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The Best Hotels in Krakow

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Best Hotels in Krakow

You’ll be taken aback by the culture and history of Krakow since the entire Old Town was one of the first ever to be designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Located in the heart of Poland, Krakow has plenty of draws to keep you occupied. Civilizations through the ages chose to call Krakow their home, and modern-day Poles are now proud to call it their second-largest city. Tourism plays a big role in Krakow, and you can be assured of heart-warming hospitality.

Things to see

The Main Market Square in Krakow is the hub of the action. It has been the center of daily life in this city for centuries, and it is here where you should begin your sightseeing tour. From the square, walk to the prestigious St Mary’s Basilica, with its intriguing unlevel twin bell towers that dominate the Krakow skyline. Wawel Castle should be next on your list of top sites to explore in Krakow. Dating to the 14th century, the castle is a fine example of eastern European architecture, having been strategically built at the top of a hill for defensive purposes. The Jewish cemetery highlights the significance of Krakow as a culturally diverse city through the ages. Located in Kazimierz, the Jewish Quarter, the cemetery dates back to 1535. Tragically, only a fraction of the antiquated tombstones still exist after the Nazis destroyed the graveyard during WWII.

Hotels in Krakow

Krakow is ready for tourism and visitors have a huge choice of places to stay. For an elegant experience, you can stay within the walls of the UNESCO listed Old Town. The promising five-star Bonerowski Palace lives up to its prestigious name, or you can try the Grand Hotel for equal star level and luxury. There are several more three- and four-star hotels located in the Old Town, including Hotel Wentzl, which offers great value for money and superb views over the main square. The Jewish Quarter has further three-star options, such as Hotel Astoria and Hotel Eden.

Where to stay

If you are on vacation, then you can’t go wrong by resting your head in the Old Town, where you can live and breathe the city’s rich history. There is nothing more romantic than being awoken by the bells of St Mary’s Basilica off the main square Businessmen usually like to stay in modern-build accommodations in the northwest hotel district of Bronowice, which is close to the main highway and transport links. Families frequently opt to stay in the Jewish Quarter, a short walk southeast of the Old Town walls. The area is teeming with value-for-money, three-star accommodations, and is close to cheap restaurants.

How to get to Krakow

Krakow’s convenient international airport, named after Pope John Paul II who was born just 30 miles outside the city, has played a large part in the recent influx of tourists to the city. It takes 20 minutes to get into the city center by rail or taxi from the airport. Once in the city, there is a decent public transport system consisting of trams and buses. Trams provide a useful way of getting to know the city as the stops are clearly mapped. In the Old Town, the best way of getting around is on foot, which allows you to take in all the sights, and the distances between attractions are short.

When are the best times to travel to Krakow?

If you don’t want to pack too many heavy clothes, summer is the time to come to Krakow. July and August see the city flourish in the sun, and are the ideal months for exploring the lavish green zones running around the urban heart. Spring and autumn are also enjoyable times to visit, and give you a better chance of beating the crowds. While it can get very cold in the winter months, this season also transforms Krakow into an atmospheric and eminently photo-worthy wonderland – especially if the snow starts to fall.

What are the top must-see attractions in Krakow?

One site synonymous with Krakow is Wawel – a fortified complex which overlooks the Vistula River. Among its structures are Wawel Castle and Wawel Cathedral, with arcaded courtyards and voluptuous domes to admire as you wander through. Another monumental landmark is Cloth Hall, which sits proudly within Krakow’s main market square. Dating to the Renaissance, its intricate arches look particularly ravishing when lit up at night. Then there’s the Krakow Barbican, one of the last remaining relics of the old city walls, whose cylindrical brick walls make it a unique landmark of the city.

What are the best types of food and restaurants in Krakow?

Delicious carb-fests await in Krakow. This, after all, is where you have to chow down on pierogi – the doughy dumplings beloved by Poles. Whether sweet or savoury, they’re utterly moreish and perfect for snacking on the go. If you’re here in winter, you’ll also want to warm your cockles with a helping of bigos, a rich stew of meat, pickled cabbage, and much else besides. There are plenty of restaurants to explore in the Stare Miasto, or old town, whether you want traditional Polish grub or international cuisine.

What are the top things to do in Krakow?

If you’re tired out after exploring the Stare Miasto, head for Planty Park. Circling the old town, it was actually created within the moats left behind after the city walls were destroyed. Planty Park is the perfect place to recline and relax, amid fountains and sculptures. For an even more generous taste of nature, head to Las Wolski, a swathe of woodland featuring hiking trails and the animals of Krakow Zoo. Back in the city, check out the National Museum of Krakow to see fearsome Polish sabers and firearms dating back centuries.

What are some fun facts about Krakow?

Krakow is known today as Poland’s second city, but it was once the first – having been the capital from 1038 to 1596. According to folklore, it was home to the fearsome Wawel Dragon, who used to lurk in a cave by the waters of the Vistula. Rather less frightening are the adorable dachshunds which are given their very own parade every year, when an army of sausage dogs are given elaborate costumes and marched through the city.

What kinds of public transport are there in Krakow?

If any city was designed to be explored on foot, it’s Krakow. You could conceivably spend your whole visit here without once getting on public transport. However, if you tire of the many walking routes, or need to go further afield, simply hop on one of the buses or trams to get whisked from your Krakow hotel across the city pronto.

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