Kosciol Mariacki, St. Mary's Basilica

Krakow, Poland Photo Essay

If you’ve never been to Kraków (Cracow), Poland and aren’t sure whether it’s worth visiting, this essay is for you.

What’s is there to see in Kraków, you may ask? Take a look at the photos below, highlighting just a few places you might enjoy seeing in this beautiful city, with history going back into the medieval times.

The Wawel Castle

The Wawel Castle is, of course, a must. Dating back to the tenth century, it was the seat of the kings of Poland for several hundred years, and includes both Gothic and baroque elements.

You need tickets to go inside the castle, but walking around the Wawel Castle hill, and within the courtyard is free of charge.

the Wawel Castle as seen from Starodomska street
the Wawel Castle as seen from Starodomska street

view of the Wawel Cathedral next to the Castle, where many kings and queens are buried
view of the Wawel Cathedral next to the Castle, where many kings and queens are buried
inside the Wawel Castle courtyard
inside the Wawel Castle courtyard
view of the Sandomierska Tower, built in 1460s
view of the Sandomierska Tower, built in 1460s
you can also get a gorgeous view of the Wisła (Vistula) River from the Wawel Castle hill
you can also get a gorgeous view of the Wisła (Vistula) River from the Wawel Castle hill

Collegium Maius

Collegium Maius, the oldest university building in Poland, is part of the Jagiellonian University, founded in 1364 (one of the oldest universities in the world). This particular building was given to the university in 1400 by King Władysław Jagiełło, and now houses a museum, though some of its room can be rented for conferences or other functions.

Between April and the end of October, the entrance to Collegium Maius is free of charge on Tuesdays, between 3pm and 6pm.

inside the courtyard of Collegium Maius which you can see even if you decide not to tour the university museum
inside the courtyard of Collegium Maius which you can see even if you decide not to tour the university museum
beautiful arches running around the courtyard of the Collegium Maius
beautiful arches running around the courtyard of the Collegium Maius
how would you like to listen to lectures in this gorgeous room?
how would you like to listen to lectures in this gorgeous room?

Kraków’s Main (Market) Square

If you’re not into sightseeing, but just want to relax, sip coffee or something stronger, or cool down with a big bowl of ice cream, Kraków’s 13th-century Main Square is lined with cafes and restaurants, where you can sit down and observe the vibrant life of this beautiful place, and admire its architecture.

the Main Square in Krakow is surrounded by beautiful buildings, most of which house restaurants or cafes on the ground floor
the Main Square in Krakow is surrounded by beautiful buildings, most of which house restaurants or cafes on the ground floor
the central point of the Main Square are the Sukiennice (the Cloth Hall) and Wieza Ratuszowa (the Town Hall Tower)
the central point of the Main Square are the Sukiennice (the Cloth Hall) and Wieza Ratuszowa (the Town Hall Tower)
if you're visiting Krakow in the summer and it's as hot as it were when we were there, you can cool off by dipping your feet in the fountain in the Main Square
if you’re visiting Krakow in the summer and it’s as hot as it were when we were there, you can cool off by dipping your feet in the fountain in the Main Square
both kids and plenty of teens seemed to enjoy cooling off running through the sprinkler set up in the Main Square
both kids and plenty of teens seemed to enjoy cooling off running through the sprinkler set up in the Main Square

Walking around the Old Town

If you take some time to just walk around the Old Town and meander around the streets, don’t forget to look up, and admire the interesting architectural details of the buildings around you.

There’s a reason why the Historic Centre of Krakow is on the UNESCO heritage list.

beautiful details adorning the buildings in the Old Town of Krakow

 

beautiful details adorning the buildings in the Old Town of Krakow

beautiful details adorning the buildings in the Old Town of Krakow

The Planty Park

Don’t be afraid to go beyond the Old Town walls, and if you have time, comfortable shoes, and are in good physical shape, walk the loop in the Planty Park surrounding the Old Town, and established in the early 19th century in the place of the medieval outer walls surrounding the city.

along the Planty Park in Krakow
along the Planty Park in Krakow

Where to Stay in Krakow

There are plenty of hotels, hostels, B&Bs, and apartment rentals in Krakow.

We stayed for the first week at one of the Sodispar Luxury Old Town Apartments, and the second week at the Sodispar Bracka Residence. Review will be coming soon, but we can say outright we very much liked both.

