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Kraków, a southern Poland city near the border of the Czech Republic, is known for its well-preserved medieval core and Jewish quarter. Its old town – ringed by Planty Park and remnants of the city’s medieval walls – is centered on the stately, expansive Rynek Glówny (market square). This plaza is the site of the Cloth Hall, a Renaissance-era trading outpost, and St. Mary’s Basilica, a 14th-century Gothic church.

On a hill above the Vistula River is Wawel Cathedral and Wawel Castle, a sprawling Gothic royal palace-turned-museum showcasing European paintings and sculpture. The city’s Jewish history is on view at Oskar Schindler's Factory and the former Jewish quarter, Kazimierz, which is now dotted with hip cafes and bars. Visitors often take day trips to nearby Auschwitz-Birkenau, a Nazi concentration camp memorial and museum, or 327m-deep Wieliczka Salt Mine, with a vast labyrinth of tunnels, chapels and chambers open to the public for exploration.

Things to do

The Wieliczka Salt Mine, in the town of Wieliczka, southern Poland, lies within the Kraków metropolitan area. Sodium chloride had been produced there from the upwelling brine since Neolithic times.


The Wawel Castle is a castle residency located in central Kraków, Poland. Built at the behest of King Casimir III the Great, it consists of a number of structures situated around the Italian-styled main courtyard.


The main square of the Old Town of Kraków, Lesser Poland, is the principal urban space located at the center of the city. It dates back to the 13th century, and at 3.79 ha is one of the largest medieval town squares in Europe.


Church of Our Lady Assumed into Heaven is a Brick Gothic church adjacent to the Main Market Square in Kraków, Poland. Built in the 14th century, its foundations date back to the early 13th century and serve as one of the best examples of Polish Gothic architecture. 


The Kraków Cloth Hall in Lesser Poland, dates to the Renaissance and is one of the city's most recognizable icons. It is the central feature of the main market square in the Kraków Old Town.


Kraków Old Town is the historic central district of Kraków, Poland. It is one of the most famous old districts in Poland today and was the center of Poland's political life from 1038 until King Sigismund III Vasa relocated his court to Warsaw in 1596.

Other cities to explore
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