Kazimierz Dolny is a real pearl, one of the most valuable and charming places in Poland. It is also one of the most famous tourist destinations with over a hundred years of tradition.
In addition to tourism, Kazimierz is known for its connections with art. Many painters have their galleries and workshops here, as well as open-air painting workshops. The uniqueness of Kazimierz is based mainly on the cultural richness and the tradition of painting.
The town has a vast number of historic buildings and places made available to visitors, including sacred buildings, historic buildings of the Vistula Museum, and castle complex.
Kazimierz Dolny is even called the “pearl of the Polish Renaissance” due to monuments from the 17th century, including richly decorated tenement houses or a parish church, which is a symbol of the town’s splendor.
Kazimierz Dolny is located on the Vistula in a beautiful area, in the Lublin Voivodeship. The city is particularly crowded in the summer season and on sunny weekends – then we can come across a large number of tourists. However, this shouldn’t stop you from discovering the charm and history of this city.
You’re surely wondering where to go first to get the most out of time in Kazimierz Dolny?
Kazimierz can be visited by wandering its cozy and extremely picturesque streets. It’s good to know where to go to see something interesting.
These places should not be missed:
1. Market Square
The Renaissance market square is the real heart of the city and one of the most recognizable places in Kazimierz Dolny. It is a great starting point for your day of sightseeing. The beautiful Renaissance square is usually vibrant with life and energy furthermore has everything visitors need, including charming restaurants and cafes.
In the middle of the market is the famous and unmissable well from the nineteenth century, probably the most photographed place in the whole town. According to legend – if you drink water from it, you will come back here regularly.
It is worth seeing the two grand townhouses of brothers Mikolaj and Krzysztof Przybył. The merchants and original owners grew rich by floating goods on the Vistula. Kazimierz Dolny was once famous for the grain trade, and several historic granaries have survived to this day.
Jacek Karczmarz Wikimedia Commons
2. Parish Church of St. John the Baptist and Bartholomew
In the north-eastern part of the town square exists the oldest temple in Kazimierz Dolny. The temple was founded by King Casimir the Great in 1325, and inside it, there are still playing XVII century organs.
In 1561, a huge fire struck the city; in consequence, it burned down the church. The incident became the reason for the construction of a new temple in an original Renaissance shape.
The parish’s church curiosity is a decorative deer head-shaped candlestick – with natural antlers. It is associated with the legend that King Casimir the Great founded the Kazimierz church in the place where he hunted a beautiful deer.
Enzo83 Wikimedia Commons
3. Castle and Bastion in Kazimierz
The castle built on the order of Casimir the Great served as a defensive bastion against the Tartars. The function of the tower was to help the sailors at sea determine the route to the port.
The castle was destroyed during the Swedish Deluge and sadly never rebuilt again. In the interwar period, when Kazimierz Dolny became an artistic colony, the castle was a meeting place for young painters. In the 20th century, artists discovered that this place is an excellent motif for landscapes.
Apparently, in the ruined castle courtyard, artists from the city arranged balls and picnics with a beautiful panorama of Kazimierz and the Vistula River in the background. Today, the castle is one of the most-visited attractions of Kazimierz Dolny.
Currently, the Castle and the Tower are open to visitors throughout the year.
4. Loess Gorges
The area around Kazimierz is famous for its picturesque gorges. A few dozen meters from the market, you can move to a completely different world.
Very popular point of trips in town is the so-called Korzeniowy Dół – the gorge begins about 6 km from the market and has a length of about 500 meters. It is an ideal proposition for those who want to relax in the midst of nature.
The most beautiful moment of the trip is when the walls reach the maximum height (about 4 meters), so you can admire the tree roots emerging from them. Old-growth trees cover the edges, which makes the place even more amazing. A walk through the ravine takes about 20 minutes.
Kamillaess Wikimedia Commons
4a. Stara Chata-Siedlisko Lubicz
At a distance of several hundred meters from the Korzeniowy Dol, you can see a hut from the 17th – 18th centuries. Its history dates back to medieval times and is really impressive. This extraordinary family-owned hut cared for several generations is made available by the owners for sightseeing and recreation. And it’s worth seeing it and learning a piece of history.
4b. Przystanek Korzeniowa
Off the beaten path of the town, about 2-3 km from the center, in the vicinity of the beautiful Korzeniowy Dół there is a magical wooden hut.
The place is full of music and reggae atmosphere and also serves as a restaurant so you can eat well. These are not some ready-made microwaved dishes, but real homemade food prepared in the back room. And the prices are meager. For those thirsty, there will also be a lot of drinks, including local green beer.
The decor, music, atmosphere, friendly service, and tasty food along with drinks make this place unique. If you are in Kazimierz – you must visit this place.
