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Cracow

Cracow

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Krakow is located in southern Poland. The city is located on the left bank of the Vistula River at the confluence of a tributary of the Rudava River. It is the second most populated city in Poland.

The cultural capital of the country and historical in the Middle Ages. One of the most attractive tourist cities in Europe. The historical center, which is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List, includes old churches and architectural monuments, the largest market in medieval Europe, nowadays there are a large number of pubs, cafes and other tourist infrastructure facilities.

The royal capital city of Krakow - and this is how the full official name of the city sounds - is, above all, a famous tourist center, and therefore it has everything that a tourist needs. The restaurants, designed for every taste and affluence, are accompanied by freshly baked kalachi and bagels sold on every corner. Almost individual electric cars with an audio guide in their native language allow those who find it difficult or just too lazy to move around the city on their own to reach any remarkable point in the city. Fans of exotic vehicles can ride along the narrow cobbled streets of the old city in an elegant horse-drawn carriage. Fans of painting and applied art will easily spend several days visiting various museums. And the city offers music lovers piano, instrumental and organ concerts, an unexpected addition to which is a magnificent street accordionist with a popular classical repertoire, moving around the city along one route he knows. Wellness walkers can walk along Planty Boulevard, explore botanical gardens and parks, or take a long walk through the hilly Volsky Forest.

But perhaps the most important thing in Krakow is its rich architecture. The fortifications are represented by the remains of the fortress wall with three towers and a barbican, as well as the fortifications of Wawel Hill, behind which the main city attractions are located - the royal palace with an elegant courtyard and the cathedral with rich tombstones and crypts. No less famous Mariacki Church rises above the famous Market Square, where Europe’s largest medieval altar is hidden. However, stunning interiors are almost the main feature of Krakow's religious buildings, representing all the famous styles, ranging from Romanesque to modernism. And the ancient city itself serves as a wonderful frame for all this magnificence, miraculously avoiding serious damage and carefully preserved in our days.

Another facet of Krakow is the Jewish one. Together with Auschwitz, located an hour away, Krakow has become the place where the monuments and museums of the Holocaust belong to the main city attractions. This popularity takes sometimes very ugly forms when electric cars with a large inscription "Jewish ghetto" drive around the city. On the other hand, it was thanks to this promotion, which began with the “Schindler List” filmed just in Krakow, that one of the greatest tragedies of the 20th century has not yet been erased in the mass consciousness, so tourism plays a double role here. In any case, be prepared for the fact that there are many tourists in Krakow - including the non-central, but Jewish-related areas of Kazimierz and Podguže as well.

 

 

Travel Destinations

Orientation
Krakow is divided into 18 districts (Dzielnice), but only four of them are of interest to the traveler. First of all, this is the Stare Miasto barn mill - literally the Old Town, where most of the city sights are concentrated, the oldest of which date back to the X-XI centuries. The Old Wawel Royal Palace and the famous Main Market Square are located in the Old Town, as well as the oldest city streets - Florianskaya, Grodzkaya and Kanonichya. Historically, in this dzelnitsa several separate quarters (sedentary) are distinguished and each has its own face. The city grew around the main Market Square, which is adjacent to the blocks and streets of the saddle Stare Miasto. From the south, this quarter borders on Okul - a former ancient settlement between Wawel and ancient Krakow. These two central quarters were once protected by fortress walls, however, in the 1840s, most of them were demolished, and a peculiar “boulevard ring”, Planty, was planted instead. Riding Saddle Okul from the south borders with Wawel Hill, which stands on the banks of the Vistula River, where the royal palace and the cathedral are protected by ramparts and towers.

Behind the former fortress walls in antiquity there were suburbs and small towns that became part of Krakow at the end of the 18th century. Their mass development occurred in the second half of the XIX century. So, to the west of the Plantes are Pyasek and the New World, from the north and northeast to the boulevard ring adjoin the historical districts of Wesola, Klepage and Biskupe, and to the east of Ocula is the historical quarter of Strad, bordering the Grzegorzka dzelnitsa from the south, which includes another of Krakow's attractions - The Jewish quarter of Kazimierz, once separated from the city by the now defunct sleeve of the Vistula.

In addition to the listed areas of the Old Town, several relatively remote areas of the city may be of interest. Dzoglje’s dzhelnitsa is located on the opposite bank of the Vistula, opposite Kazimierz, and is best known for the fact that during the Nazi occupation it contained a Jewish ghetto. In the west of the city, in the Zvezhinets dzelnits, on several hills more than 300 meters high, the famous Volsky Forest is located - a huge forest park within the city limits. In the Volsky Forest and in the territories adjacent to it, there are two of the four branded Krakow barrows - Kosciuszko and Pilsudski. And two other mounds can be found in Podguzh and in the Nova Hut dzelnitsa, built up in 1949–1951 using an unusual fan-shaped layout.

