Krakow Old Town (With Printable Map)
Views and Facts

16.10.2018

If you’ve seen any photos of Krakow Old Town, you probably already know that it is breathtakingly beautiful. But… do you know anything else about it?

If not, don’t sweat it! Let this post be your guide to this magical part of Krakow.

You will find out:

 

The heart of the city

Krakow Old Town was acclaimed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 1978. Along with salt mines in Bochnia and Wieliczka (also a must-see!), it was the first in Poland to gain that status. And one of the first in all of Europe as well!

If you haven’t had a chance to visit this magical place yet, read this article and see why you should follow over 10 million tourists that had the luck to marvel at its attractions with their own eyes during the past year.

Let’s jump into it!

How big is Krakow Old Town?

Krakow can pride in having the biggest market square in Europe!

The actual Krakow Old Town is a part of the city extracted from administrative District I, also named “Old Town District”.

UNESCO recognizes the Old Town of Krakow with the Jewish quarter (Kazimierz) counted in, like the city’s authorities.

However, the traditional approach makes us give the title to the 88,67 hectares of cobbled land surrounded by Planty Park. It stretches between St. Florian’s Gate and marvelous Wawel Castle. With the shortest route adopted, you would need less than 30 minutes of running to cover the distance between both hallmarks.

But – believe us – due to the number of attractions the Old Town of Krakow offers, you would rather want to stroll around and take the scenic route.

Map of Krakow Old Town

Check out this awesome downloadable Map of Krakow Old Town.

There is nothing like discovering the new city with a proper paper map that you can draw on – right? 

Download yours right now – you will not get lost and you will have an amazing souvenir after your visit to Krakow.

Unique atmosphere

Krakow Old Town consists of a network of streets and squares which represent a historic enclave of the city.

Florianska is the most vibrant and lively street in the city center. It leads from St. Florian’s Gate to St. Mary’s Church and is full of hidden gems just waiting to be discovered!

Szczepanski Square and Maly Rynek are both relatively small squares located in very close proximity to the main one. They are definitely less crowded, but not less beautiful – make sure to pay them a visit when wondering around the city center.

Grodzka is one of the oldest streets in Krakow (city’s records were mentioning it in the XIII century!) and certainly one of the most picturesque ones. It is a vital part of the “Royal Route”, which was a trail leading to Wawel Castle.

All of the above (and many more!) constitute one of the most beautiful old towns in the world.

We can’t wait for you to visit Krakow and see it for yourself!

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@siwadlowski

Restaurants in Old Town

If you happen to find yourself hungry in the Old Town of Krakow, you will not need to leave the area to satisfy your appetite – no matter what your tastes and budget are. There are hundreds of eateries to choose from, ranging from bagel stands and milk bars to the top tier, absolute crème de la crème restaurants.

If you fancy something more gourmet – visit Szara Gęś, Cyrano de Begerac or Aqua de Vino.

If street food is more up your alley, then I recommend checking out Pierogarnia Krakowiacy or Trattoria Cyklop.

You can find details of the above along with some more delicious propositions in our ultimate guide to Krakow restaurants. Check it out, you won’t be disappointed – we’ve curated the list very carefully so that it caters to absolutely everyone!

Krakow’s Oldest University

The year of 1364 witnessed the establishment of the oldest Polish university (and the second-oldest in this part of Europe), then named Akademia Krakowska.

Currently, the Jagiellonian University of Krakow has two of it’s most recognizable buildings located in the Old Town of Krakow: the XIV-century Collegium Maius and Collegium Novum, built in 1887.

The former structure is where the astronomical paraphernalia of Nicolaus Copernicus may be seen, along with the famous Jagiellonian Globe and collection of medieval academic textbooks.

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@qnosquitenloviajao

The Main Market Square

Planned and established in the 13th century. 200 per 200 metres forming a regular square and 40,000 square metres of the most important commercial space of medieval Poland.

The place where life is led both over- and underground, with countless pub or restaurant-housing cellars and Cracow Underground Museum operating under its surface.

Flanked by old townhouses and merchant’s houses, palaces and churches, representing the Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque and neoclassical architectural styles with their decor, it is defined by the image of iconic Sukiennice (the Cloth Hall) where you may still shop for souvenirs or familiarise yourself with the 19th-century Polish paintings at the gallery operating upstairs.

Why is it so attractive?

Well, except for the fact that the masterpieces of architecture forming Krakow Old Town emanate with certain magnetism when passed by, there are also many gems closed behind the doors of its churches, galleries and museums!

They say that the Old Town of Krakow encloses about 6 thousand historic sites to admire, including the works of stained glass, sculptures and furnishings collected in various institutions of culture that operate there.

Krakow Old Town views

I could go on for hours about the beauty of Krakow’s Old Town… but isn’t it better to let the beauty of Old Town speak for itself?

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@message.from.t

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@esejapan

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@siwadlowski

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@majanaone

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@tomasz_mardyla

Interesting facts about Old Town (coming from local tour guides)

Krzysiek:

Did you know that there is an fascinating legend regarding different heights of St. Mary’s church’s towers? Apparently the church was being built by two brothers and one of them got jealous of the other one’s construction works going at a faster pace and creating a taller, more majestic tower. He stabbed his brother in fury with a knife (that you can see to this day displayed in Sukiennice!) and then – in an act of despair and regret – commited suicide by throwing himself off the tower.

Nadia:

Most of the tourist are unaware of what that little building with green roof in the main square is and I think it’s really worth checking out! It’s St. Adalbert’s church. It’s adorable and tiny and the most mind-blowing fact about it is that it’s almost a 1000 years old. That’s crazy! if you get the chance, go to a concert there – they are absolutely wonderful!

Agata:

The monument of Adam Mickiewicz in the main square has some interesting traditions attached to it! For example, did you know that before their matura exams (the exams finishing high school in Poland), students from Krakow jump around it on one leg and believe that their score on the exam (the scale is -100) will be the same as the number of times they’ve jumped?

If you want to hear more awesome fun facts like that, I highly suggest considering the Guided Market Sqare Tour!

What to do in Krakow’s Old Town?

I’ve compiled a small checklist for you consisting of all the must-do activities here in the heart of Krakow.

I recommend you to…

  • listen to St. Mary’s Trumpet Call
  • walk through Sukiennice
  • eat obwarzanek
  • visit the underground museum
  • beware of the pigeons :) 
  • drink a craft beer in a local pub
  • admire street artists
  • take a stroll around the entire main square
  • follow the Royal Route that will take you straight to Wawel Castle

Come and explore it by yourself!

At this point, I don’t think you need more convincing.

Krakow’s Old Town is as beautiful as it gets, tourist-friendly and God knows the food here is top-notch.

It’s a true gem on every possible level – it’s beautiful, it has an amazing cultural and historical value and it has a unique, cool vibe to it.

I hope you’re ready to discover it!

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Comments

Gary catherall
5
2018.10.09 11:10
Wot lovely place
Karolina
5
2018.10.09 11:10
Totally is, isn't it :)

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