There are three R's that can describe Krakow: religious, remarkable and rich. Its religiosity is evident not only in the fact that its former archbishop became Pope John Paul II, but because of the numerous churches and synagogues that can be found here. Remarkable, because it is the only city that was spared the destruction of World War II and has preserved its many historic wonders. And rich because it has remained a living and breathing treasure trove of about 2.3 million artworks, architectural wonders and monuments. Krakow, the second largest city in Poland set on the banks of the Vistula River, is an experience in and of itself. Whether you're listening to music in St. Mary's Church or remembering the cruelties inflicted on the Jews who lived in the Kazimierz District, make your visit a contemplative journey to the heart of the human soul.
Every visit to Krakow should begin in the Old City or the Stare Miasto. The Royal Castle on Wawel Hill is truly a royal and historic landmark. Even the Kanonicza, the street that leads to the hill, has hardly changed over the years. Stroll along the world's largest medieval marketplace, the Rynek Glowny, and check out its many features. Be sure to include Sukiennice, or the Cloth Hall, on your tour. Other squares worthy of a visit include Maly Rynek and Plac Mariacki. Among the many churches in the city, the Church of St. Anne and the Corpus Christi Church should not be missed. Don't forget to relax at The Planty, the park that surrounds the Old City. Admire the impressive collections in the many museums around Krakow, with Czartoryski Museum at the top of your list.
Never leave Krakow without sampling duck blood soup and soured rye soup in many of the dining places around the Old City. However, be wary of restaurants that serve overpriced food. Stick to those around the Ulica Braka, Ulica Florianska, Ulica Poselska, Ulica Slawkowska and Ulica Szpitalna. There are also great milk bars in Ul Grodzka.
For souvenirs of your Polish vacation, especially crystal glassware, antiques and art, Ryneck Glowny is the place to go. Amber jewelry and sheep skin rugs can be had in the Sukiennice Shopping Complex. The Royal Way as well as the area around Plac Nowy in Kazimierz is a shopaholic's Eden. Galeria Krakowska is the city's biggest shopping mall. Galeria Kazimierz, M1 and Krakow Plaza are other malls where you can shop till you drop.
Ul. Florianska 14
os. Niepodleglosci 3A/5A
Ulica Dominikańska 3
Ulica Slawkowska 6a