We actively collaborate with influencers from Austria and Switzerland, leading the way for those seeking new and exciting experiences. Explore what they had to say about their unforgettable stays!

Kraków in slow style

In a few words

From between the trees in the park protrude the towers of the royal castle and the churches of the Old City. In autumn, the park’s alleys are covered with a sea of yellow leaves, in spring and summer, the green of the centuries-old trees invades your body through all your senses. Kraków has more than 1,000 years of history, several hundred thousand residents who love it to death and are attached to every stone in the center, as well as countless backstreets, pubs and unobvious places waiting to be discovered by you!

This is a place where Polish history was created, but also one of the most important cultural centers in Central Europe. By turns provincial and worldly, conservative and progressive, immersed in bourgeois ethos and constantly escaping from it – let yourself be carried away by the atmosphere of the Polish “eternal city” and spend a few unhurried days there, avoiding the most popular routes!

Before you start sightseeing

Kraków’s center is very compact, not to say cramped. This is thanks to the Austrian Habsburgs, who long ago surrounded Kraków with a ring of fortifications, halting the city’s development for decades. What is a curse for car drivers will be appreciated by pedestrians and cyclists – all noteworthy places (except for the Nowa Huta district – we write about it further on) you can easily get around on foot or on two wheels!

This is a city famous for its clubs and cafes. In Kraków, practically on every corner you will find a place where you can sit down, drink coffee and eat well. All the more reason, then, to spread out your city tour over a couple of days and savor the attractions slowly! The pubs in the former Jewish quarter of Kazimierz are especially teeming. Some say that Kraków has a “Mediterranean” café culture. Is it so? See for yourself!

A moment on Wawel Hill

The heart of Kraków hovers a few dozen meters above it, on Wawel Hill. It houses the royal castle, which owes most to King Sigismund the Old, who was passionate about the Italian Renaissance. The highlight of the castle museum’s collection is a collection of tapestries – monumental wall textiles commissioned by his son, Sigismund Augustus, from the best workshops of the Netherlands. By unusual turns of fate, they have survived to this day.

On the tower of the castle’s cathedral hangs the mighty 500-year-old Sigismund Bell, cast in Nuremberg on the order of Sigismund the Old. It rings only on rare, special occasions. You can climb the tower by narrow wooden steps, and enjoy a wide view of the city from there.

Below the castle you will find a statue of a fire-breathing dragon. This is an echo of the legend recited from memory by kindergarteners in Kraków and all over the country. The beast was supposed to frighten the residents, until a clever cobbler placed a dummy sheep filled with sulfur under its nose. The effect was reminiscent of an overdose of japaleño peppers in a restaurant – the dragon greedily drank all the water from the river flowing below, then exploded. How it really happened, of course, we will not know, but the view of the city from under the feet of the “dragon” is worth the short walk!

Website of Wawel Royal Castle

A moment in the Main Square

From the castle, Grodzka and Kanonicza streets lead to the Main Square – the largest square in medieval Europe. It can be crowded during the season. Before the coronavirus pandemic, Kraków was visited by more than 10 million tourists a year! Despite the crowds, the place is impressive. It is a symbol of the city, visible even in its logo, and an object of enduring pride for its residents. The entire medieval center of Kraków is an urban layout unique for its time – the streets intersected at right angles long before the first skyscrapers in Manhattan were built.

We recommend spending two hours exploring the Rynek Underground. It houses a kind of underground city – the remains of a medieval settlement from before the period of the square’s demarcation. At the multimedia exhibition you will learn about a thriving merchant center, the southernmost city of the Hanseatic League union, where visitors from all over Europe settled. You will see former residents, and children will rummage through a virtual sandbox in search of treasures.

Tour the Rynek Underground

At the Market Square stands St. Mary’s Church – a symbol of the former glory of Kraków’s bourgeoisie. From the top of the tower, every hour a trumpeter plays a tune called the St. Mary’s Trumpet Call to the four corners of the world. It is an ancient call for defense against invaders. The melody stops suddenly and unexpectedly, which is connected with another local legend – it is said that the trumpeter was hit by an arrow released from the bow of Tartar invaders besieging Kraków in the 13th century. Inside the temple, it is worth taking a look at the wooden altarpiece chiseled by Veit Stoss, a sculptor master from Nuremberg. The three-dimensional composition carved from blocks of linden wood is a masterpiece of European Gothic sacred art.

Coffee break!

This is a good time for your first coffee break. The small, secluded Bracka is perhaps the most Kraków-like of Kraków’s streets. Made famous by the songs of local bards, it tempts with cozy pubs where time has stood still. We recommend a stop at the Nowa Prowincja café – a favorite spot for local writers. Wisława Szymborska, a poet beloved by Kraków residents and awarded a literary Nobel Prize, used to visit here. 

A 10-minute walk away, on Felicjanek Street, you will find a wonderful bookstore-café called Massolit with an atmosphere of pre-war American jazz and a sizable offer of books in English. This is an area of the city associated with university activity – the Jagiellonian University here is the second oldest university in Central Europe. Nicolaus Copernicus (the one who was the first to argue that it was the earth that revolved around the sun, not the other way around) or Bronisław Malinowski – the father of modern anthropology – studied there. In the bookstore you can buy translations of Polish literature into English.

By the “Lady with an Ermine”

One of Kraków’s downtown museums hides a treasure on the scale of the Louvre – a portrait of the Lady with an Ermine by Leonardo da Vinci. It is part of the collection of the noble Czartoryski family, which is now in the care of the state. The Princes Czartoryski Museum is not large, but pleasantly decorated and illuminated. In addition to medieval and Renaissance paintings and engravings, collections of ancient and oriental art are noteworthy.

