Geographically, Poland is a bridge between the East and West, although the country has always lacked the affluence of the West, and has shared little in common with the East.
As a tourist destination, Poland is an ideal getaway and is served by a multitude of airlines. Cheap flights to Krakow have made the destination more affordable than ever. The city is reasonably cheap and safe, and fascinating both culturally and historically. There has never been a better time to go.
These days, tourists normally head straight for the medieval town of Krakow, although with the recent commemoration of the liberation of Auschwitz there is even more reason to visit the Kazimierz district.
Even though Krakow’s inhabitants will tell you of the town’s tragic and brutal past, the architectural fabric of the place has escaped unscathed.
Krakow boasts Baroque spires, countless pavement cafes and a wonderfully preserved medieval centre. It is not for nothing that the town has earned itself the ‘New Prague’ moniker.
The town is a place best enjoyed at night, when shadowy lanterns flicker in the nooks and crannies of the medieval Old Town. Monasteries and abbeys appear at every cobbled corner in this historical quarter.
Key heritage sites to visit include the Rynek Glowny (Main Market Square), which dates from 1257, and is one of the largest medieval market squares in Europe. In addition, the 16th-century Sukiennice (Cloth Hall) overlooks the square, still performing its role as a trading centre with lively market stalls and pavement cafés in and around the building.
Also not to miss is Wawel Hill, outside the walls of the Old Town, the seat of Polish kings from the 11th to the early 17th century.
A good range of hotels in Krakow are available with budgets to suit all.
Related travel blog articles