Krakow is one of the oldest city in Poland, after Gniezno was an official capital of Poland until 1596. Leading centre of culture and artistic life. Krakow itself is very romantic and great escape for weekends. Make sure to include these 10 best things to do in Krakow.
1. Wawel Castle
Magnificent castle was built at the behest of the King Casimir III the Great. This historic castle represents couple of architectural styles medieval, renaissance and baroque. In 1978, it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. For centuries, it was the residence of the Polish Kings. Currently is a museum which contain of separate sections. Please note that the exhibitions will be temporarily closed in 2019, due to conservation reviews. It is one of the must see attractions, you will not be disappointed after visiting Wawel Castle.
2. Cloth Hall
This massive structure is the main attraction of the old town square. Parts of this structure date back to the 13th century and it is essentially the first shopping mall. This is an amazing place and has every type of vendor. You can pick up souvenirs and gifts of all sorts and shapes.
3. Wieliczka Salt Mine
The Wieliczka Salt Mine excavated from 13th century and produced table salt till 2007. It is one of the most popular attractions in Poland, located approximately 30 min from Krakow. Underground labyrinth with tunnels and chambers, reach a depth of 327 meters. The mine is currently one of the National Historic Monuments of Poland and in 2010 it was successfully proposed that the nearby historic Bochnia Salt Mine be added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites. The two sister salt mines now appear together in the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites as the “Wieliczka and Bochnia Royal Salt Mines”. Wieliczka Salt Mine is accessible all year round. It is definitely worth to visit the underground city with a hundred years of the history.
4. Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum
Established by Nazis in 1940, symbol of terror and Holocaust. Built and operated by Nazi Germany in occupied Poland during WW II. It is estimated that Nazi Germany deported at least 1.3 million people to the Auschwitz camp complex between 1940-1945 and approximately 1.1 million of people were murdered. This is really interesting museum that reminds us of sad moments in history. However, it is definitely worth the visit to learn more about its past.
5. Rynek underground
Very interesting museum hidden under the Main Square, the entrance is in Cloth Hall just opposite the Church of Mary. Medieval underground world with exhibits, holograms and audiovisual effects. After an archaeological find discovered and excavated underground tunnels under Krakow´s Main Market Square in 2005, the much publicised
Rynek Underground Museum was created, opening its doors to the public for the first time in September 2010. Enjoy your travel back in time to the atmosphere of Krakow in the Middle Ages.
6. Kosciuszko’s Mound
Dedicated to Polish national military leader and hero Tadeusz Kosciuszko. Officially completed in 1823, Kosciuszko Mound stand 34 meters high. The soil from his battlefields including those in America was placed here. From the top of the mound there is a stunning 360 degree view of Poland.
7. Main Square
Located at the center of the city, the square dates back to the 13th century and is huge 10-acre square, one of the largest medieval square in Europe. Main market square is very picturesque, surrounded by historic townhouses and churches. Perfect place to have a stroll, full of bars, restaurants and shops. You can admire buildings, horse drawn carriages and take a minute to relax.
8. St Mary’s Basillica
Is a brick Gothic church, one of the most famous in Poland. Built in the 14th century, standing 80 m tall, it is particularly famous for its wooden altarpiece carved by Veit Stoss. Located in the heart of the old town. On every hour, a trumpet signal-called the Hejnał mariacki-is played from the top of the taller of Saint Mary’s two towers. The plaintive tune breaks off in mid-stream, to commemorate the famous 13th century trumpeter, who was shot in the throat while sounding the alarm before the Mongol attack on the city. The noon-time hejnał is heard across Poland and abroad broadcast live by the Polish national Radio 1 Station.
9. Planty Park
Is one of the largest city parks in Krakow, a scenic walkway that circles around the Old Town. The medieval defensive moat that once surrounded the city walls has been filled up and made into a beautiful park. An old park with lines of trees, grass, places to sit down and some fountains. Park replaced old ramparts on the western part of the city and is essential for the locals and visitors. Walking through the Planty is a wonderful and relaxing experience.
10. Kazimierz Krakow
Kazimierz a historical district of Krakow, it became known as the Jewish Quarter. Today Kazimierz is one of the major tourist attractions of Krakow and an important center of cultural life of the city. Wandering around old narrow streets with unique atmosphere of the Jewish past and a place full of history. The buildings, small coffee shops, bar, galleries and excellent restaurants create a bohemian atmosphere full of life.