should not miss this event, which takes place at the end of October at the International Exhibition and Convention Center Expo Krakow.
The Krakow International Book Fair is a very popular event: visitors from many countries come to the city just for this event. If this is your case and you want to know how to get there from the airport, follow these tips for your trip to Krakow.
In addition to exhibitors with newly printed novelties from all over the world, you can enjoy talks and meetings with publishers, translators, booksellers and book lovers. And of course the authors, who are there presenting their works and talking to readers. A perfect plan to get your hands on the latest books and get them signed.
- Where? At the International Exhibition and Convention Center Expo Krakow. The address is Galicyjska 9.
- When? The exact dates change every year, but the Fair is held in mid to late October.
- Price: Please check the Fair website to confirm prices each year.
- Do I have to book? Yes, tickets are sold out.
- I recommend it if... you are a book lover.
3. Get swept away by the music of the 7 x Gospel Festiwal
The first thing that comes to mind when you think of gospel is African-American culture, but Krakow's religious tradition makes the city the perfect place to celebrate this incredible gospel festival.
With the support of the Polish Ministry of Culture, the organisation of the festival is going to be 20 times. Most of the artists are of Polish origin, but other nationalities are not excluded. If you are interested in this music, there are also talks, meetings, workshops... and above all a lot of rhythm.
- When does it take place? Mid-October.
- Where will the concerts take place? The concerts in this series are held in various venues, such as the Krakow Hall (address: Al. Focha 40) or the Pauline Monastery (ul. Skaleczna, 15).
- Price: Many of the concerts are free. I recommend you check the organisation's website for exact details.
- Do I have to book? For concerts where booking is possible, I advise you to do so.
- I recommend it if... you are in the mood for an unforgettable musical evening.
4. Get your mouth wide open at an experimental theatre series
Throughout the month of October a festival for lovers of the performing arts is organised in the Rotunda Centre theatre. It is called Kraków Theatrical Reminiscences and is a cycle of experimental and avant-garde theatre that has been held since 1975.
Every year the programme includes the best of Polish theatre along with performances from other countries. Every year the programme is organised around a specific motif or theme. For more than 40 years it has been filling the halls with new ideas for telling stories on stage. It's sure to get a round of applause.
- Where? Many performances are held at the Rotunda Cultural Centre, which is located at 1 Oleandry St., although the organisers try to include new venues every year.
- When: When? When: Although the specific dates vary from year to year, the festival is held throughout October.
- Price: Prices vary depending on the show you are interested in.
- Do I have to book? You can buy tickets at the box office, but I advise you to book so you don't miss the show you want.
- I recommend it if... you are interested in contemporary Polish culture and performing arts.
5. Discover your hidden treasure at the Krakow Flea Market
Whenever I go to a city I always like to visit its markets, and the open-air markets in Krakow are mythical. You can find everything: antiques, vinyl, souvenirs, rarities of all kinds. Let yourself be surprised by the stalls and the atmosphere, it's a unique way to get to know Krakow.
October is the perfect month to rummage through the stalls: without the hustle and bustle of the high season and with temperatures that still allow you to enjoy the open air. The market is held on Sundays in the Market Hall (Hala Targowa). Don't miss it!
- Where is it? At the Market Hall (Hala Targowa).
- When? On Sundays.
- Price: Free of charge.
- Is it necessary to book? No, the market is held in a large open-air area. All you have to do is go there and start enjoying your Sunday.
- I recommend it if... you love to find rarities and little treasures.
6. Get a taste of new sounds at Unsound festival
The Unsound festival is a showcase for contemporary music of new creations. It was founded in 2003 and since then has been growing even internationally. Its experimental style makes it difficult to classify and has built a reputation for pushing innovative styles.
These concerts are quite an experience. If you're interested in contemporary music, great, I'm sure you know what I'm talking about. If you feel like giving it a try, the Unsound Festival is a unique opportunity to get a taste of musical experimentation. Enjoy!
- Where does it take place? The festival's concerts are held at various venues in Kraków. It is famous for reusing abandoned spaces as concert venues.
- When does it take place? Mid-October.
- Price: Prices vary depending on the concert you are interested in.
- Do you have to book? Yes, it is better to buy your ticket in advance.
- I recommend it if... you enjoy being surprised by new experiences.
7. Visit a classic: Sacrum Profanum Festival
The Sacrum Profanum is a very special music festival
which takes place in Krakow in October. It is famous for not only offering classical music masterpieces, but also jazz music and a wide repertoire of 20th century music. It is one of the most popular cultural events in the Polish capital and one of the most popular with the public.
The aim of the festival, which has been held since 2003, is to disseminate musical culture and enjoy a varied and select programme. If you are a music lover, you can't miss it.
- Where: At the ICE Kraków Congress Centre. At the ICE Kraków Congress Centre. The address is ul. Konopnickiej 17.
- When will it take place? Early October.
- Price: Prices vary depending on the concert you want to attend.
- Do I have to book? Yes, reservations are required.
- I recommend it if... you want to treat yourself to a good concert.
8. Tour Krakow on two wheels
Krakow is a perfect city for bike lovers. The streets are perfectly adapted so that you can get everywhere on two wheels and October is the perfect month to cycle around the city: it's not crowded like in summer and not covered in snow like in winter. It's also a very flat city, so you don't have to go up and down hills to see the old facades of the city centre.
You can take a beautiful tour of the city centre, cycling through the old town and Planty Park (the city's largest park). You can rent a bike at many points in the city.
- Where to go? In the centre of Krakow there are many places to rent bicycles.
