Krakow is the former capital of Poland, one of its most beautiful cities, which is under the protection of UNESCO. Each district is associated with certain periods in history and each in its own way makes an impression. Nova Huta, for example, is famous for its Stalinist skyscrapers, the Menagerie is considered the “greenest” area, and the Jewish ghetto was located in Podgorets during the Nazi occupation. To feel the spirit of Krakow, you should rent a car and explore the main attractions located in the city and beyond. Climbing to one of the many viewing platforms, you can see the surroundings in all its glory, and when you go for a walk along the narrow streets, you can go back several centuries.
IATA code: KRK
Location: 11 km from Krakow
Official website: http://www.krakowairport.pl/en/
Information: +48 12 295 58 00
The following companies provide car rental services at Krakow Airport: Hertz, Budget, Europcar, Dollar, Avis, Express Rent A Car, Enterprise, Panek, Sixt. Rental car rental desks are located in the passenger terminal. Near the airport there is a short-term parking (the first 10 minutes are free) and long-term.
Wawel 5 http://www.wawel.krakow.pl/pl/
Having rented a car, go see the architectural ensemble of Krakow, which is of great value to the city. The complex consists of a chapel, looking at which you can make a wish. Near the chapel are the royal chambers. The Cathedral of Saints Stanislav and Wenceslas, located near the chapel, is famous for the fact that mammoth bones are stored here. Locals believe that they bring good luck to the city and residents. In the building of the castle itself is the Altar of the Fatherland and the tomb of the Polish kings, where the monarchs laid their trophies. Interestingly, for the entire existence of the complex, it belonged to the Polish kings, and the Austrian military, and the Germans during the Second World War.
Not a single trip to Krakow, not a single excursion takes place without a visit to the Market Square. Built in the middle of the XIII century, it gradually overgrown with new buildings in the Baroque and Renaissance. Today it will be possible to see the Zbaraski Palace, the Town Hall Tower, the monument to Adam Mickiewicz, the Mariacki Church, the Church of St. Wojciech. It is interesting that the square plays a special role for the locals: here they make dates, meet with business partners and just stroll in the evenings in fine weather.
Palac Biskupow, Franciszkanska 3
The second largest palace in Krakow is considered the Bishop's Palace. It was built in the middle of the 15th century and reconstructed several centuries later. The building has kept a modern look for a century. The architecture of the palace organically combines elements of Baroque, Renaissance, Art Nouveau. The attraction gained popularity during the reign of Pope John Paul II. Walking, you can see the monument to the priest, with his hands raised up during prayer.
To diversify your excursion route, go by car to the Jewish town of Kazimierz, which for several centuries has been considered part of Krakow. There is a noticeable difference. Here is the center of Jewish culture, orthodox synagogues, a gymnasium, and old cemeteries. The most striking sights are the Church of the Body of the Lord and the Church of St. Katarina. An interesting fact: it was here that the shooting of the famous painting “Schindler's List” took place.
If you come to Krakow in the warm season, do not miss the opportunity to visit one of the most romantic and picturesque places in the city. Planty is an oasis of calm and beautiful nature, where you can relax from the hustle and bustle, listen to the birds singing and gather your thoughts. Walking around the park ring, you can sit down to relax in the shade, have a picnic or take a few pictures as a keepsake in colorful places.
60 kilometers from Krakow is the historically significant place Auschwitz-Birkenau. Today it houses the State Museum, and at the beginning of the last century there was a concentration camp or “death factory” that the world had never seen before. The excursion begins with a gate that says “Labor liberates”. Along the street are two-story buildings - crematoriums and gas chambers. Some terrible conditions were preserved in some blocks: medical rooms in which prisoners were given fatal injections, corridors covered with mattresses, where people fell tightly. The Nazis hastily left the occupied territories, while the locals carefully preserved the atmosphere of the place so that future generations could imagine to what degree cruelty could reach humanity and not allow anything like that in the future.
Hire a car and go see the small town of Wieliczka, which has become popular among tourists thanks to the centuries-old salt mines. It is known for certain that the first salt developments began to be made here from the 13th century. Today, underground corridors are spread over 9 floors, their length is about 300 km, of which a route of 3.5 kilometers is accessible for tourists. An interesting fact is that salt mines near Krakow are the only such facility in the world where salt mining has been ongoing continuously since the Middle Ages. During the tour it will be possible to trace how technology and mining tools have changed, to explore underground lakes and small chapels. By the way, concert programs and sports competitions are often held here. If you wish, you can hold a solemn event, a conference,
To diversify your tour of the surroundings, go hiking on the Danube. This is one of the most popular entertainment, which is popular among tourists and locals. The journey takes place on traditional wooden rafts, run by Polish rafts, dressed in national costumes. The route is about 15 kilometers. During the hike, you can enjoy the picturesque territories, surrounded by monumental mountain slopes and castles, which will certainly meet on the way.
Ojcow National Park is considered one of the smallest in Poland, while it is famous for rock formations and caves, which, according to scientists, are about four hundred. Tourists mainly visit the Loketka Cave. According to legend, King Vladislav III Loketka hid from persecution in it. The most famous and visible formation is the "Hercules Mace": the height of the column of limestone reaches 25 meters. In addition, the park is famous for its biological diversity. Insects, birds, mammals live here. Walking through the territory, you can see badgers, beavers, ermines, bats.
