You are currently viewing 10 reasons to visit Cracow, former Polish capital

10 reasons to visit Cracow, former Polish capital

1.Splendid Gothic and Renaissance architecture


St.  Mary’s Church

Inside we can see the wooden altar created by Wit Stwosz- true masterpiece of late Gothic art and the biggest Gothic sculpture in the world.

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Collegium Maius

The oldest part of 650 years old Jagielonian University

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Collegium Maius

Old Town

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Sukiennice The Cloth Hall

  ( background) the Renaissance monument of commerce. Nowadays an active market – you can buy there mostly amber jewellery, handcrafts and souvenirs.  On the upper floor of the hall is l Museum contains 19th century Polish art. The terrace offers beautiful view on Main Market Square.

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Royal Castel Wawel

Originally built in a Roman-Gothic style at the beginning of the XI c., a castle and cathedral were rebuilt several times. Inside you can see: Crown Treasury & Armoury; State Rooms; Royal Private Apartments; Lost Wawel Exposition, Exhibition of Oriental Art and Leonardo da Vinci’s The Lady with an Ermine


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View from the Wawel Castle

2.Charm of legends and stories

What would be royal town without its dragon? According to legend terrible dragon terrorised Cracow’s cityzens. The king didn’t know what to do. He tried encourged his people to fight offering his dauther hand to winner. Many knights tried to fight againts the beast but with no result. All died,Then young shoemaker came to the king and propose that he will kill the dragon. No one bellived. Shoemaker wasn’t very strong but he had brilliant plan. He filled lambskin with sulphur. Next day hungry dargon swallow dead ship without any suspition, then he felt how thirsty he is. Dragon drank tonnes water of Vistula River and bursted out. Nowadays you don’t have to worry about the dragon, instead you can visit Dragon Cave at the bottom of Wawel Hill and see famous fire-belching sculpture of Bronislaw Chromy




Intensive night life, numerous bars  and clubs stay open until the early hours of the morning.

4. Delicious and cheap beer

Find one of fabulous breweres like Browar Lubicz or Stara Zajezdnia. Currently many small breweres producting hundreds of crafts beers. Between traditional tastes, white beers, ales, we can find some extravagants like: coconut beer, tangarine beer, 12,5% beer. Enjoy!


5. Old Jewish Quartier- Kazimierz 

In the most  charming  district of Cracow  you can explore  old jewish cimentary, synagogues, small streets. Kazimierz is a heart of Cracow with its numerous restaurants, bars, clubs . There are many places you can eat in Kazimierz from fancy restaurants to food tracs offering all kind of fast food.  What people in Cracow eat on Kazimierz?-Of course- Zapiekanka- roasted bread with cheese and  mashrooms .

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Chimneybakery in Cracow ♥ with lemon curds was good
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No need to hurry in Cracow


6. Nowa Huta- charm of comunism

In Nowa Huta you have a rare opportunity to feel like inside of Stalins’s & Orwell’s dream. This Perfect Socialist Town was constructed in proximity of Cracow as an example of comunist settlement designed for blue collars workers. Nowadays Nowa Huta became part of Cracow.
No need to use time machine- just get in to tram 4,10,16,21 or bus 502,174, 163and get out on Plac Centralny to see  its long grey buildings, communism museum and restaurants where time stopped in 60’s.

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Contemporary analog photo

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Legendary car Fiat 126p

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Lenin- always alive


7.Krak’s Mound

Prehistoric monument and  the burial site of legendary  founder  of Kraków- king Krak
The mysterious mound has 26 m (50 feet) and was raisied in 7th century. Legend says that  Cracow’s citiezens brought ground in their sleevs( pl. rekawy) after the death of king.. To memorize
this event traditional festival- Rekawka take  place every year on Thuesday after Easter. Festival is connected with the cult of  slavic pagan. Mound offers  360 panaromic view on Cracow.

To get there take tram 3, 13, 9, 24 and get ouf on Powstancow Wielkopolskich

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Next to the mound lies Liban- part of former labour german nazi camp


8. As you can expect next recommanded place is

  Concentration Camp Plaszow

former  Nazi German labour and concentration camp was destroyed by Gemans in a hurry just before Russian Army came , nowadays only traces of horreur rest: mainly jewish tombs, memorials. Still there is possible to see place of slave labor Kamieniolom Liban,Red House- sadistic commandant Amon Göth’s villa, and impressive  Monument of the Victims of Fascism by Witold Cęckiewicz.This place was featured  in movie  ‘ Schindler’s List’ .Concentration Camp Plaszow is a place of reflexion- there is no tourist infrastructure there, many people if you will ask them will be unable to say you where is it.

Getting there

Take the bus: 144,184,169,173,174,304 and get off on Kaminskiego stop- you will see huge monument on the field on the side and firstly Bonarka and after Castorama on other side( if you are coming from the town center), you can take also tram 3, 9, 13, 24, 50 and get off on Dworcowa ( but is more far then by bus and not as easy to find )- it’s on Mc Donalds & Lidl’s side
Nearest cafe& toilets: Bonarka shopping mall (Kamieńskiego 11,  Kraków), MC Donalds (Wielicka 85, Kraków)

9. Jan Matejko’s house 

Jan Matejko is  one of the most famous Polish painters, He was specialised in historical painting. In his house and studio at Florianska Street 41 you can see his paintings, private collection of art and objects. Personaly speaking itt is one fo my favorites in Cracow.



10. Cracow is the cultural capital of Poland: every year town hosts more then 50 festivals:

Audio Art Festival, Off Plus Camera International Independent Cinema Festival, CInternational Theater Festival, ‘International Jazz Festival, Krakow Month of Photography, Selector Festival /electronic music/, Art Boom Visual Arts Festival, Summer Opera Festival,  Jewish Culture Festival, and many others.


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dama z łasiczką
Famous painting by Leonardo da Vinci, National Museum, Cracow


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