Book Flights to Krakow (KRK)

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Book Flights to Krakow (KRK)

Interesting facts about Krakow

Krakow is a treasure chest of culture and architecture, with exuberant nightlife pulsing in the alleys and basement venues of the Old Town. A popular Polish destination, Krakow is also a history lover’s dream. Discover the best things to enjoy in the city with this comprehensive Finnair travel guide to Krakow.

Sights in Krakow

The Cloth Hall of the Rynek Główny (Main Square) was a trading place as early as the 13th century, and the royalty of Poland held their court in the Renaissance Castle of Wawel for five hundred years. It is no wonder then that Krakow has more historic buildings, monuments and art treasures than any other place in Poland. Stop by the main square at the turn of the hour and look up to the top of the tower of St. Mary’s Church to watch the trumpeter playing a tune to mark the time. The Old Town contains many architectural delights; a horse-drawn carriage ride provides a relaxed way to soak up the surroundings. Take a break in Planty, the large park that runs around the Old Town. The bohemian Kazimierz, an old Jewish section of the city, is one of the most interesting areas in Krakow. Run-down synagogues and low-profile residential quarters have been restored, and alternative cultures now flourish. New restaurants and bars open constantly. The history of Kazimierz is brought to life in photographs at the Galicia Jewish Museum: 40,000 Krakow Jews were persecuted and killed during World War II. You can also visit Schindler's Factory Museum, the inspiration for the famous movie “Schindler’s List”, for more insights into the city’s tragic past. The Museum of Contemporary Art in Krakow is a top spot for art enthusiasts and the interactive Rynek Underground Museum takes a look at the city’s pre-war past.

Things to See and Do Near Krakow 

  • Auschwitz-Birkenau – Offering an important lesson in history and emotive insights into the plight of Jews during World War II, these two former Nazi concentration camps are thought-provoking must-visits. 
  • Wieliczka Salt Mine – Once a working salt mine and now a museum, here you can marvel at intricate salt carvings and sculptures in large underground caverns.
  • Tychy – Visit the home of Tyskie beer.
  • Zalipie – A tranquil agricultural village, the vibrant floral paintings that adorn the buildings make this place picturesque and unique.

Shopping in Krakow

From a couple of large shopping centres to myriad small stores, Krakow’s shopping offers something for everyone.

  • Rynek Główny – It’s only fitting that the city’s historic market place is still a major shopping destination today. The products on sale may have changed a lot from times gone by, but there’s still a lively atmosphere. Look inside the covered Cloth Hall for local crafts, arts and handmade jewellery and trinkets.
  • Plac Nowy – Located in the Kazimierz district, the streets in this area are filled with diverse small stores. The streets really spring to life on Sunday mornings when the area hosts a weekly flea market.
  • Galeria Krakowska – A large shopping centre in the heart of the city, you’ll find a mixture of international and Polish brands here.

Food and Drink

  • Obwarzanek – Soft inside and crunchy on the outside, this bagel-like bread is a popular street food in Krakow. They may be covered with salt, poppy seeds or sesame seeds.
  • Pierogi – Popular all around Poland, these small dumplings come with various fillings, including potato and cheese, various meats, apple and strawberry. If you come to Krakow in September, you can visit the annual Pierogi Festival.
  • Zapiekanka – This large baguette, served open with various baked toppings, is another common street food in Krakow. The favourite topping is cheese and mushroom and people typically slather their baguettes with lots of garlic sauce or tomato ketchup.
  • Chłodnik – This beetroot soup is enjoyed cold in the summer months with gherkins, dill and sour cream, creating a flavourful and thick soup that is rather refreshing.

Transport in Krakow

Krakow is a fairly compact city and it is possible to walk around the whole area without taking any form of public transport. Some of the main areas are free from vehicles, making for pleasant strolling. The city does have an extensive public transportation network too, as well as a few novel means of getting from A to B or sightseeing.

  • By foot – Several walking routes lead past many of Krakow’s major places of interest, including the Royal Way, which leads to Wawel Castle, and a route that skirts through the outside of the Old Town and runs through Planty Park. The main square is pedestrianised and the footpaths around the city are generally well maintained.
  • By bicycle – A growing network of bike rental stations can be found around Krakow, encouraging more people to travel through the city by bicycle. There are several designated bike lanes and cycling is generally safe. The terrain is most flat too.
  • Buses – Numerous bus services serve most city areas and buses in Krakow are generally clean and efficient. Tickets can be bought from automated ticketing machines or kiosks and some buses also have ticket machines onboard. It is also possible to pay the driver, though you will need to ensure that you have the correct fare ready as no change is given and the driver will not accept higher amounts over the ticket price. When you board a bus you need to validate the tickets. Vehicle changes are allowed with the same ticket as long as the ticket is still valid. Some night services are available. Travelling around Krakow by bus is cost effective as tickets are very cheap.
  • Trams – Several tram lines run across the city, with ticketing systems the same as for buses. It is possible to buy 24-, 48- and 72-hour travel passes too.
  • Taxis – Inexpensive and widely available, taxis are great for personalised services. They may not, however, be the quickest option, especially during rush hour.
  • Horse and cart – Although mainly used for looped sightseeing tours, rather than a way to get to a different part of the city, travelling by horse-drawn carriage is a charming way to experience the Old Town.
  • Electric cars – Small carts fill the streets and often have a taped sightseeing commentary to help you appreciate the area more.

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Weather in Krakow

4°C 28.02.2020
5°C 29.02.2020
4°C 01.03.2020
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4°C 03.03.2020
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