Kraków Old Town (Stare Miasto) is a UNESCO World Heritage Site festooned with architectural gems. Explore cobblestone streets and squares framed by Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque masterpieces. Browse galleries, visit museums and experience a slice of Kraków’s nightlife scene. The Old Town has been a flourishing commercial and political center since the 11th century.
Enter via Floriańska Gate and follow a route once traversed by the Polish royal family. Marvel at the Barbican, a 15th-century defensive tower previously connected to Floriańska Gate by a drawbridge. Stroll past pubs and shops on Floriańska Street to Jan Matejko House and the Pharmacy Museum. Admire the collections at the Princes Czartoryski Museum – Gallery of Ancient Art.
Stand in Main Market Square to appreciate the enormity of one of Europe’s largest plazas. It houses the Cloth Hall, a glorious former merchant market, Rynek Underground museum and the 230-foot-tall (70-meter) Town Hall Tower. People-watch from cafés in old tenement houses. On the west side is the Historical Museum of the City of Kraków and Polonia Wax Museum.
Find impressive churches on the square’s east side. Among these are the Church of St. Wojciech, St. Barbara’s Church and St. Mary’s Basilica. Stroll south on Grodzka Street to the Church of Saints Peter and Paul and St. Andrew’s Church. Tour the Archdiocesan Museum of Cardinal Karol Wojtyla.
Climb up to a fortified royal complex on Wawel Hill. Major highlights include Wawel Cathedral and the 14th-century Wawel Royal Castle. Enjoy a break on the lawns of the Planty, ringed gardens on the grounds of Kraków’s old city walls.
After dark, beerhalls, clubs and live music venues provide nighttime entertainment until early morning hours. Attend concerts and theatrical performances at Slowacki Theatre.
The Old Town is a short walk from Kraków Glówny train station. Get around on foot or by horse-drawn carriage. The district extends into the Jewish quarter of Kazimierz. Visit Corpus Christi Basilica, New Jewish Cemetery, Remuh Synagogue and Wolnica Square here as well.
Historical Buildings, Castles and Cathedrals