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Poland's cultural capital offers an exciting blend of old and new. Boasting one of the largest medieval squares in Europe, Krakow holidays are packed to the rafters with traditional markets, opulent palaces, grand galleries and spectacular shopping. In addition to its buzzing arts scene, Krakow is blessed with a wide range of buzzing restaurants and bars to head to when the sun goes down. In recent years the city has attracted a younger crowd thanks to its great beer and lively nightlife. Whether you're looking to explore its captivating castles, potter through its pretty parklands and along the riverfront or enjoy lively nights out with the hen and stag dos at the beer parlours, holidays in Krakow will never disappoint.

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Spend Time at Rynek Glowny

 

 

Spend Time at Rynek Glowny

Krakow's Grand Square, Rynek Glowny, is a must-see for visitors. Recognised as one of the largest medieval squares in Europe, this picturesque plaza is scattered with traditional townhouses and a medley of patio bars and eateries. Explore the underground exhibition where you'll uncover a treasure trove of Krakow's rich history, shop for souvenirs at the 13th century Cloth Hall mall and visit St Mary's Basilica, which overlooks the bustling square. This is the place to watch the world go by in Krakow.

Party All Night

 

Party All Night

Once the sun goes down in Krakow its sleepy squares and cobbled courtyards come to life, with lively bars, pubs and clubs on every street corner. Popular tourist magnets include Kazimierz and the streets of Florianska and Szewska. Try local shots of vodka and if you're brave try an absinthe – but take care as these shots are extremely potent. Craft beer is big in Poland, so beer drinkers will have their pick of frothy pints. Head to Kolanko 6, Hard Rock Café and the 24-hour bar BaniaLuka for nights you simply won't forget.

 
Wander Around Wawel

 

Wander Around Wawel

Sitting south of the city's old town is Wawel Castle. Pass the huge iron doors at the entrance of Wawel Castle and the Cathedral (supposedly bearing magical bones of prehistoric animals) and explore the castle's five exhibition rooms before taking a walk across its spellbinding grounds - don't forget to climb up Wawel Hill to the stunning Sigismund Bell (cast in 1520) and enjoy panoramic views of the city below.

 
Visit the Wieliczka Salt Mine

 

Visit the Wieliczka Salt Mine

Head to the Wieliczka Salt Mine for a guided tour through its labyrinth of tunnels, chambers and galleries, the deepest being 327 metres underground. The mine is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city. Look out for fascinating formations along the way including chapels, statues and chandeliers, all handcrafted from natural salt blocks. Explore its unique underground town and see the lakes running through the Erazm Barącz Chamber where the water contains 320gm of salt per litre.

 
Visit Auschwitz

 

Visit Auschwitz

Visit the Oskar Schindler Museum where you'll find moving exhibits that tell the saddening story of the Nazi occupation in WWII. For those wishing to pay their respects, you can visit the Auschwitz-Birkenau complex with its chilling barracks and watchtowers, in the small town of Oświęcim.

 
Shop at Floriańska Street

 

Shop at Floriańska Street

Floriańska Street is the city’s busiest thoroughfare and is crammed with bars, dance clubs, shops and cafes. This quirky street is a great place to shop for clothes and its swimming with stall sellers beckoning you to try out the traditional cuisine, buy jewellery or trinkets. Stop by the 19th century bohemian Jama Michalika café, once famous for its legendary cabaret, or visit The House of Jan Matejko and Pharmacy Museum. You can't miss the 14th century basilica of Virgin Mary which towers over the busy market.

 
Enjoy Krakow Cuisine

 

Enjoy Krakow Cuisine

Foodies should wander through the cobbled streets of Kazimierz to the popular Plac Nowy square – perfect for eating, drinking and people watching. You'll find food markets here every day of the week and plenty of hole-in-the-wall eateries selling Polish delights including Borscht broth and Zapiekanka - an epic open-faced sandwich filled with pizza toppings. Other traditional dishes include Bigos (a hearty winter stew), Golonka (boiled pork knuckle or hock, nicer than it sounds!) and for dessert lovers, Nalesniki (the Polish equivalent of crepes). Most importantly, Krakow's vodka culture has been alive and kicking since the Middle Ages, so a drinking tour of Poland's best pubs is an absolute must!

 
Go Further Afield

 

 

Go Further Afield

Explore the city's surrounding regions by booking day trips and tours. Fun loving families can set off early and travel just over three hours to the Tatra Mountains and Zakopane Town, Poland's winter sports capital, popular for its charming villages, hiking trails and magnificent mountain scenery. Equally as exciting is a private rafting tour down the Dunajec River Gorge, where you can navigate through the limestone cliffs of the Pieniny Mountains on a traditional wooden raft. Enjoy a fun evening at a traditional Polish folk show, where you'll have the opportunity to learn the dances and take part in the concert before dinner is provided.

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