Living in a big city, especially a touristy one, can be tiring. Crowds on the streets, in the shops and on public transport. Each of us sometimes needs a break to recuperate and sort things out in our heads. So where to go? We usually want to organize short trips as budget-friendly as possible. In addition, we want interesting attractions and beautiful views, preferably in one place. Fortunately, there are many places in Europe that can cope with such expectations. One of them is of course Krakow – a city in southern Poland.
Krakow is a wonderful option for both longer and shorter trips. The location offers a range of attractions for people of all ages. Tourists value it above all for its unique, joyful atmosphere. The British have already hailed Krakow as the best city break in Europe several times. You will find both places for physical activity and for recreation there. In addition to this, Poles love visitors and try to make their stay as pleasant as possible.
A pearl among European cities
Central and Eastern Europe is not a particularly popular area for tourists. People usually opt for seaside resorts or romanticized cities in the West. However, there are attractions in Krakow that everyone must see. It is not, of course, about trite monuments or specific streets. It is much more than that.
Below is a subjective list of must-see attractions in Kraków for everyone!
1. Wawel Castle
Once a world-famous seat of kings and rulers, today a magnificent museum showing the medieval era in Poland. You could say that Wawel is a symbol of Krakow. The building is excellently preserved, as evidenced the atmospheric royal chambers. They are home to Renaissance ceilings and stone portals. Furnishings in the castle date as far back as the 16th century. In the tournament hall you can admire the original wall decorations, and in the royal chapel the medieval altarpiece.
It is worth opting for an organized tour, as Wawel boasts an extremely interesting history. The guides are fluent in several languages and will gladly answer all your questions.
2. Oskar Schindler’s Enamel Factory
Surely most of us have seen the famous film Schindler’s List. However, few people know that the factory of the title character is actually located in Krakow. The museum houses some of the most interesting and important exhibitions devoted to the Second World War.
The photographs there seem to tell the story of wartime Poland and its people, filled with fear and despair. The exhibition largely focuses on the Jews who were confined to the ghettos at the time. Among other things, you can see Schindler’s well-preserved office. There is a symbolic ‘ark of survivors’ created from thousands of pots resembling those produced his workers during the war.
The museum is also quite modern. Technology enables us to learn even more about the situations of the people of that time. As many as dozens of interactive stations await you here.
In addition, there is also a museum of contemporary art on the same site. It is definitely one of the attractions in Krakow worth seeing too.
3. The old town
The Old Town is a must-see for visitors to Krakow. Atmospheric streets, historic buildings and horse-drawn carriages create a unique atmosphere straight out of a fairy tale. Most noteworthy here are the Cloth Hall and the main square itself with the St. Mary’s Church. It is where the winter Christmas markets, concerts and major events take place Kazimierz, the Jewish quarter, is also worth a visit. Great food from all over the world, street music, all surrounded absolutely beautiful colours and lights.
This is the perfect place to relax and take a moment with a book. Families with children come here for Sunday walks and young people often meet here. Pigeons are regular visitors to the area, eagerly fed tourists.
It is worth mentioning that the entire old town area is on the Unesco list.
4. Wieliczka Salt Mine
It is one of the oldest in the world – it was established in the 13th century. It is included in the UNESCO list. It has a tourist route, there are many monuments in it. The Wieliczka Mine has as many as 9 levels. Check – salt mine tour krakow.
5. Memorial and museum Auschwitz-Birkenau
This place is located just a few kilometres from Krakow and is a must-see in the southern part of Poland. A visit to a former concentration camp is a tangible history lesson that stays in the memory for a long time.
It is estimated that up to 1.5 million people died in auschwitz, of whom Jews were the largest group, followed Poles. In the museum we can see above all the preserved blocks and parts of the crematoria. Visitors are hugely moved the displays; including prisoners’ personal belongings and hair.
The tour is guided and usually lasts about 3.5 hours. The tour plan includes two parts of the camp, between which participants travel bus. Anyone can visit Auschwitz, but because of the authentic and therefore shocking elements in the exhibitions, visits are not recommended for children under 14.
A visit to the Auschwitz memorial is not an easy experience. It requires tourists to have the right attitude and focus. It is therefore advisable to plan your transport to and from the museum in advance. It is worth organizing this in cooperation with Krakow Direct. The company offers verified Auschwitz tours from Krakow.
You will not regret it
The locations we have listed are some of the most important in Poland. Thus they remain long in the memory of visitors. There is certainly something for everyone to choose from. Tourists usually want to see them all during a weekend. Such a plan may seem intensive, but we guarantee that you will return from your trip rested. Don’t wait and organize it now!