48 hours in Kraków, Poland: the best things to see
I wish I had more time, honestly 🙂 There are a lot of things to see and do in the beautiful Polish town of Kraków. But, even on fast forward track, the city has offered me two enchanted days. One of the largest squares in Europe, a cool Jewish neighbourhood, some nice galleries and a couple of amazing restaurants. Plus a beautiful castle, of course. What I would recommend for 48 hours in Kraków, Poland?
For the first day…
Start the morning with… a walk in Jewish quarter. I know, many people would go to the historical city centre. But I would say that Kazimierz, home for more than 500 years to the Jewish community is the perfect start for a visit in Kraków. The area was destroyed during WWII with renovation only starting in the 1990s. Today it is one of Kraków’s most lively districts, having been put on the map by Steven Spielberg Schindler’s List, much of which was filmed here. Enjoy the streets and the smell of fresh roasted coffee and some spices; I had, for a moment, the feeling that I am in Paris, in Marais.
If you want to take a step forward into the history, visit The Old Synagogue, which was built on the cusp of the 15th and 16th centuries and is the oldest surviving example of Jewish religious architecture in Poland.
For lunch, try… Szara – https://szara.pl/en/, one of the best restaurants in the area. I was lucky to be there in full season of chanterelle so I took advantage of it.
If you want something more – try a visit at Schindler’s Factory (https://muzeumkrakowa.pl/en/branches/oskar-schindlers-enamel-factory), parts of Oskar Schindler’s war-time enamel factory has been converted into a vivid and frankly terrifying narrative of the Jewish experience in 20th-century Kraków.
In the afternoon… go for a short visit to Forum Design (https://forumdesignu.pl) – over 200 local designers (from fashion to beauty or interior design) are present here. I could have lost myself intro that colourful universe!
Make your way back to… Kraków’s Old Town (Stare Miaso). Yep, it’s time to see the central & historical city. Start the walk in Rynek Główny (central market) – cafés, museums, landmarks, and hotels is punctuated with some of the most magnificent architecture the city has to offer. Stop for a short glimpse of National Theatre and then admire the paintings hung on the wall that leads to Barbican – fortified outpost once connected to the city walls.
Enter the The Kraków Cloth Hall, dates to the Renaissance. It is the central feature of the main market square, since 1978 a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Walk than to cobbled, historical Floriańska Street – there is more than 700 year’s of history in these buildings, including the house of artist Jan Matejko and the Museum of Pharmacy.
For dinner… enter the Kogel Mogel restaurant for Polish traditional delights (https://kogel-mogel.pl/en/) – it has Michelin Guide recommendation!
The second day…
In the morning… head outside the city, to the salt mine – head to Salt mine Wieliczka. It is an impressive mine – I really didn’t know when the whole one and a half hour went 🙂 Fairytales about princesses, stories about the hard work of miners, chapels carved in salt, big statues and the biggest chandelier with crystal salts I have ever seen. (https://www.wieliczka-saltmine.com)
Try to catch your breath for a moment and sit for a while inside the beautiful Graduation Tower: the breathing exercises surrounded by wood and salt vapours are excellent for the health!
In the afternoon… return to the city and make a reservation for a visit to the castle. The Wawel Hill is a symbol of national pride which dominates the city and is home to both the impressive Royal Castle and Krakóws’s 14th century cathedral, site of many Royal Coronations and home to the relics of Saint Stanisław, patron saint of Poland. A lot of tapestry are exhibited here and the light in those majestic rooms is beautiful, especially in the sunlight.
On your way back to the main square keep in mind the Ulica Grodzka, where you can browse the many amber shops.
More to see – https://visitkrakow.com