Events in Krakow in 2017 – Ready for it? No matter if you visit the city in spring, summer or winter of 2017, there will definitely be a lot of events held pretty much all around it! Apart from some big names giving concerts in Krakow this year (like Green Day, Ennio Morricone, Skunk Anansie, Bryan Ferry, Aerosmith, Linkin Park or Red Hot Chili Peppers, among others), it is still not a complete list of what you can attend during your visit there. Feel free to check what other great events are to be organised under Wawel Hill in the successive months of 2017:
Table of Contents
January events in Krakow
The January of 2017 will traditionally begin with a grand New Year Concert held at the Main Market Square of Krakow. There were over 150,000 people gathered in front of a great scene laid out there a year before. With the impressive laser show and a ground-shaking performance given by the hottest music stars of Poland during the last New Year’s Eve, you can also be sure to expect an unforgettable beginning of 2017 straight at the heart of beautiful Krakow! January 15, 2017 is also when the largest fundraiser organisation of Poland (WOŚP) will have its Grand Finales organised in every Polish city. Krakow will be where a number of free concerts, open-air attractions, performances, auctions of unique items (with such stars as Robert Lewandowski often donating their personal belongings to be bid for) and sport events are to be held in various parts of the city. At 8:00 pm you will be able to witness a stunning and national-scale synchronised firework performance named “the light [sent] to heavens”.
The Grand Finales of WOŚP are surely the warmest days of each winter in Krakow. The connoisseurs of high culture will enjoy the presence of “Opera Rara” festival in the calendar of Krakow for 2017. Between January 18 and February 10 there will be 7 opera performances, 3 recitals and 14 concerts given at 6 different venues of the city. An event not to miss, solely to see such masterpieces as „Dido and Aeneas” by Henry Purcell, ” Marc’Antonio e Cleopatra” by Johann Adolf Hasse, “Germanico in Germani” by” Nicola Porpora, or”Arminio” by George Friderico Handel.
About to come to Krakow in February?
Surprisingly, between February 23 and 26 Krakow will be the European capital of shanties! Despite the fact that it is situated over 500 kilometres from the nearest sea, this city has really had a lot of marine traditions inscribed in its rich history (like Krakow’s associations with Joseph Conrad, for example). There will be three venues available for you to feel the ocean breeze in Krakow this winter, including the cult-followed Zaczek student club.
March and April – Krakow’s spring
A lot of notable events of 2017 held in Krakow will be traditionally related to the period of Easter. The Easter Monday of 2017 is when Emaus church fair is organised at the abbey of the Norbertine Sisters in Zwierzyniec since (at least) 1596. Expect stalls selling wood-carved artifacts, lotteries and carousels laid out in front of the abbey on that day. The first Tuesday after Easter is when a more pagan celebration takes its place under the Krakus Mound – the old-Slavic holiday of Rekawka. This is where you will see faithful re-enactments of medieval battles, taste some traditionally-prepared dishes and take part in a number of old rituals during the day. Additionally, your kids will enjoy the presence of extensive craftsmen’s workshops available for them to take part in! Between April 10 and 17, Krakow will hold its renowned Misteria Paschalia festival.
The 2017 edition will be devoted to the French tradition of early music, performed in such outstanding venues as the Karol Szymanowski Philharmonic Hall of Krakow or Wieliczka Salt Mine. Film buffs will definitely enjoy Netia Off Camera Festival – in 2017, this large European cinematic event will take place between April 28 and May 7. Over 100 carefully selected films, more than 25,000 tickets and numerous film workshops accompanying the festival always make it one of the most popular regular events of Krakow.
April will be closed with the 16th edition of PZU Cracovia Marathon (April 30). Those visitors who happen to be ardent joggers may consider participating in this growing sports event that attracted nearly 5,700 runners in 2016.
Must attend events in Krakow
Free concerts, crazily dressed students, barbecue parties held all around – this is what Krakow looks like during its May Juwenalia. This 5-day lasting festival is when the students of Krakow universities are given “the keys to the city”, celebrating their youth according to the old medieval tradition created in the city of Wawel dragon. The middle of May is also when the Long Night of Museums is organised in Krakow. While Wawel Castle is the queen of this night in terms of queues, there are also a lot of venues that are normally not open to the public that may be visited. If you happen to come to Krakow on this day, why not trying to see something truly unique then? In 2017, Krakow will also invite its visitors to the 10th edition of Krakow Film Music Festival.
