As one of Poland’s oldest cities, Krakow is a nexus for the nation’s past just as it looks forward with its burgeoning entrepreneurial and startup culture.
It’s hard to believe that this massive metropolis was once a Stone Age settlement, but this is a place that has passed through history with everything from a regional renaissance to war and industrial transformation. Tourists come here for the grand museums, the stunning architecture and the great shopping and epicurean destinations.
With a population in the city limits topping 775,000 and over 1 million more in the greater metro area, Krakow is the second-largest city in the nation behind the capital of Warsaw. There is no end of places to explore in this dynamic hub of art and commerce, but there are some great places to start. Worthwhile explorations in town include the Main Market Square, the enigmatic "Wieliczka" Salt Mine, the “old town” area of Stare Miasto, the splendorous Wawel Castle, the funky Kazimierz with its mix of bookstores, restaurants and Jewish history, and the mecca for souvenir hunters, Cloth Hall.