In and around Krakow
Kraków to miasto wyjątkowe – ponad tysiącletnia historia, unikatowe zabytki, dawna stolica kraju, nekropolia królów polskich oraz kulturalne, edukacyjne, naukowe, gospodarcze i turystyczne centrum regionu. To miejsce, które rokrocznie zajmuje wysokie pozycje w rankingach najpiękniejszych i najchętniej odwiedzanych przez turystów miast Europy. Nic w tym dziwnego! Bogata historia jest tu bowiem widoczna niemal na każdym kroku, a artystyczny duch wręcz unosi się nad ulicami Starego Miasta. Tymi samymi, którymi na przestrzeni wieków przechadzali się znamienici arystokraci, duchowni, literaci i artyści.
Krakow is a unique city – over a thousand years of history, former capital of the country, necropolis of Polish kings and as well as cultural, educational, scientific and economic centre of the region. It is a place that each year holds high positions in the rankings of European cities most beautiful and most-visited by tourists. No surprise there! The rich history is visible here almost everywhere, and the artistic spirit is simply hovering over the streets of the Old Town. The same streets, that prominent aristocrats, clergymen, writers and artists have strolled through for ages.
The capital of the Małopolska region is commonly associated with St Mary's Basilica, the Cloth Hall, Wawel Royal Castle, the legend of the Wawel Dragon and the Krakow bagels. However, there are many more attractions for tourists – the richness of nature, wonderful monuments, including numerous objects of religious architecture, modern museums, regional cuisine delicacies, European festivals and hundreds of cultural institutions, cafes and restaurants. As if that was not enough, the area around Krakow also has a lot to offer visitors, including monasteries, wooden churches, museums, vineyards, green areas and cultural events. Depending on your needs and preferences, the area around Krakow can be explored on foot, by bike or by car. The time you spend in Krakow and nearby cities will certainly be unforgettable!
Krakow won't disappoint people who value relaxing in nature. There are 5 nature reserves in the city with a total area of approx. 50 ha. These are: Bielańskie Skałki, Bonarka, Panieńskie Skały, Skałki Przegorzalskie and Skołczanka. Also fragments of landscape parks are available In Krakow namely the Bielańsko-Tyniecki Landscape Park (as much as 66% of the park is located within the boundaries of the city, including Lasek Wolski), Tenczynek Landscape Park and Krakow Valleys. Dłubnia Landscape Park.
Several ecological lands can be distinguished within the city or its surroundings: the forest area in Rząska, Łąki Nowohuckie, Dąbski Pond, Prądnik Valley, Pond at ul. Kaczeńcowa, marsh of the Rzewny stream, forest area of Kowadza and the forest in Witkowice. Their purpose is to protect the ecosystem, including the endangered animal and plant species.
There are 43 parks in Krakow alone with a total area of almost 400 ha! Residents prefer to rest in the Jordan Park, Krowoderski Park and the Tadeusz Kościuszko park. One of the best places for a walk is the route along Planty – a city park founded in 1822-1830 “enveloping” the Old Town. Vistula Boulevards are very popular (especially in the summer).
It is also worth mentioning the natural areas outside the city boundaries. Unlike the mountainous south, the areas of northern Małopolska region are characterised by gentle hills, lots of meadows and fields. It is the most “agricultural” region of the voivodeship. Rare species of plants and animals can be found in the Miechowska Upland. Tourists come here primarily to admire the floral xerothermic grasslands – unique on a European scale – composed of charming orchids – every year the “Orchid Festival” takes place here. The second important area is the Niepołomice Forest – a forest complex with 6 nature reserves covering a total area of 94 ha. Tourists are encouraged to visit not only by wonderful specimens of fauna and flora (a bison breeding centre operates in the forest), but also by numerous forest paths (including an educational path) and the Niepołomice – Szarów bike path.
