Krakow was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1978 and is one of the oldest cities in Poland. Krakow was also the capital of Poland until 1596 and is rich in history. It has become a popular tourist destination in recent years with Ryanair and easyJet both servicing the city.
Here are our top five thing to see in Krakow:
1.The Wieliczka Salt Mine – Between the 13th century until 2007 the mine produced table salt, but is now a tourist attraction. The wooden staircase that leads down to the first level has 378 steps and is 64 metres down. A labyrinth of passageways, chambers and sculptures all carved in salt awaits you at the bottom. The chapel of St. Kinga is magnificent! Here you will find the Warsaw Chamber, which at 122.5 metres below ground is a great place to experience a concert due to the unique natural acoustics.
2.Wawel Cathedral – This Gothic cathedral is situated on Wawel Hill and was built in the 14th century. It is Polands most important national sanctuary. There are many art treasures to admire in the eighteen chapels that surround the cathedral. The Chapel of the Holy Cross has a Russian Mural dating back to the 15th century and the Sigismund Chapel is Renaissance art at its best.
3.Wawel Castle – The castle is known for being one of the most beautiful and romantic royal houses in Europe. The State Rooms have magnificent painted ceilings and beautiful tapestries on the walls. The Renaissance courtyard is impressive and the sculptured heads on the ceiling of the Royal Audience Hall are also worth seeing. The Treasury and Armoury display a wonderful collection of swords and weaponry much of which are either jewel encrusted or oriental.
4.Ethnographical Museum – Housed in the old 14th century Town Hall which has a lovely Renaissance facade, this museum has regional costumes from all over Poland. It also houses a wonderful display of painted Easter Eggs. The ground floor is a chain of rooms each of which have been authentically recreated to represent different regions around Poland.
5. Market Square – The largest Medieval town square in Europe and where you can find St Mary’s Basilica. A Gothic 14th century church, with a fabulous wooden altarpiece and lovely stained glass windows it is worth a visit. Whilst you are there every hour you can hear a trumpet which breaks off mid-stream. It is in remembrance of the 13th century trumpeter, who was shot in the throat whilst sounding the alarm when the Mongols attacked. Relax in one of the many cafes in the square and soak up the atmosphere.
Have you been to Krakow? What are your favourite places to visit?