Thinking about a trip to Krakow?
Krakow is by far the most known of the Polish cities and it’s well worth a visit. Yep, everything you’ve heard about this beautiful medieval university city is true! 🙂
So what are the top 10 things to do in Krakow?
- Soak in Krakow Old town. A beautiful old town with ‘sukiennice’ cloth hall in the middle, housing all the local wood and leather souvenirs & of course tons of amber jewellery. Head there first, and to really soak up the atmosphere, take a seat in one of the many cafes in the square…. and pretend to be an artist/novelist/student 🙂
- Listen to Hejnal in the Mariacki Church. You can’t miss this massive twin towered church. Every day at midday the bugler appears at the top and plays the ‘hejnal’, a tune renowned throughout Poland (listen to it all as it cuts off suddenly at the end… sadly that’s when the arrow pierced the bugler… or so goes the legend). Go inside to see the daily unveiling of the wooden carved altar
- Wawel Castle Hill. Walk through old town and ‘planty’ gardens until you reach the Wawel castle hill. There you can explore the castle and climb up the tower of the cathedral to make a wish at the sigmuntus bell.
- Dine like a King. Being a royal city, make sure you treat yourself to some local Krakow specialties and traditional Polish food in restaurants where many noblemen and even crowned heads tucked into their dinner such as Wierzynek restaurant.
- Visit Kazimierz. Explore the old jewish synagogues and museum and learn the history of the Jews of Krakow.
- Go to university. Krakow is a known for the oldest university in Poland. Pop in to see the astronomical instruments that Copernicus used and see where Pope John Paul II (then Karol Wojtyla) studied!
- Listen to Live Jazz. Krakow is not known as Poland’s culture capital for nothing – take some time out to immerse yourself in jazz in atmospheric Harris Piano Jazz Bar or U Muniaka.
- Visit Auswitz. Known as Oswiecim in Poland, the concentration camp is a must for anyone who wants to learn more of Polish and Jewish history of WW2.
- Get salty in Wieliczka Salt Mine. Go for a day trip into the local salt mine and climb into the massive underground rooms, some even with chandeliers! You might want to lick the walls while there…. some of us have done that and it’s an interesting experience 🙂
- Head into the mountains. The Tatra Mountains aren’t far from Krakow. Simple jump in a coach/mini bus and after a very scenic 3hrs drive you’ll be deposited in Zakopane – the main resort in the Tatras. Once there, you can take the funicular up to Gubalowka and wander around the mountains, pop into a restaurant for some warming local food (try sausages and black pudding) or go for a horse & sleigh ride.