Fun things to do in Poland

  • A first view
    A first view
    by Odiseya
  • The first sight at the squere from above
    The first sight at the squere from above
    by Odiseya
  • The Barbican
    The Barbican
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Most Viewed Things to Do in Poland

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    Auschwitz Concentration Camp

    by shavy Updated Nov 22, 2013

    We are coming here on a tour, we book the trip at our hotel for € 39 each. It normally easy to come by yourself with public transport, but we want to be hassle free
    The certified guides are available in different languages
    Because of the large numbers of visitors everyday it is preferable to book in advance

    The Auschwitz complex consists of three parts: Auschwitz IN - the concentration camp known thanks to the lurid text placed above the entrance: LABOUR POWER FREI, the second part Auschwitz II (Birkenau) - the extermination camp and the third part (Monowitz), the labor camp with sub-camps . Only the concentration and extermination camp (Auschwitz I and II) are accessible for a visit
    For both Auschwitz (I )and (II) visiting time of at least 1.5 hours each camp
    Children should be taken into account with a recommended minimum age of 14 years

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    Gubalowka Hill, Zakopane

    by hopang Updated Apr 1, 2013

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    Gubalowka Hill is a "must-visit" tourist attraction when you visit the town of Zakopane. It has a height of approximately 1,100 meters above sea level. You can either take a furnicular railway from the furnicular station located at the northwestern end of Krupowki Street or hike up the hill. The furnicular railway takes just four minutes to reach the top of the hill. It takes approximately one hour to walk up the hill from the furnicular station at the foothill. It all depends on whether you have ample time to spare while vacationing in Zakopane!

    Lots of activities are being offered to local and foreign tourists at the top of the hill. These activities certainly cater for the whole family especially with kids such as pony riding, skiing, snowboarding, bobsleigh riding, toboggan riding and hiking. We even have a photograph taken with the shepherd's sheeps which makes a great everlasting souvenir snapshot (as depicted on our second photograph which has already been framed at home).

    For those who are hungry or thirsty, Gubalowka Hill is never short of eateries and food stalls. Visitors can sit down especially in summer and enjoy a couple of local beers while appreciating the stunning and panoramic views of Tatra Mountains nearby as well as commanding view of the town of Zakopane below. Gubalowka market is a place for you to taste some local produce especially smoked sheep cheese known as "ocypek".

    If you are very fond of hiking, there are several trails for you to walk down the hill. If hiking is not your cup of tea, there are some historical monuments at the hill and a wooden chapel dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary of Rosary. Don't miss the Gubalowka Hill when you visit the town of Zakopane! We certainly enjoyed our trip up the hill.

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    Town Hall Tower, Krakow

    by hopang Updated Apr 1, 2013

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    The Medieval Old Town Hall Tower (Wieza Ratuszowa in Polish) is one of the most important landmarks of Krakow. It is also one of the most photographed buildings in the city. The Town Hall Tower is situated on the western side of the Main Market Square just next to the Cloth Hall. It is unfortunately the only remnant still standing of the larger Town Hall and seems to be out of place today. The old Town Hall was demolished in the early 19th century due to deterioration and the city planner had the vision then of making the Main Market Square looked larger.

    This Gothic style Town Hall Tower has history that dates back to the late 13th century. It was constructed of bricks and stones. It has a height of 70 meters high. Visitors can actually climb up the stairs to the top of the tower which has an observation deck. The view from the top of the tower over the square and its surrounding area is of course fascinating and commanding simply because of its height. There is no elevator going up to the top. However the observation deck opens to the public only in the summer months and is closed in winter. Two statues of stone lions sit at the entrance to the Town Hall Tower. The Old Town Hall once housed the town's prison cellars complete with torture chambers.

    The Old Town Hall Tower at the Main Market Square must not be mistaken for another old Town Hall also in the city of Krakow. This is another old Town Hall which looks more complete located at Plac Wolnica at Kazimierz. Today it is home to the city's Ethnographic Museum. The Neo-Renaissance style Town Hall building (as depicted on our third photograph) was constructed in the 14th century.

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    Other Churches and Basilicas in Krakow

    by hopang Updated Mar 30, 2013

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    The city of Krakow has incredibly numbers of beautiful churches and basilicas at its disposal. Many of them are simply worth visiting and are within walking distance of each other. Walking to these churches and basilicas like we did, is a perfect way to see these attractions.

