One of Poland’s most famous historic districts, the Krakow Old Town is filled with cultural attractions and beautiful landmarks. The seat of the Polish government for nearly 600 years, this medieval gem was rightfully one of the first places in the world to be granted UNESCO World Heritage Site status.
The Krakow Old Town still holds much of its original medieval character. The Main Market Square is one of Europe’s largest, playing host to florists, flocks of pigeons, traditional poppy seed bagel vendors and many historical landmarks, from the Gothic St. Mary’s Basilica to the 1898 Adam Mickiewicz Monument to the Town Hall Tower. The surrounding streets are filled with bars, restaurants, clubs and hotels galore, as well as hundreds of cultural attractions like churches, museums, theatres and striking works of art.
The Krakow Old Town is quite pedestrian-friendly, but there are also plenty of horse-drawn carriages on hand for those who prefer to explore without breaking a sweat. Bicycle rickshaws and double decker buses also provide tours of the Old Town.
Though the Krakow Old Town has held onto its Old World charm, most of its original fortifications were demolished in the 19th century. The historic city walls ran three kilometres, punctuated by seven entrances and over 40 defensive towers. The centre was also surrounded by a moat, which has since been filled in and converted to Planty Park.