You can't beat Sukiennice (Cloth Hall) when it comes to looking for souvenirs from Krakow: Amber, silver jewellery, linen table cloths, stained glass, wooden chess sets and decorative glass are among the most popular buys.
On the first floor, there's a gallery of 19th century Polish Art, housing paintings by Jan Matejko, Henryk Siemiradzki, Józef Chełmoński, Julian Fałat, and the Kossak family.
After shopping and sightseening have a rest in the Noworolski cafe, a favourite of a certain Vladimir Lenin during his stay in Krakow.
In the middle of the Market Square (Rynek Glowny).
In 1079, King Bolesław the Bold accused the bishop of Kraków, Stanisław Szczepański of treason.
According to the legend, Szczepański was beheaded and then chopped into pieces. The Royal Family then became cursed. To appease the spirit of the bishop, the Pauline Church was built and the Royal Family made regular pilgrimages there to atone for the killing.
Szczepański was canonised in 1253. There are other famous Polish people buried in the church including painter Stanisław Wyspiański. The church has a lovely tranquil feel to it.
West end of ulica Skałeczna
The ghats are the main reason to visit Varanasi, but once you've done the standard tour and the boat trip, if you have time then simply pick a ghat you like and sit there for a day or so.
This is by far the best way to capture the essence of the city. You'll never get bored, there's too much going on, and you'll learn so much more about India and its people just by quietly observing the daily life and rituals of the Ganges from sunrise to sunset.
Walk along the banks of the river and pick a ghat that appeals: then find a spot to settle down and go with the flow.
The Salt mine has been visited by many high standing people, including Prince Edward, and is an awesome sight. The tour takes you on a trip down the mine in stages and explains about the workings and the medicinal properties the climate has. However, what is truly spectacular are the many salt carvings and the magnificent commissioned church at the bottom. From the altar, which features a picture of the last supper, right down to the tiles on the floor, everything is carved from salt. This place is truly a wonder of the modern world.
There are trips from the Old Square - Stare Miastro, and a train leaves regularly from Krakow Glowny Railway Station;
A towering glass structure in the Wola district of Warsaw. It is a beautiful symbol of how Warsaw is becoming a thriving, cosmopolitan capital city to rival Berlin or Moscow. A futuristic building for a new Poland.
Ul. Chlodna 51, Wola;
tel: 22 528 22 22;
This is the tallest skyscraper in central Europe and is the symbol of Warsaw. It was built as a “proof of friendship” of Russia to the Polish people. It is one of Poland's most modern buildings. Inside are art galleries, theatres and shops.
Plac Defilad 1, in the very centre of Warsaw, next to Centrum metro station;
These 900 year-old mines must be one of the least known wonders of the world. Thirty minutes drive outside Krakow at Wieliczka, they comprise 300km of tunnels on nine levels. Three kilometres are open to the public. There are underground lakes, numerous chapels, a ballroom and, most breathtaking of all, a church 70m high with exquisite Bible story carvings on the wall. All of it was created by the miners who worked here. Eight hundred stairs take you down into the mine - but there is a lift to take you up. Contrary to popular belief, criminals and political prisoners were never sent down the salt mines. It was too prestigious a job when salt was (almost literally) worth its weight in gold.
ul. Zamkowa 8, 32-020 Wieliczka;
tel: 12 278 32 66, 12 422 19 47;
Siem Reap's premier restaurant. For a taste of what the colonial lifestyle might have been like before the guns started firing take a pew on the veranda in this old French villa . The menu is extensive, tasty and not that expensive, and Angelina Jolie can't be wrong about the cocktails (they even named one after her).
If you really like it, there's a guesthouse too.
No. 341, 50 m north-west of the Old Market, Svay Dangkom, Mondul I;
Don't miss this great restaurant in the former Jewish quarter, especially on a night when a klezmer band is playing. The kosher food is superb - try the stuffed goose neck! It's a good idea to book a table.
tel: 12 421 79 20;
This collection of 360 tapestries was begun by Zygmunt I and continued by his son, Zygmunt August. The tapestries were commissioned for specific places on the walls of the Royal Castle on Wawel and, thus, were tailor-made to fit the exact dimensions of the area where they were to be hung. The themes of the tapestries range from biblical stories, animal and landscapes to mythical creatures, coats of arms and allegorical scenes.
Catherine the Great appropriated the tapestries for herself, having them transported to Russia. They were returned in 1921 but removed to Canada at the start of the Second World War. The tapestries were finally returned to Krakow in 1961.
They really are amazing pieces of art. Huge, intricate and finely detailed. The amount of work that must have gone into creating them is stunning. Examples of the tapestries can be seen in the State Rooms and Royal Apartments of the castle
Wawel Castle, Wawel Hill
From the outside Wawel Hill, upon which stands the Castle, Cathedral and other buildings, looks like an imposing - but not unattractve - fortress.
