The ancient Polish city of Krakow (Cracow in English and Krakau in German), founded over a thousand years ago, is considered the jewel of Poland.
It's a beautiful city, considered one of the best preserved Medieval centres in all
Europe (in fact the entire Medieval centre is an UNESCO World Heritage Registered site), and symbolizes Poland's rich history and glorious past.
Though the seat of Polish political authority may have moved to Warsaw, Krakow still represents much of the cultural and intellectual heart of Poland. Indeed, more than one quarter of all Poland's museums
are located within Krakow.
A weekend break in Krakow combines the best of everything - for the serious
tourist the Wieliczka salt mine is a must-see (also an UNESCO protected site and absolutely stunning). If you have the time Krakow is just an
hour from the Holocaust and Martyrdrom museum of Auschwitz - a very moving but extremely worthwhile experience.
The City of Krakow itself is also jam packed full of historic buildings,
beautiful churches and monuments, from Wawel Castle to the Basilica of the Virgin Mary.
Alternatively you can view the dragon's
bones (honest) in the dungeons of the castle and sit by the river watching the
fire breathing dragon sculpture for a while.
If even that seems too energetic for you the wonderful Grand Square (the largest Medieval square in all Europe) is a
great place to relax with a beer and a plate of pierogi (Polish
dumplings) and watch the world go by.
Krakow is a perfect combination of a fun, friendly city and a low cost
destination. Beer is less than £1 a pint, cigarettes less than £1 a
pack. Everywhere is within easy walking distance or accessible via
regular trams and buses. Unlike many Eastern European destinations
Krakow is a delight for vegetarians and the food is cheap, generously
portioned and very very good.
Krakow Weekends offers everything from 'Learn Polish' Taster Weekends to Stag Parties and Hen Weekends as well as
specialized Cultural Programs (such as Jewish historical tours exploring the centuries old Jewish cultural heritage of Krakow and its environs).
If you don't find
exactly what you want then ask us - if you want to add a Hot Air Balloon
trip and romantic meal to our standard weekend break and create your own
tailored Romantic Weekend then we can arrange it (if you want a violinist to play
while you propose then I'm sure we can arrange that too). If you want a
cheap weekend for 20 mates to celebrate the end of your exams then
Krakow is the perfect place to go and we're the perfect people to speak
We will be adding a variety of special weekends throughout the year -
from Christmas Market trips to Cultural Tasters (Krakow is home to Da Vinci's "Lady with an
Ermine and to some of the finest museums, galleries and theatres in
Poland) to Hiking in the beautiful National Parklands there's a weekend or short break
in Krakow for everyone.
What is there to see?
The Old Market Square or "Rynek", the largest Medieval market square in all Europe.
The Sukiennice or "Cloth Hall", one of the most famous buildings in Krakow
and one of the oldest medieval trading halls in all of Europe.
Collegium Maius of the Jagiellonian University with one of the oldest
museums in Europe. The University (founded in 1364) was also the academic work-place and current home of the instruments belonging to astronomer Copernicus.
Kazimierz, the centuries Old Jewish Quarter of Krakow (a main location for Spielberg's filming of "Schindler's List"). Kaziemierz is very lively area of Krakow, full of art galleries, kosher restaurants and regular cultural events, such as Klezmer music concerts and the famous Jewish Summer Festival.
The Czartoryski Museum, home to Leonardo da Vinci's famous painting "Lady with an Ermine" and other important pieces of European and Polish art.
Wawel Royal Castle, the seat of Polish rulers up until the 17th century. Archaeological findings provide evidence that Wawel Hill was settled as far back as the early Stone Age. The current complex of majestic Renaissance castle and cathedral sitting atop Wawel Hill represent one of the most important and most beautiful places in Poland.
Other places you can visit include: the Barbakan defensive fort, the Mariacki Church, St. Florian's Gate and the beautiful Planty Park that surrounds the Old Town of Krakow.
Want to stay longer?
Two or three days really isn't long enough in Krakow, on my first visit
I spent so much time relaxing, enjoying the ambience and walking around
the lovely old city that I didn't manage to actually do anything else tourists should do, I didn't (I'm ashamed to admit) even go into the
castle buildings, although I did walk through the grounds and admire the
outside of the buildings.
A five day trip would probably be perfect, flying out and orientating
yourself on the first day, three full days of exploring (which would let
you do one or both of the Wieliczka and Auschwitz trips and still have
time to explore the city) and then a morning spent stocking up on Vodka
and saying goodbye to your favourite places before returning home.
If you'd like to extend your weekend just let us know, whether or not
you choose to add excursions to your package we'll be happy to book the
accommodation for however long you wish and arrange your return transfer
During the winter you can also combine a Krakow visit with a Ski Trip to
in the Tatra Mountains.