There are many things to do in Krakow, Poland such as stroll through vibrant streets, stare at amazing buildings and architecture, enjoy beautiful street art and view historical sites.
Uncover the secrets of the Main Market Square which is the center of attention and go for small trips around the city to Wawel Castle and Auschwitz among others. Krakow is a truly amazing destination.
Old Town – Main Market Square (Rynek Glowny)
The first thing you encounter when visiting Krakow is Krakow’s Old Town and the famous Main Market Square (Rynek Glowny). The city’s center is very lively featuring the biggest market square in all Europe. Let’s not forget that Krakow was once an important trading center.
In the main square, you are going to find many activities to do such as shopping at the big market, strolling around the buzzing streets of the city, enjoying local food at interesting restaurants, and many more. Also, you will be amazed by how vibrant the city feels with all the live performances!
But, there is more to explore in the Main Market Square:
St. Mary’s Basilica
Located at the main square is the breathtaking St. Mary’s Basilica, a medieval masterpiece. The St. Mary’s Church is a must-see if you visit Krakow and is the most famous attraction of the city. If you enter the church, you will feel stunned by the amazing design and architecture. Try getting up to the top of the building and enjoy a splendid view of the city!
Cloth Hall (Sukiennice)
Krakow was once an important trading center as we already mentioned above. The center of such activities was the Krakow Cloth Hall, where trading of products like leather, silk, and many more was happening.
Today, you can visit the place and learn about that history as well as get a souvenir from your travel. The Cloth Hall (Sukiennice) is located at the center of the Main Market Square dividing the square in two.
The Botanical Garden is located close to the Main Market Square and is often visited after passing through Krakow’s Old Town. Wander around this beautiful garden of the Jagiellonian University which goes back to the 18th century. So, if you need time to relax and escape from the crowds in Krakow and the main market, take a stroll around the stunning Botanical Garden.
Barbican and St. Florian’s Gate
While entering the Old Town you will find yourself passing through the great St. Florian’s Gate which is part of the Barbican, the city’s medieval defense. Get inside Krakow’s Old Town and wander around the streets and the famous Florianska Street!
Maybe the most iconic attraction of Krakow, the Bernatek Footbridge. You most likely would have seen a photo of the bridge, where couples from all over the world stop to express their love by attaching padlocks to the bridge.
So if you are with your significant other walk through, grab a fancy padlock, and declare your love! Don’t forget to throw the key in the river and take some photos! The bridge is only accessible with bikes or on foot.
Wawel Castle and Cathedral
Just outside of Krakow, Wawel Castle is set on a hilltop providing an amazing view of the city and the surrounding scenery! The castle is a UNESCO Heritage Site and you can visit it to admire its great design. Besides, you can take a look at the Cathedral as well which is equally stunning.
Stroll around, observe valuable exhibits and paintings, and learn everything about the history of the Polish City throughout the years.
Wieliczka Salt Mine
Wieliczka, a top attraction just a few miles away from Krakow. A must-visit site in Krakow, the famous huge underground Salt Mine (Wieliczka). Visit the salt mine’s caves and chambers in a 2-hour-tour and praise its architectural design underneath the ground.
There are different routes that you can take as a tourist to explore the underground salt mine. The most popular ones are the basic Tourist Route and the more exciting Mining Route.
Jewish Quarter (Kazimierz)
If you visit Krakow you cannot miss the Jewish Quarter (Kazimierz) an amazing neighborhood with its unique feel and history. Stroll around the beautiful streets of the district, learn about the history of the neighborhood and experience the liveliness coming from numerous shops, small cafes, and restaurants. Taste fine wines, visit pubs, try delicacies and get yourself a small gift from the one-of-a-kind local shops.
Schindler’s List Passage / Oskar Schindler’s Factory
In Krakow, you can visit Oskar Shindler’s Factory and uncover the secrets of the museum inside. Schindler is known for his contribution and heroism during Krakow’s occupation of the Nazis. In the museum, you can find everything, facts, history, and exhibits regarding the work of Schindler, World War II, and the difficult time (1939-1945) that the city has gone through.
Besides, the popular Schindler’s List Passage, as shown from the famous movie of Steven Spielberg is located in Krakow and you can pass through it!
Auschwitz / Auschwitz – Birkenau Museum
Auschwitz is a must-visit because of the history of the events that occurred during World War II. The place is offered as a one-day trip from Krakow as it’s located 1-2 hours away by car or train.
The most known and largest Nazi concentration camp, Auschwitz is connected with some tragic incidents. During the years 1940-1945, the place served as a concentration camp for Jews, Polish, Gypsies, and more. Today the place serves as a form of commemoration to the many victims (over 1.000.000) of World War II.
Auschwitz’s tragic story can be explored furthermore by visiting the Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum. There you can take a look at actual personal items from the prisoners and of course, learn everything about the events, the actions, and the history of the place. Also, there are many buildings and original structures to see.