Krakow is the former capital of Poland, residence of Polish kings and the seat of the oldest university in Central Europe. The city was fortunately not destroyed during its volatile history and today is competing with some of the most beautiful European cities. The medieval old town, which is on the UNESCO List of World Heritage Sites, is the dynamic heart of Krakow, buzzing with students, residents and tourists from all over the world.
Krakow lies in the southern part of Poland on the Vistula River in a valley at the foot of the Carpathian Plateau. Approximately 300 km (190 miles) north is Warsaw, the capital of Poland and 100 km (60 miles) south are the Tatra Mountains, forming the southern border of the country.
We would like to recommend you some places to visit in Krakow
Visiting: Main Market Square, Cloth Hall, The Mariacki Church, Wawel Hill, Dragon’s Den, Barbican, Oskar Schindler’s Enamel Factor. Follow the steps of Pope John Paul II who used to be the Cardinal of Krakow.
Recreation: Botanical Garden, Zoological Garden Unique green spaces – Planty, Błonia, Wolski Forest, Kościuszko Mound.
Food: Good restaurants in Krakow are concentrated in the Old Town historic center, also nearby Kazimierz district. Don’t be surprised if you find polish cuisine on the most menus. Polish people love their national dishes, and you will fall in love with them as well.
Museums: Kings Castle on Wawel Hill, Museum of Jagiellonian University, National Museum in Krakow, Historical Museum of the City of Krakow (Rynek Underground, Town Hall Tower, Celestat), Galicia Jewish Museum, Aviation Museum.
How to get to the city
Thanks to its location Krakow is perfectly connected with large cities in Poland, Europe and worldwide. Direct connections are available to many European cities (Frankfurt, Munich, Vienna, Paris, London, Brussels, etc.) from:
- International Airport Kraków-Balice is approximately 15 km from the city centre). The international Kraków Airport is the country’s second in terms of both size and number of passengers, www.krakowairport.pl
- International airport in Katowice (approximately 100 km from Krakow)
By car: Many national roads and motorways intersect in Krakow, among others the A4 running directly from the German border.
By train: The city also offers convenient direct railway connections with most of the bigger towns in Poland, and Berlin, Budapest, Bucharest, Hamburg, Kyiv, Lviv, Prague, Vienna and Žilina.
Important telephone numbers
112 is the European emergency phone number, available everywhere in the EU, free of charge. You can call 112 from fixed and mobile phones to contact any emergency service: an ambulance, the fire brigade or the police. In Poland 112 calls are answered by the Fire Brigade and Police.
Tourist Emergency Helpline - While in Poland, are you experiencing difficulties? Have you lost your passport, are you in need of medical help or road assistance but you are not sure whom to contact in emergency?
+48 222787777, +48 608599999
Krakow in numbers
- surface: 326.8 sq. km,
- 4 administrative units: Śródmieście, Krowodrza, Podgórze, Nowa Huta – jointly divided into 18 districts,
- highest point: Piłsudski Mound on Sowiniec – 383.6 m above sea level,
- lowest point: Potok Kościelnicki estuary – 187 m above sea level,
- Jagiellonian University is the second oldest university in this part of Europe, established: 12th May 1364,
- In 2000 Kraków was a European City of Culture,
- There are about 40 parks in Kraków including dozens and forests,
- The churches of Kraków comprise over 120 places of worship (2007) of which over 65 were built in the 20th century,
- The 24 Krakow institutions of higher education make over 200,000 students attend various programmes there, with merely 4 times more (769,000) residents of the city constituting its official population,
- The No.8 tram is generally know as „papal”. The low-floor Krakowiak that Pope Francis took during the World Youth Days in 2016 to celebrate Holy Mass on the Błonia Common. It was the first time in history that the pope used a tram as an official means of transport.