A great walk in the green that will take a good hour at a leisurely pace is simply to stroll the length of the Planty, making a full circle around Kraków's Old Town. There are plenty of benches to take a break and people-watch. For more adventurous outings in the wild, try Las Wolski (Wolski Woods), a forested area west of the city center between the street Królowej Jadwigi and the Vistula River. There are around half a dozen walking trails here, as well as cycling paths. Here, you'll find the Kraków Zoo (Kasa Oszczednosci Miasta Krakowa 14; tel. 12/425-35-51; www.zoo-krakow.pl; 15 z adults, 8 z children; spring-fall daily 9am-5pm, winter daily 9am-3pm), with its impressive collection of exotic animals, including a rare herd of pygmy hippos. It's also home to the Pisudski Mound, an artificial hill built to commemorate Poland's interwar leader Józef Pisudski. If memorial mounds are your thing, Kraków's most interesting mound stands about 4km (2 1/2 miles) from the city center and makes for a restorative jaunt out of the center. The Kosciuszko Mound (Kopiec Kosciuszki), honoring Polish war hero (and American Revolutionary War hero) Tadeusz Kosciuszko, was built in the 1820s and has recently been restored. You can walk to the top of the mound for good views over the city and countryside.
Biking is becoming increasingly popular, and the Tourist Information Office has free bike maps (Mapa Szakow Rowerowych Krakowa; in Polish only) showing the best runs, including several bike trails along the Vistula River and through the park, the Planty, that rings the main square. One of the most popular daytrips follows the Vistula to the west about 14km (8 3/4 miles) to the village of Tyniec. That said, given the city's heavy traffic, for novices, biking is a better bet for an hour or two of sightseeing, rather than as a practical means for getting around. "Cruising Kraków" bike tours (ul. Basztowa 17; tel. 514/556-017; www.cruisingkrakow.com) offers fun and instructional 2-hour city bike tours in summer in the afternoons and evenings. They also rent bikes and conduct longer trips, including a trip to Tyniec.
The Royal Kraków Golf & Country Club (Ochmanów 124; tel. 12/281-91-70; www.krakowgolf.pl), in the village of Ochmanów, between Wieliczka and Niepoomice, is 18km (11 miles) from Kraków's city center and advertises itself as the city's nearest golf course. It has 9 holes and plans eventually to add another 9 holes. Greens fees start at 95 z on weekdays and 110 z on weekends.
The Kraków Aqua Park (Park Wodny) [kids] (Dobrego Pasterza 126; tel. 12/616-31-90; www.parkwodny.pl; 40 z adults, 32 z children; family discounts available; daily 8am-10pm) is Poland's biggest water park, with a giant indoor pool and huge water slides, as well as a sauna and spa. It's a great outing for kids in hot or cold weather, especially when the thought of yet another crowded museum brings howls of protest.
The best place for tennis relatively close to town is the Eskada Sports and Recreational Center (Szuwarowa 1; tel. 12/262-76-47). Phone ahead to reserve courts a day in advance.