Pin It For Later

I hope this photo essay convinces you that visiting Kraków is worth your while, and when you do decide to make the trip and see it for yourself, I hope you’ll fall in love with this city just as much as I did. Feel free to pin it to your Pinterest board of interesting places to visit.

the Wawel Cathedral up close
the Wawel Cathedral up close

If you’re interested in learning even more, keep an eye out for a few more posts about Kraków coming soon, and feel free to repin or follow my Poland | Kraków (Cracow) Pinterest board for even more ideas on what to see and do in Kraków and the area.

Invitation to #WeekendWanderlust Link Up

#WeekendWanderlust, hosted by Chris & Heather from A Brit and a Southerner, Jessi & Tara from Outbound Adventurer, Ashley from A Southern Gypsy, Justin and Lauren from Justin Plus Lauren, and yours truly, is a collaborative effort to share travel blog posts, and to discuss all travel-related things.

The hosts organize each week a link up through which travel bloggers from around the world can promote their posts, in exchange for a promise to give some attention to other travel bloggers. (One of the rules for linking up is to comment on three linked up posts.)

If the link up is still open, feel free to add a link to one of your posts below, then comment on at least three other linked up posts.

If you leave a comment on this post, I will reciprocate with a comment as soon as I can!

Also, don’t forget to join the #WeekendWanderlust chat on Twitter, every Saturday, at 11am EST, 3pm GMT, 11 pm SGT. See the list of upcoming topics on Travelogx.

#WeekendWanderlust link up logo
#WeekendWanderlust link up logo

 


36 thoughts on “Krakow, Poland Photo Essay”

  1. I love visiting cities and spending time in their main square and this one looks to be fun as well. It’s so fun to sit in the square and watch the various people both locals and visitors. When we finally make it to Poland, we’ll be sure to try to fit in a visit to Krakow!

    1. Thank you for reading, Brian & Amanda! I hope you will get to see Krakow some day. It’s a charming place, though if you’re there, also go to the Stanislaw Lem Science Garden!

  2. Thanks for the amazing post – I’ve never been to Kraków so this post was definitely for me! I had no idea it was full of so much history and amazing architecture! I’m a big fan of just wandering the streets of a city to discover hidden gems and really take in the atmosphere and vibe, so I think wandering around the streets of the Old Town excite me the most!

    Thanks for the inspiration!
    Meg Jerrard recently posted…The Best Places to Spot Wildlife & Exotic Seabirds in IcelandMy Profile

    1. Thank you for reading, Meg! I hope you’ll get to visit Krakow some day. There were plenty of tourists around when we visited, but I wish Krakow was as famous as it deserves to be. It’s a great, really old town, with very interesting history.

    1. Thank you for reading Vanessa, and I’m glad to hear you are considering visiting Poland. There’s so much more to see there than just Krakow, of course!

  3. I was last in Krakow in 2000! I don’t remember much except walking the town square and wondering the random lanes. I loved it though! Back then it felt a bit exotic to me to visit so far east, so i just loved soaking up the culture and people and vibes of the city. I need to go back!
    Karilyn recently posted…Things To Do in Kerala with KidsMy Profile

    1. Thank you for reading, Karilyn! And yes, you do need to go back. A LOT has changed in the last 15 years, and while the buildings are still the same in the Old Town, a lot of them have been very nicely renovated, and the areas beyond the Old Town have been changing as well. It’s the same but also a completely different city now.

  4. Did you happen to see a group of people standing in one corner of the castle, possibly with their backs against the wall, and possibly with their eyes closed? It’s because the spot is believed to be one of the chakra energy spots in the world. I wrote about it for the Toronto Star – thought it was a fun angle. Yes, there really is a lot to do in Krakow – thanks for reminding me of my trip.
    Wandering Carol recently posted…Hidden gems bigger than a breadbox on the Coastal Passage RouteMy Profile

  5. It is always so fascinating to see the old castles and walled buildings still standing and so grandly, in our modern cities. Your photos really capture the city.

  6. Good to see your photos. They bring back memories. I spent some nice time in Krakow when I was a student. It was an enjoyable experience. Especially learning Polish – it was really fun at Prolog: http://www.polishcourses.com. We even had to take photos and write our impressions about Krakow, in Polish, obviously. Thus we learnt to view places from different perspectives.

  7. Krakow is an amazing city. I moved here a month ago and cannot get enough of it! I haven’t seen the university yet. I heard that the sightseeing there is quite limited. Is that true?

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