best of krakow

Krakow is by far the most remarkable cities not only in Poland but in the whole of central Europe.  Indeed the Rynek, the biggest market square and the historic centre that surround it was inscribed on the list of World Heritage Sites as the first of its kind. Krakow remains to that day a centre for academics with many schools and universities including Jagielonski one of the oldest in Poland.  The city is as well as the epicentre of cultural and artistic life with many great festivals and music venues.  Even though, Warsaw took over as the economic capital of the country, Krakow rebranded itself in the last couple of decades as the Silicon Valley of Europe with many skilful programmers and a huge investment of IT related businesses (including Google and IBM).

Krakow Content

  1. About Krakow
  2. Krakow Map
  3. Top 10 Krakow
  4. Best Krakow hotels
  5. Best Krakow restaurants
  6. Best Krakow bars
  7. Best Krakow Shopping
  8. Krakow Essential
  9. Krakow Photographs
  10. Krakow Videos

Krakow Map


Krakow Map

Rynek Glowny

Top 10 Krakow

Top 10 sights to visit in Krakow include:

  1. Wawel Castle
  2. Rynek Glowny
  3. St-Mary’s Church
  4. Kazimierz
  5. Barbakan
  6. Collegium Maius
  7. Florianska Street
  8. Grodzka Street
  9. Czartoryski Museum
  10. Ethnographical Museum

Rynek Glowny

Top 10 Hotels

Top 10 hotels to visit in Krakow include:

  1. Holiday Inn Krakow, a Five star City Center Hotel
  2. Hotel Copernicus
  3. Ostoya Palace Hotel
  4. Wentzl
  5. Amadeus Hotel
  6. Hotel Royal
  7. Hotel Klezmer Hois
  8. Hotel Petrus
  9. Hotel pod Roza
  10. Hotel Amadeus

Top 10 Bars

  1. Boogie
  2. CK Browar
  3. Free Pub & Dekafencja
  4. Nic nowego
  5. Oldsmobile
  6. Shisha Club
  7. Transylvania
  8. U kacpra
  9. Vinoteka La Bodega
  10. Wodka

Top 10 shopping

  1. Galeria Centrum
  2. Galeria Kazimierz
  3. Jubilat
  4. Alhena
  5. Cloth Hall
  6. Gala
  7. Empik
  8. The Amber Chamber
  9. Blazko Kindery
  10. Galeria Skarbiec

Central Krakow

Krakow Essential

The Krakow essential section gives you a better understanding of the city and includes the following topics:

  1. Key facts about Krakow
  2. History of Krakow
  3. Geography of Krakow
  4. Krakow’s economy
  5. Krakow Arts
  6. Key places around Krakow

Key Facts about Krakow

  1. Kraków can be spelled  Krakow or Cracow
  2. Krakow is the second largest city in Poland
  3. Krakow is one of the oldest cities in the region.
  4. Krakow is situated on the Vistula River (Polish: Wisła) in the Lesser Poland region,
  5. Krakow dates back to the 7th century.
  6. Kraków was the capital of Poland from 1038 to 1596; and is now the capital of the Lesser Poland Voivodeship.

History of Krakow

History of Krakow

Even though there was a settlement as far back as the Stone Age, the first document from Krakow we have dates back from the 7 century.  The legend says the mythical rulers Krakus built the city above the cave of a dragon, the now famous Smok Wawelski which became the symbol of the city.

By the end of the 10th century, Krakow became a major commercial and trading hub.  During that period the city was faced with many Mongol invasion, but was rebuilt stronger every time.  In 1364, one of the oldest European universities was built, and science and arts began to flourish in the capital of the Kingdom of Poland.

In 1473, during the Golden Age of Krakow the first printing press was established publishing the first printed work called the Calendarium Cracoviense.

Between the 18 and beginning of the 20 century, the city was weakened and partitioned as much as 3 times between its neighbours of Russia, Prussia and Austria.

The Second Polish Republic only emerged in 1918 at the end of the First World War.  The country was however soon recaptured in 1939 and Krakow became the capital of a Nazi General government.  By the end of the war Second World War Krakow remained one of the few cities not heavily destroyed by the Nazis.  However, another tragedy soon stroke when the Stalinist regime took over and the city was run with a puppy pro communist government.  It was during those years that the neighbourhood of Nowa Huta was created with the construction of the steel mill.

In 1978, Karol Wojtyla the cardinal archbishop of Krakow was elected as the first non-Italian pope in centuries.  A Decade later, the Solidarnosc party and its leader Lech Walesa manage to break free from the communist oppression.

History of Krakow

Geography of Krakow

Krakow is located in the southern part of Poland in the administrative region called Lesser Poland.  It is 100 kilometres of north of the Tatra Mountain which constitutes a natural border with Slovakia and the Czech Republic. The city center is situated on the northern bank of the Vistula River.

There are 18 districts of Krakow including:

  1. Stare Miasto (I)
  2. Grzegórzki (II)
  3. Prądnik Czerwony (III)
  4. Prądnik Biały (IV)
  5. Krowodrza (V)
  6. Bronowice (VI)
  7. Zwierzyniec (VII)
  8. Dębniki (VIII)
  9. Łagiewniki-Borek Fałęcki (IX)
  10. Swoszowice (X)
  11. Podgórze Duchackie (XI)
  12. Bieżanów-Prokocim (XII)
  13. Podgórze (XIII)
  14. Czyżyny (XIV)
  15. Mistrzejowice (XV)
  16. Bieńczyce (XVI)
  17. Wzgórza Krzesławickie (XVII)
  18. Nowa Huta (XVIII).

Krakow’s economy

Krakow is the most important economic center in the south of Poland with the private sector booming since the collapse of communism.  It is especially strong in the information technology and communication (ITC) industry and sometimes referred as Europe’s Silicon Valley, with brands such as Google, Motorola and IBM.

Other multinational companies in Kraków include Hitachi, General Electric, Philip Morris, Capgemini and Sabre Holdings.

Krakow have a much lower unemployment rate compared to the rest of Poland and have foreign direct investment reached approximately billion.

Painting students in Kazimerz

Krakow Arts

Krakow always had a reputation for art and culture.  It was in fact named the capital of culture in 2000.  The following Arts are popular in Krakow:

  1. Architecture
  2. Painting and sculpture
  3. Literature
  4. Music
  5. Cinema


The Krakow architecture is quite unique in its genre being composed from different areas including renaissance, Baroque and Gothic.  Many buildings can be seen around the old town and Kazimierz neighbourhood. The most impressive of them all is the market square which retain its original form the medieval time.


Krakow is famous for being the home of Poland best writers including Wislawa Szymborska and Czeslaw Milosz, which both won the Nobel Price in literature.


Krakow is also popular with cinema.  It has an annual festival of short films. which is one of Europe oldest event.  It was also once the residence of some of the best Polish authors including Andrzej Wajda and Roman Polanski.  It is also worth noticing that the architecture of the city remains a wonderful place for second world war movie such as the famous Spielberg film Schindler List.

Key places around Krakow

  1. Wieliczka salt mine
  2. Auschwitz Birkenau
  3. Tatry Mountains