Krakow’s Old Town is the part of the city once contained within the historic Medieval Walls. Situated at the foot of the Royal Wawel Castle, the historical center is home to a rich architectural heritage with many examples of Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque buildings and grand monuments.
Explore the multitude of cultural treasures including the Market Square, one of the largest and most breathtaking town squares in all of Europe. The Cloth Hall sits in the center of the square, and today merchants sell handmade goods and souvenirs. You’ll also find the magnificent St. Mary’s Basilica, a must visit in any Krakow itinerary!
Krakow’s dramatic castle is situated on top of Wawel Hill, a limestone hill rising above the Vistula River and the Old Town. During the earliest days of Polish history a castle was built here and throughout the Medieval and Renaissance era it was an important residence of Poland’s rulers and a center of Christian influence.
Boasting a fantastic assortment of Romanesque, Renaissance and Gothic architecture, Wawel Castle is the city’s architectural crown jewel and one of the top sights to visit in Krakow.
You can tour its restored Royal palace, as well as historical, archeological, and artistic collections within the castle. Climb to the top of the cathedral’s bell tower for a city view or visit the Cathedral Museum, featuring a wealth of religious and secular items dating back to the 13th century.
Kazimierz (Jewish Quarter)
No itinerary for Krakow is complete without a visit to Kazimierz, which contains Krakow’s Jewish Quarter. While the Holocaust tragically devastated the Jewish community in Krakow, its rich legacy remains, with numerous beautiful synagogues and other Jewish heritage sites to visit.
Today, Kazimierz is one of Krakow’s most vibrant and thriving neighborhoods, with plenty of cafes, art galleries, and cafes to visit, making it not only a great place to discover during the day, but a lively area for the evening too!
Anyone who has seen Schindler’s List will know the name Oscar Schindler is synonymous with Krakow. During World War II, Oscar Schindler saved the lives of more than 1,100 Jews by employing them in his enamelware factory in Krakow.
Today, his factory is home to one of Europe’s most impressive and informative new museums, a must visit for anyone interested in World War II history. It tells not only of the story of Schindler himself, and the many Jews he protected, but of the wider experience of Krakow and the life of a Jew in World War II.
Krakow is home to four man-made hills or mounds that honor some of the country’s greatest leaders.
Kosciuszko Mound is one of the most popular mounds to visit from Krakow, dedicated to the Polish military hero, Tadeusz Kościuszko. Standing at 34m high, the mound offers an opportunity to explore its old fortifications and admire the pretty views over the city.