With most concerts held at the ultra-modern Tauron Arena of Krakow, you can expect some world-famous directors seating a row in front of you if you decide to attend this great event. At the same time, this will only be a prelude to Krakow Film Festival of 2017, starting on May 28 and ending a week later – especially for real cinemaphiles. The 57th edition of this renowned film contest will let you see some of the best of world’s independent cinema. Additionally, the last week of May is when Krakow Archaeological Picnic will be held in the garden of the Archeological Museum of Krakow.
Re-enactors, craftsmen’s shows and workshops, traditional dances and special events for young history buffs are the trademark of this popular thematic event of Krakow. Krakow Kazimierz is where you can attend one of the most famous culinary festivals held in the city: the Soup Festival. As the richness in soups is to the Polish cuisine what the abundance in cheeses is to the French one, it is no wonder over 30,000 visitors decide to taste the delicious soups served during each edition of this aroma-filled event.
Crazy June in Krakow
The June of 2017 will be the record-breaking month for Krakow events in 2017 and festivals. The beginning of June will be when the Grand Dragon Parade is expected to march through the Old Town of Krakow. Hundreds of relatives of Wawel Dragon – some of them breathing out fire for real – will be led to the Main Market Square by their child tamers for the joy of other kids (and adults) gathered all around the route. Soon after, a similar route will be covered by the longest parade of Krakow in 2017: the Parade of Dachshunds.
These nice creatures will compete for the title of the king/queen of the entire parade and barking will be the dominant language to be heard in the streets of Krakow on this day. June 4 is when the Manggha Museum of Krakow invites everyone to celebrate the Japanese Children’s Day (Kodomo no hi). 2017 should be no different – if you are curious of other cultures, this beautiful venue will let you and your child companion familiarise yourselves with traditional Japanese games, toys and fairy tales. Do not miss the June Holiday of the City of Krakow! The beginning of the month is the official birthday of this royal city, with some concerts, picnics, ballet performances and plays filling as many as up to 14 days of this special events held there! When the holiday is finished, you may expect the Krakow Organ Music Days of to start for a change. The first day of the summer of 2017 is when the famous “Wianki” celebration will take place at Czerwienski Boulevard.
This pagan tradition says that unmarried women should wear wraths on her heads on that night – and, after the dusk, the same wraths appear on the surface of Vistula river. A huge concert and the best firework performance of the whole year is how Cracovians celebrate the victory of daylight over the night under the foot of Wawel Hill. Additionally, the 5-day lasting Midsummer Night Fair lets every attendee taste some ancient Slavic dishes, admire crafted art displayed on numerous stalls and watch the re-enactments of old traditions of the region. As Cracovians are really attached to their customs, its oldest Archmen’s Fraternity (Bractwo Kurkowe) – started in 1257 – will let you see them adopt a new king each year. The ceremony will be held at the Main Market Square of Krakow, announced with the shot from a cannon and the new king welcomed by the ovation of a crowd dressed in traditional outfits of Polish noblemen.
If you have not had a chance to attend the Soup Festival, drop in to Wolnica Square around the middle of June to taste some of the best examples of Polish baking tradition served at the two-day lasting Bread Festival. Well, actually when it comes to the middle of June – prepare yourself for the most exciting football event to be held in Krakow in 2017! Between June 16 and 30 of 2017 there will be UEFA European U-21 Championship hosted in Poland. And guess what! It is the Cracovia stadium of Krakow where one of its semi-finals and the final itself are to be organised!
With Portugal, Germany, England, Spain and Denmark being the most likely to take the title, Italy, Sweden, the Czech Republic, Serbia and Slovakia may also have their stars take part in the closing match of the championship. Poland U-21 team, being the dark horse of the event, will definitely have a lot of its supporters visible in the streets of Krakow.
