Krakow

Krakow In Your Pocket

Kraków is in many respects the most Polish of all this great nation’s cities. The ancient seat of kings and intelligentsia, Kraków comes steeped in legend and myth, and evokes the most fanciful of images, from dragons under the catacombs of Wawel, to Tartar hordes repelled at the gates, to pigeon-knights waiting for their king to return. Kraków’s postcard-perfect Old Town comes complete with Europe’s largest medieval market square and even a fairy-tale castle overlooking the river. Architecturally it can easily match any European city arch for arch, spire for spire, monument for monument, gargoyle for gargoyle.

In fact, UNESCO set the bar high indeed when it started its inaugural World Heritage List by adding Kraków’s Old Town and Kazimierz districts wholesale in 1978 (from what we can tell, that bar has since been lowered). Miraculously preserved and majestically restored, today the city’s architectural monuments house countless museum collections of priceless art and artefacts, and, if local legend is to be believed, the highest density of bars and clubs in the world. Kraków is also home to one of Europe’s oldest academic centres. Jagiellonian University occupies some of the most historic buildings in the centre, in addition to providing the life blood for the litany of nightlife options we list.

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