Churches, manors and mounds
Krakow is a city with an exceptionally long and rich history, with the legacy for modern generations consisting of numerous monuments, both sacred and secular. Wandering around the former Polish capital is a form of travel into the past, and the long-lasting history of the city is visible here at almost every step.
Several voluminous books have already been written about Krakow's sacred monuments. Let's just say that the number of historic churches amounts to... 360! The most valuable are those located in the Old Town: St Barbara's church, St Adalbert's church (in its basement there is an exhibition related to the history of the Market Square), St Anna's church (one of the most beautiful Baroque buildings in Poland), Franciscan Basilica, Holy Cross church, St Andrew's church, Sts Peter and Paul's church (once the seat of the authorities of the Republic of Krakow), the Piarist church, St Mark's church, St John the Baptist's church, and St John the Evangelist's church (one of the examples of the towerless style popular in Krakow), as well as St Martin's church. All the churches listed above are located in close proximity to the Main Market Square, so visiting them is really easy. The most important sacred object of the Old Town is of course the Gothic St Mary's Basilica, built in the 14th and 15th centuries, rising on the plate of the Main Market Square. Inside the basilica, you can admire, among others, the altar from the 15th century by Veit Stoss (Wit Stwosz), beautiful stained-glass windows and a Renaissance treasury. It is from the basilica tower that Hejnał Mariacki (trumpet call) – one of the symbols of Krakow – is played every hour.
Choosing a walk along the Grodzka street, we get from the Main Market Square to another unique place. It is the Cathedral Basilica of St Stanislaus and St Wenceslaus, located within the area of the Wawel Royal Castle. It was here that Polish kings were crowned, and also buried, moreover it is a burial place of their families and other important Poles, including Adam Mickiewicz, Tadeusz Kościuszko and Józef Piłsudski. Wawel crypts are open to visitors.
Another very important site is the Sanctuary of Divine Mercy in Krakow-Łagiewniki. People used to go on pilgrimages to the place where the sanctuary was built already in the 1940s. Former chapel of St Joseph flourished after the beatification of Sister Faustina and her subsequent canonisation, and thanks to the pilgrimages of Popes: John Paul II, Benedict XVI and Francis. Today it houses the historic monastery complex, a modern basilica and a chapel, among others. The John Paul II Centre “Do not be afraid!” was established nearby.
Tourists are also encouraged to visit places of worship of other denominations: the historic Greek Catholic Orthodox church of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross (church of St Norbert) and the Orthodox Church of Dormition. In turn, the Kazimierz district is an area where you can visit the Jewish temples: the Old Synagogue, the Remuh Synagogue and Cemetery, the Synagogue of Isaac, Kupa, Popper, Tempel and the High Synagogue. They represent various architectural styles (from Gothic to early modernism) and together with the whole of Kazimierz were inscribed on the first UNESCO World Heritage List in 1978.
Krakow and its surroundings can also be visited following the monastery route. In Mogiła there is a Cistercian monastery, on Skałka a Pauline monastery and the Basilica of St Michael the Archangel and St Stanislaus the Bishop, in turn in Bielany – the Camaldolese monastery, which, according to the rigorous order of the monastery authorities, can be visited by women only for a few days a year. Particularly noteworthy is the charmingly situated Benedictine Abbey in Tyniec – the oldest monastery in Poland located on a limestone hill by the Vistula. Enthusiasts of active leisure can get here by bike using the Vistula Bicycle Route.
Cemetery tourism is one of the unusual but certainly intriguing ways to explore the city. In addition to the Wawel Crypt mentioned above, it is worth paying attention to such places as: Crypt of the Meritorious (in the basement of the Church on Skałka are buried such personalities as Jan Długosz, Józef Ignacy Kraszewski, Stanisław Wyspiański and Czesław Miłosz), as well as the cemeteries: Rakowiecki (in its Alley of the Meritorious, there are tombs of Marek Grechuta, Wisława Szymborska or Jan Matejko, and in another part of the cemetery - of the family of Karol Wojtyła), Podgórze, Bronowicki, Salwator.
