The Old Town

THE OLD TOWN

The abundance and variety of The Old Town’s sights is ringed by priceless medieval walls and colorful Planty Gardens which are threshold to the city. Medieval layout of the city as well as a grid pattern still remains. All the principal streets of the Old Town lead to the breathtaking Main Square. Despite the fact that the city is very compact, 11 sightseeing trails were planned in order to facilitate the tour of the city. Make sure you won’t miss any of historical building-among others: impressive Cloth Hall, majestic St.Mary’s Basilica, upstanding Town Hall Tower, prominent Jagiellonian University as well as surprising Wawel Castle.

After an exhausting tour one should relax in one of many Cracow restaurants serving refined dishes from all over the world. Many of restaurants are famous for their home made cakes and pastries, which are served with hot beverages of different taste and aroma. The perfect couronnement of exciting day, next to the good meal, could be watching the local artists giving their performance on the Main Square.

THE MAIN MARKET SQUARE

There is no one who hasn’t heard about Cracow and its Main Market Square. This marvelous place is one of the most magnificent squares in Europe that hasn’t fallen asleep for centuries and is constantly full of life-giving spirit. Everyone feels at home in here. Smiley faces of crossing by people make you feel more than welcome. Once you settle down for a delightful cup of coffee or delicious meal on this cradle of art, you will feel that you’re alive and you will understand why you chose Krakow.

THE TOWN HALL – SUKIENNICE

The medieval trade centre just in the middle of amber road. You may feel like a treasure hunter among hundreds of masterpieces of handicraft. Buying resplendent jewellery, hand made leather bags or beautiful chess sets, will allow you to take a piece of Cracow back home with you. All of that is located in a marvelous renaissance complex situated in the center of the Main Market Square.

THE ST. MARY’S BASILICA

One of the most precious places in Cracow which shows the beauty and mysticism of the Gothic Age. Just in its heart, is hidden the Altar of Wit Stwosz depicting life of XV century Cracow. Every hour the breathtaking voice of bugle-call is spreading from Tower of St. Mary’s Basilica to all the four winds. You can not miss the hidden square behind the St. Mary’s Basilica where you can stay all alone with your thoughts….oops don’t you forget to wave your hand to the trumpeter!!

THE SMALL CHURCH OF ST. ADALBERT

Even though the St. Adalbert’s church is very small, the Main Market square wouldn’t be the same without it. It is the oldest building on the square bringing a mixture of Romanesque and Baroque architecture. How Cracow has changed through the centuries you may see looking at the church’s floor which is a couple of meters below ground level. The transparent floor around church will unveil this secret.

THE TOWN HALL TOWER

Despite that the town hall tower is only a part of medieval municipal authorities’ office remaining on Main Square, it’s still an important element of Cracow’s cultural life. There you will find a theater, as well as museum, restaurant and tourist information centre. You should spare no efforts to climb up to the top of the Tower, as the breathtaking view of the Old Town will pay back all the difficulty….Mind of the lions in front of the doors.

THE WAWEL CASTLE

If you want to take a look at medieval celebrities’ home, there is no better way than doing it in Cracow. You have the only chance to see the office of King Zygmunt Stary, the awesome living room of Kazimierz Wielki and the cozy bedroom of Queen Jadwiga. There is a legend stating that the Wawel castle will be never destroyed because of its chakra hidden in the beautiful Italian-style courtyard. The fact that Wawel castle hasn’t been even touched during two World Wars lets us find a grain of truth in this story.

THE WAWEL CATHEDRAL

It is the most mysterious place of Cracow, which is said to be full of religious ambience and spirit of the past. The heart of Zygmunt’s bell is believed to be the heart of Cracow – there is a legend saying that Cracow will exist as long as Zygmunt’s bell tolls. It’s also the most precious place for Poles to be buried next to the most famous Polish Kings.