    On top of our list of churches in Krakow other than St. Mary's and Wawel Cathedral is the beautiful facade of the Church of St. Peter and St. Paul located at the popular Grodzka Street with its statues of 12 disciples standing in front of the church (as depicted on our main photograph). The Church is situated approximately 150 meters south of the Main Market Square. It is simply one of the most photographed churches in Krakow. Next to the Church of St. Peter and St. Paul is another popular church known as the Church of the Virgin Mary (depicted on our second photograph), also located at Grodzka Street.

    Another famous tourist attraction in Krakow is the Corpus Christi Church or Kosciol Bozego Ciala in Polish (depicted on our third photograph). It is situated at Plac Wolnica approximately 100 meters south of Rotunda or Plac Nowy in Kazimierz. St. Joseph Church (as depicted on our fourth photograph) is located just 100 meters south of Father Bernard's Fooftbridge across River Vistula at Rynek Podgórski in Podgórze, south of Kazimierz. Our last photograph depicts Dominican Basilica of the Holy Trinity located at Dominikanska Street, just 100 meters south of the Main Market Square in the heart of the city of Krakow. Plan your schedule carefully and wisely if you want to visit all of these wonderful churches and basilicas when you visit Krakow on your vacation.

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    Jewish Quarter, Krakow

    by hopang Updated Mar 30, 2013

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    The Jewish Community in Krakow has a long history that dates back to the early 14th century when King Kazimierz the Great founded the Jewish Quarter, thus the name which was dedicated to him. It is a historical district of Krakow, home to large Jewish community until the outbreak of the Second World War. The rest is history. Today only a few hundred Jewish still settle in Kazimierz. Many consider Kazimierz a "must-visit" tourist attraction and destination.

    Kazimierz is certainly never short of interesting tourist attractions with its numerous synagogues and Jewish cemeteries. Almost all of these great attractions are within a stone's throw from each other, consequently save you a lot of precious travelling time. Plac Nowy Market or Rotunda (as depicted on our second photograph) is located more or less in the center of Kazimierz district. There is not much to see at Plaz Nowy market except for some fresh fruits and vegetables market stalls at Rotunda in the morning and early afternoon.

    At the east of Rotunda along Estery Street, take a short walk up north and you will be able to see the elegant Tempel Synagogue (depicted on our main photograph) located at Miodowa Street. Walk back to Estery Street southwards passing Rotunda and turn left on the first junction, approximately 100 meters south of Temple Synagogue, lies the majestic Synagogue of Isaac (depicted on our third photograph) at Kupa Street. Remuh Museum and Cemetery (depicted on our fourth photograph) is located approximately 50 meters northeast of Synagogue of Isaac. It is located at the northern section of Szeroka Street. If you wish to visit the grand Old Synagogue (depicted on our last photograph), it is located just 100 meters south of the Remuh Cemetery also at Szeroka Street.

    Plan your time and schedule carefully if wish to see inside of these synagogues and cemeteries as many of these attractions close in winter or have very short opening hours during the winter months. The best season to see these attractions is of course during the summer months where most of them open until quite late in the evening. Admission fees to most of these synagogues are just a few zl per adult.

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    Krupowki Street in Zakopane

    by hopang Updated Mar 29, 2013

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    Krupowki Street is the most popular street in Zakopane, a hill resort approximately 100 kilometers south of Krakow. Krupowki Street is a busy street packed with tourists and holiday makers. It stretches from the foothill of Gubalowka Hill in the northwest to Kazimierza Tetmajera Street in the southeast, a distance of approximately 500 meters. The street is dotted with lots of souvenir and gift shops, cafes, bars and restaurants and even hotels.

    Krupowki Street is a great place to stroll along during the summer as well as winter months. It is magical during the winter months as there are lots of snow everywhere, on the roads as well as on the rooftops. It is certainly beautiful during the winter months as depicted on our photographs. Krupowki Street is perhaps one of the most beautiful winter resorts we have experienced in Europe! Take a day trip from Krakow to Zakopane in general and Krupowki Street in particular when you visit Krakow on your vacation. It is certainly worth your day trip! We even had a great lunch of trout fish fillet at Pstrag Gorski Seafood Restaurant located at Krupowki Street 50.