 

Royal Castle

Wawel 5
Tel. 012- 422 16 97
Bus: 103, 124, 444, 502
Trolley: 6, 8, 10, 18
Royal Apartments
Open: daily
Closed: Nov- Mar: Mon; public holidays
Free: in winter on Sunday, in summer on Monday

 

Cracow Cathedral

Wawel 3
Tel. 012- 422 26 43
Bus: 103, 124, 502
Troller: 6, 8, 10, 18
Open: daily (Sun: pm only)
Cathedral museum
Tel. 012- 422 09 04
Open: Tue- Sun

 

Dragon’s Lair

Wawel Hill
Open: May- Oct: daily

Lost Wawel Exhibition
Wawel Hill
Tel. 012- 422 16 97
Open: daily
Closed: Nov- Mar: Tue; public holidays

 

 

 

 

How to get here

By plane
Krakow Airport is small, located on the outskirts, from it you can get to the city in two ways - by bus and by special train to the station. All this information can be obtained free of charge in the news agency at the airport itself, immediately they will give you a map of the city for free and explain the direction. Most cashiers, agents speak English. Nearby you can exchange a small amount of money for travel. Before the train you need to walk about seven minutes on foot.

By train
Krakow is hardly a major railway junction. Trains from Warsaw run on average every two hours. They are more expensive (EIC, 120 zł, 3 h) and cheaper (TLK, 75 zł, 3 h 40 min). In the western direction, you can leave to Katowice (1.5-2 hours) and Wroclaw (5 hours) with approximately the same frequency, and in the eastern direction Polish trains, with their inherent leisurely time, will take you to Tarnow in 1 hour 50 minutes and in 3 15 hours to Rzeszow (every 1-1.5 hours). Other lines are of local importance. Mountains begin to the south of Krakow, so there are practically no railways, and those that are are slow and winding. It is much more convenient to go to any Carpathian city by bus.

International traffic: night trains to Prague (9.5 hours) and Lviv (8-9 hours). There is no adequate railway connection with Slovakia.

Kraków Główny, ul. Pawia 5. Krakow Central Station has been transformed into the huge Galeria Krakowska shopping center. An old building of the late 19th century stands closed as an architectural monument and a monument to himself. Leaving the platform, you will find yourself in a maze of corridors, which is not easy to get out of. It is best to follow the signs for Stare Miasto - so you are guaranteed to go towards the Old Town. In the northern part of the complex, somewhere below ground level, there are ticket offices, left-luggage offices and other attributes of the station: they are easy to find if you go into the complex from the side of the bus station, but it is difficult to find the desired staircase from the city or from the platforms, since the signs do not distinguish the path to the ticket office and exit to the trains. However, the system is designed in such a way that you won’t need the ticket office under normal conditions: ticket vending machines are located in front of each tunnel leading to the platforms. There is no waiting room, but there are several benches in front of the box office. You can also use any of the many network cafes inside the shopping center (Mon – Sat 9:00 - 22:00, Sun 10:00 - 21:00). Free wifi.
Without leaving the building, you can catch a tram at the underground station Dworzec główny tunel, access to it from the Carefour express supermarket from level 0, escalators with the signed platform names krowodrza górka and rondo mogilskie go down to it.

Almost all trains go to the central station. In rare cases, you may end up at another station - Kraków Płaszów, which is located in the southern part of the city. The best solution is to jump onto another train going to Kraków Główny, but if for some reason you didn’t succeed, just walk 300 meters ahead from the railway and take any tram: it will bring you to the center.

By bus
Bus communication dominates the railway. In the west-east direction (Wroclaw, Katowice, Tarnow, Rzeszow), buses run at least once an hour, and thanks to the A4 expressway they run one and a half times faster than trains. The situation is different with Warsaw: the bus runs 5 hours (departures every two hours), and the train is 1.5-2 hours faster. International routes: Prague (8-9 hours) and Lviv (8-9 hours). Several Eurolines buses pass through Krakow. With their help, you can leave for many cities in Germany and France, as well as, for example, to Copenhagen or Budapest. There is no direct connection with Slovakia.

Bus station. 6:00 - 22:00. Adjacent to the railway station from the east. A small but rather modern building, inside which you will find a schedule, ticket offices and a couple of cafeterias. Exit to the Old Town - through one of the tunnels under the railway. Only intercity buses leave from the bus station. Look for suburban routes on the opposite (western) side of the station complex.

 

 

 

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