Kraków, Poland’s historic city in the south, is taking on a new image. It’s joining other major European cities like Paris and Barcelona for weekend breaks. With a rich medieval past, Kraków has now become a cultural capital with a huge community of students and an endless list of arts, film, music and food festivals. Kraków is packed full of exciting things to do and affordable hotels from which you can explore the rest of the city. Here’s how you can spend 48 hours…
PEOPLE WATCHING IN MARKET SQUARE
This charming square is the heart of the city. It’s home to iconic buildings like the Church of St. Adalbert, St. Mary’s Basilica and Sukiennice Cloth Hall. For a bite to eat or somewhere to watch the world go by, there’s some great cafe’s, pubs and restaurants around here too.
TEST YOUR NERVES IN LOST SOULS ALLEY
Inspired by horror movies, discover a dark side of Kraków at Lost Souls Alley on the top floor of Florianska street. In this haunted house meets escape room, you can visit different themed rooms for a chilling interactive experience like no other.
GET ARTSY AT MOCAK
A must-see in Kraków is the Museum of Contemporary Art, opened in 2011 at the former Schindler’s Factory at Lipowa 4. Through exhibitions, educational programs and installations, it aims to explain the sense of art by indicating its ethical and cognitive values and connections with everyday life. The building itself is phenomenal – a high tech industrial space full of light and clean lines designed by Claudio Nardi and Leonardo Proli.
Image credit: MOCAK
JOIN THE CROWDS AT FORUM SPACES
This transformed hotel has become a community space and cultural hub of entertainment, live music and great seasonal food. There are designer shops and start-ups, and regular indoor and outdoor events such as film clubs and ice skating. Kids and pets are well-catered for too.
SEE THE CROWN JEWEL OF THE CITY
The UNESCO-listed Wawel Castle has a hillside location meaning you can see the over the city from here. It’s considered the spiritual home of the nation, once home to royalty. It’s now a museum of state rooms and apartments, with a courtyard and various buildings.
GO BACK TO EDUCATION AT JAGIELLONIAN UNIVERSITY
Founded in 1364 by Casimir III the Great, this is the second oldest university in Europe. Now a public museum, you can take guided tours and walk the campus to learn about it’s fascinating history, heroes and villains.
STEP BACK IN TIME AT GALICIA JEWISH MUSEUM
In the Jewish district of Kazimierz, this museum explore Poland’s Jewish history through exhibitions, lectures, concerts. The building has been renovated to include a bookshop and café, making it a space that has a nice community feel.