PUBS AND RESTAURANTS

WIERZYNEK

15 Main Market Square

Wierzynek offers an omnipresent atmosphere of elegance and calm – so important during both business and private meetings. According to historical sources in 1364 a well-known merchant, Mikolaj Wierzynek, was the host of a feast in honour of the European emperors and kings invited to Krakow by the Polish King Kasimir the Great. Today Wierzynek treats every guest with the same unique approach, as Mikolaj Wierzynek entertained his guests 600 years ago. At Wierzynek the best chefs work to prepare exquisite meals. They prepare the food according to their own recipes, which are inspired by traditional polish cuisine with some European influences. They season ancient court recipes dishes with a pinch of modern taste to create dishes recognizable and appreciated.

Wierzynek’s guests: George Bush Senior, François Mitterrand, Steven Spielberg, Peter, Greenaway, Kate Moss

TRZY RYBKI

5 Szczepanska st

When visiting STARY Hotel not only you can relax in the comfortable interiors but also enjoy excellent courses served in the “Trzy Rybki” Restaurant. This hotel restaurant is defined by food lovers as nouvelle Polish Cuisine. The menu is changed according to the seasons of the year. Spring is the time for fresh vegetables, summer means asparagus and artichokes. In fall, the main dishes on the menu are wild game, mushrooms and the fruits of the forest. Everything is done in a subtle and modern interpretation. You can also enjoy our great coffee and delicious home-made desserts in the cafeteria.

CYRANO DE BERGERAC

26 Slawkowska st

“The restaurant Cyrano de Bergerac has been elected the 6th best restaurant in Poland, the best in Southern Poland the best in Cracow. “…Undoubtedly the most distinguished restaurant in Cracow. In principle, there are two specialities: refined French cuisine, and perfectly equipped cellar full of French wines. One must pay attention at foie gras, that is made right on place. The warm version with exquisite sauce composition, and little pieces of baked apples is a real bliss for a palate. The sufficient recommendation are guests like diva Barbara Hendricks, and Javier Solana.”

Business Magazine, January 2001

POD ANIOŁAMI

35 Grodzka st

Without doubt one of the top restaurants in Cracow, and with a whole raft of awards to prove it, Pod Aniolami (Under the Angels) is famous for its marinated meats, cooked on an elm wood-fired grill, as well as other traditional specialities. The restaurant can be found along the “Royal Way” leading from Wawel Castle to the Rynek (Market Square), in a splendid 13th Century building. It’s genuine Old Cracow, with its own medieval courtyard with a mosaic-encrusted fountain to prove it.

CUL-DE-SAC

4 Na Grodku st

Minimalist chic usually ends up being dull as dishwater. But this one pulls it off marvellously. Indeed, if all hotel restaurants had this much flair, the smaller fry would be up against it. Cul-de-Sac has managed to track down a fantastic chef to match, so all the ingredients are there. The menu offers contemporary twists on classic European fare, with a special leaning towards French and Italian dishes. In summertime, you might kick things off with a cocktail on the roof, whilst femmes fatales will enjoy making a theatrical entrance on the stairwell of the restaurant itself. One of the most distinctive restaurants to have opened up in recent months. Find Cul-de-Sac in the Grodek Hotel.

ROOSTER

4 Szczepanska st

The restaurant is located next to historical heart of the town in Szczepanska street. In their decor The Rooster restaurant resemble the American restaurant by the cult road “Route 66” from the 60s.The showcase of the restaurant as well as of any Rooster is staff – pretty girls. Their warm smiles let guests fully relax while studying our menu, and get ready for extensive walk around our beautiful Krakow.

PIANO ROUGE

Main Square 46

Jazz club and restaurant Piano Rouge – perfectly suits to Krakow magical style – the place is full of dignity. When you enter for the first time the impression takes your breath away. Three rooms in the basement, to which you go by the stairs covered with red carpet, create an amazing feeling. In the concert room you can find majestic, unique piano. The interior is similar to the XVI century chambers. Everything here is ready to the last gaiter button and there is no use to look for any laps in full of baroque style decorations. Red carpet on the floor creates the warm and cosy feeling, chandeliers made of glass, nicely arranged fabrics on the historical walls are only some of the mentioned decorations. Every day the professional jazz concerts are being organized here.

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BOOM BAR RUSH

6 Gołębia st.

This cellar bar is certainly slicker than your average subterranean haunt. Boom Bar Rush has a smooth style that somewhere between Krakow and Miami. DJs Ramone, Hddcut and Cel spin R ‘n’ B and other spicy grooves. Look out for one-off themed parties, last Autumn’s Halloween blast saw all kinds of ghoulish fellows show up for some pumpkin antics. Find the club on the one of Cracow’s most beguiling little nooks, Golebia Street.

