Krakow Travel Guide

Poland  
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Krakow Area Map

Neighborhoods

Tourists can best orient themselves in Kraków by breaking the city into three main sections: the Old Town, Kazimierz and everything else. Notable excursions out of town include the "Wieliczka" Salt Mine and the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum. The "Wieliczka" Salt Mine lies southeast of Kraków, while the concentration camps are to the west.

Accessible via tram Nos. 1, 4, 6, 8, 13, 14, 18, 20, 24 and 72 and train Nos. S1, S2 and S3 at Kraków Glówny station.

The vibrant and beautiful Old Town lies at the center of Kraków and at the heart of any vacation to the area. People from all over wander here for an atmosphere unlike any found elsewhere. The Old Town's core is its Main Market Square, where stunning medieval architecture rub elbows with cafes, shops and nightclubs. You'll also find several hotels in this historic neighborhood, plus Old World churches like St. Mary's Basilica and Wawel Cathedral.

Accessible via tram Nos. 3, 6, 8, 10, 13, 19, 22, 24 and 52.

A neighborhood that must be experienced to be understood, no trip to Kraków is complete without spending some time in Kazimierz, the historic Jewish quarter. Just south of the Old Town, it is a neighborhood that is a study in contrasts. Part of it is a crumbling yet haunting reminder of the atrocities the area's residents faced during World War II. The other part is a neighborhood alive with boutique restaurants, art galleries and some of the best nightlife Poland has to offer. A few accommodation options can be found here as well.

Accessible via tram Nos. 9, 20 and 50 and train Nos. S1 and S3 at Kraków Zablocie station.

Situated southeast of central Kraków along the Vistula River's south bank, Zablocie once served as the industrial hub of the city. Now, the neighborhood's abandoned factories have been transformed into modern loft-style apartments, clubs, cafes and shops. You won't find many places to bed down in Zablocie, but one of the Kraków's top attractions, Oskar Schindler's Factory, is located by the area's train station.

Accessible via tram Nos. 1, 4, 9, 10, 14, 22 and 52.

Known for its communist-style architecture, the Nowa Huta region – which sits 9 miles east of the city center – draws travelers looking for something a little different. It was a planned community, envisioned to be a perfect urban environment and to reflect socialist ideals. Largely residential, it is now mostly an attraction to tourists with an interest in Kraków's history and socialist architecture.

Kraków has a reputation for being a rather safe city in a rather safe country. However, as its popularity as a travel destination has grown, so has its pickpocketing community. Keep an extra eye on your valuables when you're hanging around popular tourist sites like the Main Market Square, and try to stick to well-lit areas at night. You'll also want to avoid public demonstrations and rely on ATMs or legitimate exchange kiosks for changing money. Additional safety tips for Poland are provided on the U.S. State Department's website.

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