July – month of culture
Etno & World Music will dominate Krakow with its sounds at the beginning of July, 2017. Over 100 artists from four continents will give more than 20 concerts throughout the 5 days of the large event named EtnoKrakow / Crossroads 2017, with a few venues hosting the performances of artists invited. The Barbican of Krakow is where, roughly at the same time, the Opera goers will find something more to their taste. Krakow Opera Summers typically last 14 days and encompass a large variety of works performed in front of the audience. The middle of July is when Ulica Street Art Festival (an international festival of street theatres) will take over the streets of Old Krakow.
The stilt-walking artists – as usual – will come to the open-air stages of the city with a few dozen truly impressive performances that not only children will enjoy. In the summer of 2017, Kazimierz district will experience the revival of Jewish life again during the Jewish Culture Festival. Between June 24 and July 2, the streets of this charming Jewish quarter of Krakow will be filled with klezmer bands and performers, its book shops – with renowned Jewish writers, galleries – with artists and restaurants – with crowds of guests, most of whom have never tried the delicious kosher cuisine before.
As summers are also great for sport activities, you will have a chance to see the start of the oldest bicycle race of Poland there on July 29, 2017. Tour de Pologne would traditionally have its finish there, while this year its originators set Krakow to host the initial stage of the race.
Summer events in Krakow
Krakow Live Festival is definitely one of the best summer music festivals of Europe. The 2017 edition will be held at the field adjoined to the Museum of Polish Aviation, presumably during the last weekend of August, 2017. This is one of the most popular Events in Krakow. The huge stage of Krakow Live Festival is where such artists as Massive Attack, Sia, the Chemical Brothers, Roisin Murphy, Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley, Cage the Elephant, Muse or the Neighbourhood performed in 2016. While the line-up of 2017 edition has not been announced yet, we can surely expect some hot names on the list – as usual. For those who never have enough of pierogi, August will be the best time to visit Krakow in 2017.
The Maly Rynek Square is where the two-day Pierogi Festival will be held in the middle of the month. Tens of fillings, toppings and forms of pierogi will compete for the title of the tastiest ones, while the participants will be given a chance to learn the art of preparing this delicious Polish specialty themselves. Nearly two weeks of the middle part of August are when the International Fair Trade of Folklore and Handcraft art will have their stalls laid out under the tower of the Town Hall of Krakow. Hundreds of artists from all over Europe, traditional dances, workshops and dishes will be left for Krakow visitors to enjoy there.
The beginning weekend of September of 2017 is when Classic Moto Show event will invite you to an exhibition of vintage cars held in Krakow, attracting the entire group of leaders of European Trophy for Historic Regularity Rallies to participate there. In the middle of the month, a week-lasting specialty of Krakow festivals will have its kick-off planned. Sacrum-Profanum Festival is where jazz, avant-garde or indie-classical trends meet, among others. This Krakow event is one that you can not miss as a Jazz enthusiast. There is always a lot of room for improvisation and creativity left by the originators of the strongest original festival Krakow regularly hosts.
October, November and December – Closing events
On October 31, 2017 the oldest exisiting jazz festival in the world will start at a few venues of Krakow – including some of its popular jazz bars. Throughout the following week, there will be plenty of jam sessions and performances of jazz stars taking place all around the city with regard to Zaduszki Jazzowe Festival (Jazz All Souls’ Day). November 11 is the National Independence Day of Poland. If you visit the Old Town on that day, expect a parade of various military formations to march through the city with the sounds of brass bands in the background and drill shows arranged at the central spot of the celebrations.
So what other Krakow events do we have? The last weekend of November, 2017 is when Krakow Christmas Market starts operating. Its wooden stalls selling an impressive variety of delicacies, handcrafted art and unique Christmas decorations will be available for a visit until the Epiphany holiday of 2018. The beginning of November is when the famous Krakow Christmas Crib contest is to take place. Some of the most breathtaking pieces of sacral art will be put on display under the monument of Adam Mickiewicz at the Main Market Square.
Just a day prior to the Christmas Eve, there will be a parade of carollers held in the streets of Krakow, composed of Nativity-play groups from all over the country. December is also when the International Jazz Juniors Festival (edition 41) is expected to be held in Krakow.