PROZAC

Dominikański 6 square

Prozak has become a bit of a cult joint for music aficionados, and a great, original place to dance and party. Cutting-edge musicians of all types are invited from around the world to rip it up in this basement club, which has now developed a loyal, passionate following. You’ll have to ring the bell at the unprepossessing door, any time after 4 pm, and wait to be admitted. There’s a small cover charge for live music concerts, and a loyalty members card scheme if you plan to visit more often. Great antidote to the standard disco fare, this club has plenty of attitude. Love it or loathe it.

STALOWE MAGNOLIE

15 Jana st.

A visit to Cracow wouldn’t be complete without a trip to Stalowe Magnolie. Besides a well-stocked bar that offers cocktails galore, an atmospheric front room that hosts live music throughout the week, the club has yet one more ace card up its sleeve. Ferret out the secret rooms at the back and recline like a Roman Emperor on the maroon velvet beds. It’s a perfect place for late night adventures, where you’ll meet a good mix of Polish and international partiers.

FRANTIC

5 Szewska st.

Funky decor, thumping tunes and plenty of bright young things make this a sound option to check out on your late night adventures. Two dancefloors, three bars and a chillout room are all lying in wait, as well as a host of top Polish and International Djs. Open daily from 6pm (from 7pm during the summer season). Popular and rightly so.

EL SOL

1 Batorego st.

What does a latin bar do in the middle of Cracow?

El Sol – There you will find a mixture of salsa taste with the rythm of merengue, cumbia, bachata, latin pop, latin rock, bossanova, reggae and reggaeton. They add live shows, dancing classes and karaoke parties, football passion and a pinch of tango and serve it with unique drinks, and a very good vibe.

KITSCH

15/4 Wielopole st. – II floor

Enjoy over 300 square meters of space in one of Krakow’s gay-friendly spots. Here you’ll find tasteful décor and good music. Kitsch can also boast membership in a group of sorts… In this same building you’ll find a few other cool joints to check out. Why run around town (especially when it’s X below outside) when you’ve got your one stop shop right here. Good atmosphere, good tunes, good drinks.

U LOUISA

Main Square 13

This is a bar with clubbing traditions, full of hospitality since 1995. This is a cosmopolitan bar, a bar of the break of the millenniums, located in a fourteenth century Gothic style cellar, fully air-conditioned and extremely friendly. As far as cultural stimulants are concerned, “U Louisa” Bar offers them only to grown-ups, crystallized, so to speak, in their maturity.. The bar offers a vide range of goods: stimulants, alcohol, soft drinks, snacks and, what we believe to be the most important part of it all, smiling bartenders.

CIEPLARNIA

15 Bracka st.

Once again Bracka street has come up trumps with this swish little den. A narrow corridor leads through to a charming courtyard – so small that the lucky few who can snatch a table will feel like kings when Summer arrives. Inside you’ll find an elegant atmosphere that would make a cosy place for romantic adventures. Cieplarnia has live jazz evenings planned for the weekends as well as poetry readings and sketches by seasoned Cracovian actors.

CAFÉ CAMELOT

17 Tomasza st.

There’s something about this corner of the Old Town which has instant appeal, possibly because it is on one of the few crooked streets in an old town which is relentlessly geometric. Whatever the reason, Cafe Camelot (with its drinking, cabareting, jazz-celebrating alter ego Loch Camelot in the cellar) has drawn plenty of admirers. Its all coffee, sandwiches, cakes and plenty of current foreign language newspapers in a cosy old-fashioned cafe. Sit at the window-table and feel terribly fin-de-siecle.


4 Responses to “The Old Town”

  1. Ciekawa strona, bede ja odwiedzal czesciej, pozdro

  2. Ciekawy post, dodalem twoj blog do ulubionych, bede tu teraz wpadal czesciej, pozdrawiam

  3. 3 Camilleballesteros

    hi


  1. 1 Weather in Cracow « Escapetocracow’s Weblog

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