5. Hill of Three Crosses
The Hill of Three Crosses is the most beautiful viewpoint from which you can admire Kazimierz Dolny and its surroundings. The road to the top is quite steep, and my suggestion is to wear comfy shoes.
The history of the Three Crosses dates back to 1708 when the inhabitants of the town erected crosses on the hill to commemorate the victims of the cholera epidemic that swept through the town in the 18th century.
Hundreds of steps up, and you’re on a hill from which you can see the whole Kazimierz. This place offers you a stunning view of town for the price of 4PLN. Be prepared for 10 min climbing.
Happa111 Wikimedia Commons
6. Visit The Art Gallery
Kazimierz Dolny has been the seat of the Polish artists for centuries. In the first half of the twentieth century, famous Plein air painting took place here, and now you can find Art Galleries almost at every step.
The Kazimierz art colony flourished in 1923 when prof. Tadeusz Pruszkowski, a rector of the Warsaw School of Fine Arts, brought here students for the first time from his workshop. From then on, outdoor painting in Kazimierz became an indispensable practice, works and friendships were born here.
Art and artists are Kazimierz’s identity, and new generations appreciate the value of the town and fall in love with its charms. It can be said with certainty that the artistic colony in Kazimierz is still alive and developing. Art has been and is one of the essential elements of Kazimierz’s identity.
Literally, 50 meters from the well is Lubelska street, and here a fantastic view a tremendous amount of art galleries. The choice is yours, which galleries you decide to visit.
Galeria Grabskich Kazimierz Dolny
7. Eat The Kazimierz Rooster
Kazimierz is famous for Rooster. However, not from the animals who walk and nibble the grass, but delicious rooster-shaped braids baked from yeast dough.
As you might guess, there is a legend associated with it. The legend says that the devil was flying over the city, and decided to settle in the nearby gorge. He liked the local poultry so much that soon there was only one rooster left, which hid in the local cave.
When the devil went hunting – the monks sprinkled his temporary home with holy water at the same time chasing him out of the town. And that’s how delicious Kazimierz roosters have been baked since.
The first place where the famous roosters began to be sold was Bakery Sarzyński. The family-run business boasts over a century-long tradition. Within a few years, butter baked goods became the hallmark of Kazimierz, for which long queues of tourists line up today. You should absolutely try one!
Kazimierz has a unique set of granaries along the Vistula River. Grain warehouses were established in the 16th and 17th centuries, at the time of the highest development and port splendor of Kazimierz Dolny. Granaries were the property of magnates, wealthy nobility or clergy.
The splendor of Kazimierz granaries quickly passed, and already in the nineteenth century, about 12 buildings were adapted for purposes other than storing grain. In consequence, warehouses housed tanneries, breweries, and wicker warehouses, thanks to which they have survived to this day.
Granary Kazimierz is one of the oldest in town and dates back to the 16th century. The granary has been transformed into modern hotel buildings in 2005. King Kazimierz Hotel impresses with interiors inspired by the town’s history and maritime motifs (sailing ship models, ship-shaped bar).
Hotel Krol Kazimierz
During your visit to Kazimierz Dolny, you should try a cruise on the Vistula river. A popular attraction is the ferry crossing to Janowiec, located on the other bank, famous for the ruins of the 16th-century Firlej Castle.
Cruises take place regardless of the number of willing people. To reach the castle, you have to climb the hill nevertheless still worthwhile if only for the stunning view of the town.
10. Sanctuary of Our Lady of Kazimierz
If you are in Kazimierz, be sure to hook up ul. Klasztorna 3! After climbing the rocky hill and crossing massive walls, you will see an extraordinary image of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which heals, converts, and bless all the faithful since the 17th century. The author of the image is a local artist Stanisław.
You must show up in the local courtyard, as from here you can admire the beautiful panorama of the city, from a bit different perspective, but for free.
A place like Kazimierz Dolny needs no introduction, even though it is a small town, its charming location, and many cultural events, along with its appeal, always attract crowds of tourists.
Probably everything that tourists need Kazimierz Dolny has to offer. It is a real pearl of Poland, which makes you notice much more than is visible at first glance!
Where to Stay?
Budget: Osrodek Kwaskowa– hotel located on the top of the ravine offer decorated colorful rooms, private bathrooms, as well as darts or table tennis. Nicely kept property with friendly owners and beautiful scenery.
Mid-range: Dunia Pokoje Goscinne– Located just an 18-minute walk from The Castle Ruins. Hotel offer rooms with private bathroom, free Wi-fi, fully equipped shared kitchen. Lovely house with a rural holiday atmosphere, very close to loess gorges.
Luxury: Hotel Krol Kazimierz– The elegant hotel is located just 50 yards fro the Vistula river. It’s vast and actually has everything you need a luxurious spa, playroom to keep your toddler busy, great restaurant, and beautiful rooms with free Wi-fi. Beautiful resort with pleasing architecture and great location for local sightseeing.