The historic centre of Kraków is located on the ‘Wisła’ (Vistula) riverbank and it is formed of three urban sectors: the Wawel Hill complex, the medieval chartered city of Kraków, and the town of Kazimierz (including the suburb of Stradom). Featuring the opulence and splendor of Sukiennice, the medieval market place is evidence of the glory days the city enjoyed in ancient times. Adjacent to the Main Market Square, you will find The Mariacki Church. The characteristic facade of the Church consists of two tall, yet uneven towers which should not be missed. Up on Wawel Hill, raised above the city, there is the majestic Wawel Castle. The Hill features many historically significant buildings dating back to different eras. Wawel played a significant role in the political and religious history of the country and the city itself. For centuries it was the Royal Residence of Polish kings. Kraków is also home to Jagiellonian University, one of the oldest such establishments in the world, and is definitely worth visiting.
More information on Kraków can be found here
Fit & Green
Staying fit in Kraków is not difficult at all. Here are some popular recreation areas:
- Błonia – a vast, 48-hectare field, just 15 minutes walk from the city centre,
- Park Jordana – opened in 1889 and designed as an English landscape garden,
- Planty – an exquisite city park which surrounds the historical part of Kraków, divided into 8 gardens named after nearby landmarks,
- Wolski Forest – part of the Bielańsko- Tyniecki Landscape Park and the city’s biggest park (422 ha), including 8 walking trails,
- Botanical Garden – located east of the Main Square, opened from 9 am till 7 pm. Adults 8.00 zl less than 2.00 euro / Reduced 5.00 zl approx 1.20 euro,
- Wisła River – the hop on hop off Water Tram is a great way to explore the city (the trail is 10 km long). Moreover, water sports equipment rentals are situated near the river offering the chance to enjoy some water activities.
Kraków for Kids
Many city highlights cater for the whole family, including a visit to the Wawel Castle and to the Dragon’s Den which ends next to the fire-breathing dragon monument. Kids will love ‘Hejnał Mariacki’ (the Kraków bugle call). It is a special melody played daily every hour, on the hour, from the taller tower of St. Mary’s Church. Most popular museums are kid-friendly and interactive. Depending on age, it is worth visiting:
- The Rynek Underground which offers a taste of the unforgettable atmosphere of the local medieval market place. Kids will love the playroom and the theatre show.
- The Aviation Museum with its vast exhibition both inside and outside the main building.
- The Stanislaw Lem Garden of Experiences allows kids to enjoy its green labyrinth, as well as a sensory and geological interactive exhibition.
- The Ethnographic Museum in Kraków will astonish young travellers with its colourful collection of folk costumes and its unique exhibition of ‘szopki krakowskie’ – Kraków’s traditional nativity scenes which usually take the form of one of Kraków’s historical buildings and can reach a height of up to 3 metres.
- The Museum of Municipal Engineering in Kraków located in revitalised buildings of a historic tramway shed is a great place for visitors interested in the history of public transport. Kids will love the interactive exhibition ‘Around the wheel’.
- You can also visit the Zoo or the Global Education Park Villages of the World where kids can see how people live in different parts of the world.
Kraków’s mounds, erected in different times, are situated across the city. Their unique structures are the city’s landmark and one of its symbols. Its five mounds were named after people connected to the city of Kraków: Krakus (Kraków’s mythical founder), Wanda (legendary princess), Kościuszko (military leader), Piłsudski (Chief of State) and John Paul II (Pope). The most popular of these, Kościuszko Mound, offers spectacular views of the region.