The top places to see
- Wawel Castle & Cathedral - first capitol of Poland, lots of old architecture and history
- Wieliczka Salt Mine
- Old Town Square/Sukiennice
- Barbican/Florianska Gate
- Kazimierz - Old Jewish Quarter
Time to see each place
- Wawel & Cathedral - 1 day
- Wieliczka Salt Mine - 3 hour guided tour
- Old Town/Barbican/Florianska Gate - 2 hours walking tour, or 45 minutes horse drawn carriage ride
Day trips outside Krakow:
Krakow was the first capitol of Poland, and is still one of the major centers of Polish culture. There is number of well preserved buildings dating back to 12th century, including Wawel Castle, and Wieliczka Royal Saltmine, both of which are over 700 years old. Krakow is also a major academic center, and home to the Jagiellonian University, which has been operating since 13 century. Within a day trip range (60 miles) lies town of Auschwitz, location of the largest Nazi concentration camp.
Getting to Krakow
Easiest way to get into Krakow is to either take a train from Warsaw to Krakow Glowny station, which is located in town center; or fly directly into Krakow International Airport (code:KRK) on outskirts of Krakow, and take taxi cab into town. Once in town, the best mode of transportation is walking, and for more distant trips - taxi. Car traffic within Old Town is restricted to residents only, and parking can run upwards of $35/night. Main train station is within 15 minute walking distance of Old Town Square, taxi will cost no more than $10 anywhere within Old Town, if you are traveling with heavy luggage.
Places to stay
The best and most convenient place to stay is within Old Town Center, or right on the Old Town periphery if Old Town center hotels
are full. Another option is to rent one of the numerous condo/apartment available throughout the Old Town and Kazimierz.
The hotels run about $100/night, 2 bedroom apartment is about
$130/night. Check individual web sites below for weekend specials.
Recommended hotels in Old Town Center:
Reserve hotel here:
Old Town is full of restaurants, cafes, food stands and bars to suit every taste. During warm months there is number of outdoor seating options in the Old Town Square, with decent food, and great people watching. Top pick for polish food: restaurant and cafe "Under the Sun" (Restauracja "Pod Sloncem"), located on northern side of Old Town Square. Cafe upstairs/outdoors serves only a limited number of dishes, for the full menu, go down into the main underground restaurant room. After dinner, there is number of night clubs and bars throughout the Old Town, such as Inferno, playing anything from salsa thru 60s, 70s, 80s all the way to hip-hop and techno. During summer months, the clubs are routinely open until 4am, with very international crowd. The word of warning: most of the places have very limited air conditioning, and subsequently feel more like steam sauna than dance club. Second center of activity in Krakow is in Kazimierz, with street nightlife going on well into morning hours. This part of Krakow attracts younger, more rowdy clientele.