Krakow is the second largest city in Poland and has a population of around 800000 people. It has recently become much more accessible to Western Europe thanks to the budget airlines and as such is a great place for a weekend city break! Located on the Wisla River, Krakow is also close to the Carpathian Mountains. The town is split into various districts. Of most interest to the tourist will be Stare Miasto (The Old town) and The Wawel Hill where you can find the castle and cathedral.
Balice Airport (KRK) is the main airport servicing the city. There are regular flights to a host of European airports including London, Dublin, Edinburgh. The airport is also serviced by numerous budget airlines including Ryanair.
From the airport there is a train service to the city centre which runs every 30 minutes and takes about 20 minutes.
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Rail: There is a regular train service connecting Krakow with Warsaw which takes around 3 hours and does not stop. International trains to and from Krakow arrive and depart from destinations across eastern Europe including Berlin, Prague, Budapest and Kiev.
What to See and Do
There are numerous attractions in Krakow and the surrounding regions. Car hire may be a good idea to make the most of your time. Check out great car hire offers with easyCar.
Old town: The old town (or Stare Miasto) is the historical centre of the city and where you will find most of the attractions. There are numerous mediaeval squares the finest of which is Rynek Glowny (main marketplace) at the heart of the city. The Florian Gate is the only location in the city where the ancient walls have survived.
Wawel: Wawel is a long fortified hill at the southern end of the city. Here you will find the Cathedral which was originally built in 1000AD although has been destroyed several times and subsequently rebuilt. Also at this location you wil find the Royal Castle which is one of the most beautiful in Europe. It was the ancient seat of the Polish kings and is now a top tourist attraction.
Auschitz: A must see attraction for many visitors to Krakow is the former Nazi concentration camp at Aushwitz. It is 60kms from Krakow and frequent buses run from the bus station in Krakow. Allow a day to wander around and view what remains of the camp. Take a tour to get the most from the trip.
Eat and drink: Krakow cuisine is similar to many other countries in eastern Europe. Dumplings meat and cabbage tend to predominate. When it comes to drinking you will find that vodka is the tipple of choice. It can come in many flavours so have fun with the tasting!
Taxi: Taxis are plentiul and relatively cheap. Make sure the driver puts on the meter.
Walk: The city is quite compact so the best way to get around is by foot. Public transport is also available if you wish to spend time in a traffic jam!