My Favorite Things in Krakow
Back in October 2016, Krakow was the first city I went to when I got to Poland. I was there for three days and two nights. I was staying right on the inside of the Old Town’s wall, near the Barbican, which was perfectly situated for sightseeing. I’ve written about going to Auschwitz, Schindler’s Factory, and Wawel Castle, but here are the other things that I think are worth seeing while you’re in Krakow:
- Galicia Jewish Museum: Located in Kazimerz, this is a pretty sobering museum and it’s worth a visit. It’s dedicated to those who lost their lives in Krakow during the Holocaust. You can find more information here.
- Eat around the Main Market Square: Right in front St. Mary’s Church you’ll see the Cloth Hall in the main market square. There are lots of authentic Polish restaurants with outdoor seating in the Main Market Square and it’s definitely worth having a dinner (or two!) there.Cloth Hall and St. Mary’s Church at Night
- Rynek Underground Museum: Before or after dinner in the Main Market Square, you’ll want to check out this museum located just beneath you. Underneath the Cloth Hall that presently stands is an almost exact replica of it when it existed in the 11th century. It is my understanding that the town was essentially built several levels above the old Cloth Hall because people use to throw garbage in the street and it got to the point where they needed to build upwards. The discovery and excavation of this and building of the museum cost 38 million zloty, so it’s super high tech and very well done. To say that this is interesting is an understatement. But if you can’t make the time to go into the museum, then at least take a look down at it from the glass pyramid in the Main Market Square.
- Visit Jagiellonian University: Jagiellonian University was the second university ever founded in Central Europe in 1364 and it is quite beautiful. Pope John Paul II attended Jagiellonian and if you take a guided tour, you’ll be led into a room where Chopin’s piano sits. On a darker note, on November 6th, 1939, the Nazis called all the university’s professors together for a meeting in a hall and from there they were all sent to their deaths at a concentration camp. The main courtyard inside the university.
- Ghetto Heroes’ Square: When the Jewish ghetto in Kazimierz was liquidated, all 68,000 residents were called to this square where they were taken to nearby concentration camps. Today there are 68 chairs here; 1 for every 10,000 people who were taken away.
These are some of the things I loved seeing in Krakow. Let me know what you loved seeing!