Krakow is the most popular tourist destination and the most polluted big city in Poland as well. This is best visible during winter, when people warm their homes with coal, making the situation even worse.
Krakow authorities try to fight the smog – they subsidy changing coal ovens into gas ovens and promote central heating on the one hand, and on another, they try to keep cars as far from the city centre as possible. Therefore don’t expect to find any free parking in Krakow city centre,
Krakow Parking Zones
There are three main parking zones in Krakow. They are marked on every parkometer (Podstrefa A in the picture below). But despite that, finding an available parking slot in the centre of Krakow might be a challenge.
Each parking zone in Krakow is divided into sub-zones (A1, A2 etc.) but this does not affect the fare. You are supposed to pay the parking fee Monday to Saturday from 10am to 8 pm.
The parking fee may be paid in parkometers (depending on the parkometer: coins, card), or with mobile App (most popular: Skycash, Mobilet). Paying with mobile apps is more flexible, as you may use Start/Stop button or prolong the time you want to keep the car in the parking slot. If you pay in the parkometer, you need to prepay for the time you plan to stay, and if you want to extend it, you need to come to your car.
In both cases, you should (if possible) enter your car’s plate number. If paying with the App, make sure to choose the proper parking zone.
A zone (Podstrefa A)
It is in the city centre and about 1km from the main square. Each hour costs 6 PLN here.
Where to look for parking slots close to the city centre in Zone A? This is mainly a walking area, but there are some slots around St Ducha Square. Another popular region for parking in Krakow Zone A is Sw. Tomasza Street, or streets connecting to Planty from the west: Zwierzyniecka Street, Smolenska Street, Pilsudskiego Street and Jablonowskich Street.
There are also plenty of slots around Kleparski Square and in the Free Ukraine Square.
In this area of Krakow, parking is also possible in private parking. The largest is located around the Krakow library (between Karmelicka Street and Dolnych Mlynow Street). Expect to pay here 5/6 PLN per hour.
Krakow parking zone B (Podstrefa B)
A little bit further from the city centre, each hour costs 5 PLN
Where to look for parking slots in B parking zone in Krakow? The best area is the former University Hospital area at Jana and Jedrzeja Sniadeckich Street.
C zone (Podstrefa C)
Up to about 3km from the city centre, each hour costs 4 PLN.
Failing to pay the proper sum results in a 150 PLN fine.
Other options of parking in Krakow
Very convenient parking in Krakow, located in A zone, but significantly cheaper, is located inside Galeria Krakowska shopping mall. This parking is open Monday-Friday from 8am to 11pm, and on Sunday (9am to 10 pm). The first quarter is for free, the first two hours cost 2 PLN, and each following hour costs 5 PLN.