Having rented a car, go on an excursion to the architectural and park complex in Kalwaria Zebrzydowska. This is one of the main religious complexes of the country, which is included in the UNESCO heritage list. Each building is associated with certain events, which was reflected in the architectural style and the smallest details. For example, the house of Our Lady is built in the shape of a triangle, and the house of Pontius Pilate - in the shape of a Greek cross. One of the important buildings is the theological school, which was equipped in the building of the castle of the XVIII century. Here, trainings are held, and on the Ascension of Our Lady or Easter - the most important rites. At one time, Pope Benedict XVI and John Paul II attended a religious complex.
Ul. Sw. Tomasza 24 https://www.facebook.com/Milkbar-Tomasza-298550616857031/
If you prefer not to have breakfast at the hotel, but to get to the city, head to Milkbar Tomasza. Starting from 8 in the morning, the establishment pleases its guests with complex breakfasts and freshly brewed coffee. You should try the panini with brie and crispy bacon, Greek salad with chicken and bacon, pancakes with chocolate and banana. The establishment is small, with enough space for all visitors. Attentive staff tries to serve quickly, and makes sure that all dishes are served hot.
Ul. Ambrozego Grabowskiego 8/9 http://zielonakuchnia.eu/pl/
In the afternoon, you can enjoy a delicious meal in Zielona Kuchnia. The institution is famous for healthy dishes and fusion cuisine. In the menu you can find both a national delicacy and something completely unusual. Calm music plays in the background, and the cozy interior has a nice meal. In warm weather, you can sit down in the courtyard, surrounded by a small garden. The waiters will not only take care that you do not have to wait long, but also advise special dishes.
Swietego Krzyza 15 https://www.facebook.com/MooMooSteakBurgerClub/
If, by tradition, in different cities, you like to go to a steakhouse or just miss a famous piece of fried meat, go to the Moo Moo Steak and Burger Club in a rental car. The establishment has a cozy atmosphere, and average prices pleasantly pleasing. It is worth trying a burger, ribeye and steak with your favorite degree of roasting. As a drink, you can order coffee or wine to your taste. For both children and adults, there are suitable dishes.
Ul. Szewska 10 http://boscaiola.eu/
Fans of Italian cuisine should stop by for lunch at Boscaiola, which is next to the main square. The first thing that impresses is the traditional interior and the wine rack, which presents the entire collection of wine establishments. It is worth tasting Carbonara pasta, calzone, cheese plate, cider, chocolate dessert. The highlight of the restaurant is that all the dishes are served not just warm, but hot.
Rynek Glowny 46 https://www.facebook.com/The-Piano-Rouge-115992175134794/
If you want to have fun in the evening in a cozy place, head to Piano Rouge for a late dinner. You can try the soup "Zhurek", "Chocolate Cake" with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or, ordering a special cocktail, enjoy live music and an unusual interior. The staff will ensure that everything is quickly prepared and beautifully served. It will turn out to be pleasant to spend the evening together or to settle down in a big company.
Ul. Gen. Romana Soltyka 19
+48 12 294 30 30 http://www.hotelbatory.pl/en/ double room - from € 63
Hotel Batory is a great option for those planning to rent a car. The hotel is located in a quiet area, so nothing will interfere with a relaxing holiday. The rooms are bright and functional. The competent staff will make sure that you do not need anything, help you quickly settle in and tell you places of interest to visit. Tourists are offered free parking, room-service, a conference room, a banquet hall.
Rynek 26 / Wislna 2
+48 12 422 40 52 http://imperial-hotel.pl/ double room - from € 113
If you are looking for an elite hotel for a memorable stay, opt for the Imperial Hote. It is located near the main square, there are many restaurants and bars nearby. The hotel staff will do everything to make you comfortable, in addition, help you book a place in your favorite restaurant and tell you good options for excursions. The rooms are spacious with elegant interiors and offer scenic alley views. If you like to have breakfast at the hotel, you can appreciate the restaurant's menu.
+48 12 297 40 00 http://www.niebieski.com.pl/ double room - from € 106
The highlight of Niebieski Art Hotel & Spa is in its prime location. The hotel is located near the center (20 minutes walk) on the banks of the Vistula. The windows offer a picturesque view, in fine weather it is especially pleasant to stroll along the coast and breathe fresh air. The rooms are quite spacious and comfortable. For business trips, a work area with a desk is equipped. The hotel offers a fitness center, spa, conference room, dry cleaning.
+48 12 314 21 00 http://purohotel.pl/krakow double room - from € 102
Puro Krakow Stare Miasto is located within walking distance of the Old Town. Nearby are historical monuments, a shopping center. The highlight of the institution is the “Smart Home” system, with which you can adjust the color of lighting, air temperature, floor heating. The panoramic windows offer a beautiful view of Krakow. Tasty and varied breakfasts will appeal to every guest. Tourists using rental cars can use the free underground parking.
Centrum krakowa, Grodzka 51
+48 12 422 76 86 http://www.hotelsenacki.pl/ double room - from € 127
For a romantic getaway in Krakow, Senacki Hotel is the place to go. Stylish and cozy interior allows you to relax and enjoy your vacation. The hotel staff carefully takes care of comfort and politely fulfills requests. Guests are available transfer service, babysitting for the child, room-service. In the morning you can have a delicious breakfast in the restaurant, and in the evening sit in the bar and have a glass of wine or a cocktail, spend leisure time in pleasant company.
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© Anastasiia Voloshina, 2017