Searching for treasures of religious architecture, we can also go outside of Krakow. Let's start with Książ Wielki, located 50 km from the city. There interesting local sites include the Augustinian complex with the church of Holy Ghost, church of St Adalbert and church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary located in Książ Mały with a historic wooden belfry. Going back to Krakow we will pass through Miechów, where we can find the Basilica of the Holy Sepulcher, one of the stops on the Małopolska Trail of the Holy Sepulchre Order (a route that brings tourists closer to the history and role played by the Holy Sepulchre Order in the history of the Church and Polish culture). You can also visit the War Quater from the First World War in Miechów, where over 600 soldiers are buried. Just 7 km away, in the Church of Our Lady Mother of the Church in Przesławice you can admire the late Baroque altars and the wooden belfry standing next to the temple, while in the nearby Wysocice – the church of St Nicholas (one of the oldest and best preserved defensive type Romanesque rural churches). In search of religious monuments, we can also follow the route Niepołomice – Okulice – Hebdów. In Niepołomice you can admire the Sanctuary of St Charles Borromeo and the War Cemetery of the First World War, and in the nearby Staniątki – the Monastery and Church of Benedictine Sisters. From Niepołomice we set off to Okulice to see the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Okulice. The route is crowned with the monastery complex of Piarist in Hebdów.
Visiting Krakow and its surroundings can be carried out with the use of very interesting prepared themed routes. One of them is the fourth section of the Wooden Architecture Route in the Małopolska region, which consists of about 40 wooden churches in Krakow and around the city, including All Saints' Church in Krakow – Górka Kościelnicka, church of St Bartholomew in Krakow-Mogiła, chapel of St Judith and St Margaret in Salwator, buildings of Wola Justowska, hermitage with chapel in Krzesławice, the “Seclusion” Manor House in Miechów or the church of the Holy Trinity in Iwanowice. Another interesting idea is to try the Małopolska Romanesque Route presenting monuments of Romanesque art and architecture (with St Mary's Basilica in the forefront). We also recommend a trip along the Cistercian Route, which in the vicinity of Krakow includes, among others, the above-mentioned abbey in Mogiła.
In addition to impressive sacred architecture, Krakow can boast of secular monuments, which are by no means less attractive. It is enough to say that Krakow's Old Town together with Wawel, Kazimierz and Stradom were the first in Poland to be inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The Krakow's Market Square (one of the largest in Europe) is where the heart of the city beats, there are also several exceptional tourist attractions located in its close vicinity. But first, let's go underground. Under the surface of the Main Square there are underground open to tourists with an area of over 6,000 square metres, constituting one of the branches of the Museum of Krakow. It is also worth visiting the most famous cellar in Poland, i.e. the iconic cabaret “Piwnica pod Baranami”. When visiting the Old Town, special attention should be paid to the Kanoniczna street (where Renaissance and Baroque buildings with decorative portals have been preserved) and the historic tenement houses – “Under the Eagle” at 22 Szewska street, “Grey” at the Market Square, tenement house at 7 św. Gertrudy street and 53 Karmelicka street. Buildings of the oldest Polish academia, the Jagiellonian University, namely: Nowodworski Collegium, Collegium Novum and Collegium Maius, are also worth seeing.
