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12 Highlights of Krakow, Poland

Ishwari Pamu Jul 22, 2019
A city torn down by the Nazis and “liberated” by the Soviets, it sure has seen its fair share of dark days, perhaps more. But it has bravely risen from the ashes of its haunted past, to become one of the most visited and gorgeous cities of Europe.

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Main Market Square

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At 40,000 square meters, it’s the largest medieval market square in Europe and home to St. Mary’s Basilica. It is the best place to start your day.

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Cloth Hall

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Started as a tiny shed to store goods in the 1300s, it is arguably the oldest market in Europe; it’s the perfect place to buy souvenirs.

Auschwitz

The largest and most barbarous of all Nazi death camps, it was established in 1940. It’s emotionally overwhelming and harrowing to imagine the atrocities committed here.

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Wawel Palace

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Built in the 13th century, the palace is located south of the Old Town. The castle grounds feature a rather interesting mix of architectural styles, a sight to behold nonetheless.

Schindler’s Factory

It was a factory owned by Oskar Schindler, who saved 1,200 Jews during the German occupation. Made well-known by the movie Schindler’s List, the former enamel factory is now a museum which talks about the bleak days of Krakow.

Schindler’s List Alley

Situated at Jozafa Street, this alley was used for filming one of the scenes in Schindler’s List. Though the passage has been a bit neglected over the years, you can easily recognize the staircase from the movie.

Grodzka Street

This wide and gorgeous looking street starts from the Main Market Hall, runs all the way up to the Wawel Castle. It was once used by the Polish Kings to get to the castle grounds.

Kazimierz

Immortalized in the movie Schindler’s List, Krakow’s former Jewish District is full of history, culture, famous synagogues, amazing restaurants, museums and spectacular street arts and murals.

Barbican

Located just outside the Old Town, the Barbican is a round medieval stronghold built with an objective of defending the city from the Tartar attacks.

Kanonicza Street

Said to be the oldest street in Krakow, it runs alongside the Grodzka Street. It’s a quiet and picturesque street ideal for a nice relaxing stroll.

Krakow’s Wailing Wall

Located in the Remuh Cemetery, the wall is made of fragments of old Jewish tombstones and serves as a momento to the Jewish community that was destroyed due to the war.

Wieliczka Salt Mine

Home to the world’s lowest religious sites, it’s a laybrinth of underground tunnels, underground chapels carved into rocksalt, salt mine and salt lakes, and was the oldest functioning salt mines until 2007.