Krakow is a city that’s steeped in regal history and packed with unique culture. If you’re looking for an off-the-radar European destination to explore, then the Polish city of Krakow should be high up on your bucket list!
Krakow is known as Poland’s Royal City, although you may have already noticed that it’s not actually the Polish capital. Since the 16th century, that honor has fallen to Krakow’s traditional rival, Warsaw. But there are still few other European cities that have preserved such flair and heritage as Krakow has.
You’ll love how much there is to explore in Krakow’s Old Town, where you’ll find ancient basilicas, Gothic cathedrals, and colorful townhouses. Overlooking the Old Town is Wawel Hill, where you can visit Krakow’s cathedral and royal castle, where, traditionally, the Polish kings and queens of old would be crowned.
Polish royalty left an indelible mark on Krakow, but so did the ravages of World War II and the later socialist era. During your stay in the city, you can uncover Krakow’s often-contrasting modern history. A contemporary art gallery stands next to the remains of Oskar Schindler’s Enamel Factory, for example, and the harrowing Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial is just a short drive into the countryside.
There’s much more to see and do in this glorious Polish city, and there are some beautiful places to stay during your trip. To inspire your next getaway, here’s our guide to the best places to stay in Krakow!
Don’t forget to check out our web story: The 12 Best Boutique Hotels in Krakow, Poland
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Where to stay in Krakow
If you’re wondering where to stay in Krakow, then we’ve got you covered with our detailed guide to the city’s best and coolest boutique hotels! Krakow has a rich, interesting, and regal history, and you can rest assured that the best hotels are guaranteed to make you feel like Polish royalty!
Among the townhouses and palaces of Krakow’s UNESCO World Heritage-listed Old Town (or the Stare Miasto), you’re spoiled for accommodation options. The Old Town dates back 1,000 years, and many of the oldest buildings and royal residences have been transformed into beautiful boutique hotels over the centuries.
The oldest hotel in Krakow opened in the 17th century, and many more of the Old Town’s buildings are an extravagant display of Gothic, Baroque, and Renaissance architecture dating from the 12th century to the present. If it’s history you’re looking for, then Krakow’s hotels have this in abundance!
Krakow’s best boutique hotels merge heritage-listed facades and period furnishings with sleek, modern, and stylish decor and amenities, but if it’s contemporary design you prefer, then you’ve also come to the right place.
Branch away from the traditional streets of the Old Town, and in the Kazimierz district (the former Jewish Quarter), you’ll find up-and-coming boutiques, quirky hotels, and an excellent selection of cafes, bistros, and bars. Travel further afield, and you can enjoy fabulous five-star luxury in Krakow’s greenest areas right on the edge of the city.
If you’re planning a Polish vacation, then keep reading as we count down the 12 best boutique hotels in Krakow!
The 12 Best Boutique Hotels in Krakow
Are you looking to stay somewhere truly unique in Krakow? Then Hotel Pod Roza is guaranteed to please! This glamorous boutique hotel is not only one of the best hotels in Krakow, it’s also the oldest, with a long and exalted history dating back to the 17th century.
You’ll love how Hotel Pod Roza takes you back to a bygone era while providing all the comforts and luxuries that every traveler expects from a five-star hotel. Hotel Pod Roza was originally designed in the style of a Renaissance palace, and many of these original features have been retained well into the 21st century.
You’ll be staying in the same rooms that have been graced by such historical figures as the Russian Czar Alexander II and the French novelist Honoré de Balzac. You’ll appreciate the Italian-inspired decor and old-world charms.
Plus, you can upgrade to a luxury apartment or suite if you prefer a little understated decadence and a little more space. All guests are welcome to use the modern spa and fitness facilities, while the Pod Roza Restaurant serves up a fine dining tasting menu alongside an extensive selection of aged wines from their Vinoteka.
As you would expect from Krakow’s oldest hotel, Hotel Pod Roza has a seriously unbeatable location right in the heart of the city. You’ll find the hotel blends seamlessly with the architecture of Krakow’s UNESCO World Heritage-listed Old Town, and you’ll love that you’re just a short stroll away from Market Square and the Cloth Hall.
