"Beautiful Krakow" Krakow by GentleSpirit
Krakow Travel Guide: 4,500 reviews and 10,636 photos
I spent 4 wonderful days in Krakow early in September this year. The weather was great, warm and generally sunny. Based on what I had read in the forums and guidebooks I knew Krakow was going to be a real pretty smaller city. When I read how people kept talking about what a great place it is to hang out in I sort of wondered.
Krakow itself has plenty of sights and things to keep you occupied for a few days. I got to see a lot, got to relax and really enjoy this wonderful city.
If you feel there isn't enough to hold your interest in the city itself (there is plenty!) you will want to make sure to allocate enough time to see some of the great daytrips near Krakow, chief among them the Salt Mines and Auschwitz. Also nearby is the city of Wroclaw, which Poles tend to say is one of the most beautiful cities in all of Poland. Though it is a very long daytrip, you could certainly go hiking in the Tatras National Park and pay a visit to the unforgettable Morskie Oko. Going up to Morskie Oko would make for a very very long day trip from Krakow, but you could certainly just enjoy Zakopane for the day.
Krakow, like Prague, was left relatively unscathed by World War II. Similarly, it has a relatively compact historic center where you will do most of your sightseeing. I personally had a great time seeing the wonderful religious art in this city, especially knowing how central religion has been in the Polish national identity.
There is also Kazimierz, the Jewish Quarter, which was very very interesting. I would definitely recommend seeing Schindler's List before going there as all of the tours through Kazimierz refer to the movie a great deal. For those with an interest, there is always Auschwitz, which is not too far out of the city. I personally didn't go to Auschwitz.
A few must-sees in Krakow
Rynek Glowny- the main square
St. Mary's Basilica- magnificent Gothic church right off the main square
Kazimierz- the Jewish Quarter and the Schindler Factory
Wawel Castle- especially the courtyard
Krakow is a hard place to describe succinctly. It has the great historic things, is known as a center for the arts and education in Poland. It has some of the most important religious sites. Really, though all those things were important and interesting, I found Krakow a great place to relax. I found the city easy enough to navigate and it was very nice to be able to go around town and see all the sights without the mobs of tourists and lines. I was a bit surprised by how well most Poles can communicate in other languages and I got in some real nice, long discussions. I found the Poles to be rather more outgoing, very hospitable and very warm.
- Pros:Rynek Glowny, Polish food, very laid back, great religious art
- Cons:often considered a "party" town
- In a nutshell:This city is best enjoyed slowly
The statue in the Rynek Glowny, facing the Basilica of St Mary is of one of the leading figures of Polish Romanticism,... more travel advice
One thing I found quite strange about Krakow. You are walking around in the Old Town and you see a LOT of places... more travel advice
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Written May 9, 2016
Jan Pawel (Pope John Paul II) in Krakow
Written Jul 12, 2013
Krakow by night
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