Searching for monuments, we set out from the Main Market Square along Grodzka street, so to see, after a walk of several minutes, one of the symbols of the former Polish capital - the Wawel Royal Castle. Wawel offers visiting the beautiful courtyard and, for a fee, also rich interiors including royal chambers. From one of the towers you can admire the panorama of the city, and touch on the way up the heart of Sigismund Bell, which, according to legend, is supposed to bring luck. From Wawel, we head to the former Jewish district in Kazimierz with several must-see sites: Mykwa Wielka (a historic building in the basement of which you can see the ritual bathhouse), the Old Jewish Cemetery, and New Cemetery at Miodowa street, as well as Nowy Square with its “Okrąglak” – round building in the central point. This historical building once housed a poultry slaughterhouse but today is associated mainly with the famous takeaway bar. From Kazimierz we set off to Podgórze, which also offers several noteworthy sites, including Podgórze Market Square with the church of St Joseph (one of the most beautiful in Krakow), the impressive Ghetto Heroes Square (with a meaningful monument consisting of 33 metal chairs, symbolising the tragedy of the displaced residents of the Krakow ghetto), the Zucher Jewish House of Prayer, the historic church of St Benedict and a very original attraction – colourful stairs on Tatrzańska street. Those who are interested in history should definitely visit the site of the former Krakow-Płaszów labour camp, later transformed into a concentration camp. Today you can see here, among others, the “Grey House” (in the basements of which the SS-men who lived here arranged a torture chamber), Goeth's villa and the Monument to the Victims of Fascism – also called the “Memorial of Torn-Out Hearts”. The story of the monuments of Krakow would not be complete without a visit to Nowa Huta – a district that was once a separate city, built for the workers of the emerging Lenin Steelworks. Here you can feel the atmosphere of an industrial district from the socialist-realist period.
Krakow and its surroundings have also unique mansions in which distinguished guests once lived or stayed. Particularly noteworthy are: Białoprądnicki Manor House (today housing a Culture Centre), Jan Matejko's Manor House in Krzesławice (currently the seat of the Museum of Souvenirs after Hugo Kołłątaj and Jan Matejko), the manor houses in Branice, and Goszyce, as well as the fortified manor house in Jakubowice. Interesting estates are also located near the battlefield in Racławice, including the historic manor houses in Janowiczki and Jabłonowy Sad. In the close vicinity of Krakow there are also several castles and defensive monuments worth mentioning, e.g. the Palace and Park Complex in Krakow Prokocim, the Royal Castle in Niepołomice or the Mirów Castle in Książ Wielki. If you like exploring fortifications, we recommend the following forts: Grębałów, Kosocice, Krzesławice, Prokocim, Rajsko, Tonie and Wawel. One of the most important monuments of this type are the defensive city walls of the Krakow Old Town (which once surrounded the entire city). A small section of them has survived to this day and consists, among others, of the defensive towers, St Florian's Gate and the characteristic Barbican, erected in 1499.
One of the interesting attractions of Krakow are the mounds from which you can admire the panorama of the city. Worth mentioning here is the Kościuszko Mound, located near the Liban quarry, the Krakus Mound, the Piłsudski Mound (the highest in Poland) and the Wanda Mound located in Nowa Huta.
Distant history and contemporary art
Krakow is a city in which there are dozens of extremely interesting museums. Let's start the tour around Krakow's collections with the Wawel Royal Castle, where the State Art Collections are located. Among the attractions, which visitors can admire at the Wawel Castle, there are representative royal chambers and exhibitions: Lost Wawel, Crown Treasury, Oriental Art and a collection of works of early Italian painting from the Lanckoroński family collection.
The National Museum in Krakow has one of the most important collections, not only in Poland but also in Europe. In its numerous branches, you can admire thousands of works of art and exhibits. Let's start, however, with the representative Main Building at the 3 Maja alley, in which you will find, among others, the painting “Girl with Chrysanthemums” by Olga Boznańska The following branches can be distinguished within the structure of the National Museum: Bishop Erazm Ciołek Palace (where you can find the sculpture “Madonna from Krużlowa” of an unknown author), Gallery of 19th-Century Polish Art in the Cloth Hall (consisting of four rooms with works of Jan Matejko, Józef Chełmoński, Artur Grottger or Henryk Siemiradzki), Jan Matejko House, Józef Mehoffer House (the museum is completed by a picturesque garden designed by the artist), the Szołayski Tenement House dedicated to Feliks Jasieński, the Princes Czartoryski Museum (it is here, that you can admire one of the most valuable paintings in the Polish collections, namely “Lady with an Ermine” by Leonardo da Vinci), the Czartoryski Library, the Emeryk Hutten-Czapski Museum and EUROPEUM – Europeum Culture Centre.
