Attractions And Places To Visit In Kraków, Poland
Krakow, Poland, is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. Located on the banks of the Vistula River, this beautiful city has been a center for art and culture for centuries.
Though the city has been destroyed numerous times, it has managed to maintain its unique architectural style. From Renaissance and Baroque buildings to Gothic and Art Nouveau structures, there is something to suit every taste.
Krakow’s museums are not to be missed. The Rynek Underground Museum is one of the city’s top attractions. This museum offers interactive multimedia exhibits to give visitors a glimpse into the city’s history.
The museum is open to the public, though there are limited numbers of visitors each day. Another must-see site is the Barbican building, an architectural gem outside of the Old Town.
This Gothic-style building is the last remaining gatehouse from a string of fortifications that once surrounded Krakow. The Barbican was built to protect the city from invaders, and is home to interesting exhibitions.
Krakow has some of the best museums in the world. Schindler’s Factory tells the story of Oskar Schindler, the man behind Schindler’s Factory, as well as Krakow’s experiences during World War II.
There are genuine artifacts, radio recordings, and film footage on display in the museum, which is open from 9:00 to 20:00 most days.
Krakow’s Old Town #1
If you’re looking for a city break that is both interesting and relaxing, Krakow’s Old Town is an excellent choice. Its market square is alive with cafes, restaurants, and shops. Nearby, you can also find a century-old chocolatier and a museum with some of the best Polish paintings.
The market square is also the site of the Underground Museum, which features exhibits and displays on art, history, and culture. Before World War II, Kazimierz was the center of Jewish life in Krakow, home to six synagogues and kosher markets.
This once gloomy district became ghost-town-like after the Nazi occupation, but today is home to some of the city’s hippest restaurants and cafes.
In addition, you can visit the former factory of Oskar Schindler, which is now a museum dedicated to the Jewish experience during the Nazi era.
Those looking for an atmosphere-filled cafe should check out Camelot Cafe, which is famous for its heavenly desserts and breakfasts. There are even vegan options available, and the exterior is photogenic enough for Instagrammers.
Alternatively, try Cafe Lisboa, which serves Portuguese cuisine in Poland. It has wonderful cakes, a quaint atmosphere, and excellent coffee.
The Old Town’s main square is home to the famous St Adalbert’s Church and the historic St Mary’s Basilica. Built in the 11th century, St Adalbert’s Church is one of the oldest stone churches in Poland.
The square also features the Adam Mickiewicz monument, which was completed in 1898. This statue depicts the greatest Polish Romantic poet of the 19th century, Adam Mickiewicz.
St. Mary’s Basilica in Krakow #2
If you’re looking for a place to pray in the heart of downtown Phoenix, St. Mary’s Basilica is the place to go. This church is the official Church of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary and is located at 231 North 3rd Street, near the corner of East Monroe Street.
While many basilicas of this period had a semicircular sanctuary, St. Mary’s Basilica is unusual for its rectangular apse. The sanctuary is asymmetrical and is separated by a triumphal arch, which has been partially preserved.
A small, but interesting collection of stone monuments is also on display in the atrium. Outside the church, you’ll find a shrine to Mother Mary, which is open to the public. Passersby stand outside the gate and pray, while a few enter to light a candle.
Besides being a significant landmark, St. Mary’s Basilica also houses some of Krakow’s most prized cultural treasures. Originally a Romanesque church, it was rebuilt in an early-Gothic style around 1290.
Around thirty years later, it was re-consecrated as St. Mary’s Church. Under the reign of Casimir III the Great, the Basilica underwent major changes. From the 14th century, it was completely remodeled into a Gothic edifice.
The Gothic architecture of the church is a great example of the Gothic style. A triptych-style altarpiece by German sculptor Veit Stoss is one of the most impressive works of art in the basilica.
It measures more than eleven meters in length and thirteen meters wide when fully open. It has over two hundred figures and depicts the Assumption of the Madonna.
Wander Wawel Royal Castle #3
The interior courtyards and Renaissance gardens of Wawel Royal Castle are open for the public to visit. The castle is closed on Mondays and Sundays, but is open for visitors from 10 am to 4 pm.
If you’re planning to explore this historic site, you should buy tickets ahead of time and plan to arrive early. The Wawel Royal Castle is a fortified architectural complex on the left bank of the Vistula River, rising 228 meters above sea level.
It includes a number of historical buildings, including the Wawel Cathedral, where Polish monarchs were crowned and buried. The oldest stone buildings date back to the 970s, and the castle was first built in the 14th century.
It was expanded over the centuries and was declared a World Heritage Site in 1978. Visitors can explore the castle’s State Rooms, which date back to the 11th century and are adorned with Renaissance and Baroque tile stoves.
If the weather permits, you can visit the castle’s fabled Dragon’s Den and its sun-drenched Royal Gardens. You can also visit the Wawel Cathedral and Sandomierska Tower to see sweeping views of the Vistula River and the city.
While you’re there, don’t forget to stop by the Dragon’s Den, which is a cave where a mean dragon once lived. It contains a 50-year-old statue of the dragon that breathes real fire.
Planty Park in Krakow #4
Planty Park is a beautiful green belt surrounding Krakow’s old town. It stretches over 2km and covers 52 acres. The park was established in the 1820s in place of the city’s medieval city walls.
Today, it has several gardens of various styles, which are connected by walkways. It is also home to sculptures and fountains. The park was designed with monuments to important Krakow and Polish figures.
It was the brainchild of Florian Straszewski, a member of the Krakow Senate. A new monument was unveiled on every patriotic anniversary. Today, over twenty monuments honor historical figures.