- When? Check the weather forecast before planning a cycling trip. October is a great time to enjoy this activity, but there is a chance of rain.
- Price: You can rent a touring bike for about 40 zlotis for about 5 hours.
- Is it necessary to book? In general it is not necessary.
- I recommend it if... you are a good cyclist and enjoy cycling.
9. Take home a unique souvenir: the sunrise in Krakow
There are four mounds around the city of Kraków. The best known is called Kopiec, located in the Nowa Huta district. It is a historical site, as legend has it that the remains of Princess Wanda, who drowned in the Vistula River, rest there.
Leaving aside the legend, what is clear is that from the top you can see the sunset or sunrise over the old city. It's a worthwhile visit and October is probably the last time of the year when you can enjoy this excursion. The winter months are too cold, and Kraków's skies are often overcast, so it's not so appealing to start the day outdoors. Take advantage of this opportunity if your visit coincides with a week of good weather!
- Where is it? The Wanda mound is located in the Nowa Huta district of Kraków.
- When does it happen? In Krakow, the sun rises at around 7am in October.
- Price: It is free of charge.
- Is it necessary to book? No, the entrance is free.
- I recommend it if... you want to get an unforgettable view.
10. Enjoy the city on the banks of the Vistula River
Visiting Krakow in October gives you the possibility of alternating cultural plans such as theatres or museums with other outdoor alternatives, which you won't be able to do if you travel in winter. If you add to this the fact that the city has beautiful spots, such as the banks of the Vistula, you can take advantage of the last days of autumn weather to enjoy a picnic.
The river that runs through Kraków is the perfect place to take a break and get to know the city at a leisurely pace. Eating on its banks, sitting on the grassy benches, is a Kraków summer classic that you can still enjoy in October. Just bring a picnic blanket to sit on the grass and a warm coat.
Or, if you already have lunch plans, you can enjoy a break in the beautiful scenery and go for a sporting break or a walk at your leisure before the landscape is covered in snow.
- Where to go? In the section of the city that bathes the Vistula.
- When? Whenever you want, weather permitting.
- Price: It's free.
- Do I have to book? No, the entrance to the park is free.
- I recommend it if... you like to observe cities in peace and quiet and discover how their inhabitants live.
Krakow temperatures in October
October is the beginning of the middle season for tourism in Kraków. After the warmth of summer, the weather has started to turn cold. However, it is not yet winter, so you may be lucky and your trip may fall on days of up to 18 degrees Celsius. In that case you will be able to enjoy the beautiful walks around the city on foot.
However, it is likely to be cold. The average October temperature in Kraków is around 9°C during the day (at night, the average temperature drops to around 5°C). It tends to be cloudy and rainy for about half the days of the month. I recommend that you check the forecasts a week in advance so that you are well prepared.
Cracow's tourist flow in October
Most tourists choose to visit Kraków in summer, so in October you can enjoy the city without the crowds. Also, the winter cold has not yet set in (the snow season in Krakow usually starts in November), so it's a good time to get to know the city.
However, the hours of sunshine are no longer the same as in summer. They are still long compared to the winter months, but by 19:00 it's already dark. One advantage you can enjoy if you choose October to see Kraków is watching the leaves fall from the trees. Polish autumn offers visitors an uncrowded city with good travelling weather.
Prices in Krakow in October
Remember that they don't use the euro in Poland, so it's important to withdraw money from cash machines (agencies sometimes charge extra fees). That said, Krakow is not an expensive destination. On the contrary, there are low-cost airlines and, once you're in the city, you can stay and eat reasonably cheaply.
The high season ended in October, so you can find accommodation for cheaper than in August. Krakow is a very touristy city, so there's plenty on offer: you can find double rooms in well-located hotels for around €50 a night, and if you don't mind not staying in the historic centre, you can find a room for around half that.
Do you find these tips useful? Here's everything you need to know to travel to Krakow wellprepared and avoid travel mishaps.
What to pack for Krakow in October
Krakow's weather in October is changing from summer to winter. It is the end of the tourist season, which starts in May. Chances are that it will already be cold and you will encounter clouds and rain. That's why I recommend you to be well prepared: Pack a thin jumper in your suitcase like the ones you're wearing in Spain at this time of year, but don't forget to pack winter clothes as well. Of course, your suitcase will depend on what you plan to do in Krakow in autumn.
To enjoy your trip, it is essential that you pack warmly if you visit Krakow in October. I don't just mean a good coat: take a hat and gloves, a good mackintosh or umbrella and a spare pair of shoes. That way you can enjoy the city comfortably, without getting (too) cold. It's unlikely, but sometimes snowfalls come early and cover Krakow in October instead of November.
And if you haven't got your dates set yet and are deciding when is the best time to travel to Krakow, I'll tell you all the pros and cons of each season, so you can choose the perfect time for your trip.
Alternative plans to visit Krakow in October
Krakow is a city with a lot to offer. It has history, architecture, nature, gastronomy... and October is the perfect time to enjoy it. In addition to the plans I've just told you about, I think you might be interested in these alternatives:
- When you travel to Krakow, there are some excursions that are really worthwhile, such as a visit to the salt mines. They were declared a National Heritage Site by UNESCO and are an impressive excavation 300 metres below the ground just 12 kilometres from Krakow. If you have time to get out of the city, I recommend it 100%.
- One activity that I really enjoy when I travel is a gastronomic tour. Polish cuisine is varied and surprising. Let yourself be conquered and... enjoy!
- I recommend you to find out about the tours that organise excursions around the Polish capital. It's a very convenient way to make sure you don't miss anything.