The history of the city can be explored by visiting the Museum of Krakow. Its head office is located at the Main Market Square. One of the main goals of this institution is to cultivate local traditions (hence, among others, the Krakow Christmas Crib competition organised since 1946). The numerous branches and branches of the Krakow Museum include: Barbican and City Defence Walls, Town Hall Tower, Old Synagogue (with the permanent exhibition “History and Culture of Krakow Jews”), Oscar Schindler's Enamel Factory (it was here that the German entrepreneur Oskar Schindler hired Jews and entered them to the “Schindler's list”, thus saving the from extermination), Eagle Pharmacy, Pomorska Street, Hipolit House (permanent exhibition “The Bourgeois House” will make you travel back in time), Nowa Huta Museum, Celestat, Zwierzyniec House, Cross House, Museum of Podgórze (with the exhibition “City in the foot the Krakus Mound”), Thesaurus Cracoviensis, Rydlówka, KL Plaszow. Particularly noteworthy is another branch of the Museum of Krakow – the Rynek Underground opened in 2010, which can boast of, among others permanent exhibition “Following the traces of European identity of Krakow” – a multimedia spectacle that, thanks to modern technologies, allows you to go back to medieval times.
But that's not all! Fans of history and art can visit places such as: the Museum of the People's Republic of Poland, the Archaeological Museum (it was founded in 1850, which makes it the oldest institution of this type in Poland), the Galicia Jewish Museum (created in an old Jewish furniture factory), The Ethnographic Museum or the Museum of the Home Army dedicated Gen. Emil Fieldorf “Nil” (the only place of this kind in Poland).
Other museums worth mentioning are the sites of the Jagiellonian University: the Jagiellonian University Museum Collegium Maius (where you can admire items related to the history of the university, including astronomical instruments used by Nicolaus Copernicus) and the Museum of Pharmacy of the Jagiellonian University (exhibitions cover five floors, including cellars and attic, one of the rooms is dedicated to Ignacy Łukasiewicz – the inventor of the kerosene lamp and pioneer of the oil industry in Europe).
Among other interesting Krakow museums you will find: the Stained Glass Museum, Theatre Lumber (an exhibition opened in 2016 for those who want to get to discover theatre behind the scenes), the Museum of Municipal Engineering (located in the historic halls of the oldest tram depot in Krakow), the Manggha Museum of Japanese Art and Technology (the famous director Andrzej Wajda, fascinated by the works of Japanese artists, contributed significantly to the creation of this place), Lipowa 3 Glass and Ceramics Centre, Garden of Experiences (sensory science park for children and youth), Museum of Insurance (the only such in the world), the Amber Museum, Cricoteca (exhibitions and discussions are organized in the building of the former power plant) and the Pinball Museum.
Two other popular Krakow museums deserve a separate mention. The first of them is the Polish Aviation Museum, where on the grounds of the former airport you will find numerous exhibits related to the history of aviation, including over 200 aircraft! The second very important place on the museum map of Krakow is MOCAK – Museum of Contemporary Art. Opened in 2010, the Museum is located in the former Oscar Schindler Factory. Its mission is to present contemporary art while implementing educational projects. The permanent collection includes works of artists from around the world. It is one of the museums most visited by tourists in Krakow.
When searching for interesting museums, we can leave the city as well. Our suggestions include Museum of the Abbey of St Adalbert in Staniątki, Museum in Tyniec, Regional Museum of the Miechów Land, BWA “U Jaksy” in Miechów and museums located in Niepołomice: Museum of Niepołomice, Museum of Phonography (the only museum of this type in Poland) and the Forest Chamber in Niepołomice.
Walking, cycling or maybe... wakeboarding?
