Krakow is Poland’s second biggest city after the capital, Warsaw. Interestingly enough, Krakow was actually the capital city of Poland up until 1596. Furthermore, its Old Town was given the honour and privilege of being handed the first ever UNESCO World Heritage Site. With all the important heritage, history and culture behind this wonderful city, it didn’t come as much of a surprise when I learnt and discovered that Krakow was named the European Capital of Culture 2000. Here are 6 things I did as a tourist whilst in Krakow, Poland.
1. FREE TOUR KRAKOW
I heard about Free Tour Krakow as this was recommended to me by a fellow travel blogger on Twitter. Halfway through my city break in Krakow I was wandering and roaming through the streets and I came across a tour guide holding an umbrella, not because it was raining but to identity her as the tour guide. There was a German tour guide and an English tour guide on either side of the steps. In the end, the walking tour lasted approximately 2.5 hours and we walked through and around the Jewish Ghetto Quarter and Kazimierz area. These walking tours are totally free but are mainly reliant on tips (I tipped our lovely tour guide who did a wonderful job showing us around parts of the city). If anyone wants to know more about this then please click on the following link: https://www.freetour.com/krakow
2. HARD ROCK CAFE
An obvious favourite of mine, my love of Hard Rock is at an all-time high. I even have my very own Hard Rock Cafe Rewards membership! The cost of a standard meal inside is more expensive than most other restaurants in Krakow but it is always worthwhile just to enjoy the atmosphere. I went for a burger (as per usual) and I drank some traditional Polish beer to wash it down with. This Hard Rock Cafe is fairly small in comparison to most other locations but that can also make the space more warm and friendly. When I decide to visit Krakow again with friends I will be paying Hard Rock Cafe another welcoming visit!
3. WAWEL CASTLE
Dating all the way back to the 13th and 14th century, Wawel Castle was awarded the first ever UNESCO World Heritage Site status. Being one of the largest castles in Poland, Wawel Castle is situated and located on the left bank of the Vistula River at an altitude of 228 metres above sea level. I thoroughly enjoyed exploring through the extensive grounds of the castle and soaking up the rays of sunshine, which excitingly featured in abundance and aplenty. This is something that every tourist should experience in Krakow.
4. WAWEL CATHEDRAL
Wawel Cathedral, which can be found on Wawel Hill, has been an important part of history and culture for the Polish people for nearly 1000 years. The price to enter the Wawel Cathedral is considered excellent value for money as it only costs a grand total of 12 Polish zloty (which is the converted equivalent of £2.40). When I first saw the Wawel Cathedral it immediately and instantly stood out to me as a gothic style building. There are many highlights to discover whilst inside such as Sigismund Chapel, Royal Sigismund Bell, Sarcophagus of St. Stanislaus and Crypt.
5. TOWN HALL TOWER
Standing at 70 metres tall, Town Hall Tower is renowned and highly acclaimed for its Gothic styled structure. Similarly to the Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy, Town Hall Tower leans at 55 centimetres, this is due to a sudden tilt caused by a gust of strong wind in 1703. Built at the end of the 13th century, it quickly turned into a historical masterpiece and tourists cannot get enough of the Gothic inspiration behind this tower.
6. ST. MARY’S BASILICA
Another gothic styled building is St. Mary’s Basilica, one of Poland’s most instantly recognisable churches. Built in the early 13th century, St Mary.’s Basilica is also widely known for the daily trumpet call which in Polish translates into hejnal. At 80 metres high, tourists are easily able to get a perfect photo of the most famous church in Krakow. An impressive looking church with a stylish exterior, St Mary’s Basilica is a sight that must be seen by all and everyone.
Looking for another city break elsewhere? Read about my short city break in the capital city of Germany: https://travellingwithjames.co.uk/things-to-do-berlin
These were the 6 things I did as a tourist in Krakow. Have you visited Krakow before? If so, where did you visit and what did you like?
Travelling With James