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PURO Holiday Guide: Open-air Krakow

31.07.2017 City

The summer in full swing tempts us to squeeze all the sun and beautiful weather out of it – like out of a lemon! The coming of August means that traditional theaters are closed, movie theaters work irregularly, and festivals are overcrowded and expensive. So, let’s exchange stuffy rooms for open-air spaces, laptops for picnic baskets, working attires for light dresses and linen trousers. Let’s head to the city in search of fun under the blue sky, most preferably free of charge, so that our only budget is spent on things in our basket. 

Outdoor cinema

For a few years now, open-air film screenings have become an indispensable part of the urban, summer landscape. Who wouldn’t want to sit in a comfortable chair alfresco, sipping a well-made drink and eating pizza or any other treat – all of it while being totally immersed in an action film? In the summer, sultry cinemas give way to unique outdoor spaces of Krakow. Each screening is for free and begins after the sunset!


Forum Przestrzenie, former Forum hotel, ul. Konopnickiej 26

Movie Summer in Forum Przestrzenie co-organized with Off Radio Krakow. Enjoy a view overlooking the Vistula, Wawel, and Skalka. Go to the bar and bring yourself a chair, food, and drinks. Screenings start every Thursday at 9 p.m.

Galeria Krakowska, plac Jana Nowaka- Jeziorańskiego

350 summer chairs, iconic Polish and foreign movies. Start: Saturdays, 9 p.m.

Bal, coffee shop, ul. Ślusarska 9

BAL film screenings offer long-length fiction films as well as short documentaries. Chairs, drinks, and food available for everyone. Thursdays, 9 p.m.

MOCAK, Museum of Contemporary Art, ul. Lipowa 4

Screenings, drawing on the “Art in Art” exhibition, range from rebellious documentaries to traditional movies with art in the background. The closing event will feature a surprise showing. The event takes place every Friday at 9 p.m. in the MOCAK arcades.

Summer Cinema, Vistulan Boulevards, Wawel

A community project, financed from the 2016 Citizen’s Budget, organized by the Krakow Festival Office. Fridays and Saturdays, 9 p.m.

Samo Ż, ul. Dolnych Młynów 10, close to the ZetPeTe music club

Samo Ż, a new summer spot on a cultural map of Krakow or a temporary outdoor club if you wish. A place where cinema lives in symbiosis with concerts, and lectures on serious subjects are held next to discussions about fashion. Food events are organized from time to time. Screenings start every Wednesday and Sunday at 9 p.m.

Concerts and festivals

Promenade Concerts in Planty Park

Krakow Cultural Forum invites everyone to concerts in an arbor in the Planty Park (Westerplatte street). Every August Sunday at 3 p.m. the music performed by Krakow artists will reverberate in the shade of the trees.

6.08 Joanna Słowińska and the band, 13.08 Cracow Jazz Quartet (students of Krakow School of Jazz and Contemporary Music), 20.08 “Na naszej wyspie” ("On our island" – a walk around Krakow’s Planty with poetry and Polish music), 27.08 Orkiestra Taneczna (dance orchestra – wind instruments, violin, accordion, electronic beats)

Samo Ż, ul. Dolnych Młynów 10, close to the ZetPeTe club

Is there something more fun than a concert under the sky full of stars? This summer – just like last year – outdoor club Samo Ż hosts wonderful concerts to enrich the Krakow residents’ summer experience. What distinguishes this place from a neighboring, older, and more experienced music club ZetTePe are performances of young and talented Polish musicians from the electronic music scene.

