Following the Royal Route
This walking tour from the train station to the Castle takes you past most of the Old Town's major sights - more info on which you'll find by following the links.
Any exploration of Kraków’s Old Town should start with the ‘Royal Route’ - the historical coronation path of the Polish kings when Kraków served as the royal capital from the 14th century to the very end of the 16th century. Most of the Old Town’s prime sights lay along this route from the Floriańska Gate to Wawel Castle. For many of less noble lineage, however, the route begins at Kraków’s train station, a walk from which to the main market square is among the most regal and awe-inspiring introductions to any city in Europe. Following the human traffic from the station through the ul. Basztowa underpass will plant you in the green space that encircles the Old Town known as the Planty. Ideal for a fair weather stroll, the Planty was once a series of medieval fortifications surrounded by a moat. After Poland’s Third Partition in the late 18th century, the order came down from Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph I to dismantle these neglected structures, however thanks to local efforts the northern parts of the wall were spared, including the magnificent Barbican and Floriańska Gate. Walking the two blocks towards the Barbican, take note of the Słowacki Theatre to the left on ul. Szpitalna. A marvellous Baroque masterpiece from 1893, while it’s a bit difficult to infiltrate during the day, buying an affordable ticket to the theatre is highly recommended.