Krakow, the second-largest city in Poland, has a long history. Its medieval walls are still visible in parts of the city, and it has a large Jewish quarter as well as a 14th-century Gothic church. Those interested in World War II or Jewish history can also visit Oskar Schindler's factory in the city, or take a day trip to the infamous Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp.
November is a cold month to visit Krakow. However, it's during the low season between summer and Christmas visitors, so there are fewer crowds and hotel prices are noticeably cheaper. There are also several events and holidays happening around Krakow during November, so if you're willing to brave the cold, November can be a great time to visit.
Krakow Weather in November
In November, Krakow and the rest of Poland are preparing for winter to arrive, and the temperatures begin to drop significantly from the comfortable autumn days of October. Temperatures can be brisk and cold. The average high throughout the month is 45 degrees Fahrenheit, but it can vary drastically depending on if you visit at the beginning or end of the month. The average low across November is 31 degrees Fahrenheit.
The average number of days of precipitation in Krakow during November is eight days. As it gets closer to December, that precipitation is likely to turn into snow.
What to Pack
Pack easily layered clothing that you can pare down or pile on as the temperatures change. Sweaters, long pants, and cardigans are a good base. Bring a waterproof windbreaker and thick winter coat as well as warm gloves, hats, and socks as well.
A pleasantly warm and sunny day can quickly turn into a brisk and chilly evening, so layers are the most important part. Especially if your trip is planned for later in the month, you should pack clothes that are appropriate for snow, such as waterproof boots and heavy winter socks.
November Events in Krakow
If the cold weather doesn't bother you, you'll find plenty to do and see in this Polish city during November. If you’re just getting introduced to Krakow, be sure to take the time to stroll through its center, starting with Market Square and continuing to Wawel Castle. Many of Krakow’s sights can be found within this area. Though the weather may be less welcoming than other times of the year, November in Krakow is a time of tradition.
- November 1 and 2 are All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day, both celebrated across Poland. On the night between the two days, it is believed that the spirits of the deceased visit the living. All Saints' Day traditions include decorating cemeteries with thousands of candles, which Polish people use to honor deceased family and friends.
- November 11 is Polish Independence Day, meaning banks and public institutions will be closed. Krakow celebrates Independence Day with a mass at Wawel Cathedral and a procession from Wawel to Plac Matejko, where there's a ceremonial laying of wreaths at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
- November 29 is Andrzejki, or St. Andrew's Day. There's a history of fortune-telling on St. Andrew's Eve that dates back to the 1500s. Young women would have their fortunes read to see when they would find a husband. Modern-day varieties of the St. Andrew's Day celebration are lighthearted and social and keep up the traditional game of young women lining up their shoes, single file, near a doorway. Legend has it the woman whose shoes cross the threshold first is the next to be married.
- Festivals during the month of November in Krakow include the Etiuda & Anima Film Festival, the Zaduszki Jazz Festival, and the Audio Art Festival.
- The Krakow Christmas market opens towards the latter half of November, making this is a good time to get some early holiday shopping in.
November Travel Tips
- When it's too cold to walk around, Uber is available in Krakow and is usually cheaper than taxis.
- It's generally considered impolite to wear a hat while indoors. Whenever you enter a church, restaurant, home, or any other building, take your hat off to be considerate.
- Escape the cold and visit a museum. Many museums offer free admission one day of the week, so check in advance to see what's free the days you're visiting.