Seven reasons to visit Kraków, Poland | Private jet charter
Poland’s second largest city Kraków has long been a centre of cultural, academic and artistic excellence. Situated on the Vistula River, Kraków has much to offer, from underground museums to medieval castles, eclectic restaurants and bars, and a UNESCO-listed Old Town. Here are seven reasons to visit Kraków.
The Old Town
Kraków’s Old Town is on the UNESCO World Heritage List and rightly so. With the largest medieval square in Europe – Raynek Glówny – the Old Town boasts architectural riches, cellar bars, cafes and unique heritage monuments. Extending from Wawel Castle southwards, the Old Town is surrounded by gardens known as the Planty. Follow the Royal Route – the former coronation route for Polish kings – and visit the St. Florian’s Gate and Wawel Castle via the market square. The National Museum is here too, with an impressive 20th-century art collection.
Kraków’s market square is a hub for tourists and locals, and an ideal place to start a tour of this remarkable city. Measuring an impressive 200 square metres, it’s one of the largest medieval squares in Europe and is flanked by elegant townhouses and has been the site of public celebrations as well as executions throughout the ages. Visit the famous 14th-century Cloth Hall (Sukiennice) which has stalls selling all manner of craftwork and tourist offerings. The Rynek Underground Museum is here as well, which has a 19th-century Polish art gallery on the second floor, while St Mary’s Basilica has a bugle call from its tower – every hour on the hour.
Rynek Underground Museum
Beneath Kraków’s market square is a unique underground museum (guests walk along glass gantries) consisting of a series of medieval tunnels, roads and even a cemetery. Enter by the north east side of the Cloth Hall for this audio-visual and holographic Middle Ages meets 21st-century history of Kraków experience.
St Mary’s Basilica
Famous for its blue-starred ceiling, stained glass and 15th-century wooden alter piece, St Mary’s Basilica is one of Kraków’s main attractions. There is conservation work ongoing on the alter until 2020 but entry is still possible. The Mariacki Tower is open between April and December for an additional fee.
Jewish Quarter (Kazimierz)
Kazimierz is the old Jewish quarter of Kraków located south of the Old Town. Kazimierz has become the trendiest quarter of Kraków, with antique shops, nightclubs, art galleries and cafes among the restored historical sites. Stop for breakfast at the Milkbar Tomasza and grab a beer at the Beera Meiselsa.
The former home of Polish royalty is now a world-renowned art museum featuring Italian Renaissance paintings, sculptures, tapestries and prints, as well as an impressive armoury. The walk up the hill to the castle is worth it for the superb views of Kraków. The fortification also includes a cathedral and palace, as well as the Dragon’s Den, a medieval tower and a beautiful garden.
Wieliczka Salt Mine
Located 10km from the centre of Kraków, this fascinating mine complex offers visitors an incredible 3km of rock-salt carved chambers, saline lakes, and sculptures to explore – at a depth of 135m below ground. There are 20 chambers to visit, so allow at least three hours and wear warm clothing and sturdy shoes.
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