28 sty 2010

Kraków and Małopolska

Foreigners often ask me what to see in Poland. The first destination (after Warsaw;) is no doubt Cracow. In Polish the city is called Kraków and it's pronounced [krakuf]. Even though it's so obvious and well-known Kraków maintains a magical place for me. People from destroyed and renovated Warsaw long for a medieval city with original building complex. The atmosphere is unique. I could go there every year just for a walk or a dinner. Unfortunalety, I went there for a few days 5 years ago and for 2 hours about 2 years ago. I really miss Kraków and it's time to drop in.

I'm not going to write about all tourist places in Kraków, you will find a lot on the web. On youtube you can watch a very nice video made by Lonely Planet. Yes, Wawel Royal Castle and the cathedral are amazing. It's a special place for me because there is a grave of the best Polish artist ever (in my opinion, we can discuss about it) - Adam Mickiewicz. Kazimierz - the Jewish district is becoming more and more lively and goes back to its roots. Nowa Huta - the impressive communist district is something for tourists who look not only for evidently beautiful places.

For Kraków you need at least 3 days. Train connection with Warsaw is very comfortable. This train (regarding Polish conditions) is quite quick. There are also many cheap flights to Kraków from different parts of Europe. But the best option is to go by car and see more in this area. The whole region is called Małopolska (small Poland) and it's big and interesting. I'm presenting you only a few places close to Kraków (I must leave the mountains now).

What to see in the surroundings?

Wieliczka - old, precious and wonderful salt mine. Obligatory!

Auschwitz-Birkenau - there's no need to say more. You may don't want to but you should go. In Polish: Oświęcim-Brzezinka.

Pszczyna Castle - not so well-known but worth seeing!

Bochnia - the smaller salt mine, you can sleep, dance, sail or have a ride on the slide underground!

Wadowice - a place where Karol Wojtyła/Jan Paweł II (John Paul II) was born.

Ojców National Park - breathtaking views, cliffs and caves. In Polish: Ojcowski Park Narodowy.

And a lot of castles and ruins. Check this page. One of the biggest is the castle in Pieskowa Skała. This is the official website.

And I also recommend this website.

So where are you going for the next holiday?:)

P.S. The photo above as well as the main photo on my blog were taken by my dear friend - Kasia. Here you can find her other works.

5 komentarzy:

  1. Kraków is wonderful! You can feel the culture in the air! I went for a weekend and I feel that was too little in order to enjoy the city.
    Kosciol Mariacki is my favourite church in Poland til the moment! :)


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  4. I really like Krakow too :) But you should try to go to Szczecin too :) I spent there few days when I visited my friends in Poland and I stayed in Hotel Dana - WOW great place with so tasty cusine :)

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