Despite all the vicissitudes of travel coming back to enjoy the sunset from above the clouds is the best gift you can give someone. I hadn’t flown since 2019 and it felt like a lifetime. This time as my destination I chose Krakow, Poland.
Krakow has long been the country’s capital and to this day remains the main cultural, artistic, and university center – it is home to, among others, the Jagiellonian University, the oldest in the country and one of the oldest in Europe. It is famous for its small and well-kept historic center, inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List, for its immense central square and for the Planty strip of gardens, ranging from 50 to 100 meters wide and completely surrounding the center.
For my short weekend, I stayed at the Hotel Maksymilian that in less than 10 minutes walk takes you to the central district of Stare Miasto and in particular to Rynek Glowny, the main medieval square of the city. There, in addition to many stores, bars, and restaurants you will also find the Basilica of St. Mary, a must-see.
A few steps from the center you will also find a part of the Czartoryski Museum where is kept the famous painting Lady with an Ermine by Leonardo da Vinci, dating back to 1490. The woman portrayed is almost certainly identified with Cecilia Gallerani.
The other small tour not to be missed in the city concerns the Jewish Quarter Kazimierz, known to have been the center of the Jewish community of the city from the 14th century until the Second World War. In addition to strolling through the neighborhood and breathing in the local scents, you can visit some of the city’s most important synagogues and the market on the main square.
On the way back to the center stop to visit the Wawel Castle and Cathedral. In the Renaissance Wawel Castle has long been kept the famous painting by Leonardo da Vinci, Lady with an Ermine. In the Wawel Castle are kept some interesting collections, whose objects come mostly from private collections. The largest is the Porcelain Collection, consisting of over a thousand pieces from all over Europe. Entire rooms on the first floor are dedicated to a rich collection of oriental and Indian art.
The Wawel Cathedral is considered the national sanctuary of Poland and is the cathedral where traditionally the coronations of Polish sovereigns were celebrated, as well as the mother church of the Archdiocese of Krakow.
Where to eat in Krakow
I know that in the end, you are all a bit like me: you love to eat. Where to eat typical Polish dishes such as goulash, pirogi, and soups? The names you are looking for are Morskie Oko, The Black Duck, Kuchnia u Doroty (Kitchen at Doroti’s), and N.7.
Other cute little places to stop and have a hot tea are Kawalewa, Feble, Zarowka Cafe, and then the famous chocolate shop Pijalnia Czekolady E.Wedel.
Finally, if you can not take it any more Polish dishes I recommend Ramen People!