If you’re a big fan of historical hotels, then you can’t beat a vacation at Krakow’s famous Hotel Copernicus. This is one of the most unique Krakow hotels, and it’s named for the legendary astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus who is said to have once stayed in one of the rooms.
Copernicus would have visited long before this was a hotel because the Renaissance-era building was once part of Krakow’s Cathedral Chapel. You’ll find that Hotel Copernicus still sits in the shadow of Wawel Hill, the cathedral, and the Royal Castle, with a beautiful (and convenient) location on the oldest street in the Old Town!
Today, Hotel Copernicus is a five-star luxury spa hotel, and you’ll love how the modern amenities contrast wonderfully with historic elements and features. The hotel was lovingly restored to its former glory, and the high, vaulted ceilings and dark, wooden furniture are designed to emulate the days of old.
You’ll feel like royalty in the marble-floored and stonewalled bathrooms. Plus, you’ll be astounded by the Gothic-style Copernicus Spa, which has been carved from the ancient cellars below the hotel. The spa offers L’Occitane branded oils and cosmetics, but the real highlight is the underground indoor swimming pool that’s surrounded by Gothic archways.
Have a massage, swim a few laps, then prepare for an evening of fine dining at the Copernicus Restaurant. Led by Head Chef Marcin Filipkiewicz, the hotel’s gourmet kitchen prepares an ever-changing and seasonal tasting menu that puts a modern spin on traditional Polish cuisine.
3. Hotel Stary
Hotel Stary is one of the coolest hotels in Krakow, thanks to the rooftop Sky Bar, which offers some of the best views of the Old Town! Check into your boutique, luxury room, then order up cocktails or a glass of wine while you gaze out over the townhouses, spires, and colorful architecture of Krakow’s UNESCO World Heritage-listed Old Town.
Hotel Stary might be trendy, but it’s certainly no newcomer to Krakow. You’ll find that your hotel room, while undoubtedly modern in terms of comforts and amenities, faithfully retains the building’s opulent 19th-century palatial character. The 53 rooms feature freestanding bathtubs, antique beds, soft, silky linens, and sleek parquet flooring.
But this historic building is much older even than the 19th century, with the foundations dating back to at least the 15th century. This was originally an old merchant’s house, and below ground, you can still find the Gothic archways of the medieval cellars and storehouses. Underneath those archways, you’ll find two gloriously designed indoor swimming pools, as well as a steam room, sauna, and Krakow’s only salt-iodine therapy chamber!
While the Sky Bar is the place to go for panoramas, the hotel’s best food is served underground. The focus at Trzy Rybki – which means “Three Fishes” – is seasonal Polish cuisine, and the chefs serve up a delectable selection of dishes such as white borscht with smoked fish, dumplings with lamb, and trout in an olive oil and anchovy sauce.
If it’s modernity you love, then Hotel Unicus Palace has it all! Plus, it’s set right in the middle of Krakow’s Old Town.
It would be cliché to say that this is where modern luxury collides with Krakow’s history and heritage, but you’ll quickly understand that’s an undeniable truth. Hotel Unicus Palace offers five-star service, comforts, and amenities, all just a short stroll from Market Square.
The first thing you’ll notice is the elegant modern exterior, where tall glass archways and paneling contrast wonderfully with the heritage-listed townhouses that surround the hotel. There are 60 boutique rooms available, all of which are minimalist in design and feature deep purple, blue, and lilac decor that’s arrayed against lighter backgrounds and furnishings.
We know you’re going to love the ultra-luxe spa facilities, where local Polish cosmetics and traditional treatments are designed to relax you in a quiet, peaceful, and serene setting. Unwind in the sauna, sit back in the Jacuzzi, and enjoy the modern comforts of the Spa Zone.
We know that you’re also going to love the food at Hotel Unicus Palace. Start the day with a buffet breakfast, freshen up with a coffee or cocktail in the lobby bar, then enjoy gourmet classics served with Polish twists for dinner at the Unique Taste Restaurant.