Visitors can find statues of Tadeusz Boy-Zelenski and Nicolaus Copernicus. There are also many park benches. The park has been renovated in the past several years. It features stylish benches and fences.
It also has stone walls lining the course of the old ramparts, where gates and towers once stood. It is one of the most popular parks in Krakow, where many people gather year-round. It is home to several medieval fortifications, including the Barbican, which dates back to 1224.
The park is centrally located, just 5 minutes from the Main Market Square. It offers free WiFi. Units are air-conditioned and include flat-screen TVs. Some units have views of Planty Park or the Wawel Castle. The property also offers cold catered breakfast.
Ghetto Heroes Square in Krakow #5
The former Zgody Square in Krakow’s Podgorze district is now known as Ghetto Heroes Square. The square is the location of a large art installation meant to commemorate the Jewish victims of the Holocaust.
There are dozens of giant iron chairs and a plaque commemorating the plight of the Jews of Krakow. The square’s history dates back to the 18th century, when it was a separate town.
Originally, it was called Maly Rynek and was renamed Plac Zgody in 1917, following the annexation of Podgorze to Krakow. However, the square’s present name dates from 1948, when it was given to commemorate the Polish Jews who perished in the Krakow Ghetto.
The ghetto was liquidated by German forces during World War II, and SS-Sturmbannfuhrer Willi Haase was responsible for the deportations. The ghetto’s inhabitants were deported to concentration camps including Auschwitz and Plaszow.
Nearly two thousand people perished in the process. The square, which commemorates the victims of the Holocaust, is located on Zgody square, where ghetto residents lived before the deportation.
The memorial was awarded the European Prize for Urban Public Space in 2006 and was also awarded the Gold Award in 2011 for its landscaping. During the war, the square was also a staging area for deported Jews in Poland.
The Nazis used the Umschlagplatz to inspect the Jews prior to sending them to the death camps. The square still contains a small police box, which Nazis used to count Jews as they were being deported.
The Juliusz Slowacki Theatre in Krakow #6
In its history, the Juliusz Slowacki Theatre has had a varied range of productions. The theater has four stages, including the original Large Stage, a smaller stage, and two new ones.
Its original Large Stage is located inside an old electric plant which supplied the theatre with electricity. Another stage is situated by the pump, while the Stage by the Gate is next to it.
The theater dates back to the end of the nineteenth century and is located in the center of Krakow’s Holy Ghost square. The name ‘Holy Ghost’ comes from the monastery that stood on the same site.
In the mid-1870s, the city of Krakow began the process of demolishing the monastery and building a theatre on the site. However, this decision was met with a great deal of criticism, and the theatre was only completed in 1893.
It was originally called the Municipal Theatre but was later renamed to honour a famous Polish poet. The theatre is home to some of Poland’s greatest actors. It was also the first Polish theatre to stage plays by Claudel, Pirandello, and Kaiser.
Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum #7
The Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum is situated on the site of the Auschwitz concentration camp in Owicim, Poland. It tells the story of those who perished in the camp. The museum is free and open to the public.
In addition, the museum offers free tours of the camp. The museum has over one million visitors each year. For the best experience, it is best to book your tour in advance. Since there is only one guide for every ten people, it is essential to make reservations.
However, if you have a large group, you can consider splitting up into smaller groups. The museum has a number of artifacts from the camps. Visitors can see prosthetic limbs, eyeglasses, toothbrushes, suitcases, and other items.
The museum also has artifacts from the victims’ lives. Some of the victims’ clothes, shoes, and other personal items are displayed in glass encased bins.
The Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial is located in Oswiecim, Poland. It is 70 km from Krakow. You can reach it by following the national road no. 933. It is also near two airports. At this site, you can explore the horrors of the Holocaust.
The museum also features a memorial to the victims of the Holocaust. Throughout the museum, visitors can see photographs and artifacts that help them understand the horror of the event.
The Wieliczka Salt Mine in Krakow #8
Located in southern Poland, the Wieliczka Salt Mine is a unique attraction. It is located within the Kraków metropolitan area. This attraction offers a rare look into the history of salt mining. It is one of the oldest in the world, and its history is rich and interesting.
During a trip to the Wieliczka Salt Mine, visitors can experience the world’s oldest underground salt mine, which is 112 feet deep. There is also an underground bungee and balloon flight.
Visitors can also visit one of the chapels, which were carved by miners. The chapels are dedicated to the patron saint of miners and are decorated with New Testament carvings. The chapels also feature sparkling chandeliers and two altars.
A guided tour through the Wieliczka Salt Mine will take you through a number of fascinating rooms, which include underground chapels and religious sculptures. You’ll spend nearly two hours in the mine and have the opportunity to visit the Krakow Saltworks Museum.
You can also take a private mass in one of the chapels, if you wish. The Wieliczka Salt Mine is a spectacular complex of underground caves. It is located in Poland. It has been the site of many industrial and artistic endeavors.
Since its discovery in the 1200s, the mine has developed into almost 300 kilometres of navigable tunnel. Since then, it has been the canvas of some of the most creative artistic works in Europe, from chiseled salt-rock statues to elaborate religious projects.
FAQs about Kraków, Poland
What is Kraków Poland known for?
Krakow, which was Poland’s capital until 1596, has been a major centre of Polish academic, cultural, and artistic life. It is regarded as one of Europe’s most beautiful towns. The Old Town and Wawel Royal Castle were declared the first UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the world.
Is Kraków a large city?
It is one of the most populous cities in Poland. It is well-known for its historic architecture and cultural leadership. In 1978, UNESCO declared its old town a World Heritage Site.