From the charming cobblestone streets of the Old City to the buzzing nightlife, it’s no surprise that Krakow is fast becoming one of Europe’s new darling hotspots. Located at the base of the Carpathian Mountains, Poland’s second largest city is home to 1.4 million residents. The city is divided into 18 districts, each offering up their own unique flavour and vibe. With so much to see and do in the area, it can be tough to know how to plan your trip. We reveal some of the must-see attractions, so you can enjoy the craic in Krakow.
Before departing on your trip, it’s worth knowing a little about the history of this area. Krakow is actually one of the oldest cities in Poland, and evidence shows it has settlements dating back to 20000 BC. Having been through numerous wars, revolutions, and communist eras, Krakow certainly has a rich history which is reflected in its architecture and many museums.
The Historic Old Town
One of the most visited tourist destinations is the Old Town district. Known as Krakow’s historic centre, this is the area that is home to a list of UNESCO World Heritage sites. The pretty streets are perfect for exploring on foot, so take a map and wander around to marvel at the majestic buildings and sculptures.
The Old Town is also excellent for shopping, and the perfect place to pick up souvenirs for friends and family back home. In the middle of the Old City you’ll find Rynek Główny, which houses an enormous market where you can buy traditional handicrafts such as amber jewellery, sheepskin rugs and artworks.
Another excellent thing about Krakow is the food. Krakow cuisine draws its influences from Hungary as well as Central and Eastern Europe. Eating times are often different to those in Western Europe. Polish people typically have a very large breakfast and then lunch later on in the day between 3 to 4 pm and a light dinner at 9pm. For this reason do as the locals and devour a breakfast of champions! You must try the delicious Polish dumplings, which are much like ravioli and come with a variety of fillings.
Nightlife is also excellent here, and certainly rivals some of the other European hotspots. There are over 300 places to eat or drink within the Old Town district alone. Head towards the Vistula River for streets that are lined full of cafes, and bars. One of the best ways to experience all the nightlife that Krakow has to offer is to join in a pub crawl. Many bars are actually hidden down side streets or in basements, so bar crawls provide the best way to see these hidden watering holes.
Much like the rest of Poland, staying here is very safe but obvious rules apply to leaving valuables out and avoiding scams. Overall, Krakow has something for all tastes and budgets. Enjoy your trip!