In this former capital of Poland you can experience some wonderful culture. The city that is full of students has a lot to offer in terms of museums, historic buildings and a vibrant nightlife with hundreds of clubs and cafés. The city originated around the Wawel hill, where you can see the cathedral and the castle above the city. Whoever wants to can make a trip from Krakow to Auschwitz.
The airport in Krakow is a small but modern airport. In recent years, the government of Poland has invested a lot of money in infrastructure. More and more airline companies are flying at this airport.
LOT is the national flag carrier of Poland and is one of the world’s oldest airlines that is still active today. Its main hub is Warshaw Frederic Chopin Airport, from which if flies to more than 100 destinations in Europe, Asia and North America.
Ryanair is the most popular airline company when it comes to low budget flights. The Irish company connects several European cities, including Krakow. This has made that Krakow has become a popular citytrip destination.
From New York, Krakow can be reached in 9 hours and 45 minutes. London has a flight time of 2 hours and 25 minutes. There are several airlines offering direct flights from London. New York often requires a stopover.
Krakow is called the "Florence of Poland" and the old town is on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The Main Market Square (Rynek Główny) is the central square of Krakow. The square is one of the largest medieval squares in the world. In the middle of the square is the Cloth Hall - the Sukiennice - where you can buy traditional products and souvenirs. The 70-meter-high Council House tower stands on one side of the Cloth Hall. On the other hand, you cannot miss the imposing Gothic Maria Church with the two uneven towers.
The Wawel hill is right next to the Wisla River. There are a number of historic buildings on this hill, of which the Wawel Castle and Wawel Cathedral are the best known. It is also the place where the Smok Wawelski dragon once lived - according to tradition - in a cave below the hill. This dragon terrorized the population until it was defeated by the heroic shoemaker Skuba. You can still see the dragon everywhere in the city and you can visit the dragon cave.
Fifteen kilometers outside of Krakow is the Wieliczka salt mine, one of the oldest salt mines in the world. The underground passages in the mine have a total length of 300 kilometers. The tour through the mine - always under the guidance of a guide - starts with descending 350 steps. The tour goes through underground tunnels and past salt sculptures and underground lakes.
The former concentration camps of Auschwitz (Oświęcim) are an hour and a half's drive from Krakow. Around 1.3 million people were deported to Auschwitz in World War II, and about 1.1 million people did not survive. A visit to Auschwitz is very impressive and will stay in your mind for a long time.
You can travel sustainable by choosing small, local accommodation options over big chain hotels. Opt for local restaurants and if you are joining a tour, go for local services instead of international tours.