Arguably Europe's prettiest city, Krakow is also one of the best preserved. Krakow's eventful history has only embellished the UNESCO World Heritage-listed city.
Day 1: Krakow Old Town and Jewish Quarter
The Old Town centers on Rynek Glowny, a 13th-century market square. Dominating the square is the Sukiennice (Cloth Hall), once the center for the booming cloth trade. Don't miss the Mariacki church. Every hour on the hour this church sounds a bugle across the city. From here run narrow, largely pedestrianized streets to explore for the architecture, the pace of life, the many monuments, nearly 20 churches and dozen museums. Surrounding it all is the Planty Gardens, a ring-shaped park which was once the city's moat. St. Florian's Gate is the starting point of the Royal Way leading all the way to Wawel Castle.
In the afternoon, head for nearby Kazimierz, the former Jewish district. Here you'll find wonderful bars and cafes. Look out for the Corpus Christi Church, the Tempel Synagogue and ulica Szeroka. The two cemeteries, the Remuh and the New, are worth a look.
Day 2: Wawel Castle and Cathedral
The seat of Polish
kings for over 500 years, the Wawel Cathedral dates from 1320 to 1364 and
most recently produced Poland's first pope. Make sure you see the
Sigismund Chapel. Wawel Castle was the political and cultural center of
Poland until the 17th century. Today it houses a museum in five
Day 3: Twentieth-Century Krakow
concentration camp was established not far from Krakow and
approximately 1.5 million people died there during World War II. After
the war, Krakow was left behind the Iron Curtain of Communism, and steel
manufacturing dominated city life, based around the new city of Nowa
Huta. An earlier industry of Krakow was the Wieliczka Salt Mine,
fascinating for its UNESCO-listed carvings.