Wonders await in the Historic Center of Krakow
The historic center of Kraków encompasses everything from the 13th century Grand Square known as the Rynek Głowny, down past Wawel hill where the impressive Wawel Royal Castle stands, all the way to medieval Kazimierz, the Jewish Quarter bordering the Wisła River.
The Grand Square is one of Europe’s most beautiful. Its 200 square meters are lined with inviting cafes and hidden bars. In one of its corners proudly stands Saint-Mary’s Basilica. Every hour, the trumpet resounds from its tower with the notes of the Hejnal Mariacki, a traditional Polish anthem. The story of this tradition is one your guide will surely know. Behind the church is a smaller square, Mały Rynek, which plays host to a market on most weekends. The old 14th century Cloth Hall, or Sukiennice, which is held at the center of the Square is still alive with merchants selling your ideal souvenirs.
During the summer, the market square welcomes many talented performers and so music can be enjoyed while wandering the cobblestoned alleys. In the winter, however, it is taken over by a brightly lit Christmas market. There you can treat yourself to Polish handmade goods and savor traditional treats.
At the entrance of Florianska Street, the Barbican’s 15th century fortification stands in front of the still-standing Florianska gate. This street has become one of the main commercial arteries of the Old town. This cultural historic center also has a number of magnificent churches and historical museums to fill your time. Your guide will be able to make the best recommendations.
Walking south down Grodzka Street, you can admire Saint Andrew’s church and its 12 apostles before coming upon Wawel hill, and into Kazimierz. What used to be the Jewish District is now bustling with hip cafes and art galleries. Kazimierz is best discovered on foot, its numerous synagogues, small bookshops and antiques are sure to keep you fascinated for hours.
Info on the Historic Center of Krakow
Map Ref: 50.062255, 19.936874
Address: Cytadela Twierdzy Kraków, 33-332 Kraków
Map Ref: 50.054015, 19.936099
Kazimierz Plac Nowy
Address: Plac Nowy 4B, 31-056 Kraków-Śródmieście
Map Ref: 50.051706, 19.944932
Images by Stefanie Auger-Roy for Absolute Tours