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Krakow has always been in the forefront of educational opportunities in Poland, and that is most certainly still the case today.
The city itself was founded before the Stone Age and it was documented as a busy trading center before the year 1000. Pope John Paul II was the archbishop of Krakow, but the city has seen many lows has well. For example, the Krakow Ghetto was a walled off portion of the city where Nazi Germany relocated Jews before sending them to extermination camps. Today, you’ll find many places where you can enjoy performing arts, museums that help you get a glimpse of history, and ancient buildings that transport you back into time.
Fill Yourself Up at Main Market Square
Featuring the 14th century Basilica of the Virgin Mary and the 16th century Cloth Hall, you can get your fill of both Gothic and Renaissance architectural in this huge 10 acre square. It’s easy to move about the square, but there are also trams available for you if you just get tired of walking. You’ll find plenty of coffee shops and cafes that will help you to recharge, along with plenty of shops that offer local wares, souvenirs, and other goodies you’re going to want. More expensive than other parts of the city, but still cheaper than the Euro zone, you can have a good time at a good price that’ll make you want to visit even more.
Wawel Royal Castle Is Definitely Worth a Visit
It served as the seat of Polish government for almost 5 centuries and housed the royal family. Now it sits as a museum and a testament to days gone by. A simple walking tour of the grounds makes for the perfect thing to do on a sunny day, but if you want to get inside to take a tour, then be sure to get there early to avoid a long line. Inside Wawel Royal Castle, you’ll get to see one of the world’s largest collections of Flemish tapestries. In the summer, be sure to visit the dungeons!
A famous Da Vinci’s masterpiece Lady with an ermine is hosted at the Czartoryski Museum. Painted around 1489-1490, its subject is identified with Cecilia Gallerani, the mistress of Lodovico Sforza, “Ludovico il Moro”, Duke of Milan. The painting is one of only four female portraits Leonardo painted (the other three being the Mona Lisa, the portrait of Ginevra de’ Benci and La Belle Ferronière).
Make Time to Visit the Jewish Quarter
One third of Krakow is Jewish, which makes visiting the Jewish Quarter something that should be high on the list of things to do to experience authentic Krakow. The Quarter comes alive at night with several restaurants and bars, and if you’ve got to follow that up with an early morning, stop down to pick up a fresh bagel. It’s a real change of pace from what you see in other parts of the city and the walls speak to the cruel history of generations past. If you’ve seen the movie “Schindler’s List,” then you’ve gotten a brief glimpse of what the streets are like, since they are in the film.
Are You Ready to Visit Cracow ?
Krakow is a modern city that has ancient buildings, plenty of history, and a culture that is entrancing and intriguing. A visit to Krakow will not only satisfy all of your senses, but it will become an addiction for you. You’ll want to come back and visit time and time again. Why should people go visit Krakow? Because not only will you have a good time, you’ll be able to experience history and learn from it too.
Travel to Cracow, Poland
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Sightseeing and Tours
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Map and distances
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In the following section you can find more local information about the city.
Krakow Tourist Information
Rynek Główny 1/3
Tel.: +48 124337310
www: website link
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Best of Cracow
Nine centuries of mining in Wieliczka produced a total of some 200 kilometres of passages as well as 2,040 caverns of varied size. So you will be able to spend your time in a world of labyrinthine passages, giant caverns, underground lakes and chapels with sculptures in the crystalline salt and rich ornamentation carved in the salt rock.
If you got inspiration by this subterranean world, maybe you can have a quick visit to the Franciscan monastery adjoining the church of St. Casimir where bodies get mummified by themselves in the dry cold crypts.
But one of the most beloved by local people is for sure the Park Jordana very close to the National Museum, downtown. There you can get a paddling tour in the pond or play your sport in different playgrounds. As the park spread alongside three major campuses and the central university library, it is clear that this is a spot privileged by students and joggers, strollers, dog owners, sunbathers, etc. There is also a very old botanical garden set up in 1779 featuring 5000 exotic and native plants (Kopernika street).
Events in Cracow
What are the best events in the city ?
Krakow Film Festival
Concentrates on short films, documentaries and animated features, There are different categories and prizes, from Polish to International. There is also the possibility to attend to the press conferences and meet the actors and the film-makers for some chit-chat.
The Jewish Culture Festival
Every year the Kazimierz district of Krakow holds an internationally-famous Jewish Culture Festival. The event first took place in 1988 and today it’s arrived to its 18th edition. Each June for more than a week, all kinds of events, from synagogue singing to klezmer music and Hasidic, classical, and Jewish folk music, take place in the Jewish district. The music is the core of the festival, but besides music there are also film screenings, exhibitions, presentations and story telling about a Jewish theme. The visitors can make an experience of Jewish traditional dances, songs, cooking, theatre and even paper-cutting and calligraphy. All initiative are opened and free for everyone.
Wianki – Floating of the Wreaths Festival.
The festival traces its roots to a peaceful pagan ritual. Whianki literally means ‘wreaths’ and it is a traditional midsummer celebration that remembers St John. Polish girls wear wreaths of flowers with a lighted candle in the centre and then throw them into the Vistula River. This ritual is for predicting when they would be married. If the wreath comes back to shore, the girl will never marry, if it sinks, she will die young and if it flows down the river, she will be married and be happy. By the 19th century this tradition had become a festive event, and it continues today.
Apart from the official floating of wreaths, there are musical performances, dignitaries’ speeches, fairs and fireworks by the river bank opposite the imposing Royal Wawel Castle. Poland’s top pop stars are now joined by international acts to complete a day of celebration.
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