Attractions and Accommodation in Krakow
is one of Europe’s most beautiful cities and is steeped in history and culture. Often referred to as the ‘Northern Rome’ or the ‘Florence of the North’, Krakow attracts over 7 million tourists a year. The Old Town
area of the city is celebrated for its beauty and the city was awarded UNESCO world heritage status in 1978. History meets modernity in Krakow and today the city is one of Europe’s top weekend destinations and is famed for its nightlife. There are many hotels and hostels in the city, from budget hostel accommodation to luxury hotels. If you’d like to see Krakow from a different perspective, why not rent an apartment or guest room? You could find yourself in a beautiful house with a stunning view over the Old Town, or in a stylish loft in the trendy Kazimierz district of the city.
The old town district of Krakow is home to an incredible 6,000 historical sites and 2 million works of art!
Krakow was capital of Poland for over 500 years.
Legend has it that Krakow was built by a man call Krak over a cave occupied by a hungry dragon!
When Poland was invaded by the Nazis in World War 2, Krakow became capital of Germany’s short-lived empire.
Krakow - a remarkable historical city
There is so much to see in Krakow’s Old Town
, which has origins as far back as the 7th century. You’ll be amazed at the huge amount of historically significant buildings there are in Krakow and a walk around the centre is breathtaking! Where should you start your sightseeing? The hilltop castle of Wawel
is a very popular tourist destination and from the castle you can get great views of the city and Visla river. The castle is regarded as Poland’s national symbol. Krakow is known as the ‘city of Polish kings’ and many are buried along with their families at the Wawel castle cathedral. Inside the cathedral you’ll find plenty of religious artworks and the Zygmunt Bell
of 1520. The castle contains a priceless collection of 16th century Flemish tapestries.
From Wawel Castle, you can walk down the Royal Road (Grodzka Street
) towards Krakow’s centre, Rynek Główny
, the world’s largest medieval square. This stunning square is home to some of Krakow’s best loved buildings. Check out the Mariacka Basilicia
– St Mary’s Church – it’s one of Poland’s most famous churches and has two striking gothic towers, one which features a gold plated spire. Next door is one of the world’s oldest shopping centres – the Sukienice Cloth Hall
. Here, you’ll find souvenir shops and also the entrance to the Rynek Underground Museum
. Underneath Krakow’s magnificent main square lies many centuries of historical remains which were discovered and excavated by archaeologists in 2005. After several years of legal wrangling, what was discovered is now proudly on display in the Rynek Underground Museum. Subtitled ‘In the footsteps of Krakow’s European Identity’, this huge, hi-tech museum presents the story of Krakow. Krakow is also home to one of Europe’s oldest universities – the Jagielonski Uniwersytet
- and 150,000 students live and study in the city.
Krakow has 120 churches and is the region’s religious centre. There are several impressive churches worth checking out. The Church of Saint Andrew
is a rare example of a European fortress church, and the Saint Peter and Paul Church
is built in the Polish baroque style. John Paul II, the second longest serving Pope, was born in Poland and practiced in Krakow before taking up the post in Vatican City. The Church of St. Adalbert
is a small white building on Krakow’s main square and is one of the oldest churches in Poland. The chapel is tiny, has a low ceiling and some ancient pictures on the wall. The church is still used to this day.
For several years now, Krakow has been central Europe’s nightlife capital. The city has the world’s highest concentration of pubs and restaurants – over 800! You’re certainly spoilt for choice in the city! We love the cosy cellar bars located in the Old Town. Try Piec Art
, a great bar for locals that is an ideal place to have a drink before heading to a club. Most clubs are located around the main square – try Frantic
for hip hop and house music, or Goraczka
for cheesy pop hits.
John Paul II International Airport Kraków–Balice
is the main airport serving the region and is located 11 miles west of Krakow city centre. Krakow is only a 2 hour journey from London and Paris making it an ideal location for weekend city break. The Balice Ekspres
train service runs between Kraków Główny, Krakow’s central station and the airport and the journey takes 20 minutes. A cheaper bus service is available and also connects the airport with the main train station. Once you are in the city centre, it doesn’t take long to get your bearings and most of the main attractions are within short distances of each other. Krakow has a network of buses and trams that will take you around the city. The old town area of the city is pedestrianised around the main square.