5. AC Hotel
The AC Hotel is one of the most unique hotels in Krakow, and we know you’re going to love the modern vibes and futuristic architecture of this Marriott boutique hotel.
AC Hotel’s luxury rooms rise above a central square that’s best described as an “urban oasis,” where you’ll find both greenery and space in abundance. The hotel itself is located outside the city center, in an area of parkland known as the “green lungs of Krakow.” It certainly makes a welcome change from the narrow and busy streets of the Old Town.
From your spacious balcony, you’ll have views of the hotel’s sleek facade and the green parks around you. The interior of your room is just as sleek as the hotel’s exterior design, with pinewood decor and minimalist furnishings combining to create a natural, airy atmosphere that emulates the gardens below.
After a day of sightseeing in Krakow, you’ll appreciate the hotel’s excellent amenities like never before. Relax with a massage, sauna session, or a dip in the Aliento Spa’s indoor pool before enjoying an evening of casual wine and tapas at the Spanish-inspired Sobremesa Restaurant.
If you love chic designs, then you’re going to love the Balthazar Design Hotel. This is one of the most unique hotels in Krakow, and no two rooms inside this beautiful boutique hotel are ever the same.
The Balthazar Design Hotel takes the concept of Art Deco to new and dizzying heights. The humble exterior of the hotel dates back to 1870 when an older building dating back to the 16th century was upgraded and renovated at the foot of Wawel Hill in Krakow’s Old Town.
Step through the charming but understated entranceway into the historic townhouse, and you’ll be greeted with a flurry of bright and vibrant colors designed to awaken the senses and expel monotony.
Check-in and then settle into your Art Deco room, and you’ll enjoy the comfort of the soft fabrics and plush furnishings that contrast wonderfully with the dark blue hues of duvets and the spectacular floral headboards. Each of the hotel’s rooms is different in character, but each offers five-star luxury to weary travelers.
The most outlandish designs are waiting for you in the hotel’s restaurant, where tables are arrayed across a bed of autumnal leaves, and the surrounding decor is an Art Deco dream! The food at Restaurant Fiorentina is just as vibrant, and you can start the day with a special “Cracovian Breakfast” of Polish sausage, prosecco, and eggs benedict. If you’re craving more, then finish the day with a Bistecca Alla Fiorentina.
Kazimierz is Krakow’s most up-and-coming district, and it’s safe to say that you’ll find some of the city’s best boutique hotels in this trendy neighborhood that lies just outside the Old Town.
One of the best boutique hotels in Krakow is Puro Krakow Kazimierz, which is run by Poland’s coolest, sleekest hotel brand. You’ll love how the stylish rooms are designed by Conran & Partners to offer comfort while simultaneously evoking an artistic atmosphere. Bright windows flood the rooms with light and highlight the colorful artwork that hangs above the beds, desks, and sofas.
You can control your room’s hi-tech amenities through the touch screen tablet, with 43-inch televisions offering Chromecast entertainment when you just want a night in. You can enjoy a relaxed breakfast of shakshuka and bagels at MAK, the hotel’s casual yet modern bistro. Or, you can step up your dining experience at Halicka Eatery & Bar, where roasted pumpkin is served with Polish wasabi.
Make the most of this boutique hotel’s free bicycle rentals to explore Kazimierz and the Old town, or spend your day relaxing or working out in the Prisma Spa, which offers a sauna, steam bath, and fitness center.
Enjoy a regal stay in Krakow when you check into Hotel H15 Luxury Palace. This five-star boutique hotel is nestled among the historic streets of the Old Town, and you’ll be pleased to know that in a previous life, the hotel was indeed a palace!
Hotel H15 Luxury Palace was formerly known as the Lubomirski Palace, and it was built in Krakow’s Renaissance era when opulence and luxury were at the top of the agenda. The hotel itself was recently redesigned in 2020, but you’ll love how the historic 16th-century character of the palace blends beautifully with modern and luxurious amenities.