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    The Barbican and the Gate of Florian in Krakow

    by hopang Updated Mar 22, 2013

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    The Barbican (Barbakan in Polish) is a small circular castle in Gothic architecture constructed in the late 15th century by King John Albert to defend against Turkish invasion. This impressive medieval building was constructed mainly of bricks. It has seven spires which are visible from large parts of Basztowa Street. The spires were used as observation turrets. The Barbican has at least 100 openings on its walls to be used by the riflemen against attacks. The wall itself is approximately three meters thick. The interior of the Barbican has a diameter of 25 meters.

    The Krakow Barbican is just one of the three barbicans to survive in Europe. The other two are the Carcassonne in France and the Görlitze in Germany. The Barbican is closed to the public during the winter months. It is often used for concerts during the summer months.

    Just across the Barbican lies the Gate of Florian (Brama Florianska in Polish). It is the remnants of the fortifications of the city. This 14th century gate is the gateway to the Old Town.

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    Wawel Hill, Krakow

    by hopang Updated Mar 15, 2013

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    The Wawel Hill is probably the most famous tourist attraction in the heart of Krakow and one of the most popular tourist attractions in Poland. It is located on the left bank of River Vistula just several hundred meters south of the Main Square. It is certainly very rich in history. It has history that dates back to the 11th century. Some tourist guides even mentioned that it has history that dates back to the 4th century! The hill is situated at an altitude of slightly more than 200 meters above sea level. The entire hill complex was the seat of the kings for several centuries.

    Entrance to the Wawel Hill complex itself is free if you just want to see the surrounding buildings. The two most famous attractions on the hill are the Wawel Cathedral and the Wawel Castle. However entrance fees are charged if you wish to visit such popular attractions as the museum, Crown Treasury and Armoury, Dragon's Den, Wawel Cathedral and Wawel Castle. There is a statue of a dragon which can also be visited free-of-charge on the bank of River Vistula.

    The easiest way to get to the hill complex is through the north entrance from ul Kanonicza. Opening hours to Wawel Hill complex are between 6.00 a.m. and 6.00 p.m. daily during the winter months and between 6.00 a.m. and 8.00 p.m. daily during the summer months. So don't miss the Wawel Hill complex when you visit Krakow on your vacation. It is considered a "must-visit" tourist attraction in the Old Town of Krakow! The surrounding buildings especially the Wawel Castle certainly have some wonderful architectures.

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    Basilica of St. Mary, Krakow

    by hopang Updated Mar 12, 2013

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    The Basilica of St. Mary is also known as the Church of the Assumption of Virgin Mary (Kosciol Mariacki in Polish). It is the largest church in Krakow and is a very popular tourist attraction in the heart of Krakow. It is as popular as the Wawel Cathedral at Wawel Hill nearby. St. Mary's Basilica is certainly a landmark in the city.

    The Basilica of St. Mary has history that dates back to the 13th century. However it was totally destroyed by Tartar invasion and was re-constructed in the 14th century. It is a Gothic church constructed mainly of red bricks. The facade of the basilica has two towers of different height and form. The taller tower reaches a height of approximately 80 meters. This tower was used as a watch tower. The lower tower has Renaissance domes on top. It is a bell tower holding five bells. Every hour visitors are able to hear the sound of trumpet (hejnal) played by a trumpeter. The sound of trumpet can be heard across the Market Square.

    The interior of the basilica is equally impressive with numerous stained glass windows, sculptures, artefacts and beautiful altar piece. Opening hours are between 11.30 a.m. and 6.00 p.m. daily except Sunday with shorter opening hours.

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    Ancient Jewish Cemetary in Kazimierz, Krakow

    by alza Written Mar 9, 2013

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    Photo: the Remuh Cemetery in Kazimierz, also taken in 1999.

    I was alone in the quarter during most of my walk. But at the entrance to the Cemetery, two women, one in her twenties, the other in her fifties, were talking to someone at the gate, apparently asking to be let in. I'd just had a shock inadvertently stepping on sacred ground by a wall nearby... The lady gate-keeper waived for me to join the two women but I chose to take a photo quickly and to walk away.

    This cemetery is beside another historic synagogue, the Remuh Synagogue, named after a famous Rabbi. The architecture and while walls of this synagogue were novel and attractive to me. The whole area was intimate.