Krakow and its surroundings have a lot to offer for all fans of active leisure. Both lovers of cycling, water madness and rock climbing will find something for themselves. However, let's start with walking, because on foot (or with a little help from public transport) you can discover real treasures. Let's hit the road!
One of the most interesting forms of exploring Krakow on foot is to follow the Małopolska Young Poland Route, which in the city includes 13 places and facilities related to the history of the Young Poland artistic movement. We set out from Juliusz Słowacki Theatre located in the centre of the city and then visit, among others, the Academy of Fine Arts, St Mary's Basilica, Józef Mehoffer House and Szołayski Tenement House. The Krakow part of the route is crowned by the Rydlówka Museum located in a house built at the end of the 19th century by Włodzimierz Tetmajer. An interesting form of walking the city can also be the Krakow Street Art Route, covering 19 places with impressive murals, including faces of people associated with Kazimierz at the Józefa street or the famous “Indian” on św. Wawrzyńca street.
Krakow is a great place for lovers of religious tourism. First of all, due to the trail leading through the places associated with Pope John Paul II, which are simply innumerable, just to mention the church of the Ark of the Lord Church, the Błonia green area with papal stone, or the famous papal window at the Franciszkańska street. Krakow is a unique place in this part of Europe in terms of the number of graves of people recognized as saints or blessed, which we will find out by following the Krakow Trail of Saints, leading through 19 temples, from the Cathedral Basilica in Wawel to the Sanctuary of Divine Mercy in Łagiewniki. It is also worth mentioning the Małopolska Trail of the Holy Sepulchre Order with two of its sites located in Krakow: it is the former church of St Jadwiga in the Krakow's district of Stradom and the church of St Barbara located in the vicinity of St Mary's Basilica at Mariacki Square. Members of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem were brought to Krakow from the nearby Miechów.
For those who prefer active leisure in beautiful natural surroundings, we recommend a walk through the famous Krakow Błonie (one of the largest meadows in the city centre in Europe) combined with visits to the nearby Wolski Forest with its Zoological Garden and nature reserve – Panieńskie Skały (you can get there following the yellow trail). In turn, a visit to the city centre is a great opportunity to walk along the paths of the Jagiellonian University Botanical Garden (which is the oldest botanical garden in Poland). In the vicinity of Krakow, you can also try the Forest Wilderness trail, leading from Niepołomice to Stanisławice. During the 18 km hiking, we will walk, among others, through the Royal Route, by where Polish monarchs used to go deep into the forest to hunt.
Cycling enthusiasts will not be disappointed either. Near the city there are routes created as part of the Velo Małopolska project, including Velo Natura or the Vistula Bicycle Route. Cyclists can choose from various themed trips, e.g. "Through fields, meadows and a forest reserve", "In the shadow of the Niepołomice forest" or the "Kościuszko Trail". The "Krakow Fortress Trail" of historical, cultural and sightseeing nature is extremely interesting. It includes as many as 100 military facilities, including 38 forts. Its northern section is 61 km long, while the southern – 41 km. We also recommend the First World War's Eastern Front Trail (marked out from Krakow to Książ Wielki) and the trail Onto the Battlefield of Racławice, leading to Racławice located 35 km from the borders of Krakow.
And why not a trip to some bathing spot? Cracovians spend their free time in summer, among others by the Bagry reservoir, in Przylasek Rusiecki, Kryspinów and at the Nowa Huta Reservoir. Lovers of water fun, including rafting, will certainly be interested in the canoe track “Kolna”, while fans of wakeboard cannot miss the above-mentioned Przylasek Rusiecki and Bagry. If the weather allows, it is worth going on a boat or gondola cruise on the Vistula (romantic cruises under the stars are also organised). In turn, families with children are recommended to visit the Water Park, where 8 water slides with a total length of 800 meters await them. Whoever wants to combine relaxation with biological regeneration, should go the health resort Swoszowice, that offers treatments based on the benefits of sulphide healing waters.
