A former royal capital, crammed with history and splendour, Kraków is one of the most beautiful – and interesting – cities in Eastern Europe. It’s also a fantastic destination for food, drink, and many, many other activities. Read on for our overview of what to expect from your first trip to this great Polish city.
Kraków’s beauty is self-evident. Both the medieval old town and Wieliczka salt mines were added to the original UNESCO World Heritage List in 1978. There’s a thousand years of living history, much of it in remarkably good shape.
Poland’s pivotal role in 20th century European history is starkly represented by the former Nazi extermination camp Auschwitz-Birkenau, located 68km outside Kraków, and the excellent Schindler’s Factory museum, which tells the story of Kraków under the Nazi invasion and how industrialist Oskar Schindler helped save the lives of 1200 Jewish employees. In this century, Kraków has continued to develop first-class museums such as Rynek Underground, built beneath the main market square.
Kraków is famous for its beautiful Old Town and historic buildings. But this is just a small sample of what the city has to offer. There’s also wonderful food and drink, museums and galleries, cycling and other kinds of physical activity, as well as great shopping and open spaces. Here’s an exciting list of things to do in Kraków.