Welcome to Krakow! This is one of two cities in Poland I have wanted to visit since my grandparents are from this country. For me, it was a place to reflect on who my grandparents might have been as they were growing up in Poland. I found Krakow to be everything I thought it would be and much more.
Here are five of my reasons for visiting it if you ever find yourself here.
1. Wawel Royal Castle
I took a tour through the castle but should have asked if it would be an English speaking tour before I paid for my ticket. Following the guide through the first room we came to was my inclination that I was on a polish speaking tour. I didn’t say anything as I walked through each room, nodding my head as we went along. Luckily I wasn’t the only person in the group so I could pretend I understood everything that was being said. Now I know when I take a tour to check that I am on a tour where I will understand what is being said. One thing I can say was that the castle was beautiful!
2. Wawel Cathedral
You can’t miss the cathedral since it is adjacent to the Wawel Royal Castle. A definite must to visit while you are in Krakow. Did you know that eighteen chapels of art surround Wawel Cathedral? I am one of those people that love history and art so it was great to walk through this cathedral and see it.
3. Dragon’s Den
I found this sculpture of a Dragon as I was making my way up Wawel Hill. It is at the foot of the hill so you can’t miss it.
4. Rynek Glowny
This is the polish name for the central grand square in Krakow. It is a great place to shop and stop in at one of the cafes for lunch while you are out for the day. While there, check out the Town Hall Tower which may make you think of the Leaning Tower of Pisa since the tower leans a bit. I found out that in 1703, a strong wind caused its tilt.
5. St. Florian’s Gate and Barbican
Did you know St. Florian’s Gate and Barbican are what is left of the defenses that protected Krakow in the middle ages? I didn’t either until I got back home and wanted to learn more about the history of this city; better yet, history of Poland since my grandparents are from this country. While I was there, I found a bench, sat down and looked at the gate and barbican that surrounded me. Don’t miss out on seeing this if you are ever in Krakow.
I would love to hear your thoughts on Krakow if you’ve ever visited this city or if you ever decide to plan a trip here.