Poland is a land rich with culture, ravaged by centuries of conflict to finally emerge as a proud independent country.
The trouble is: it’s hard to know where to start. So I’ve created this little guide to help you figure out which top attractions to visit during your stay in Krakow.
With our family’s holiday to Poland booked for May, I thought it was time to reminiscence about my last trip there – back in the Summer of 2010. We spent a few days with family in Wroclaw for a wedding, and then we took the train up to Krakow, the town of jewels, to begin our adventure.
Krakow is Poland’s former royal capital, and as such is packed full of historical sites and tourist attractions, while also giving you a chance to experience traditional Polish food and culture.
The Wawel Castle
- one of Europe’s finest examples of Renaissance architecture
- open to visitors
- contains many valuable works of art and antique furniture
- grab an all day pass and explore the King’s chambers, the treasury, the armoury, and much more
The Wawel Cathedral
- a building more than thousand years old
- the place where Polish kings were crowned and buried
- also the place of rest for Polish heroes and saints
- free to enter or you can book a guided tour/hire an audio headset to learn more about the history of the cathedral
The Cloth Hall
- known as the Sukiennice, and located in the Main Square
- used as a marketplace and to host many official events
- a hub of entertainment with many cafes, restaurants, and clubs nearby
- browse the goods for sale or dine at one of the local Polish establishments
The Salt Mine
- the Wieliczka is one of Europe’s oldest industrial enterprises
- has been in operation since the 13th century
- the tourist route is 3.5km long, through beautifully decorated chapels and underground lakes
- sign up for a guided tour for the most enriching experience
The Dragon of Wawel Hill
- a fearsome beast slain by Krakus, a Polish prince and the founder of Krakow
- time it right and you might be able to spot the dragon breathing fire
- follow the street leading along the river bank to find the dragon’s den
These are just a few of the top attractions. If you’re staying longer than a few days, there will always be more to visit, so don’t worry.
My family & I are heading out for a second time and we have a whole host of other things lined up. I’ll tell you more about our itinerary after the trip so keep checking back for more fun things to do in Krakow.