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, Top 10 Things to do in Krakow, Poland , Top 10 Things to do in Krakow, Poland

Baltic Travel Blog

Top 10 Things to do in Krakow, Poland

Posted on April 6th, 2020.

Krakow is one of the most underrated cities in Europe. But as tourists begin to uncover its unique mix of history and contemporary culture, it’s not going to stay that way for long.

Krakow has long rivalled Warsaw to be the best city in Poland. But while it might have lost out as capital to Warsaw a few hundred years back, Krakow definitely has the best architecture, and arguably the best food and drink in the country.

Explore the cobbled streets of Krakow’s Old Town, gorge on pierogi dumplings and Polish beers, and delve into its sobering World War II history and modern art and culture.

There are a lot of great things to do here on a trip to Poland. Here are our top 10 favourite things to do in Krakow.

Krakow Old Town

Krakow has a long history dating back well into Europe’s medieval era. Despite the relatively recent destruction of World War II, much of the Old Town is remarkably well preserved.

No visit to Krakow is complete without taking a walk through the Old Town, where you’ll find historic buildings, centuries-old churches and the remains of fortresses and gates.

Recognised as one of Poland’s best UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Krakow Old Town is where you’ll find such iconic sights as St Mary’s Basilica, the Barbican Gate, Wawel Castle and the Main Market Square.

Krakow Old Town horses

Wawel Castle and Wawel Cathedral

Two of the most important places to visit in Krakow are Wawel Castle and Wawel Cathedral.

Part of Krakow’s historic Old Town, these famous buildings are built atop Wawel Hill, from where they have long dominated the rest of the surrounding city.

Wawel Castle dates back to the 13th century and is a beautiful example of medieval Polish architecture. Wawel Cathedral, found within the Wawel Hill complex, is where the Polish kings and queens were crowned through the ages.

Wawel Castle

Main Market Square

Also found within the historic walls of the Old Town is Krakow’s Main Market Square, which is easily one of the best places to visit in the city.

The square dates back to at least the 13th century, and it’s been the centre of life in Krakow for hundreds of years.

In fact, this is the largest surviving medieval square in Europe, and it’s still a lively and beautiful place to visit. You can enjoy the endless street performances held in the square, take photographs in front of the spectacular skyline, or simply sit back and enjoy a coffee or a beer while the world passes by.

Main Market Square

Cloth Hall

One of the best things to do in Krakow is to explore the world-famous Cloth Hall.

Located in the centre of Main Market Square, the Cloth Hall is one of Krakow’s most iconic buildings. This has long been the centre of commerce in the city, dating back centuries. When Krakow was the capital of Poland until the 16th century, it was the largest trading hub in the country.

Today, you can still find a huge number of market stalls and shops inside Cloth Hall, selling traditional goods, artisanal products and souvenirs. On the top floor, you can find a huge museum dedicated to Polish artwork through the ages.

Cloth Hall Restaurant

MOCAK

If you’re an art lover then you’ll want to take a trip to MOCAK, Krakow’s excellent museum of modern art.

MOCAK, or the Museum of Modern Art in Krakow, is home to the best contemporary works in Poland, with both permanent and temporary exhibitions to explore.

This is one of Krakow’s newest tourist attractions, but it’s found outside the city centre built on an old segment of a factory that was once run by a certain Oskar Schindler during World War II.

Oskar Schindler Enamel Factory

You can visit the remaining parts of the Oskar Schindler Enamel Factory in Krakow, too.

Oskar Schindler was the true-life subject of the renowned Holocaust Drama, Schindler’s List, and the factory depicted in the film is now a museum.

It offers a fascinating insight into the darker days of Krakow’s history, but also an inspiring look at what one individual did to redeem himself in the face of war.

Kazimierz District

To learn more about Krakow’s Jewish history, take a tour through the city’s Kazimierz District.

Once the bustling hub of Jewish culture, the district lay derelict for decades after World War II, but in recent years has seen a dramatic revitalisation. It’s now a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a wonderful hub for art and modern Polish culture in Krakow.

Kazimierz District Cafe

Auschwitz-Birkenau

Just one hour away from Krakow, you can find one of the most infamous places in European history.

Auschwitz-Birkenau needs no introduction, because this is where the worst of the Holocaust was perpetrated.

It’s now a memorial site, and while it’s not exactly the happiest place to visit on holiday, it’s an incredibly important place that attracts millions of visitors every year. Learn about the history and make sure Krakow’s World War II past isn’t forgotten.

Audchwitz building

Wieliczka Salt Mine

Another unique day trip to make from Krakow is a tour of the Wieliczka Salt Mine. Dating back to around the 13th century, this was once one of the largest salt producers in the world.

Today, it’s an important historical landmark, where you can learn about Poland’s salty history. It’s also a surprisingly beautiful place, with vast underground caverns and an elaborate network of tunnels and mine shafts that can be explored.

Salt mines

Eat Pierogi

Polish food isn’t quite as international as it perhaps should be. However in Krakow, you’ll soon start to wonder why there aren’t more Polish diners elsewhere in the world.

The country’s staple dish is pierogi, a delicious dumpling that’s stuffed with meat, cheese or vegetables, or in some cases all three.

For the most traditional pierogi, then head to a Polish Milkbar, a type of canteen serving cheap, Polish food that became popular during the Communist era.

Contact Baltic Travel Company today to find out more about our great travel itineraries for Krakow and Poland, and to book your next getaway!

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Join our newsletter

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We never allow third parties to use your data and we do not keep financial information. We protect your data as if it was our own, because we're people too!


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