The best feature of Holiday Inn Krakow City Centre is its location only a couple hundred meters from Old Town Krakow in one direction and less than ten minutes walk to to the trendy café/pub/arts area of Kazimierz, the historic Jewish center of the city. The hotel ranks as #37 of 258 Krakow hotels on TripAdvisor.com.
Holiday Inn Krakow City Centre Hotel
Krakow KRK Airport Arrival
We really had no idea what to expect upon arrival at the Krakow Airport. I knew there was a train from the airport to the city and that was about it. The first challenge was getting a train ticket. There are automated machines in the arrivals section of the airport and at the train tracks platform.
Krakow Airport looked modern and clean with easy access from the airport terminal to the train platform without having to leave the covered interior of the airport.
The train reaches Krakow city center train station in 5 stops and about 20 minutes.
This is not your train ticket.
On the train with our luggage we relaxed in the comfortable cushioned seats, until the woman checking train tickets came by. I handed her my paper ticket from the automated machine and she looked at it and said in broken English, “This is not a train ticket.”
I looked at the paper and realized this was my credit card receipt and the only paper I had seen come out of the ticket machine. She laughed and said something in Polish to the other people on the train and they laughed too. As she stood there waiting, I pulled out my credit card to show her that it was the same credit card number on the receipt. She laughed again and went on to the next train car. I did not have to buy two more tickets.
Welcome to Poland.
The cost for the train ticket from Krakow Airport to city center was 8 PLZ or $2.00 USD per person.
Important to know is the train station is called Krakow Glowny.
Krakow Glowny – Central Station.
The largest grocery store I found during our six days in Krakow was the Carrefour in the Galeria shopping center seen in the photo above. The train station is accessible from multiple points inside the modern multi-floor shopping mall.
The worst part of our time in Krakow was the 15 minute walk from the train station to the Holiday Inn hotel in a torrential rain storm. The rain fell so hard that afternoon that the Sunday penultimate stage of the men’s Tour of Poland cycling race was canceled that day. The next day we saw the final stage of the 8-day race as it finished with a Krakow time-trial. Fortunately, that first afternoon was the only day it rained during our stay in Krakow.
Holiday Inn Krakow
The hotel was being remodeled during our stay with part of the lobby closed off near the elevators. We had a 5-night stay and our room was on the first floor, which in Europe usually means the second floor, in a corner interior with no view except white walls. We called it the dungeon. I considered requesting a different room, but in the end we spent very little time in the room except for night sleeping and it was not too bad having a dark room in the morning after experiencing mostly sleepless nights in the 21 hours of July daylight during our previous five nights in Stockholm.
There was a conference at the hotel the first few days of our stay. In general the hotel did not seem busy. As an IHG Rewards Club Platinum elite I received two drink coupons for the bar and we returned the first night after dinner to find some sweets and a fruit plate on the table in the room.
We did not redeem the drink coupons until midnight of our last night at the hotel when we had a fascinating conversation with the young bartender about life and work in and around Krakow.
Holiday Inn Krakow courtyard entrance
Similar to my stay at Holiday Inn Brno, Czech Republic last year, the breakfast prices for the Holiday Inn Krakow are outrageously high compared to restaurants and cafes all around the hotel. As I recall, the price of the breakfast buffet was something like $15 to $17 USD when that is about the equivalent price for eating a full dinner at a fine dining restaurant in Krakow.
The fitness room is on the 7th floor and only had a few pieces of equipment.
Holiday Inn Krakow Room Rates
Holiday Inn Krakow is a great location for a tourist with the Krakow Old Town Main Square only five minutes walk in one direction and Kazimierz about ten minutes walk in another direction for the main nightlife area of Krakow.
Old Town Krakow
Arts and bars in Kazimierz area of Krakow at night.
Holiday Inn Krakow City Centre is 15,000 IHG Rewards Club points per night. I booked 5 nights for 75,000 points.
The room rate at the time I booked for a July peak season stay was $151 USD per night. The ability to buy points for around $6 per 1,000 through IHG Rewards Club purchase points discounts or by Points & Cash reward stays made using points a far better option than paying the cash rate.
I would be fine booking this hotel again. The only other chain hotel I saw while in Krakow was the Radisson Blu Krakow, located on the opposite side of the Old Town main square, near Wawel Castle. The interior of Radisson Blu Krakow looked more upscale, but I did not see any real advantage to the location compared to the Holiday Inn.
Google Maps: Krakow, Poland with Holiday Inn Krakow pin. Stare Miasto ‘Old Town’ is surrounded by a narrow, tree-lined green belt where the medieval walls of the city once stood. The Train station is directly above the Holiday Inn pin just out of map view above the word ‘Krakow’. Kazimierz is directly south of Holiday Inn. This area occupied our time for six days with only one time venturing south across the Vistula River to visit Podgorze and the Schindler Enamelworks Factory Museum. Podgorze was the walled Jewish ghetto created by the Nazis during WWII. Stephen Spielberg’s movie Schindler’s List depicts this ghetto and life in Krakow for the Jews during WWII. The Schindler Museum is a first rate experience.