View Map

Overview

Sprawling Stare Miasto, Kraków's splendidly preserved UNESCO World Heritage-listed historic center, is one of Europe's most impressive old towns. Its marvelous medieval main square, the Rynek Główny (one of Europe's largest) is the highlight. Lively day and night with coffee-sipping locals, flirty teenagers, and camera-wielding tourists, it's dominated by the magnificent Kościół Mariacki, or St. Mary's Basilica (a must-visit), the smaller, charming Church of St. Wojciech, and the lovely yellow-painted Sukiennice, or Cloth Hall, now an atmospheric arcade, the place to shop for souvenirs and crafts. Topping the ...

Sprawling Stare Miasto, Kraków's splendidly preserved UNESCO World Heritage-listed historic center, is one of Europe's most impressive old towns. Its marvelous medieval main square, the Rynek Główny (one of Europe's largest) is the highlight. Lively day and night with coffee-sipping locals, flirty teenagers, and camera-wielding tourists, it's dominated by the magnificent Kościół Mariacki, or St. Mary's Basilica (a must-visit), the smaller, charming Church of St. Wojciech, and the lovely yellow-painted Sukiennice, or Cloth Hall, now an atmospheric arcade, the place to shop for souvenirs and crafts. Topping the city's long list of attractions is the imposing Wawel Castle, seat of centuries of Polish kings, and its defense towers and fortifications, that offer excellent views of the Vistula River and wider city.

While Kraków offers up a wealth of sights, including myriad churches, grand houses, and museums, many visitors are happy enough just to kick about the old town, taking in the charming cobblestone streets and splendid architecture by day, and by night dining on deliciously hearty Polish cuisine in the city's traditional eateries and listening to jazz in its underground bars. If and when you ever get bored of this magical museum of a town, the fascinating Salt Mines, and more sobering experience of Auschwitz are just a short bus ride away.

Lara Dunston
About the Expert

Lara Dunston and Terry Carter have traveled to over 60 countries and written more than 40 guidebooks for Lonely Planet, DK, Rough Guides, Footprint, and others on destinations in the Middle East, Europe, and South America.

view full overview

Lara Dunston for Triporati

Compare Flight, Car Rental, and Hotel Rates

Note: A new window will open for each site you select.

Note: A new window will open for each site you select.

Note: A new window will open for each site you select.

Now Happening in Kraków

Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Kraków also Cracow, or Krakow is the second largest and one of the oldest cities in Poland. Situated on the Vistula River in the Lesser Poland region, the city dates back to the 7th century.
  • Language: Polish
  • Currency: Polish Zloty
  • Research: Wikitravel | Wikipedia
  • Weather: Rainfall
  • Current Time:

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Krakow is lovely year-round.