But that's not all! For those who love active leisure, Krakow and the surrounding area offer, among others, the Sławicki Raj slope (ski resort in Połajowice located approx. 35 km from Krakow), horse riding school in Michałowice or numerous places for rock climbing, e.g. Zakrzówek, Krzemionki, the Liban quarry. In summary, it's hard to get bored in this city!
Krakow is the cultural capital of Poland
There is no doubt that Krakow is an important centre of cultural and tourist life on a European scale, this is confirmed by the title of the European Capital of Culture, which the city was awarded with in 2000 and the title of the City of Literature of UNESCO, which includes Krakow in the UNESCO Creative Cities Network programme. The number of cinemas, theatres or cultural events can make you dizzy! No surprise there! Let's just says that the streets of the Old Town in Krakow once used to be the place of walks for such writers as Wisława Szymborska, Stanisław Wyspiański or Stanisław Lem. It was in Krakow that the first Polish literary cabaret “The Green Balloon” was created in confectionery of Apolinary Michalik, where the Małopolska region artists, politicians and aristocrats used to meet (the popular spot “Jama Michalika” functions to this day as a cafe-restaurant). Other important meeting places for Krakow artists and activists include the “Piwnica pod Baranami” cabaret and “Klub pod Jaszczurami” club. Krakow is also a place where beautiful traditions, such as the Lajkonik Procession, Wreaths, Easter customs – Emmaus and Rękawka or Christmas fairs, are carefully cultivated. Particularly noteworthy is the Krakow's Christmas crib tradition, which was inscribed on the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage list.
Krakow is also a city of festivals! Listing them all would be a real challenge, but it is worth mentioning about a dozen, which are known not only throughout the country, but also abroad. These certainly include music festivals: Misteria Paschalia (European festival of Renaissance and Baroque music), Sacrum Profanum (one of the most interesting contemporary music festivals in Europe), Live Festival (every year at the Polish Aviation Museum there are world-class music stars playing), EtnoKrakow / Rozstaje (festival of traditional, ethno and folk music) and Unsound – the festival of electronic music. Some famous film festivals also take place in Krakow, to name just a couple of them: the Film Music Festival, the Krakow Film Festival and the independent cinema festival – Off Camera. Other important cultural events include: Photomonth, the Great Dragon Parade (an open-air show during which huge, blown dragons flow along the Vistula River), the Jewish Culture Festival (includes about 200 events promoting Jewish culture) and the Conrad Festival (literary festival combined with the Book Fair).
The most interesting events taking place near Krakow include: Reconstruction of the Battle of Racławice, March on the Kadrówka Trail, Miechów Days of Jerusalem (organised every 2 years) and Charsznica Cabbage Days.
Krakow also has rich culinary traditions and can boast of regional products. Famous local products include, among others: Charsznica cabbage, dry Krakow sausage, Green-legged Partridge carcasse and sausage products from Proszowice, Prądnik bread, Galician garlic and preserves of Benedictines from Tyniec. Of course, we cannot forget about one of the city's symbols – the Krakow bagel (for those who want to learn more about its history, we recommend a visit to the Bagel Museum).
In search of taste sensations, we recommend visiting one of the sites included on the Małopolska Gourmets Route. In Krakow and the surrounding area, it includes taverns and restaurants such as: “Wesele”, “Miód i Malina”, “Ogniem i Mieczem”, “W Starej Kuchni”, “Morskie Oko”, “Pod Aniołami” (all the above restaurants are located in Krakow) and “Antolka” in Książ Wielki.
However, life is not only about food. That's why the Małopolska Wine Route has been prepared for wine lovers. It includes, among others, the following vineyards: “Kresy” (Rzeplin n. Skała), “Srebrna Góra” (Krakow), “Dosłońce” (Racławice), “Nad Dobrą Wodą” (Garlica Murowana) and “Słońce i Wiatr” (Świńczów). Cheers!