The medieval market square (Rynek Główny) and the Cloth Hall (Sukiennice) are the focal points for visitors to Krakow, forming the heart of the Old Town. Wander through the menagerie of stalls in the cloth hall, enjoy a coffee and visit the nearby medieval churches. The district of Kazimierz has developed an almost separate identity to the majestic Old Town. The Jewish quarter of the city consists of darker, winding streets full of intriguing cafes and shops.
Krakow was featured in a number of scenes in the movie "Schindler’s list", and hides a dark past in which most of the quarter’s inhabitants were taken to the Auschwitz and Birkenau concentration camps during the Second World War. The area is now enjoying a renaissance with visitors eager to explore its numerous museums and cafes.
Today, Krakow has emerged from a tumultuous past with a fantastic party-going spirit and visitors will find it hard to find a street without a liberal scattering of watering holes. Cafes and bars open early in the evening and don’t close until the early hours of the morning, with many offering live music or poetry readings, and others just keep it simple, providing good vodka and lots of it.
St. Mary's Basilica
The spiralling twin towers of this ancient church witnessed many of the tumultuous events that have shaken the city of Krakow over the centuries. The top of the church tower is a perfect spot to take some beautiful photos of the city.
The Cloth Hall
The Cloth Hall (in Polish "Sukiennice"), built in the 14th century, was formerly Krakow's international trade centre. After a century, before being destroyed by a fire, the hall saw its glory days and sold a variety of exotic imports - such as leather, spices and silk - from the East. Located right in the middle of the Market Square, this icon of the city was remodelled in the Renaissance style and listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1978. Nowadays, the Cloth Hall hosts a number of souvenirs and handicrafts shops, on the ground floor, and the 19 Century Polish Art Gallery, on the first floor.
Mercy Brown Dive Bar
Mercy Brown is one of the favourite spots for a party night among the younger crowd for numerous reasons: skilled and friendly barmen, nice people, lovely jazz music and excellent cocktails. Once you step inside this hidden gem, you will travel back to the twenties, one of the decade's underground speakeasy bars.
Good to know
The public transport services in Krakow are run by MPK. Catching a tram or a bus is probably the easiest way - aside from walking - to get around the city. Tickets for buses and trams are the same, and can be purchased in small kiosks, then jump on a bus and validate ticket in one of the orange boxes.
230 V, 50 Hz / Plug types C and E