Website of the Czartoryski Museum

Toward the Jewish quarter

The heart of young Kraków has in recent years become the Kazimierz district – once a separate city with a compact Jewish quarter. There is no other similar place in Europe (except perhaps Prague’s Josefov) with a concentration of historic synagogues and mementos of the once numerous community of Polish Jews. Direct your steps especially to the oldest Remu synagogue, where Rabbi Moshe Isserles – a well-known and highly regarded Bible commentator by pious Jews – is buried. In the neighboring cemetery you can often find tours from all over the world, leaving stones on the grave of the Kraków sage.

Across Szeroka Street, in Popper’s former synagogue, you’ll find a bookstore with a huge selection of souvenirs and multilingual Jewish books.

A few steps away, on Plac Nowy, Kraków’s nightlife is alive today. At the unusual marketplace around the characteristic round building of the old slaughterhouse there is the atmosphere of an oriental bazaar – all day long you can buy antiques, vinyl records, old books and various souvenirs, but also taste street food. A hit in recent years have become the “zapiekanki” – halved baguettes toasted with cheese and a variety of toppings. A perfect option for an evening out on the town!

Plac Nowy is densely surrounded by clubs and cafes. Among the most beloved by locals are Alchemia, the French styled bar Kolory or the Mleczarnia, located on a side street. The atmospheric courtyard at the last of these pubs will perhaps remind you of one scene from the movie “Schindler’s List”. But more about that later!

Over the river

A few years ago, the city authorities put a footbridge over the Vistula River, which connected the Kazimierz and Podgórze districts. It can be said that it was a bull’s eye – the area around the Bernatek Footbridge is today one of the most popular walking places. 

The right-bank Podgórze district was created on the initiative of the Austrians, who ruled Kraków and the region of former Galicia throughout the 19th century, as a separate, at first competitive city. Austrian rule is today remembered by many Kraków residents with some fondness – the Habsburgs’ nationality policy was liberal, intellectual life flourished, and Kraków was a major center of Polish culture. 

Neglected under communism, Podgórze is today an atmospheric district full of designer stores and cafes, picturesquely located under the park-like hill of Krzemionki. The city authorities have been running a revitalization program in this part of Kraków for years, resulting in, among other things, several interesting museums.

Kraków’s “Museum Quarter”

(per analogiam MuseumsQuartier in Vienna)

Do you know Steven Spielberg’s movie about a German entrepreneur employing Jews in his factory – and thus saving them from the Holocaust? Oskar Schindler’s story really happened, and you can visit his factory on a walking tour of the right bank of the city. Today it houses a moving exhibition where you will learn about the dark times of the Nazi occupation of Kraków. Next door, as if to counterbalance it, is the modern building of the Museum of Contemporary Art, which attracts visitors wanting to see thematic exhibitions of contemporary Polish artists. Another museum worth visiting is the Cricoteka. The atypical, award-winning building, which some see mostly rusty walls, now houses a museum dedicated to Tadeusz Kantor – a Polish theater visionary of the era of Beckett and Ionesco. 

For a tour of Oskar Schindler’s Emalia Factory

MOCAK Museum of Contemporary Art website

Website of the Cricoteka


You can end your walk in the center of Kraków with a trip to the nearby Krakus Mound. This mysterious prehistoric structure, most likely a barrow, dominates the Podgórze district and is a popular recreation spot for Kraków residents. From the top, you will see the towers of the historic center, and on the other side – a massive, disused quarry where Spielberg placed scenes from the Kraków-Płaszów concentration camp. In fact, the camp was located a piece away, and the quarry was the site of the prisoners’ torturous labor. Today this moving place has been seized by nature for itself.

Nowa Huta: Kraków’s alter ego

Located east of the city center, the Nowa Huta district is the fruit of an unusual experiment by Poland’s communist authorities in the second half of the 20th century. A model workers’ city was created there, serving the neighboring metallurgical combine. It was meant to be a counterweight to Kraków, which was considered conservative and bourgeois. Taken from the plans of Renaissance urban planners, the symmetrically diverging streets were wide enough to accommodate columns of troops and tanks – in case of a possible revolt. 

Today Nowa Huta is a fashionable district, especially among young residents, mentioned in the listings of The Guardian newspaper as one of the best places to live in Europe. Everything can be done within a 15-minute walk, it is green, and in contrast to old Kraków – spacious. 

A new tourist discovery has recently become the system of bunkers that the communist authorities created underneath Nowa Huta. The monumental bunker under the steel mill headquarters building is a real treat for Cold War history enthusiasts – a completely preserved, anti-atomic structure capable of not only housing hundreds of people, but creating conditions for them to live underground. Everything looks as if the bunker was abandoned literally yesterday. Tours of Nowa Huta bunkers are organized by the Nowa Huta Travel office, run by local history enthusiasts.

Festivals, festivals, festivals

Kraków is a city known for many festivals. Like Edinburgh, for example, several hundred cultural events are held here annually. It is especially worth coming here at the end of June, when the Jewish Culture Festival takes place in the district of Kazimierz. You will remember for a long time the concerts in the streets and synagogues with artists from all over the world. Shortly afterwards, in the same part of the city, the EtnoKraków festival takes place, presenting world music. 

An excellent option for fans of good electronic music is the UNSOUND festival in autumn. In turn, those of you who are closer to the classics will appreciate the Easter festival Misteria Paschalia, during which the Gothic churches of the old center resound with early music.

Website of the Jewish Culture Festival

Website of the EtnoKraków Festival 

Website of the UNSOUND Festival

Website of the Misteria Paschalia Festival

Kraków, Market Square

Kraków in slow style