4.08 Rasmentalism - concert, 5.08 Japan Day: cinema, culture, cooking workshop, 19.08 TBC - concert, 26.08 Zamilska - concert

17th Cracovia Danza – Court Dance Festival, August 4-9

Give yourself up to the seductive habanera, the passionate Argentinian tango and the fiery South-American flamenco. Traditionally, the first part of the festival will take place in the Renaissance Villa Decius, where dance workshop will be led by dance masters from all over the world and the secrets of commedia dell’arte and pantomime will be revealed to us by specialists in these theatrical genres. Performance dances are planned for every evening. On August 8th, Szczepanski Square will host Around Tango – a performance by the “Cracovia Danza” Court Ballet. The show will introduce us to the history of tango – the dance that originated in the poorest districts of Buenos Aires. The crowning moment of this celebration of dance will be the grand gala, Il mondo nuovo, and a ball for all participants.

Summer Concerts in Podgorze, St Joseph’s Church in Podgorze

Summer Concerts in Podgorze will feature concerts that blend various styles and epochs. Performers include chamber instrumental bands as well as choirs and soloists. For years now, summer concerts in Podgorze have been nothing but popular among music lovers. The concerts begin always at 4 p.m.

6.08 Cracow Guitar Quartet , 13.08 Wiktoria Bisztyga - soprano, Marek Stefański – the organ, 20.08 Trio: Wiesław Suruło - flute, Paweł Solecki - bassoon, Joanna Solecka – harpsichord, 27.08 Concert of the Parafraza Chamber Choir

IX Krakow Summer Animation Days, August 3-6, Szczepanski Square

A wonderful outdoor festival of animated films gathering lovers of animation on the Mały Rynek (Small Square). The program includes evening screenings for adults and weekend showings and workshops for children.


Soap Bubbles Festival in Krakow, August 20th, 3 p.m., Stadion Korona (Korona Stadium)

No matter if you’re an adult, Soap Bubbles Festival will make you feel like a child. It doesn’t take much to transform the gray reality into a fairy-tale world of fantasy. Millions of bubbles will be flying in the air! There will be spots administering free solution for making gigantic bubbles and selling “bubble kits” – solution, a bowl, a bubble wand. During workshops, the masters of soap bubbles will teach muggles how to create the most beautiful soap forms!

Art Outdoors 

The Garden of Hope, Kurlandzki Boulevard next to Galeria Kazimierz

Kurlandzki Boulevard at Podgorska street boasts the awe-inspiring Garden of Hope (Ogród Nadziei). Opened in July this year, the Garden came to life thanks to Hedva Ser – the Israeli-born French painter and sculptor, who, in 2011, was awarded with the UNESCO Artist for Peace title. The project consists of four bronze sculptures – Tearing, Explosion, Interstice, Reunification – inspired by the Kabbalistic thought. Representing a symbolic interpretation of the fate of the Jewish community in Poland, the sculptures carry a universal message for all nations.

Outdoor picnic

Piknik Krakowski (Picnic in Krakow), Bednarski Park (Saturdays), Decius Park – in front of Villa Decius (Sundays)

What feels better than a breakfast on the grass and in good company? Every August weekend from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Bednarski Park (Saturdays) and Decius Park (Sundays) become the sites of grand picnicking! Surrounded by green trees, you can catch up with friends, enjoy some physical activity and – as it’s usually the case with picnics – eat a little something, this time straight from local producers and restaurateurs. Apart from open-air games for children, there will be art workshops and meetings with specialists in various fields. There’s a lot to choose from: cooking shows, acrobatics trainings, bike polo tournaments, gymnastics for pregnant women, and yoga on the grass. Also, you can rent a blanket for free every time you visit!

Festiwal Pierogów (The Festival of Pierogies), August 11-15, the Main Square

Pierogies with a variety of fillings: potato-cheese; strawberry; cabbage-mushroom; smoked plum, walnuts, and honey (something fancier), or duck, fresh figs and lemon basil? What’s waiting for us at the Small Market – next to food feasts and culinary competitions – is singing and fun. Joanna Słowińska and the band will be performing on August 11, while three days later – on August 14 – Krzikopa, a band from Silesia. We’ll feed the body and the soul!


article: Kasia Pilitowska
photos: courtesy of mentioned institutions and event organizers

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