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  • Hidden Krakow

    Krakow-Market-Square

    Krakow-Market-Square

    If it hadn’t been for the infamous rivalry between Poland’s old (Krakow) and new (Warsaw) capital, maybe tourists will be more likely to only visit one of these fascinating cities.
    The truth is that, if you ignore what both the Warsaw natives and Krakow natives say about each other, you’ll discover that Krakow and Warsaw represent two equally interesting aspects of the same culture.

    As mesmerizing as Warsaw can get due to its sky-scrappers and big-city lifestyle, it cannon compete with Krakow’s architecture and youthful atmosphere (just like Krakow lacks this progressive look).

    However, as Krakow represents our main concern today, we’ll try to focus on those aspects that make Krakow particularly charming.

    Krakow Stare Miasto

    Unlike most of Poland’s historic cities, which have been burned to the grounds by the Nazis and masterfully reconstructed in the latest decades, much of Krakow’s architecture has remained unharmed. Known as Krakow ‘Stare Miasto‘ (or Krakow ‘Old Town’), the historic district of Krakow concentrates much of the city’s attractions.

    Krakow-GOTHIC-WAVEL-TEMPLE

    Krakow-GOTHIC-WAVEL-TEMPLE

    People stroll around Rynek G?ówny (main square), admire the old palaces, crowd in to see the golden-polished interior of St Mary’s Church and taste some of the delicious bagels and sausages sold by chatty street vendors. It’s an essential part of Krakow experience to prick up one’s years in order to listen to the Hejnal Mariacki, a legendary trumpet song that can be heard around the square every one hour.

    Also, don’t miss the chance to attend some spontaneous cultural manifestation: it is frequent for Krakow street performers to get surrounded by a singing, dancing crowd.

    The majestic Wavel Castle, overlooking the Vistula River, is probably the most popular sight in Krakow (allow yourself to go mainstream and take a picture with the fire-spitting dragon in front of the castle – it’s totally touristy, but incredibly fun).

    Krakow’s Jewish inheritance

    You might have strolled down the streets of Kazimierz (Krakow’s Jewish district) even before actually visiting them – Steven Spielberg’s award winning movie “Schindler’s List” was filmed in this part of Krakow. Established during late Middle Ages by the Jewish tradesmen, Kazimierz represents the most surprising and picturesque part of Krakow. Here you can let yourself immerse in a labyrinth of narrow streets, coquette antique shops and bohemian cafes. Most of all, Kazimierz is where you can find the tastiest zapiekanka (traditional Polish dish, consisting in a bread baguette, mushrooms, cheese and different toppings).

    Those little details

    It is very likely that your strongest memory of Krakow to be the one of some small cafe that you discovered by mistake or some humid wall covered in ivy where you stopped to rest you sour feet. My personal image of Krakow is that of an old apartment house, seen in the dim light of the dawn, when the only living creature to disturb the stillness of the old neighborhood was a fat, insomniac cat. You have all the chances to find your unique Krakow perspective if you let yourself guided by nothing but pure instinct (might involve some adventure and a little bit of loosing your way, but it is worth all the trouble).

    For some more information on Krakow, it’s secrets and attractions, take a look at this Krakow Travel Guide.

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