The former capital of Poland is famous for itsarchitectural splendour, exciting modern art and a fascinating history, withcastles, ruins and museums. Known for its turbulent history, and as one of theoldest cities in Poland, Krakow's museums, housedin former decadent palaces of the Renaissance, are full of royal treasures andtell the city’s storied history. But Krakow livesas much in the present as in the past, and has active contemporary art circles,hip weekend markets and a vibrant nightlife.
The city is more than 750 years old and for fivecenturies it was the capital of Poland. Successive generations of monarchsbuilt castles and cathedrals and gave the city a royal prestige that now youcan still recognize.
It is not difficult to find your way around Krakow,thanks to the reliable network of trams and buses. Many of the main attractionsare located within the compact Old Town and are easy to explore on foot. In theornate St. Mary's Church you'll find one of the most spectacular altarpieces inEurope and the old city gate, the Barbican, is one of the most impressivesights in the park.
The WawelCastle is perched high above the city, a castle that has protected Krakowagainst intruders since the 16th Century. Nowadays, the castleinstead displays its stately halls, exhibitions of lavish jewelry and armor collections.For more about Krakow’s storied history, visit thehistoric WawelCathedral and Dragon’sDen, a limestone cave which, according to legend, a dragon oncecalled home.
Krakow's history isintertwined with that of the Jewish community. Visit the OskarSchindler Factory, made famous by the film Schindler's List by StevenSpielberg, to learn more about their struggles during the Second World War. Theformer factory has been converted into a large museum with Holocaust imagesthat you’ll not soon forget. The GaliciaJewish Museum shares what it’s like to be Jewish in contemporary Krakow.
In the summer, the Krakowcity parks alive with outdoor concerts and festivals. Enjoy a picnic in JordanaPark or enjoy a cruise across the city on the River Vistula. In winter you’relikely to see Krakow blanketed by a layer of snow,making the buildings in the historic city exude a romantic atmosphere.