Aug032018

Hilton Garden Inn Krakow is 20 minutes from anywhere in town

Decided to give Hilton Garden Inn Krakow a 2-night stay on this trip to Krakow to find out what so many people rave about with the hotel. The hotel ranks today as #30 of 268 hotels in Krakow on TripAdvisor. The hotel itself is fine in most respects, but for me, the hotel only meets one of my three main requirements for what I want in a hotel in Krakow.

  1. Good bed and comfortable room – met
  2. Quick access to public transportation – not met
  3. Quick access to a grocery store and preferably a large market or good value restaurants – not met.

My room rate was good at $75 per night. This hotel is a relatively expensive hotel reward at 30,000 points.

Hilton Garden Inn Krakow – 20 minutes from Anywhere

Hilton Garden Inn Krakow

Hilton Garden Inn Krakow is on the south side of the Vistula / Wisla River.

Transportation

I wondered what other guests at Hilton Garden Inn Krakow thought about the location. Several of the reviews I read commented about how taxis are inexpensive in Krakow and Uber even cheaper. Those are not my style of transportation.

I can tell you a Krakow 7-day public transportation ticket is even cheaper at 48pln/$13.00 for unlimited rides on the city trams and buses for a week.

Getting to Hilton Garden Inn by public transportation from the train station is relatively easy. Bus 179 drops you off within 100 meters of the hotel at the Kraków Ludwinów stop.

Old Town Krakow and Kazimierz, the two areas where most tourists spend nearly all their time in the city are on the north side of Vistula River. Walking to Sukiennice, the Cloth Hall, in Old Town main square takes about 30 minutes. Walking to Plac Nowy in Kazimierz, center of the night-life party district takes about 25 to 30 minutes. Kelley was not happy when I walked her to Kazimierz at 4pm on a hot afternoon.

Google Maps HGI Krakow

The nearest tram stop is about 6 to 8 minutes walk along across an extremely noisy three lane thoroughfare major artery road along the river to the Kraków Centrum Kongresowe ICE tram and bus stop.

I stayed on the south side of the river before two years ago when the Q Hotel was a Best Western Premier. Park Inn Krakow is also on the south side, but only 2 minutes walk to the tram stop.

8 minutes walk from a tram stop might not seem like much of a distance, but then you have to wait for the tram or bus you want. I stayed at the Best Western in late December when Krakow was quite cold with a bitterly chilling wind and walked to Old Town and Kazimierz many times. The chill is memorable. Our stay this week in early August is when Krakow and much of Europe is frying in a heat wave. That 8 minute walk being sound blasted by speeding traffic along the road, then standing around waiting can be unpleasant in cold, hot, rainy, snowy weather conditions.

Centrum Kongresowe ICE tram stop on south side of Most Grunwaldzki/Grunwald Bridge Krakow

View of Wawel Castle from tram crossing Grunwald Bridge

The hotel location’s proximity to public transportation, Krakow tourist areas, restaurants and markets is what I found disappointing with our stay at Hilton Garden Inn Krakow.

Zabka grocery store is 500 meters away from Hilton Garden Inn, but you would be closer to that store and the tram stop staying at Park Inn Krakow.

TripAdvisor states there are 606 restaurants within one mile. Old Town and Kazimierz are a one mile walk to get to locations of 99% of the restaurants. Google Maps shows half of the restaurants closest to Hilton Garden Inn are hotel restaurants including the Q Hotel and Park Inn Krakow.

Hilton Garden Inn Krakow Lobby

Hilton Garden Inn Krakow bar

Hilton Garden Inn Krakow breakfast restaurant

Hilton Garden Inn Krakow lobby TV

Hilton Garden Inn Krakow market

Hilton Garden Inn Krakow outdoor patio within meters of the noisy high speed traffic

Forum Hotel Krakow was a Soviet era hotel that was once part of IHG hotels, then Sofitel, then closed for structural defects. Popular bar there now.

Hilton Garden Inn Krakow Room 709

There are probably some decent views of Krakow from rooms on the other side of the hotel. Our view was the less preferable side for views, but supposedly quieter for noise. There were green leafy trees to view in summer. In winter the view would primarily be tower block residential housing.

Air conditioner worked very well to keep room cool in heat wave.

No USB ports in room, which was a welcome feature for charging our phones at the new Hampton Inn Oswiecim (Auschwitz).

Bathroom door did not stay open without propping it open with something heavy like the iron.

Water pressure in shower weak. Kelley said her bed light did not work.

Bed and pillows comfortable and extra large chair or perhaps extra small couch is nice seating.

Main complaint is location in Krakow. I have stayed at several hotels in Krakow including Holiday Inn Krakow, Hotel Indigo Krakow, Radisson Blu Krakow and Best Western Old Town Krakow. Those are all excellent locations within a few minutes walk of Old Town. My only other stay on the south side of the Vistula River was Best Western Premier Q Hotel and we were given a top floor junior suite with huge balcony and wonderful views.

Loyalty Traveler – Best Western Premier Q Hotel Krakow, down by the River Vistula

That hotel left Best Western, but still a great hotel with a better location than HGI Krakow.

Hampton Inn and DoubleTree Krakow by Tauron Arena are out of walking distance from Old Town and Kazimierz, but served by several trams for access to Kazimierz, train station and Old Town. Their advantage over HGI Krakow is lower price on many dates and lower reward rates. Hampton Inn is 10,000 points per night. Also, the hotels are attached and across the street from a shopping mall with a large Carrefour Market.

Hilton’s hotels in Krakow only have a competitive advantage if you want a hotel night at Hilton Garden Inn Krakow Airport for 10,000 points. They have the best location there for a late night arrival or early morning departure.

In general, there are so many better lodging options with most other chains and many independent hotels in Krakow for good price with good location that I would recommend over HGI Krakow.

Unless, you are in Krakow when the weather is temperate and not raining. Heat, rain and snow are less of an issue for the hotel location if you prefer to get around town primarily by taxi and Uber.

Walking back to Hilton Garden Inn Krakow from tram stop at night

 

About Ric Garrido

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel. Loyalty Traveler joined BoardingArea.com in 2008.

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  1. I’ve enjoyed both these reviews you’ve done. $75 seems expensive for what the cost of everything else is with the strength of the US dollar. I visited about two years ago and 6 of us ate at what seemed like a high end restaurant for maybe $75 total. It was crazy! But that’s also food so it should be cheaper. My wife’s family is from Katowice so we fly into Krakow and usually go there a couple times throughout the two weeks we’re in. We’ve tossed around the idea of getting a room for the night there and go out. This post is a good insight into the options.
    Thanks!

  2. Next time try the Hilton Garden Inn Airport. The redemption is only 10K points per night and it was a really nice place. Plus, it was easy access to train since it’s literally across the street from the airport. The night we got into Krakow, it was about 12am and I was in bed by 12:10am.

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