Tourist attractions - Kraków & Małopolska
Krakow’s history spans a thousand years, and the city, which has been the former seat of Polish kings and Poland’s capital, remains an important European metropolis.
The Krakow Old Town is a treasury of works of art, historical memorabilia and buildings representing practically all architectural styles, ranging from the Middle Ages up to modernity. For hundreds of years, the Main Market Square has remained the heart of the city. It was among the largest municipal squares of medieval Europe, preserved in unaltered form since 1257 and entered into the first UNESCO World Heritage list already in 1978. For 600 years, every single hour a trumpet signal is heard from the tower of Saint Mary’s Basilica, played in all four directions of the world. Likewise, the medieval merchants’ hall of Sukiennice, located in the centre of the square, is one of the most easily recognisable monuments in Poland. Krakow can also boast the second (after Prague University) oldest university in Central Europe, that is the Jagiellonian University (attended inter alia by Nicolaus Copernicus and Pope John Paul II) and the Wawel Royal Castle – the Polish royal residence was first constructed on the hill in mid-11th century. Currently the castle serves as a museum, providing access to 71 exhibition rooms, housing inter alia unique examples of renaissance art. The castle’s arcade court – a true gem of renaissance architecture – raises particular admiration.
Other than the monuments of the Old Town, the district of Kazimierz remains a major attraction – this has been a site of many centuries of coexistence of two cultures – the Christian and Jewish ones. The space is filled with monuments of Judaism of world-class significance but most importantly it serves as an area full of life, with antiquities and art markets, atmospheric cafes, restaurants and pubs with live music. The district of Nowa Huta – the most interesting and fullest implementation of the social realism architects’ assumptions – still surprises visitors with its monumentality and unique symmetry.
Krakow is also a city full of cultural life and in 2000 it was selected as a European Capital of Culture. Almost 100 festivals and other cultural events of international renown are held here every year. This is also a city of modern museums in which visitors will come face to face with history.
Undoubtedly, Krakow charms with its unique atmosphere – sometimes lazy, sometimes full of excitement, but always exceptional and inspiring. The city, situated for ages on the crossroads of major trading trails, on the verge of cultures and political influences, is full of mysteries and enchanting sites, which provide the busy locals and visitors with numerous occasions for slowing down, stopping and taking a look...
- A complete ban on smoking and drinking alcoholic beverages in public spaces is in force in Krakow. The regulation does not apply to the specially designated zones.
- The city centre is a paid parking zone as well as a limited vehicle movement zone. For more information on parking zones, see: www.krakow.pl/informacje_praktyczne.
MORE INFORMATION ON THE SUBJECT OF KRAKOW’S ATTRACTIONS AND TOURIST ROUTES AND OTHER PRACTICAL INFORMATION ON THE CITY CAN BE FOUND HERE
- Accommodation browser available at http://www.krakow.pl/odwiedz_krakow/1411,artykul,hotele.html
- Restaurant browser available at www.krakow.pl/restauracje
- Public transport: http://www.krakow.pl/english/12300,artykul,municipal_transport.htm
Małopolska, owing to its natural beauty as well as to the wealth of its cultural heritage and perfect spa values, is one of the most frequently visited regions in Poland. Each year millions of domestic and foreign tourists come here to admire historic sites UNESCO: Kraków, the Wieliczka salt mine, architectural and landscape park complex Kalwaria Zebrzydowska, Auschwitz-Birkenau museum, wooden churches Dębno, Sękowa, Binarowa i Lipnica Murowana; castles Wawel, Pieskowa Skała, Niepołomice, Nowy Wiśnicz. Wonderful landscapes intermingle with top architectural historical sites. The Voivode-ship is purpose of religious tourism related with person of blessed John Paul II’s also (Wadowice, Stary Sącz, Kraków-Łagiewniki).
Małopolska is the best place in Poland for spending one`s free time. It`s a region where one can make use the year-long tourist and recreational offer /over 100 000 dormitory places, modern centers SPA, centers of entertainment/. Within the region`s boundaries there are over 6ְ000 km of signposted tourist trails, including over 3ְ000 km of mountain trails. In the winter, the region has excellent skiing conditions. And in Kraków – the city that never sleeps – one can make use of the cultural offer throughout the whole year.
More information: www.malopolska.pl
Capital of the region: Kraków
Major cities: Tarnów, Nowy Sącz, Oświęcim
Surface area: 15,190 km2 (about 5% of the surface area of Poland)
Population: 3.28 m (about 8% of the population of Poland)
- 8 UNESCO sites
- 250 attractions on the Wooden Architecture Route
- Wadowice, town of birth of Pope John Paul II
- Salt mines in Wieliczka and Bochnia
- 9 spa resorts
- 6 national parks
- 4 geothermal pools
- rafting down the Dunajec Gorge
- 2600 km of bicycle trails
- 3360 km of mountain trails
- 250 ski runs
More information: www.visitmalopolska.pl
City Information Points:
- Tourist Information Centre
ul. Powiśle 11, Kraków
+48 513 099 688,
- ul. Św. Jana 2, Kraków
+48 12 421 77 87
- ul. Józefa 7, Kraków
+48 12 422 04 71
- Sukiennice, Rynek Główny 1/3, Kraków
+48 12 433 73 10
- ul. Szpitalna 25, Kraków
+48 12 432 01 10
- Wyspiański Pavilion
pl. Wszystkich Świętych 2, Kraków
+48 12 616 18 86
- International Airport in Balice
+48 12 285 53 41