Kraków is one of Poland’s oldest and most preserved cities. Set on the Vistula River the city dates back to the 7th century and with architectural splendour surviving the Second World War unscathed, Kraków really is a city with intrigue that longs to be explored.
Lining the streets of the city sit a stunning range of architectural wonders with an eclectic mix of styles from Renaissance and Baroque to Gothic and Medieval. All working harmoniously together to create a breathtaking backdrop. It is rare to find so many buildings perfectly preserved and the beauty of the structures and unique details create a dramatic skyline to the city.
Brimming with fascinating sights and iconic monuments the only difficult part will be choosing what to explore during your time in Poland. The World’s first UNESCO World heritage site Wawel Royal Castle with stunning architectural designs from a range of periods is set around a beautiful Italian styled courtyard garden and with many spaces and exhibitions to view within the buildings a visit here is sure to inspire and won’t disappoint.
One of the city’s most iconic buildings is The Cloth Hall situated in the famous main Market Square. Once the focal point of international trade for the city, it is now a thriving epicentre for traders to sell local makes and wares within the elaborate setting. On the upper floors is the Sukiennice Museum division of the National Museum and is home to the largest collection of Polish paintings and sculptures from the 19th century.
Another magnificent piece of architecture is St Mary’s Basilica that towers into the sky with its spectacular Polish Gothic Architectural style. Inside is a breathtaking feat of design wonder that encapsulates you in a period full of drama yet at the same time is delightfully delicate and graceful. The wooden carved alter provides a focal point that draws you in to discover more.
Kraków has so many great places to explore. Others you may wish to consider are the Town Hall Tower, the Kraków Barbican and Wawel Cathedral but one of the best ways to fully soak up the atmosphere of the city is to spend some time relaxing in Kraków’s Rynek Główny (Central Square). It is the centre of the city’s medieval old town and is brimming with history and culture. Café’s, museums, music and historical landmarks fill the space with a unique atmosphere only Kraków could provide.
Did you know Kraków is also a UNESCO city of literature and that the first book store in Europe was opened in the market square in 1610? Monuments to national bards and poets can be found throughout the city and there are plenty of opportunities to while away an hour or two with a fine coffee in a literary café.
During 2019 Kraków became the European Capital of Gastronomic Culture and provides plenty of opportunities to discover why. With a focus on the dining experience provided, many of the city’s restaurants offer high quality produce with attention to using seasonal products and sourcing from local providers. With a dedicated focus on farm to fork production, it is easy to see why an award of this calibre would be rewarded.
Kraków really does have something to offer everyone and is sure to make a city break that will leave many lasting memories.