Explore Krakow and enjoy? Known how ...
I had never been to Poland before - but the weekend trip to Krakow has inspired me absolutely. Located in the south of Poland, the former capital has surprised me with its numerous medieval buildings, cathedrals and town houses and the still very youthful flair.
For those of us who first want to obtain an overview of the historical center, the so-called Royal Route is mandatory. This is a trail that leads directly through the old town. Passing the Memorial of the Battle of Tannenberg and probably the greatest defense tower of Europe, the so called Barbakana, one arrives at the remains of the city wall. Crossing here the Florian's Gate, the last still existing city gate of Krakow, you get directly to the Rynek Glówny, the heart of the city. The market square of Krakow - after that in Venice - the largest medieval square in Europe is bordered by countless picturesque town houses. The square is home of the old Cloth Hall, which then and now act as a "shopping center". Numerous cafes and the outlook for the busy market-bustle around invites you to stay. A curiosity is the Town Hall Tower, because the associated city hall was pulled down due to disrepair in 1832. Directly opposite there is the famous Marienkirche, one of over 100 churches and monasteries in Krakow.
We are now running about 20 minutes from the Old Town to Kazimierz, the Jewish quarter, which was a separate city once even earlier. Right on the banks of the Vistula River, the popular nightlife district extends, which is currently been renovated. Here you can experience the alternative charm of Krakow and its art scene and feel the Jewish tradition, still up close.
Kazimierz was used as a location for the movie Schindler's List, and here, right next door, in the adjoining district of Podgórze, is also situated the former Oskar Schindler Factory. Today, these houses accomodate an exhibition on the life of Poles and Jews during the German occupation.
In Kazimierz one can turn the night into day, but even in the afternoon you may enjoy a few drinks in the many outdoor cafes and bars. Countless jazz cellars and bars with live music and the many delicious restaurants let the evening and the entire weekend turn into a single experience.
Do not forget the Wawel Hill. Wawel is the castle of Krakow where the Royal Castle and the Cathedral is located. This is the place where the most of the Polish kings were buried and from here there is a spectacular view to the beautiful city.
Even with a longer stay, a trip to the just one hour away former concentration camp Auschwitz-Birkenau is a must for understanding the history of Krakow and the region properly.
Krakow is rather small and manageable - by foot is actually all very easy to reach. Who still needs another Overview may take a Hop-on-Hop-off Bus or the Trabi ....
Have fun exploring Krakow and the surrounding area! The Citytixx team b>!