Below you can find 5 different running paths leading through various parts of Kraków. Some are perfect for a quick morning run, others may be challenging even for more experienced runners. We have tried them all and can definitely say they are worth trying out!
1 Planty: Morning stroll filled with landmarks | Distance: 3.7 km
In just a few steps we’re at the foot of the Wawel Royal Castle (1), one of the most historically and culturally important sites in Poland. For centuries the castle served as residence of the kings of Poland and was the symbol of Polish statehood.
We enter Planty (2) – one of the largest city parks in Kraków which encircles the Old Town, where the Medieval city walls used to stand until the early 19th century. At about 1km mark we reach Collegium Novum (3), main building of the Jagiellonian University. It was opened in 1887 for the 500th anniversary of the University’s foundation.
Another kilometer in and we’re next to Barbican (4), a defense gateway from 1490s, once linked to the city walls, now part of the city’s Historical Museum. On your right there is
St. Florian’s Gate, one of the best-known Polish Gothic towers, and a focal point of Kraków’s Old Town.
It won’t take us long to another amazing landmark – Juliusz Slowacki Theater (5), erected in 1893 and modeled after some of the best European Baroque theatres such as the Paris Opera.
The rest of our tour will lead through the East side of Planty along Westerplatte and Gertrudy Street back to your apartment. And if that’s not enough for you – go for a second lap! You can always combine this route with the next one – Błonia Park.
2 Around Błonia Park | Distance: 7 km
Only 1.5km away from Stradonia Apartments you’ll find Błonia (1), a vast meadow directly adjacent to the historic centre of the city. Błonia is a recreation area, ideal for large-scale outdoor events, hosting numerous concerts, rallies and – most notably – historic open air masses by Pope John Paul II, and now Pope Francis during late July’s World Youth Day celebrations.
Running along 3. Maja street you’ll go pass Jordan Park (2) established in 1889 as the first public playground in Kraków, Poland, and the first of its kind in Europe (worth making a detour!).
Further down the track we pass Wisła Kraków stadium (3). If you look across Błonia you’ll see another stadium belonging to Cracovia (6) – Wisła’s arch-rivals. Once you reach Piastowska street, you will have a chance to rehydrate or grab something small to eat at Bezogródek (4) – a popular foodtruck park.
Once you reach Focha Street you’ll have an option to take a sligthly shorter way back along Rudawa and Vistula rivers.
3 Vistula River Run | Distance: 8.9 km
Once again the location of Stradonia Apartments proves its value. In just a few minutes we’re at the riverbank and this time Vistula river will keep you company for the entire run.
At 1km mark make a note of so-called Church on the Rock (St. Stanislaus Church) (1) on your left. The crypt underneath the church serves as a “national Panthéon”, a burial place for some of the most distinguished Poles.
Further down the track we’re passing the Kładka Bernatka (2), a footbridge that allows easy access to an area that until not long ago was seldom visited by tourists. It connects Kazimierz to Podgórze and leads right across to a small enclave of restaurants and bars.
On the opposite riverbank you’ll see on of the most intriguing buildings in Kraków – Cricoteka (Centre for the Documentation of the Art of Tadeusz Kantor) (3).
We continue down the north river bank for another 2.3 km, almost until the Dąbie Barrage (4) and this is where we make a U-turn. We cross the Kotlarski Bridge to get to the other side of the river. We’re in Zabłocie, old industrial part of the city, today one of the most dynamically developing districts of Kraków.
After crossing the small Retmański Bridge built over the small river – Wilga – a right tributary of Wisła, we stumble upon a massive concrete building with a raw modernistic feel (5). Once a four-star Hotel Forum, with perks unknown in 1980s Kraków, such as air-conditioned rooms, swimming pool, mini golf and casino, today the building remains mostly vacant with one of its walls serving as Poland’s longest billboard. Inside, the former reception area and ground floor is home to one of Kraków’s trendiest bars – Forum Przestrzenie. The laid-back atmosphere invites to stop for a home-made lemonade and some live music.
Running towards the Grunwaldzki Bridge, we pass the impressive ICE Kraków Congress Centre (6), one of the best venues for business and cultural events.
4 Zakrzówek: Magical lake | Distance: 10.8 km
We start by getting to the other side of the river. Here we can take a look at Manggha building (Museum of Japanese Art and Technology), created on the initiative of Andrzej Wajda and opened in 1994 (1).
The first part of our run is a 3.5-kilometer run along the riverbank. At around 2.5km mark you’ll be able to see the Church of the Holy Saviour (2) on your right (one of Kraków’s oldest and most modestly beautiful churches). This is also a place where you might consider taking a small detour and visit an absolutely stunning Dębnicki Park (3).
After reaching Twardowski Rocks Park (4) feel free to take a detour once again and just treat this guide as a general tip – the area is really worth running around in circles! Zakrzówek Lake (5) will take your breath away. What now looks like a lake, used to be a stone-pit where Karol Wojtyła worked long before he became pope John Paul II.
The rest of our run will be an easy stroll through Monte Casino street and Grunwaldzki bridge back to your apartment.
5 Wolski Forest: Lungs of the City | Distance: 19.7 km
First part of our run will be an easy jog along the river. After reaching Zwierzyniecki Bridge, we will continue on the other side. It may seem too easy at first, but trust us, it will get more difficult soon enough.
At around 9.5 km mark, we take a turn into Aleja Wędrowników (Alley of Wanderers) (1) and this is where we encourage you to simply get lost in the wildness of the forest. It’s a hilly area that will surely test our strength. The main alley will lead you to the Kraków Zoo (2), home to over 1500 animals. You might also consider a visit to Piłsudski Mound (3), the highest point in the forest. The panoramic views from the top are excellent and on a clear day the Tatra Mountains are visible to the south.
Next, we continue running through the forest towards Kościuszko Mound (4). A serpentine path leads to the top, approx. 326 metres above sea level. Reaching it will award you with a stunning panoramic view of Kraków. It’s also a perfect place for a short break. The final part of our route goes through Błonia, an easy finish of this challenging run.