Kraków, Poland’s second largest city, is perhaps one of its most popular with tourists – with the great food and beverage, the incredible architecture unscathed from world wars, and other top museums and attractions, it’s hard not to like. Poland used to be one of the most inexpensive places to visit in Europe, though slowly that’s changing.
- Walk the Royal Way. This was the route of funerals and processionals. Start at St. Florian’s Church and follow the route which offers you some great photograph opportunities at many classic Krakow sights.
- Go to the Wieliczka Salt Mine. This is incredible – these salt vaults (rhyming unintentional) are just massive, and the rooms are carved entirely of salt, from cathedrals to candelabras!
- Shop on Sunday morning. Thousands of traders open up stalls at the Market Hall (“Hala Targowa”) on Sunday mornings for an open air flea market. It’s a great opportunity to get a bargain souvenir for yourself or a friend.
- Sip cocktails at the Kazimierz. Krakow has plenty of students who like a good night on the town, and along with the tourists, you’ll find plenty of folks at the Kazimierz dancing and enjoying good Polish vodka, beer, and other libations. This was originally Krakow’s Jewish quarter.
- Admire the Church of St Venceslaus – this church is in the “Nowa Huta” area and contains not only some beautiful stained glass windows, but the interior painting was done by one of Poland’s best artists. Explore the nooks and crannies – there are many!
- Eat Pierogi. You may know pierogi as just a meat-filled pasta dish, but in Poland pierogi can be filled with anything – even fruits for desserts. Pairs well with vodka.
- Pay your respects at Auschwitz. This is not a happy place, but the best way to respect history is to remember it, and at Auschwitz you can learn more about the internment camps of WWII – this camp is just 30 miles out of town.
- Walk around Wawel Castle and Hill. Perhaps one of the most rich historic sites in town, the castle and cathedral still hold many secrets to the long history of Poland.
- Explore the Old Synagogue. This was a working worship centre, but has been turned into an interesting museum and cultural centre. Free on Mondays.
- Stroll in the Planty. This public park is where the old town walls used to be, and today is a place where locals walk their dogs, runners stretch their legs, and tourists can get a break from the hectic Old Town scene and relax on a park bench.
Have you been to Krakow? What’s on your top ten list?
Photo by Robin, slickimages, futureshape
Posted : Thursday, July 7th, 2011 at 11:00
Andy Hayes is a travel journalist currently based in Seattle, Washington. When not soaking up the Pacific Northwest lifestyle or enjoying life on the road, he is spending time hanging out on his own travel lifestyle magazine, Sharing Travel Experiences.
Category : Top 10
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