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Krakow Holidays Overview

Krakow, a city that still manages to retain its old world charms and unique ambience, has a lot to offer to its visitors. It is considered to be one of the prettiest cities in the world and the fact that it managed to escape a majority of the WWII bombings does its beauty no harm. Krakow flourished as the royal capital of Poland for more than 500 years and as a result, the city is full of historical sights, exciting Gothic architectures and a rich culture.

Krakow is home to more than 2.3 million artworks and it also offers the highest collection of monuments and historic buildings in the country. The gorgeous Wawel castle lies at the centre of Krakow’s list of attractions and the Old Town along with its gigantic Gothic churches ensures that there is never a shortage of sights to see or places to explore. The old world charms of Krakow have been perfectly fused with exciting restaurants, pubs and cafes to offer tourists with an exciting palette of historical wonders and cosmopolitan delights.

The breathtaking St. Mary’s Basilica that dates back to the 14th century and the Main Market Square that covers an area of 10 acres are a few “must sees” in Krakow. Tourists should also try to ease their visits and spend as much time as possible in the city. The longer one stays in the city, the more enchanting it seems. It is quite possible to get access to beautiful, unique, delightful or delicious experiences without even making an effort if actually gives the city a chance to divulge itself at its own pace.

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Krakow holidays - Top Places To Go

1. Main Market Square (Rynek Glówny)

What is it? Dating from 1257, the Central Market Square was one of the largest squares in Medieval Europe, and is the social heart of Krakow today. Surrounded by historic buildings, museums and magnificent churches, the impressive expanse of flagstones is a hub of commercial and social activity. Flower sellers, ice-cream vendors, musicians, pigeons, students and groups of tourists fill the square. Occupying the centre of the square is the splendid medieval Cloth Hall, a covered arcade with a soaring vaulted interior where merchants once sold their wares; today it is filled with lively market stalls. The upstairs art gallery houses a collection of 19th century Polish paintings and sculptures. Along the outside walls of the building are elegant terrace cafes. Most famous of these is the Noworolski, which was the centre of Krakow social life before the war, with Lenin a notorious regular. The cafe has now regained its reputation as the prime cake and coffee venue in the city. The most striking church on the square is St Mary's, an impressive twin-spire Gothic structure. Every hour a mournful bugle sounds from the tallest church spire in memory of the lone watchman whose trumpeted warning of an invasion was cut off mid-note by a Turkish arrow in the throat. Within is the famous carved wooden altar, a majestic piece of Gothic art. Hours of Operation: Phone:



2. Wawel
What is it? Overlooking the city is Wawel, a hill topped with the castle complex, including Wawel Castle and beside it, the gothic Cathedral. It was here that the Polish kings of the 14th to the 17th centuries were crowned and buried and it lies at the heart of Polish history. The Renaissance-style Royal Castle is now a museum and the historic interior houses an astonishing collection of treasures from the Polish monarchy, including tapestries, period furniture and paintings. Visitors can see the Royal Private Apartments, Crown Treasury, Armoury, and the State Rooms. The Royal Cathedral was the coronation and burial site of all of Poland's monarchs, many of whom are interred in the Royal Tombs. Of the many royal chapels, the golden-domed Renaissance Chapel of King Sigismund is the finest. The bell tower can be climbed for views over the city and to see the enormous 11-tonne bell. Hours of Operation: Wawel Hill: open daily from 6am to 8pm (April to September), and from 6am to 6pm (October to March). The various castle attractions are open on Mondays from 9.30am to noon; Tuesday and Friday 9.30am to 4pm; Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday 9.30am to 3pm; Sunday 10am to 3pm. The Royal Private Apartments are closed on Mondays. The Cathedral is open Monday to Saturday 9am to 5pm, and Sunday from 12.15pm Phone:(0)12 422 1697 or 422 5155 ext 291



3. Kazimierz District and the Old Synagogue
Old Synagogue: Ulica Szeroka 24
What is it? Once a separate town and now an inner suburb of Krakow, the Kazimierz quarter was the centre of Jewish religion, culture and learning and the home of the city's large Jewish population before the war. Badly damaged during the Nazi occupation, with most of the residents either killed or deported to the nearby death camps of Auschwitz and Birkenau during the Holocaust, today it has been rebuilt so visitors can admire the restored historical architecture and experience daily Jewish life. Its renewed interest was brought about by Spielberg's film Schindler's List that was set in Kazimierz, and the Jewish culture of the area is being livened up by art galleries, kosher restaurants and specific cultural events. The Old Synagogue is part of the Historical Museum of the City of Krakow, and houses a permanent exhibition, 'Tradition and Culture of Polish Jews', where the collection of physical memories from the Kazimierz Jewish community is kept. Hours of Operation: Old Synagogue: Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday 9am to 3.30pm; Friday 11am to 6pm; closed Mondays Phone:(0)12 422 0962



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About This Page

Information on Krakow Holidays, Krakow Hotels, Holiday Packages in Krakow (city breaks, short stays, all inclusive and luxury deals). Also provides links and resources to Air Travel, Flights and Krakow Car Hire Options

Holidays Travel Guide content part sourced rom, copyright © Globe Media Ltd. By its very nature much of the information contained in the travel guide is subject to change at short notice. Travellers are urged to verify information on which they're relying with the relevent authorities. We cannot accept any responsibility for any loss or inconvenience to a person as result of information contained above.