Krakow Weekend Breaks

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Weekend Breaks to Krakow

Planning a short break to Krakow? Check out Travel Library's recommended Top 10 Things To Do in Krakow. It's a perfect companion for weekend city breaks to Krakow. Once you've been you can add your own tips and suggestions to help other visitors.

The Main Market Square (Rynek Glowny)

Krakow is steeped in history and the best place to start your experience is here at the main Market Square. A really good way to explore Krakow is by walking. The square began operations as early as 1257 when the Great Royal Charter was granted. In the square you will find the Cloth Hall (Sukiennice) which has survived to this day; it started as a place to trade cloth and used to be the main seat of the National Museum. You will also find the tiny church of St Adalbert (Woiciech or Voitek) and the bigger St Mary’s church with its two slender spiralled towers. The square also has numerous restaurants and cafes where you can relax and enjoy watching the world go by.

Wawel Hill

Kanonciza Street, Krakow. To reach Wawel Hill you will walk up one of the city’s most important and ancient streets, Kanonicza Street, which is short, narrow and very much alive and has not changed much over the centuries. Once you reach the top of Wawel Hill you will find Wawel Castle which is full of interesting chambers full of exhibitions that cannot be missed. There are the royal chambers and stately rooms and the most amazing Flemish tapestries. There are collections of Oriental art and Military trophies and archaeological specimens. Outside there is the beautiful arcaded courtyard, the cathedral and the ringed castle walls. There is so much to see that one visit may not be enough.

Cafe Sukiennice

Old Town Square, Krakow. This restaurant situated right in the heart of the Old Town Square has a vibrant atmosphere with an added attraction of having good International or traditional Polish fare. The service is excellent and definitely worth a visit. If the weather is good you can sit outside and admire the Renaissance arcades of the Cloth Hall, even at night, as the main square is lit up. Or sit inside to a truly delicious candle-lit dinner. The cafe has regular fashion shows or Karaoke nights which will certainly raise the spirits after a long day of sightseeing. For those who are not hungry and would just like something to drink, try the coffee, as they a huge selection from around the world.

Visit: www.cafe-sukiennice.krakow.pl

Floating of the Wreaths (Wianki)

This festival which is the sum of three ancient traditions rolled into one, commemorates the Sobotka (Midsummer Day when bonfires were lit by country-folk), the search for the magic fern flower and commemoration of Wanda (the legendary daughter of Krakus). It is held every year on 23rd and 24th June (St John the Baptist Day and Wanda’s name day) along the Vistrula River banks. Although it has changed somewhat since World War II, the common elements have stayed the same, such as amateur and professional folklore group performances on stage, followed by placing floating, lit wreaths on the Vistula River and a fireworks display.

Fantasy Park

Plaza Shopping Centre, Krakow. To reach the Fantasy Park take a short tram-ride to the Plaza Shopping Centre located east of the city centre. Here you will find all types of games which can be played, plenty of video arcades, snooker and air-hockey. However, bowling is the great attraction with 20 lanes available and whether you’re good or just a beginner it is a great place to try your hand and also to learn a few special bowling tricks. You can also let the older children play while you shop. There is also a specially supervised area for the younger children; with crazy ping-pong, a play-pen and a climbing frame. This is a great place to relax, especially if the weather is not conducive for sightseeing.

Go to the website: www.fantasypark.pl/english

Park Wodny

126 ul. Dobrego, Pasterza. This park is a highlight for children with excellent water chutes, sea-monsters and dragons. Park Wodny is the best in Poland. It has every kind of chute and slide to enjoy and whether the children go head first, back to front or which ever position they decide on, they are sure to have immense fun. The Park is for all ages but especially for younger children and teenagers. All the facilities are clean and to make it more enjoyable there is a rule that only trunks are allowed.

Please go to www.parkwodny.pl

St. Mary’s Tower

Main Market Square, Krakow. The tower is also known as the Watch Tower or Bugle Tower and is the only tower in the world where for the last six hundred years a bugle has been played. To reach the top of the tower requires a bit of energy as you have to climb 239 steps to be able to hear and see this wonderful sight. As you reach the top you will be cheerfully greeted by the bugle players. The bugle players are members of the fire service, the last magicians of Krakow. In the old days the bugles were played from the towers and gates of Krakow to announce the beginning and end of the day. Those caught outside the gates at night had to wait for the reopening of the gates at sunrise. The Tower is open from 1 May – 31 August every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday: Times are from 9am – 11.30am and 1pm – 5.30pm

St. Mary's Church

Main Market Square, Krakow. This historic church dominates the Krakow skyline when lit at night and it is from here that the bugle call rings out every hour, on the hour, across the city, no matter the weather. This is the largest church in Krakow and after the Wawel Cathedral the most important place of worship. The interior is full of gold and studded tombs and memorials and may not be to everyone’s taste. However, stay awhile and explore the interior as you will find some really fine treasures of tombs, sculptures and beautiful stained-glass windows (especially when the sun shines through during the late afternoon). The most memorable piece is probably Veit Stoss’s exceptional alter piece.

Mikolajczyki Amber

22 Kanonicza Street, Krakow. There are plenty of shopping opportunities in Krakow and this little amber shop with its old statue of Christ above the doorway is a gem, even if it’s only to window shop. They have the most amazing pieces of amber jewellery, such as necklaces with perfectly sculptured beads, chess sets in shades of amber and art nouveau style lamps. This is definitely a treasure trove and the selection is absolutely stunning with a bonus of it being tax free.

For info please go to www.amber.com.pl

Este Gallery of Curiosities

16 ul.Slawkowska, Krokaw. This charming shop in Krakow is located in a really lovely townhouse in the Old Town, which just adds to its appeal. Unlike most curiosity shops where you will only find an occasional treasure, the Este shop is a place where you could spend the whole day just walking around checking out all that they stock. Here you will find items from antique Chinese furniture to prints by Polish artists.

See details at www.cracow-life.com

User Suggestions

Making Cheesecake - Cultural Attraction

The Polish love their cheesecake. If you find that cheesecake in the cafes or restaurants is too dear for your wallet, check out Tesco's "Sernik na zimno" by Poldesse. Excellent to trade spare minutes for calories - you won't regret it!

Ojcow National Park - Tourist Attraction

Ojcow National Park is located in Southern Poland (Malopolskie region), 16 km north of Krakow, on Krakow – Czêstochowa Plateau. It embraces valleys of two small rivers, the Pradnik and the Saspowka and neighbouring fragments of Jurassic plateau and is the smallest National Park in Poland. The Park fauna is amazingly abundant; research has so far confirmed existence of approx. 5500 animal species, while general population is estimated at 12000 species. See details at www.cracowonline.com

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