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Reasons to visit Krakow, a cultural city in Poland

Krakow is the second largest Polish city, one of the most cultural cities in Poland. It’s a historical city with impressive churches, museums and its beauty and atmosphere attract thousands of tourists every year. If you believe in legends, Krakow was built on the cave of a dragon. Why is this city is so special that I'm dedicating a post with reasons why you should visit? Krakow is a city which has captured my heart and below I’m listing you some reasons why you should visit this beautiful city. Visit Europe's Largest Square Krakow's main square, Rynek Glowny, is the largest medieval square in Europe. The Cloth Hall hosts a lot of market stalls selling local clothing, jewellery, lacework, cloth handicrafts, wood carvings, rugs and all sorts of Polish souvenirs at reasonable prices. Here you'll find St. Mary’s Basilica, a gothic church which is amazing to see. A city which can be explored by foot Krakow is a small city and everything is very close to each other. You can walk around and explore the city and its surroundings. There's some beautiful walking routes from Florian's Gate to Wawel castle. Other highlights of Krakow are the Jewish district and The Barbican. Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camps Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camps is one of the largest camps in Europe which has been turned and maintained as a museum. This place is worth a visit. Be prepared for an emotional tour since you'll leave there with mixed sad feelings. I have a dedicated post with photos regarding the concentration camp which I encourage you to read at: Auschwitz, a death camp worth visiting Visit a Cathedral made of salt, 135m underground Another great tour from Kraków is to visit Wieliczka Salt Mine. Find more information on my dedicated post at: Wieliczka Salt Mine in Krakow, 135 meters underground.   Delicious Food Krakow has some great restaurant where you can try typical Polish cuisine. I always like to try local traditional dishes so since I was in Krakow I tried Pierogi (dough filled with meat, vegetables or cheese), polish hotdogs, sausages [...]

2018-02-23T09:14:22+00:00 June 21st, 2016|

Wieliczka Salt Mine in Krakow, 135 meters underground

The Wieliczka Salt Mine is the only salt mine in the world which has been preserved in a great position. It’s one of the major tourist attractions in Poland, Krakow, registered as one of the World Heritage Sites on the UNESCO list and visited by over a million tourists every year. It used to produce table salt until 2007. Getting to the Salt Mine Salt Mine in Wieliczka is situated around 10 km from the city center of Krakow. You can take the train from the city's central Krakow Glowny rail station, a bus, or one of numerous tour buses which may pick you up from all central located hotels. The Salt Mine The Salt Mine is locate 135 meter underground! Yes, amazing. We had to take some narrow stairs to go all the way down to Level 1. You are advised to wear some comfortable shoes since you’ll descend a wooden 380-step staircase. Ages ago, miners have been carving out chapels and sculptures of Poland's figures. The tour guide told us a lot of interesting stories.  The walls are filled with religious bas-reliefs (relief is a sculptural technique where the sculpted elements remain attached to a solid background of the same material). You'll also see a replica of Da Vinci’s “The Last Supper” carved into the rock salt. We went on a guided tour, passing through salty galleries and chambers on three levels. During our underground walk we were amazed by the monumental chambers which were joined by 2.5 km of pathways. I was amazed by the Chapel of Saint Kinga, the largest underground chapel in the Wieliczka Salt mine. It’s a church carved in rock salt and embellished with salty sculptures.  Even the chandeliers are made of salt. People suffering from asthma and allergies can visit the Salt Mine’s sanatorium. For more information regarding the medical services visit the Health Resort page.  There’s a souvenir shop and a snack bar at the end of the tour. Thank God, you don’t have to take the stairs again since there’s a lift that will take you back [...]

2018-02-23T09:14:22+00:00 June 17th, 2016|

Auschwitz, a death camp worth visiting

Auschwitz concentration camp was a network of German Nazi concentration camps and extermination camps built and operated by the Third Reich in Polish areas annexed by Nazi Germany during World War II. So I was in Krakow and this was the opportunity to visit Auschwitz. In case you don’t know what this is (and believe me there are many people who have no idea about) Auschwitz is a concentration camp which was a network of German Nazi concentration camps and extermination camps built and operated by the Third Reich in Polish areas annexed by Nazi Germany during World War II. According to the official website, over 1.1 million men, women and children lost their lives here during the period of 1940 – 1945. Auschwitz is located in a small city outside Krakow called Oświęcim. We booked a planned tour guide and the bus picked us up from the hotel. On our way to the concentration camp, which took around 1 hour and 20 minutes, we were watching a video in the bus with scenes from the camp and Hitler. It was a rainy day. When we arrived at the camp, it was raining a lot. I got off the bus and realized I was in a place where millions of people though they were going there for a better life but instead they were tortured to death. 3 Camps: Auschwitz I , Auschwitz II- Birkenau and Monowitz (Buna) Before going there I though Auschwitz was one camp but during the tour I found out that the Nazis built three separate camps. Auschwitz I - was the first camp which was the headquarters where many murders have taken place. Today this has been turned into a Museum. During that time 16.000 prisoners have been held there. Auschwitz II known as Birkenau is the biggest camp; located 3km far from Auschwitz I. Millions of people have been tortured and died in the gas chambers. It held more than 90k prisoners and 1.5 million of people, almost all of them Jewish, have been killed. The 3rd camp, Buna or Monowitz, has been destroyed. [...]

2018-02-23T09:14:26+00:00 October 26th, 2015|