    From what I read about Kazimierz nowadays, it's become quite a touristy spot. I'm afraid I wouldn't recognise that historic quarter if I should return to Krakow...
    But there are best times to see such old "monuments" in some peace, one just has to be determined...

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    Poland's oldest synagogue is alive!

    by alza Written Mar 9, 2013

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    Kazimierz is now a district of Krakow, but in the old days, it was Krakow's rival city.
    The Jewish quarter in Kazimierz was a safe-haven for Jews of the Diaspora until the XXth century.

    I spent a melancholy aftertoon in Kazimierz, in the Autumn of 1999. Today I found a few photos of that week in Krakow, never to be forgotten.

    On my pic, the Old Synagogue looks grey and in need of repair... From what I see on the web nowadays, the whole Jewish quarter was restored and revived. Something that makes me extremely happy.
    But I'm glad to have a memory of the Kazimierz that I saw.

    The Old Synagogue houses the Museum of Jewish History and Traditions. Please see the link below for detailed info about this Synagogue Museum and other Krakow highlights.

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    The Market Square in Krakow

    by hopang Updated Mar 3, 2013

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    The Market Square (Rynek Glowny in Polish) is the main market square of the Old Town in Krakow. Measuring 200 meters by 200 meters totalling 40,000 square meters, the Market Square is the largest market square in Europe. It is full of life with many locals and tourists throughout the whole year. It is certainly a great meeting place for the locals as well as foreigh tourists. The Market Square is also arguably more beautiful than Piazza San Marco in Venice.

    The Market Square has history that dates back to the middle of the 13th century after Krakow was destroyed by Mongol invasion. It was the largest market square in Europe then and was the emporium of Black Sea trade. The Market Square was designed by Prince Boleslaw V the Chaste of Krakow. Today it is surrounded by many wonderful architectural buildings, palaces and churches. The Cloth Hall or Sukiennice in Polish (depicted partly on our first photograph) is located right in the center of the square although it lies not exactly from north to south. The Town Hall Tower (depicted on our first photograph) is located to the southwest of the Market Square.

    St. Adalbert Church (our second photograph) is situated in the southern end of the Market Square. Basilica of St. Mary (depicted on our third photograph) is actually located on the east of the Market Square. An underground museum (our fourth photograph) is also located in the square between the Cloth Hall and the Basilica of St. Mary. Our fifth photograph depicts the Monument of Adam Mickiewicz. It is located outside the east entrance of the Cloth Hall.

    The Market Square today is dotted with lots of cafes, bars and restaurants surrounding the square, making it one of the most popular tourist destinations in Poland.

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    Father Bernard's Footbridge, Krakow

    by hopang Updated Mar 3, 2013

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    Father Bernard's Footbridge connects the Jewish Quarter of Kazimierz in the north with the district of Podgorze in the south across River Wisla or Vistula which is the longest river in Poland. The river cuts through the cities of Krakow as well as the capital city of Warsaw. Father Bernard's Footbridge is also known as Krakow Lovers Bridge. It follows the example of several cities in Europe such as Paris in France, Moscow in Russia and Venice and Florence in Italy.

    An interesting feature on the bridge is the numerous numbers of padlocks on the bridge on both sides of the bridge. A happily married or unmarried loving couple on vacation locks a padlock on the bridge and throws away the key into the river hoping that this will enable them to have an eternal love and lasting relationship. Those combination padlocks with numbers can also be seen on the bridge signifying that these padlocks can be unlocked in the future, perhaps these couples did not want to have a permanent relationship in their entire love life!

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    Wieliczka Salt Mine, Wieliczka

    by hopang Updated Mar 1, 2013

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    Wieliczka Salt Mine is located approximately 10 kilometers southeast of the city of Krakow. It is a world famous tourist attraction and is considered a "must-visit" tourist attraction by many whenever you visit the city of Krakow. It attracts more than one million local and foreign tourists every year. It is in the list of UNESCO's World Cultural & Natural Heritage. The Salt Mine has history that dates back to the middle of the 9th century when it was first in use by the miners.

    You begin your descend underground by walking 370 steps down into the caverns. So you need to be physically fit to walk quite a lot of distance. Most of the underground attractions are located at a depth of between 200 meters and 300 meters. The temperature in the entire Salt Mine underground is approximately 15 degrees all year round. So it can be quite cold during the summer months and too warm during the winter months. You need to bring along proper clothing to keep yourself warmth.

