Cracow is usually associated with the old town, visiting churches and the Wawel castle, with synagogues and charming coffees in Kazimierz district. But not necessarily with an active time by the water. Summer in the city can be very hot and there are days when you dream about escaping the old buildings and busy cars. Where is the best place to escape and beat the cracovian heat?
Only 15 km outside of Cracow you can feel like on real holidays. The Kryspinów lake, officially known as Zalew na Piaskach (Lake on the Sand), is a perfect place to escape the city rush and noise and spend a nice and active day by the water. You can go to the main sand beach, where you can find coffees and bars, boat rental, water bikes and other sports equipment, water slide, or you can go to the other side of the lake and find small sand and grass beaches, that will be less crowded and calm. Next to the main lake there is a second, smaller, probably less crowded but not so attractive as the main one. I’m sure everybody will find something they like there. Remember though that during summer weekends it might get crowded.
Attractions: guarded bathing beach, wakeboard, sailing and windsurfing schools, rental of water sport equipment, waterslide, rope park, quads, basketball beach volleyball courts, playground and camping site.
How to get there?
By car: From the center of Cracow it is the best to drive in direction of the airport and then look for signs to Kryspinów. There are a couple of parkings there, some on the main road 774 or on the road going between the two lakes. You can also enter one of the unpaved roads and park for example here. Check the map for more parking spots.
By bus: I recommend using the website http://krakow.jakdojade.pl/. The closest stop is Budzyń Zalew na Piaskach.
Price: Unfortunately, the entrance to the lake is not free. The normal ticket is 12 zł, reduced 6 zł, family 20zł. Parking is 10zł.
Bagry lake is located in the Płaszów district, around 20 minutes from the center. You will find there the main guarded beach and a couple of small ones on the other side of the late and three little marinas. Although the water doesn’t seen crystal clean, its quality is regularly checked, so you can swim without a problem. On the grounds of the lake area you can practice different sports, sunbathe, go kayaking or pedal on water bikes. The main beach is usually quite crowded, but you can find a nice spot in other part of the lake.
Attractions: guarded beach, rental of water sport equipment (kayaks, water bikes), boat rental, water ski lift and a lift for wakeboard with professional obstacles.
How to get there?
By car: Bagry lake is located in Płaszów district, 20 minutes from the city center. You can park for free next to the main beach here.
By bus: I recommend using the website http://krakow.jakdojade.pl/. The closest stop is Mały Płaszów. From there you need to cross the Lipska street and go in direction of Lidl. Before the shop turn to Węglarska street and then Grochowska street. In the end of this street turn right to Kozia street. The beach is located in the end of the street, after the parking.
Price: Parking and entrance is for free.
I also recommed Zakrzówek, which I describe here. However swimming there is not very convenient and ilegal, so be careful!