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Krakow, an Inspirational Polish City

Krakow CastleKrakow is a beautiful city in the south of Poland, little over 50 miles from the border with the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Krakow with its fine market square and castle is a fascinating place to visit.  Rich in history and boasting some magnificent architecture, Krakow has much to delight visitors.

Top 3 Attractions in Krakow

- Rynek Glowny, the main square
- Wawel Royal Castle
- Schindler Factory

The Beautiful Main Square

Krakow’s main market square is in the centre of the Old Town and is reputed to be the biggest medieval town square in Europe.  Dominating its square is the impressive Cloth Hall, a 16th century building which is home to an indoor market as well as council offices.

With wide and generous dimensions this square offers a sense of grandeur and space. There are numerous attractive historical buildings dotted around the square, including those painted in pretty colours and some with elaborate stain glass work. The square is a fine place to spend time drinking coffee with family or friends and soaking up the views. In the evenings, what better than to dine in one of the many atmospheric restaurants? Krakow has a number of good restaurants including some atmospheric cellar type options ideal for romantic evenings out and some high end options where you can dine in style and watch the world go by.

One of the main buildings dominating the Main Square is the 14th century St Marys Church.  Every hour this church attracts a crowd on account of the bugler who appears from a window high up in the highest tower of the church and plays a bugle call then abruptly halts. This tradition has developed in memory of the bugle player who was struck by an arrow in the throat way back in the 1200s when the city was attacked.

The other dominant building which is located in the centre of the square is the Cloth Hall. Within this Hall there are numerous market stalls selling traditional Polish goods and handicrafts. A recently added attraction to the Cloth Hall is Rynek Underground where you are guided through a fascinating tour of medieval life in Krakow in these impressive underground vaults which lie underneath the main square. 

Wawel Castle

Wawel Castle's CathedralPerhaps Krakow’s greatest attraction is Wawel Castle.  This impressive, well preserved castle is a pleasant walk along from the main square. Perched high on Wawel Hill, this commanding castle stands high, complete with cathedral and a fiery resident on the lower level.  To enjoy some splendid views by the river and to see how Poland’s aristocracy once lived you will just have to visit! Enjoy looking around the State Rooms then why not take a guided tour of the Royal Private Apartments to find out more? The fiery resident on the lower level is bound to make an impression on young and old visitors alike.

Wawel Tower, KrakowThe Poles are an artistic people and it could be said that nowhere more than Krakow can this love for art and beauty be felt. Stained glass adorns many of the buildings in the town square and Polish art work has a unique quality of its own.

With beautiful architecture in abundance, shopping in Krakow can be a pleasure, whatever the time of year, offering the opportunity to buy Polish handcrafted goods along with more mainstream retail options.  Around Christmas time with the arrival of the Christmas Market in Krakow’s main square has to be the very best time of year for shopping. Find out more about Christmas Markets in Poland.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Schindler's Factory

Away from the city centre, the Jewish town in Krakow, Kazimierz is worth a visit, particularly for those with Jewish heritage. The Jewish museum and 13th century Old Synagogue are both worth a visit. 

When staying in Krakow don't miss the opportunity to discover nearby attractions and sights. Find out information about places to visit near Krakow.

Nightlife

Krakow's Architecture at NightAs with any large city, bars and nightclubs can be found in Krakow which range from the artsy to the seedy. There is also ample choice of restaurants, ranging from traditional Polish offerings to world cuisine.

Krakow is a fantastic city for those who love live music. Many musicians are to be found performing in the main square and outside many of the city’s tourist attractions for free, although tips are always appreciated! Many of these are surprisingly talented and some famous classical musicians can sometimes be found playing for the crowds.

Opera lovers are also well catered for in Krakow as the city has its own Opera House, a modern building distinctly lacking in charm. Those who enjoy classical music will find regular shows on offer at Filharmonia Concert Hall, a grand historical building.

Younger adults looking for a party atmosphere may want to go to Stalowe Magnolie with its club feel and regular live music concerts.

For Polish speakers, the Juliusz Slowacki Theatre of Krakow stages plays throughout the year.Christmas Markets in Poland

With fairy lights galore and plenty of stalls selling hot wine, the Christmas market is a real sight to behold.  The speciality at this time of year tends to be Polish glass made Christmas decorations.  Far from cheap, by and large these are high quality items, worthy of becoming one of your Christmas centre pieces.  Huge and unusual baubles can be purchased.  Always ask for them to be boxed and make sure that boxes are available before buying as most of these items are very fragile and need to be well packaged and transported with care.