Main Market Square (Rynek Glówny)

#2 in Best Things To Do in Krakow
Main Market Square (Rynek Glówny) picture
neirfy/Getty Images

Price & Hours

Free

Details

Cafes, Shopping, Sightseeing, Free, Neighborhood/Area Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
4.8scorecard
  • 5.0Value
  • 4.0Food Scene
  • 5.0Atmosphere

The Main Market Square (or Rynek Glówny, as it's known locally) is the world's largest medieval market square and the highlight of any trip to Kraków. It is the geographic center of the Old Town, the symbolic center of the city and, more than likely, the center of most of your trip plans.

The square is mostly about atmosphere – it is alive and bustling with locals and travelers alike, coming and going. You'll also notice the unsymmetrical towers of St. Mary's Basilica nearby, which are a great escape from the square's activity. If you'd rather buy some souvenirs, peruse the stalls at Cloth Hall.

Previous visitors loved the restaurants and shops found at Main Market Square, as well as it's lively vibe and stunning architecture. The area is easy to traverse on foot, but if you want to add to the ambience, pay to ride in a horse-drawn carriage. Many also recommend people-watching with a coffee at one of the square's cafes.

The Main Market Square sits in the heart of the city near multiple hotels, museums and art galleries. If you stay in central Kraków, the square can be reached on foot; for those coming from other parts of the city, plan on taking the No. 1, 4, 6, 8, 13, 14, 18, 20, 24 or 72 tram. Limited street parking is also available. The area is free to visit 24 hours a day, but charges apply for items purchased at the square's boutiques and eateries.

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More Best Things To Do in Krakow

Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum1 of 6
St. Mary's Basilica (Kosciól Mariacki)2 of 6
Type
Time to Spend
#1 Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum

A 42-mile trip west of Kraków, the brutal, crushing concentration and extermination camps of Auschwitz I and Auschwitz II-Birkenau are located in the city of Oswiecim. More than 1.1 million people died in these camps' barracks, hospitals, gas chambers and labor fields.

Travelers say the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum is one of Europe's best preserved concentration camps. These camps, many add, are an important piece of history, although you'll feel emotional during your tour. As such, this locale is not ideal for younger children. Plan on bringing water and wearing comfortable walking shoes since you'll cover a lot of ground here. Also, reserve your timed entry passes and guided tours on the property's booking page well in advance.

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