Since you have only two weeks and there are much more interesting places than Lublin, I would not recommend staying here for the night. Although I would recommend visiting Majdanek National Museum which used to be a concentration camp. It will be depressing for you and kids especially, but it’s a must visit. I heard that this former concentration camp is even more preserved and authentic than the most famous one – Auschwitz. The museum is closed on Mondays. The museum should be free if you don’t need a guide in English.
The city center is beautiful with many historical buildings – Wawel castle (you can buy the tickets at the visitors center at the entrance of the building, kids under 7 are free, check this =>> http://wawel.krakow.pl/en/index.php?op=53) Krakow Barbican (walls that surrounded the city + the main gate to the city), Main Square with Cloth Hall, St. Mary’s Basilica (check this =>> http://mariacki.com/en/tourists/) and also a little wooden market with souvenirs. All of these places are within walking distance and of course, you can go inside and take a look. If you don’t want to walk, you can go on a horse carriage tour. They go through all famous sightseeing spots. Some of them may offer a guide in English.
Jewish district is a must visit. It might be the most beautiful part of Krakow. The place is full of history, Jewish restaurants, synagogues, Jewish cemetery and you might feel like back in times before WWII.
Oskar Schindler’s Factory is the factory that produced metal vessels and cookware mostly for the German army. Oskar Schindler (a member of the Nazi Party) employed many Jewish workers here during the World War II and therefore saved their lives. Besides Oskar Schindler’s office, many pictures and artifacts you can learn about Schindler’s and his workers’ story. Admission for individual visitors is free on Mondays (10 am – 2 pm), but capacity is limited so I would recommend to call and ask them about the situation.
If you want to learn about salt mining history, Salt Mine Wieliczka will provide you an unforgettable experience. Not only that you see chambers, lakes, corridors, sculptures made of salt, due to various routes they offer you can even become a miner for few minutes and go to the oldest mine shafts.
Auschwitz & Birkenau concentration camp
Another concentration camp, the biggest and the ‘most famous’ one. Again a very depressing experience. You can get an English speaking guide – make a reservation online, capacity is limited.
There is a very famous street called Kropowki, which might be the best attraction in Zakopane. It is full of shops, restaurants, little tiny wooden houses. Don’t forget to try traditional Polish cheese. You can also take a horse carriage ride. Another very interesting place is the old cemetery close to the city center (5 minutes walk). Every grave is unique with lots of decorations and you can also find a wooden church there.
You might want to visit an upside down house. I heard that it is a very unusual experience and adults might get a little dizzy 🙂
Jaszczurowka Chapel is a wooden chapel and real architectonic masterpiece. The easiest way to get there is by bus. The chapel is free, I would probably go there early in the morning so you don’t see that many tourists.
Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima is a beautiful church known especially for its interior. You have to see the wooden ceilings, altars, amazing window decorations. Check the website before you go there because if there is something going on in there, you can’t visit it.
Day 7 is a family fun day. Gugu rope park is a great adventure, especially for kids. There is also a bar where you can sit and chill. The environment of the park is very nice.
Gubalowka Hill Funicular goes to a hill called Gubalowka. Besides the view, there are lots of attractions at the top including the summer toboggan ride. You won’t be hungry as well because there are also restaurants. If you want to buy souvenirs you can find a lot of stands there. Don’t join the games offered by street gamblers, you can never win.
You can take a cable car ride to Kasprowy Wierch. The views you can have there are amazing. There is a little snack bar at the top. You should buy tickets online because there are usually pretty long lines for the tickets and it’s cheaper as well. Don’t wear flip-flops or sandals, there are rocks up there. Take your jackets as well in case the weather gets worse.
You should definitely visit Willa Koliba. It’s fully furnished wooden house that shows how people in Poland used to live back in times and the architecture of the house is extraordinary.
Zakopane offers a great view of High Tatras from Polish side and it’s a good starting point for hikes. In between the highest peaks of Polish Tatras you can find the largest lake of Tatras called Morskie Oko (Sea Eye). You can find a hut up there where you can have lunch and the prices are not as high as you would expect. It’s a half day trip and since you can get there on an asphalt road, it should be easy for your little one as well.
Other Polish attractions
Rafting on the Dunajec river
It is located on the Polish-Slovak border more than an hour drive away from Zakopane. Rafting trip takes around 2 hours. If you get a nice guide it might be pretty interesting. The tickets are around 10-12 euros.
This town is known for its market. Every Thursday and Saturday there is a market with lots of local sellers, where you can buy literally everything and prices are negotiable. It is very crowded especially on Saturdays, but that’s the fun 🙂
Energylandia is the biggest amusement park in the area. It’s a one day trip. During the summer it is overcrowded, you might wait for each attraction around 45 minutes.
SLOVAKIA – attractions
Lomnický štít is the second highest peak in The High Tatras. There is a cable car which takes you to the top. The view from the top is breathtaking and you can even stay there for a night. Enjoy the view of The High Tatras and Poprad region. The ride back and forth is quite expensive around 40 euros.
It is the biggest aquapark in Central Europe. It is a great adventure, especially for kids. In the summer it’s way too overcrowded, but kids will still like it 🙂 The food is extremely overpriced and not exceptionally good so I would recommend you to bring your own food. It’s a one-day thing.
A lot of people love ZOO contact. You can touch all the animals – baby lions, tigers, bears etc. so I am pretty sure your kids will love it. You can even buy animal food at the cash desk and feed them.
It’s a wind tunnel where you can fly with instructors. Although it’s kind of expensive, it’s a lot of fun and definitely worth it.
Tatrapolis consist of miniatures of many famous buildings in the world.
Rafting – Liptovský Mikuláš
Liptovsky Mikulas is a town of Olympic winners. Water slalom is a very popular sport there. You can go rafting at water slalom area close to the city center. It’s better to arrange this few days in advance. If you like adrenaline and good adventures, this is a very good choice. Don’t worry it’s safe 🙂 If you don’t like wild water, they can also take you on the calm river – but this is pretty boring.
Demanovska Cave of Liberty
Definitely, a must visit, the cave is located in the heart of the Demanovska valley. You will see what out mother nature has created under the ground. I definitely recommend going on “Long tour”. Sometimes they play some music in the “Big Dome“ and the echo in there is amazing. If they don’t play it, just ask for it, they might be a little lazy. I am not sure what time the long tour starts, it might be only twice a day, so you should better check before you go there. Don’t forget to take your sweatshirts and some proper shoes (no flip flops) because it’s like 6-7 degrees in the cave.
If you just want to chill by water, this is a perfect place. Liptovská Mara is a reservoir, but it looks very natural. There are some snack bars, toilets, attractions for little kids and some water attractions as well. You can spend the whole day there.
**Lomnický štít cable car, Aquapark Tatralandia, Tatrapolis, Hurricane Factory (Zoo Kontakt possibly) – they have the same owner, ask about discounts and GOPASS card before you go there