Experience Krakow, the Pride of Poland

The city of Krakow, dating back four centuries is a charming city with magic in the air. During Medieval times it was one of the most prominent cities in Europe, and it was the first capital of Poland. Plan a long weekend to explore historical sights and admire performances in the Market Square sipping coffee, while eating delicious Polish food and jumping into the lively nightlife.

Roaming Around Rynek
The Old Town of Krakow is surrounded by rock walls and a moat built in the 13th century to make it more difficult for enemies to get into the city. Enter the Main Market Square – Rynek, by walking through the Florianska Gate. Rynek is known as one of the largest medieval squares in Europe and it is surrounded by marvelous townhouses with rich histories. Rynek is a vibrant area filled with people, flower stands, musicians, and horse-drawn carriages for local festivals, concerts and parades. The Main Market Square also features delicious food and beautiful sites to see.

Visit St. Mary’s Basilica to view the magnificent, wood carved, 15th-century altarpiece Witt Stwosz. The sunlight beams through stained glass windows and reflects on the beautiful ceiling with gold painted stars.

Shopping & Sipping
Walk over to Krakow Cloth, the oldest Shopping mall with 14th-century trading halls that were renovated during the Renaissance. This historic building offers local souvenirs like amber, silver, folk bags, traditional handmade Krakow red beads, floral print skirts and babushkas.

Pull up a seat in the Noworolski café – enjoy this iconic Art Nouveaux café for coffee and famous Zacher cake while you listen to the traditional bugle call, played every hour, on the hour in the four cardinal directions from St Mary’s Church Tower. Dig into history during your visit at the Rynek Underground – this museum takes visitors 4 meters down to learn about the city’s complete history starting with its very first settlers all the way to present day Krakow.

Sights to See & History
Walk down Royal Road, Grodzka and then Kanonicza Street to Wawel Castle – the ancient seat of royalty. The Cathedral, Crown Treasury, Royal Crypts and Courtyard gardens are must-see attractions. Afterward, take a smooth pass through Dragon’s Cave for a cruise on Benedictine Abbey over the Vistula River in Tyniec. You can rent a bike and enjoy 11 km of fantastic views by the river bank.

Krakow has always been a multicultural city. The Kazimierz district was the center of Jewish life for over 500 years before it was destroyed during War World II. Steven Spielberg’s movie Schindler’s List featured Kazimierz on film and breathed new life into this local district, you can also visit the Schindler Factory Museum. Traces of Jewish history are visible in numerous Jewish Synagogues (Remuh, Temple, Wysoka, Old) in the Remuh cemetery, and the traditional flee market on Plac Nowy.

Krakow features festivals, special events, and outdoor concerts for everyone to enjoy. Start planning ahead for the New Year and visit during the following months to experience a fun event for yourself.

Visit during June and July, to experience the Jewish Culture or Jazz Festival. During Easter, you can participate in Misteria Paschalia – a European Festival concentrating on Renaissance and Baroque Music to celebrate Holy Week. In May you can visit the Film Music Festival, in September the Sacrum Profanum project to hear new contemporary music. In December you can visit the Annual Christmas Market to buy traditional souvenirs and Christmas gifts to take back to your friends and family.

My favorite stops for nightlife fun start with the Teatro Cubano, located on Jagiellonska Street. The fun atmosphere is reminiscent of a Havana side-street, with famous DJ Alex playing live music until the early morning hours.

Jewish Quarter is a very popular local hangout, the courtyards hide dozens of bars and cafés. This is the kingdom of café culture, street food and nightlife. Don’t miss the iconic Singer on Izaaka Street, it is one of the very first bars in Kazimierz. The tables are made out of vintage singer sewing machines, decorated with cracked mirrors, dusky paintings, rickety antiques and candles. Singer hits its stride around 3 am when tabletops turn into dancefloors and the regulars abandon their drinks to dip and spin each other to an energetic mix of gypsy, klezmer, Celtic and swing music

Next, pass through the Father Bernatek Foodbridge where couples and newlyweds attach padlocks engraved with their names as a symbol of their love for one another and admire the view.

For the socialite in your group Tytano currently, the place to be, a former tobacco factory transformed into an alternative nightlife hangout. Tytano attracts party goers with unique bars, restaurants and shops creating a city within a city.

Take a long weekend to explore Krakow as you get to know the local area and learn about its extensive history. Krakow is beautiful year-round so you can rest assured that you will have a great time during your trip. Last but definitely not least, we strongly believe that one of the earth’s czakrams – the source of good energy is located in Wawel Castle so start planning your trip to learn, grow, and gather good energy. See you soon Do zobaczenia

Blonde woman posing for a picture.

This post was written by Hilton Suggests Team Member, Dorota S. Are you interested in traveling to Krakow? Let us know if we can help you with any other recommendations. Tweet us for more great local travel tips!

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