    The ceilings in certain parts of the tunnels are quite low. So you need to mind your head all the time especially if you are a tall person. The floors can also be quite slippery. You need to put on good pairs of walking shoes. The ventilation underground is fairly good at such depth although certain parts are quite cold and windy.

    The highlight of this underground tour is the popular Chapel of St. Klinga with the light and sound show entertaining visitors. You may view our video of the light and sound show of the Chapel of St. Klinga on our Poland travel page. There are some lovely sculptures sculptured by ancient salt miners centuries ago in the mine. The most famous sculpture is the sculpture of "The Last Supper". It is almost certainly one of the most photographed objects in the entíre Salt Mine.

    Every tour must be accompanied by a tour guide from the Salt Mine. You are not allowed to visit the Mine on your own. The admission fee for English guided tour and/or other foreign languages costs 73.00 zl per adult with additional charge of 10.00 zl for the camera. However admission fee is very much lower if you prefer to save money and choose Polish language guided tour instead. Our English tour guide is quite friendly and helpful. So all you need is to ask her questions.

    Opening hours to Wieliczka Salt Mine are between 7.30 a.m. and 7.30 p.m. daily from 1st April to 31st October and between 8.00 a.m. and 5.00 p.m. daily from 2nd November to 31st March. It is closed on 1st January, 1st November, 24th and 25th December.

    To reach Wieliczka Salt Mine from central Krakow, you have five options, i.e. by commuter train, by municipal bus #304, by mini buses, by taxi and by private tour (minimum two persons) with pickup direct from your hotel. Private tours from hotel costs from 130.00 zl per person. Option to travel by mini buses is the cheapest. You may catch municipal bus #304 to Wieliczka from outside Galeria Krakowska near the main railway station.

    In our opinion the best and safest alternative to travel to the Salt Mine from Krakow is by commuter train from Krakow Glowny to Wieliczka Rekny (this is the last stop at Wieliczka). You will not miss the Salt Mine when you travel by trains. There are trains leaving Krakow Glowny every hour from platform 1, the same platform where you travel from the city to Balice International Airport. The Salt Mine is just a five to ten minute walk from Wieliczka Rekny. We timed our arrival at the Salt Mine perfectly for the English guided tour which began at 10.00 a.m. sharp. The train left Krakow Glowny at 9.10 a.m. sharp and arrived at Wieliczka Rekny at 9.35 a.m. We took a leaisurely walk to the Salt Mine and arrived at the ticketing office and main entrance at almost 9.45 a.m. After purchasing the admission tickets, we still had some time to look at items selling at the souvenir shop. The duration of the guided tour took slightly more than two hours.

    Train ticket costs just 4.00 zl each way. If you miss your scheduled departure, you can still travel on the next train to Wieliczka as your train ticket is valid for two hours.

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  • Wawel Castle (Krakow)

    by chipernba Written Jan 29, 2013

    I highly recommend giving yourself 4 plus hours to discover everything in this vast castle. For starters, you can do the combo pass which we did (the Cathedral museum is bought seperatly from this) and it allows you to go through the State rooms, Royal Private apts, Crown Treasury, Lost Wawel. We liked all of the tours, however the Royal Private Apts was rather boring. The best part of the tour (outside of the Cathedral) was the royal treasury and armoury. The gentleman in the armoury was amazing; he gave us a guided tour of every piece in the place ( I think he was bored since there were not many visitors that day). His knowledge of every piece made this part of the castle truly remarkable. If you happen to do this tour do yourself a favor and ask the staff about the items because they were incredibly knowledgeable.
    I am not sure if they will still have it available there but when we visited in December DaVinci's Lady with Ermine was in the Royal Castle.

    Lost Wawel was also very interesting and can be seen in about a half hour. Basically the tour describes how the castle came about and the bygone era that was centuries before. The castle was built on top of ground that was once a homestead in about 1000. They are still digging at the site finding new areas and historic artifacts from centuries (milenia) before.
    The best part of the entire castle area is the Cathedral. If you enjoy architecture one bit I highly recommend paying the money to enter. I cannot describe how beautiful this place is so I suggest you visit to draw your own opinions. I would take a trip up the staircase past all the enormous bells so you can get a great view of the entire city of Krakow.
    PS- You have to pay for everything at this place. if you want any pictures you have to pay another admission for that as well as about every room you go into.

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