Inside the fortifications the very attractive grounds and courtyards create a sense of space that is rather unexpected. Some of the views, particularly towards the Cathedral, have an almost fairytale aspect.
The outside vista of Wawel Hill does not really prepare you for its internal character. Like so much of Krakow it was a delightful discovery.
For inquiries and booking contact the Tourist Service Office (BOT), Wawel 5;
Tel: 12 422 51 55 ext. 291;
The Remu'h Cemetery was established in 1533. The adjacent synagogue, Krakow’s only active Orthodox Synagogue is named after Rabbi Moses Isserles (nicknamed Remu'h, the word his initials spell in Hebrew) whose grave is still in the cemetery and which is still a place of pilgrimage for Jewish worshippers.
The cemetery, though damaged, managed to survive the Nazi occupation when other cemeteries were almost entirely destroyed. Excavations in the past years have revealed many buried gravestones and tombs and although it was suspected that this may have been due to neglect or vandalism it appears that they were deliberately buried to save them from an earlier threat, possibly Swedish invasion in the 19th century.
Some of the gravestones are decorated with motifs and topped with metal coverings. Many have stones or candles placed on them holding pieces of paper on which prayers and blessings are written.
Walking around the cemetery it is easy to contemplate things such as the human race’s capacity for inhumanity, for resilience, for fortitude, for kindness, for forgiveness and for reconciliation. A profoundly moving yet peaceful place.
Szeroka 40, in the Kazimierz Quarter;
Open: 9.00am-4.00pm Mon-Fri;
Vistors are expected to show respect and cover ther heads
A memorial built in the 1820s to celebrate the life of Polish national hero Tadeusz Kościuszko (1746-1818) in the form of a circular mound, which you can climb for a view over Kraków and the surrounding countryside. A small but fascinating museum at the base charts the life of Kościuszko. There is also a separate exhibition of wax figures and a hotel.
al. Waszyngtona, 30-204 Kraków;
tel: 12 425-11-16;
Bus no. 100 or a good 30-45 minute walk (mostly uphill) from the Debnicki bridge;
Mound & Museum: www.kopieckosciuszki.pl
Hotel FM - Pod Kopcem: www.hotel.fm.pl
Wawel was the residence of the Polish kings when Krakow was the capital of Poland. Walk around the walls for endless views of the Tatra mountains and the Wisla (Vistula) river. Don't miss the tapestries, cathedral and tombs of the past royal residents of this breathtaking castle.
Wawel is a 10 minute walk away from the main market square;
St Mary's church is the most important church in Krakow. It is also famous for it's unique Gothic interior, magnificent vaulted ceilings and the wooden altar, which is only opened during High Mass at noon.
The windows of one of the two towers of this dominating church hosts the hourly trumpet blow which is broadcast all over Poland. It marks the death of a Tartar soldier who was killed whilst warning Krakow's citizens of an invasion. It's free to listen to this even if you choose not to see the church itself.
St Mary's church is a 5 min walk from Krakow's main market square;
Visit the touching Jewish cemeteries of Kazimierz. I guarantee that the amount of gravestones will bring a tear to your eye. They represent the thousands of Jews who died in this district during WW2.
Trams 4 and 9 both go from Krakow city centre to Plac Novy in the centre of Kazimierz. The cemeteries are a 10 min walk away from the main square. The new cemetery is at ul. Miodowa 55.
Explore the Old Synagogue in Kazimierz which was cherished by the Jews of the district during WW2. It is the oldest synagogue in Europe. There are hundreds of beautiful churches located around Plac Novy and Szeroka, but visit Katarzyny (St Catherine's) church in particular as it has a brilliant Baroque altar.
Trams 4 and 9 both go from Krakow city centre to Plac Novy in Kazimierz.
Kazmierz is the Jewish district, which provided refuge from the persecution suffered by the Jews of the city during WW2. It is also the setting for the film Schindler's List. It has an atmosphere of rejuvenation, pride and hope. A great place to mingle with the people of Krakow.
Trams 4 and 9 both go from Krakow city centre to Kazimierz.
Marvel at the size of Europe's largest square which is the historic and cultural centre of Krakow. Afterwards head to the large building in the middle of it - the Sukiennice. Ignore the overpriced tourist knick-knacks and check out the bargain priced local folk art and jewellery in the building's indoor market. The National Portrait Gallery above the market is also well worth a look for its excellent examples of Polish art.
The Rynek (market square) is slap bang in the centre of Krakow and just a 5 min walk from the main train station. You can't miss the Sukiennice as it's right in the middle of this huge square;
www.krakow-rynek.pl (in Polish)
The Museum houses a stunning photographic exhibition documenting the physical remains of Jewish culture and civilization in Galicia. In addition, there is a cafe and an excellent bookshop. It's well worth a visit and situated in the heart of the historic Jewish quarter, Kazimierz, where Speilberg filmed 'Schindler's List'. A real 'must' if you're in Krakow.
Dajwor Street 18, 31-052 Krakow, Poland;
tel: 12 4216842;
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