Come and see the City of Kraków and hear its captivating legends behind the walls of Old Town. According to history the first written record of Kraków was in year 966. Kraków is one of the best preserved medieval city in Europe. As evidence of the Renaissance arcades, bustling Market Square, the sprawling Baroque spires, towers adding beauty that dominates the skyline.
An evening arrival was pleasantly good time for a night photography. The Old City comes to life as the flickering street lights and buildings lits on. Passing through the Old Town on my way to find my accommodation was a bliss. I was surprise to find out it’s only 2 minutes walk from the market square.
Immediately after checking-in, I went for a wander to grab something to eat. I came across to a so called Milkbar there are few around Krakow . It used to serve as ex-Socialist era workers cafeteria it was previously run as government-subsidised cafes. Now a days the reestablishment of these places, attracts locals and tourist costumers with the colourful décor. But still provides traditional Polish cuisine at affordable prices. Most of these places are self service, with a tray at hand I had main course, side dish and a drink only costs 25 zloty. After my sumptuous meal, I was eager for my night stroll photography around the Market square. There’s something mystical about this place, after I captured every angle and corners of the square. I went back to my accommodation and I called it a night .
The next day, I decided to join the free Old Town walking tour. Meeting place was just infront of St Mary’s Basilica. We started the tour around the market square. Then we continued our walk around the Old Walls. It was mentioned that in year 1038 when Kraków became the capital of Poland. It is also the seat of the monarchy as evidence of the Wawel Castle.
According to the legend, Kraków was founded on a defeat of a dragon. Once upon a time, during the reign of King Krakus, the legendary founder of the city. There was evil dragon would beat a path of destruction across the countryside, devouring their livestock and killing people. In desperation of the King, he promised his aughters marriage to anyone who could defeat the evil dragon. Many great warriors has failed the mission. But one day, a young man named Skuba accepted the challenge. He started to stuffed a lamb with sulphur and left it outside the dragon’s cave. The dragon ate it and his stomach started to ache, and after swelling up from drinking almost half of the Vistula river, he exploded into pieces. Skuba married the King’s daughter and they lived happily ever after.
A very interesting walking tour and legendary story I would say. In the afternoon I decided to join the Jewish walking tour. We went towards the Kasimierz district where the Jews settlement. Walking around the narrow cobble stone streets and alleyways. There are rows of cafes and restaurants. And a market with many stalls in the square, where you can taste best Zapikankie in Kraków. This area comes to life at night when the youngsters are out partying. Recently became trendy and fashionable place for locals and tourist alike.
Passing through the Jewish cemetery, continue your walk towards the Old Synagogue. A brick building dating back to the 15th century and rebuilt to Renaissance in the 1560s. The movie location of the famous Schindler’s list. Then crossed the bridge then you will come across another square. A memorial display with rows of empty bronze chair for the victims of the Holocaust.
If you still have time for musuem visit. There’s plenty of museums to choose from, or why not have a musuem day and visit them all. Psst it’s free of charge on Sunday. They even give you free guide and map museum, so you won’t miss a thing.
Kraków is such a fascinating place to explore on foot. Wander around and appreciate the stunningly beautiful old architectural buildings. I can’t get enough capturing every angle with my camera, such a mesmerising Old Town.
If you like visiting museums Kraków has plenty of it. And good news is the museums are free entry every Sundays.
Are you a history nerd or just fancy to hear the fascinating history of Kraków. Why not join the Old Town Walking Tour and Jewish Walking Tour both walking tours are free of charge.
If the Jewish walking tour is sort of your interest . I highly recommend taking the tour in Auschwitz-Birkenau Complex. There’s more to discover and see. My visit to the concentration camp was so emotional and it has left a part in my heart that my visit would never be forgotten. I got separate blog on my visit. Click the link here : The Desolate Atmosphere in Auschwitz-Birkenau Complex .
How to get there:
Getting to Auschwitz Concentration Camp has two option take a train or bus. But I suggest take the bus, go to the bus station and find a bus or mini van en route to Oświęcim more convenient and easier. The bus will stop at the compound. The entry to the compound is free before 9am and after 3pm. And you need to pay guided tour between 9am-3pm, which is better to join the guided tour they give you more history and show you the most important things to see.
To lighten up your day, I suggest a visit to the Wieliczka Saltmine is a must. Be amazed by the Rocksalt art display, which is perfectly carved on the walls of the grand hall. Here’s the link to the blog Undoubtedly Stunning Chambers in Wieliczka Saltmine
How to get there:
There’s two option how to get to the Saltmine. If you like to take the Bus 304 which departs near the Galeria Krakowska Mall ( ul. Kurniki) But I highly suggest to take the train which directly stopped at Rynek Kopalnia Wieliczka. Travel time on the train is quicker and bonus no traffic. There’s 2 different tour tickect to choose from Tourist Route entrance by Daniłowicz Shaft. Or if your more adventurous take the Miners Route by the Regis Shaft.
DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Auschwitz-Birkenau and Wieliczka Saltmine press department for providing my complimentary tickets. I enjoyed my experience as a guest but I retained full editorial control and all opinions are my own.