What to See&Do in Krakow?

Dear Diary,

Today we will talk about how you can discover Krakow in just a few days. No matter the time of the year when you choose to visit it, this gorgeous medieval town has its own charm and you will definitely enjoy visiting it.

So let’s admire the town’s story together. From the category what you can do and visit in Krakow:

  1. Main square – it is said to be the largest medieval square in Europe. The location has a special atmosphere, the architecture of the buildings is impressive. It’s a square space surrounded by historic townhouses and churches. The center of the square is dominated by the Cloth Hall, surrounded by various restaurants, cafes and shops. The beautifully decorated carriages and horses, the street singers are making the square an idyllic place. It is one of our favourite tourist attractions, we actually spent an evening just admiring it, eating ice cream, walking and being amazed by the historic styles of architecture. Its rich variety of heritage includes Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque buildings.
  2. Carriage Tours – As an adjacent activity in the main square area, it is possible to take a carriage tour and admire the historic sights in a more old school manner, so to speak. It will bring you in the medieval atmosphere of the city.
  3. St. Mary’s Basilica – Church of Our Lady Assumed into Heaven (also known as St. Mary’s Church) it’s a brick Gothic church, also located in the old medieval square of the city and serves as one of the best examples of Polish Gothic architecture. Standing 80 m (262 ft) tall, it is interesting because of its two uneven towers and the fact that it was built with red brick.
  4. Wawel Castle – can be found walking from the main square on the pedestrian road called the Royal Road, its the touristic symbol of this chic city. Here you can find the royal apartments, the Wawel church and one of the most impressive tapestry collections in the world.
  5. The Jewish Quarter – it is the place that many of the Krakow’s Jews called home for 500 years until their eradication was attempted. Even if it has a sad history this place is full of charm. The Jewish restaurants, buildings, synagogues, shops, the specific music and the small businesses are keeping the Jews memory alive and give an interesting aura to the quarter. If you want to see a different lifestyle, get to know the culture and traditions this is the right place. PS: Here you can find the best ice cream in town. 😋
  6. Schindler’s Factory – as you’ve probably heard, the famous Oscar Schindler’s list is inspired by a real story. It is the place where Schindler saved hundreds of Jews by replacing the original Polish staff with cheap labor from the Jewish ghetto. And all of this happened on Lipowa street in Krakow. After the advent of the film, the number of tourists exploded, it is now a museum dedicated to the period when the city was under Nazi occupation.
  7. Sightseeing by Golf Cart – you will notice it in every touristic area of the city. It is an eccentric and fun way to get to know the town’s culture and history. We had a very cool guide named Vlad, an Ukrainian emigrant from Lviv, who made us a tour of Krakow. Of course, he also showed us the tourist attractions and at the same time he was racing with other golf carts.😂Basically we had two experiences in one, we visited Krakow and won a golf cart rally 😂.
  8. Walking on the banks of the Vistula and the Lovers Bridge – A romantic and relaxing walk. Connecting the ghetto area and the jewish town, the beautiful artwork displaying hanging on the bridge, just like any other romantic bridges, lovers will tie up locks on the fences. The bridge itself is a masterpiece of architecture and a nice thing to see and walk on while enjoying the views over Vistula river.
  9. Church of St. Anne – located in the Jewish Quarter near the synagogue, is one of the most beautiful Baroque buildings in Krakow. This imposing structure is inspired by the Roman temple, Sant’Andrea della Valle.
  10. The Old Synagogue – until the Second World War it was the religious center of the Jewish life. It is built of red brick and it is one of the oldest synagogues in Poland and Europe. It was originally built only for men, but was later enlarged so women would have access to pray.
  11. Zapiekanki – it’s an open-face sandwich made of half of a baguette or other long roll of bread, topped with sautéed white mushrooms, cheese and sometimes other ingredients, and toasted until the cheese melts. It is served with hot ketchup and it’s a popular street food in Poland. It’s the tastiest sandwich we’ve ever eaten. It can be found everywhere in Krakow, but you can find the best zapiekanki in Plac Nowy, Kazimierz, the place is called Endzior.
  12. Plac Nowy – has emerged as the spiritual centre of Kraków sub-culture. Lacking the splendour of the Old Town, Plac Nowy is, if anything, something of an eyesore – a collection of unkempt buildings surrounding a concrete square filled with chipped green market stalls and pubs where you can spend the evening enjoying a beer with your friends. If you want something completely different from the Old Town, this is the right place.
  13. Soplica – is one of the older brands of Polish pure and flavoured vodka, having been first produced in 1891. When we went home, we bought about 20 bottles with all possible flavours.😂 It’s the best vodka we’ve ever tried, you must try it! The vodka’s flavours are raspberry, hazelnut, cherry,  quince, blackcurrant, plum, walnut, strawberry and blueberry.

PS: Oświęcim, it’s a city that can be found at 50 km from Krakow. It’s the location of the notorious Auschwitz concentration camps (Auschwitz-Birkenau). We will write about Auschwitz in other pages of our journal. 😋Like always, here is a link to the Krakow photo album.

This is what we saw, lived and tried in Krakow. It is certainly on our Europe’s most beautiful cities list. It impressed us with its history, culture, art, architecture and medieval charm. We can only say: Thank you for the lessons you taught us and we love you, Krakow!

See you soon,

Alex

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