Krakow features a more sophisticated selection of festivals than most cities, a testament to its enormous cultural depth. Some of the city's biggest events are featured on giant stages constructed in the middle of the city centre on its Market Square or in Kazimierz throughout the spring and summer months. Here's a list of the city's major festivals:

Click on a festival to learn more:



Festivals by month:

International Shanty Festival
Krakow hosts one of the biggest shanty festivals of the year. It may be cold outside, but you'll be warm and tropical inside.
When: February
Official website: shanties.pl

Tolerance Festival
Though being gay in Krakow is not an easy thing, but each year's tolerance festival brings hope for a better future. The festival features film screenings, community forums, events and activities and culminates in a march through the city in support of tolerance.
When: April
Official website: tolerancja.org.pl

Photomonth in Krakow
Dozens of exhibitions are on display in Cracow throughout the month, from pubs and clubs to restaurants and odd spots, such as a brewery.
When: May
Official website: photomonth.com

Juwenalia
If you're a student looking to party, this is your nirvana. According to an ancient rite, the students are literally handed the keys to the city for one day each May. For a week following it's a given that students bear no responsibility but going to the next party. Most of these are open to outsiders, and some of Poland's biggest names in the world of pop and rock let rip at major city venues. Even if you're a bit, ahem, older, you will be caught up in the merriment of the student parade.
When: May
Official website: juwenalia.pl

International Soup Festival
A beloved feature in spring, the Fest features chefs from around the region battling to be the king of soups. Kazimierz on Plac Nowy is transformed into an arena as sippers, and guzzlers mingle and compare notes to the sounds of live bands. And the soup samples are free to everyone until it's all gone.
When: May
Official website: teatrkto.pl

Krakow Film Festival
The Krakow Film Festival focuses on short films, documentaries and animated features. Categories are for Polish and International films. Stick around afterward for a chat with the filmmakers and sometimes the actors.
When: May-June
Official website: kff.com.pl

International Festival of Military Bands
Military bands at their best.
When: June

Wianki
The annual party, featuring big-name musical acts and set on the lovely Vistula (Wisla) River. The traditions of the Wianki (floating of the wreaths) festival stretch back to pagan times and celebrates the summer solstice.
When: June
Official website: wianki.krakow.pl

Jewish Culture Festival
The historically Jewish district of Kazimierz is alive with the sounds of music. Visitors from all over the world meet to share in this extraordinary festival. Among the highlights are Klezmer bands (from classical to electronic), movies, book launches, lectures and food. The classic is the Szeroka Street block party at the end of the festival.
When: June-July
Official website: jewishfestival.pl

International Summer Organ Concert Festival
Hear the classic sounds of church organs in selected venues across the city.
When: June-July
Official website: dworek.krakow.pl

International Street Theatre Festival
A spectacle will surely happen when you least expect it. Performances throughout the festival in the Main Square and at random points around the city.
When: July
Official website: teatrkto.pl

Crossroads Festival of Traditional Music
One of the more popular festivals in the city centre, Crossroads brings together a wide range of traditional and folk music from Poland and the region.
When: July
Official website: rozstaje.pl

Summer Jazz Festival
Really great jazz during the best days of summer.
When: July-August
Official website: cracjazz.com

Festival of Music in Old Cracow
Some of the bigger names in classical and fine music appear onstage at historic spots in the city centre.
When: August
Official festival website: capellacracoviensis.pl

Pierogi Festival
Pierogi are a staple of the Polish diet. These savories are variously filled with cheese or meat and available nearly everywhere. But the ones at the Pierogi Festival are the best of the best.
When: August
Official website: biurofestiwalowe.pl

Off Festival
Myslowice, about an hour outside Krakow, is the resident home to one of the larger mainstream rock festivals in the area. But unlike its sprawling cousins, this music festival often features good alternative and indie bands hoping to be the next big thing.
When: August
Official website: off-festival.pl

Coke Live Music Festival
Fizz ... um, Pop! Stars usually come to town for this one.
When: August
Official website: livefestival.pl

Sacrum-Profanum Music Festival
You'd be forgiven for thinking at first this was a festival for priests or pointy-headed scholars. The posters make it seem like a horror film in a gothic museum. But the truth is it's about making modern classical music accessible to the masses. A true Krakow experience.
When: September
Official website: biurofestiwalowe.pl

Unsound Festival
Right now is the best time to be a part of Unsound. This festival may be at its peak of talent and organisation. Let's hope it keeps striving for higher in its search for the best in international electronic music. Expect wild parties and extreme late nights.
When: October
Official website: unsound.pl

International Festival of Early Music
Explore more of Krakow's classical music scene.
When: October

Etiuda & Anima Film Festival
Experimental student and independent works are on display.
When: November
Official festival website: etiudaandanima.com

Zaduszki Jazz Festival
The All Souls Jazz Festival is Europe's oldest jazz fest and features Polish and international musicians.
When: November
Official website: deprofundis.glt.pl

Festival of Polish Music
Poland's great composers, from the Middle Ages to today.
When: November
Official website: fmp.org.pl

Audio Art Festival
This festival of experimental music combines sight and sound in a furious display for the senses.
When: November
Official website: audio.art.pl

Opera Viva Festival
Slowacki Theatre plays host to rare and excellent performances.
When: December
Official website: opera.krakow.pl

See the sights!

When you get to Krakow, you will want to see it all. Our trips are run by friendly locals who can offer the best info and tips around. Book a tour today and get the most from your visit.


Fri Nov 28 2014

Festivals information, Krakow sightseeing tours

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