Why visit Krakow?
From stunning historic character to booming café culture, from mesmerizing architecture to flourishing, colorful parks. Krakow has indeed plenty of reasons why you should visit the city. Below we will try to list the most important. Whether you come for a short weekend trip or a regular stay, you will surely get enchanted by:
1. Its historic climate
Krakow’s complex history can be the subject of heavy volumes. However, you don’t come to the city to pore over the books, but to explore it with your own eyes. The best places to learn something about Krakow’s and Poland history would be the Wawel Castle and St. Mary Basilica. The first one is guarded by a fire-breathing dragon, made of bronze and breathing regularly every five minutes. The second is famous from its Hejnał Mariacki, played every hour from Basilica’s tower. Every time it ends up abruptly, which according to the legends, refers to the Mongol invasion and the trumpeter killed by an arrow, before he ended raising the alarm. Admire also the Barbican and the city fortification system, which successfully beat off attacks for centuries. Barbican, called also the Saucepan, was built in 1499.
2. Its architecture
Apart from remarkable historic monuments, Krakow will enchant you with its fascinating architecture, concealing ornate townhouses, churches, archways and cobbled squares, the history of which reaches back to renaissance or baroque times. No wonder that Krakow’s Old Town has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Either the Town Hall Tower or the famous Cloth Hall will leave you breathless. Apart from the Old Town, you can also count on dozens of interesting attractions outside the heart of the city. Explore various museums with Oskar Schindler’s Factory at the frontline. Discover the beauty of whole districts, like Kazimierz or Nowa Huta.
3. Its cuisine
Polish cuisine constitutes another reason why should you visit Krakow. Coming with a wide selection of farinaceous meals, various kinds of meat and delicious soups, you won’t get enough! Most of all, you should try Żurek and Borsch. The first one is a rye soup, served often in a breadbowl with egg and meat inside. The second one is a luminous purple-colored beetroot soup. As for the main plate, ask i.e. for Pierogi or Bigos. The famous polish dumplings come with a variety of fillings. Bigos is one of the most traditional Polish dishes, combining various kinds of meat with sauerkraut and shredded fresh cabbage. It can be enriched with vegetables, spices or wine.
4. Its manifold bars and cafes
Poland has been known all over the world from its very good beers. No wonder that you will find plenty of bars and pubs on every turn. Krakow is also close to the biggest polish breweries (Żywiec, Tyskie or Okocim). You don’t have to go to Vienna, Paris or Rome to enjoy a café culture. Krakow throws down a challenge with its new breed or artisanal coffee shops, resembling the ones you know from Mediterranean or classicistic cities. Sit down for a cup of coffee in one of the hundreds cafes spread all over the city or grab it and chill out in a park.
Last, but not least, the prices. If you still wonder why should you visit Krakow, maybe the money factor will convince you! Comparing to other Polish cities, Krakow may be a bit expensive, being the second most pricey town after Warszawa. However, comparing to Berlin, Vienna and Prague, you will really appreciate the value for money ratio. Both the prices of attractions, as well as accommodation and food, and drinks are really balanced.