Tourist guide to Krakow

The Ojców National Park

The Ojców National Park ©PolandMFA/Flick

Krakow is one of the oldest and largest cities of Poland and it is located in the south of the country and is crossed by the Vistula River. The name of the city is derived from the name of its legendary founder, Krak.

Krakow is the former residence of the Polish kings and has a history of almost a millennium, it is considered the cultural, artistic and scientific heart of Poland. The historic center of the city lies on the banks of the Vistula and was inscribed in the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Sites. It is a beautiful place, that you should visit.

 

Climate

With an oceanic climate, pleasant and moderate both winter and summer, Krakow can be visited throughout the whole year. The average annual temperature is 10 Celsius degrees, always stabilized by the western ocean currents.

Most important sights in Krakow

The city of Krakow is, informally, the cultural capital of the country, and in 2000 was declared a cultural capital of Europe. Therefor, you can find monuments and tourist attractions everywhere. No less than 28 museums can be visited by tourists, of which the most famous are: the National Museum that houses the largest permanent and temporary exhibitions, the Czartoryskis Museum famous for the work of Leonardo da Vinci – Lady with an Ermine, Archaeological Museum, the Ethnographic Museum and the Museum of Aviation.

One of the main attractions and the emblem of the city of Krakow is the Wawel Royal Castle. It lies near the fortified Wawelska cathedral on the Wawel hill, situated above the Vistula, and is the most visited architectural complex in Poland. The building was originally Gothic, but Sigismund turned it into an imposing Renaissance royal residence. Today, it houses the National Art Collection that contains gold thread embroidered fabrics, tapestries, ceramics, paintings, collections of weapons, and the Treasure of the Crown including the coronation sword of the Polish kings.

View of the Wawel Castle in Krakow

View of the Wawel Castle in Krakow ©atkinson000/Flick

The Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp is a worldwide recognized sightseeing spot that reminds us of a bloody history and which annually attracts thousands of visitors from around the globe. Belonging to the Nazi Germany in the Second World War, Auschwitz was the main element in perpetuating the Holocaust. More than a million people died here, mostly Hebrew, and other minorities such as gypsies. Tourists can observe closely gruesome images as gas chambers, the crematoria where were burned the corpses of those who had been previously detained in the gas chambers, torture chambers and utensils, places of public execution, weapons, laboratory experiments and cells in which detainees were imprisoned.

Auschwitz-Birkenau near Krakow

Auschwitz-Birkenau near Krakow ©milan.boers/Flick

The Ojców National Park and the Castle inside of it are two objectives that shouldn’t be missed in Krakow. Another important tourist attraction is the Wieliczka salt mine, dating back to the 13th century and has playgrounds, shops, and a chapel for prayer. Besides an important tourist town of Poland, Krakow is an important urban and university center. It is a modern metropolis giving place at the same time to the oldest university in Europe. Hundreds of tourist attractions in Krakow are at your disposal in a welcoming and pleasant atmosphere.

The Ojców National Park

The Ojców National Park ©PolandMFA/Flick

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