Krakow - the new Prague?
Arguably Poland's most important city, Krakow is an architectural and cultural gem ? but it?s not all about her historical importance. By day, Krakow is a cultural buff?s paradise. By night, she?s the avant-garde, cutting edge antithesis.

Krakow is an important European city, with a myriad of sites to explore, rich in context, and heavy with historical and cultural significance. She was once Poland?s capital, and is the seat of Poland?s oldest university. Having emerged from WW2 virtually unscathed, Krakow retains architectural styles from a number of different periods. In fact, this is a city which spans 7 centuries of architectural change ? and you?ll see it all in her well maintained old town ? from medieval squares, to renaissance buildings and art nouveau cafes.

In this UNESCO World Heritage listed town, the skyline is dotted with stunning old church spires. Start at Rynek Glowny, the main Market Square, and simply look up- you'll be surrounded by numerous museums, churches and historical buildings.

By night, Krakow shakes off her hallowed cobwebs for an avant-garde nightlife ? no theme pubs here, but a dazzling choice of sophisticated clubs, bars and music venues. Enter Krakow?s underground scene and you?ll understand why her reputation rivals that of Prague.

What to see?

While you?re wandering around with your heads up, make sure that you catch these precious Krakow gems: + Royal Wawel Castle. Its where Krakow?s founder, Krak, killed his very own dragon, and a symbol not only of Krakow, but of Poland?s rich history.
+ Kazimierz, the newly revived Jewish quarter where you?ll find alleyways, chic boutiques, and cool bars mostly frequented by Krakow?s large student population.
+ Rynek Glowny ? the largest medieval square in Europe. Standing in the middle of this square, your head will spin from the array of architectural styles above you.
+ If you?ve got the time, make the trip out to nearby Auschwitz Concentration camp. It may be heavy with the past, but it is still a worthwhile excursion.

What to eat?

Krakow?s food is like her character ? at once traditional and hearty, as well as contemporary. In Krakow, you?ll find everything from street vendors to modern Polish-European fusion.

Expect soup, the local specialty pierogi (dumplings) or nalesniki (polish crepes) ? and soup. Around the old town, you?ll find dirt cheap bar mlecznyi (milk bars), for your staple basics. But you?ll also find some sumptuous fine dining in Krakow?s old palaces ? if your budget stretches that far, its definitely an experience you?ll want to savour.

Where to party?

Krakow?s reputation as an avant-garde nightlife destination is backed up by proof: here, you?ll find one of the world?s the highest concentrations of bars per area. In Rynek Glowny alone, you?ll find 400 hotspots to bar hop the night away.

For the uber-cool, try out Propaganda, with a great eclectic music mix. You?ll find it at ul. Miodowa in Kazimierz. Or if a bit of smoky jazz is more your thing, check out Club Pod Jaszuzuvami, which draws a very hip and trendy crowd.

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