Rooms at Hotel H15 Luxury Palace feature smooth parquet flooring overlaid with plush rugs and throws, while the bathrooms are decked out with ornate stone and marble surfaces alongside heated mirrors and heated floors. The beds are made for an exceptional night’s sleep, but if it’s serious relaxation you crave, then head down to the spa, where you can enjoy the refreshing comforts of a heated indoor swimming pool, a Jacuzzi, steam bath, and sauna.
One of Krakow’s best hotels is without a doubt the Bonerowski Palace, which looks directly over the Old Town’s historic Market Square. Book the best rooms in the palace, and you’ll have uninterrupted views of the famous Cloth Hall and sweeping panoramas over the hustle and bustle of St. Mary’s Basilica and the surrounding townhouses. If you’re looking for a central location, then this is it!
You can enjoy five-star luxury at the Bonerowski Palace, which is set in a palatial building that dates far back to the 13th century. The hotel mixes historic Gothic architecture with Baroque and Renaissance features that take guests on a sweeping journey through Krakow’s medieval history. This is one of Krakow’s most beautiful buildings, but you’ll be just as awed by the elegant facade as you are by the colorful, historic, yet modern interior of your boutique room.
You’ll love the menu at Amalia Brasserie, where a simple yet winning choice of fish and steak dishes makes this one of the Old Town’s busiest restaurants. There’s seabass, sea bream, and salmon for the fish fans, while steak connoisseurs can go for the Black Angus Tomahawk. After dinner, head to the vaults below ground, where you can enjoy jazz music and drinks at the St. John Cocktail Club.
Hotel Polski Pod Bialym Orlem is a regal boutique hotel that’s fit for the Polish kings and queens of old. Like many of Krakow’s Old Town hotels, this place is both historic and palatial. You’ll love feeling like medieval royalty as you wander through elegant corridors and marvel at Renaissance artwork.
In fact, we’d say this is one for the art and history lovers because the hotel is packed with portraits of Polish nobility, landscape paintings of famous events from Poland’s past, and suits of armor fit for a medieval knight. The hotel is also right next door to the Old Town’s famous Florian Gate and the Czartoryski Museum, which is home to Leonardo Da Vinci’s Lady with an Ermine painting.
Rooms at Hotel Polski Pod Bialym Orlem will throw you back through the centuries, with gorgeous period paintings gracing the walls and plush drapes and decor evoking a timeless sense of an Imperial age that’s long since ended. The traditional feeling continues in the hotel’s Pijarska 17 restaurant, where hearty Polish cuisine is served throughout the day.
11. Hotel Grodek
Rooftop terrace? Check. Old Town location? Check. Elegant library and period features? Check. Five-star luxury? Double-check! Hotel Grodek has everything you could ever want from a luxury boutique hotel, which is why it’s one of the top hotels in Krakow!
This beautiful boutique is one of Krakow’s finest historic hotels, with a facade that dates back centuries and an interior that very much retains a unique old-world charm. The hotel draws on Krakow’s noble past, and you’ll love how each of the individually designed rooms features antique furnishings, traditional floral decor, and regal portraits and paintings.
Enjoy panoramic views and Polish cuisine on the rooftop terrace, or unwind after a day out in Krakow with a soothing sauna session. Order a fine whisky or the best Polish vodka, then sit back in a plush chair in the hotel’s communal library and living room and admire the dusty tomes of Polish literature that surround you.
If you love a spacious apartment, then we highly recommend checking into a suite at the Orlowska Townhouse. Located just a short stroll from Krakow’s Market Square, these luxury apartments have everything you need to enjoy a unique home away from home during your stay in Poland.
These apartments probably have more than you need, if we’re being honest. Not only are they incredibly spacious, but they are fully equipped with a modern kitchen and all the utensils and appliances required to try your hand at cooking up a few home-cooked Polish dishes.
The different apartments and suites feature different layouts, with enough space in the largest for families or groups of friends to enjoy an extended vacation in Krakow. While the amenities are modern, you might be intrigued to learn that the townhouse itself dates back to the 17th century. Each of the apartments has its own unique historical character and boasts antique chairs, tables, and beds, alongside period decor and artwork.
That completes our list of the 12 best Krakow hotels! Did we miss any cool boutique hotels in Krakow? Comment below so we can add them to the list!
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