Old Town - City Center

Krakow's Old Town is also its city center, where the most famous streets and buildings are situated. It is often compared to Prague and is considered one of the mos beautiful downtown cores of Europe. Very old buildings, churches and squares, together and horse carriages are all contributing to the nice atmosphere that almost makes it feel that you have moved to the past with its rich variety of Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque buildings. The pedestrian streets with its historical churches and other buildings are leading towards or around the Main Square (Rynek Glówny), that is the center of Kraków. The famous medieval Drapers Hall building divides the square into 2 parts. The city center is very compact considering the size of Kraków and can not even be compared to Warsaw's city center, but more likely to Warsaw's Old Town district.

Main Market Square (Rynek Glówny) with Sukiennice (Drapers Hall) to the left and the City Hall Tower to the right.
The square was designed in 1257 and is the largest medieval town square in Europe (200x200m).

Main Market Square with St Mary's Basilica.

St Mary's Basilica is a Gothic brick church, situated on the southern edge of Main Square. It is the 2nd tallest building in Kraków and the tallest in the city center at a height of 81 m. We went inside, but were not allowed to take photos of the impressive interior, that is famous for its wooden altarpiece.

St Mary´s has served as a model for many churches built by Poles abroad. Every hour a trumpet signal is played from the top of its towers.

Famous Kraków landmarks clustered together: St Mary's Church, Hard Rock Café, The Clock Tower and the Market Hall at Main Square.

Unfortunately some ugly construction or renovation was going on behind Drapers Hall.

Sukiennice (Drapers Hall or Cloth Hall) is probably the most famous building in Kraków. It was a medieval centre of international trade; import and export. Many royalties have been hosted here.

Sukiennice´s interior. As you can see, it is still a market hall, today merchandise are sold in different booths.

Sukiennice is somewhat a symbol of Kraków.

City Hall Tower (Wieza Ratuszowa) is standing 70 m tall next to Drapers Hall at Main Square.

This Baroque tower is the only remaining part of the former City Hall, that was torn down in 1820. It is leaning 55 cm.

Hard Rock Café is located in an old beautiful building.

Horse carriages are contributing to the medieval atmosphere at the square...

...while the open air restaurants remind of the more commerical present. I had a beer at one of them.

Church of St. Wojciech (St. Adalbert) at the southeastern corner of the square is almost 1000 years old and one of the oldest churches in Poland.
In tThe crypt of the church there is a small museum about the history of Market Square.

Medieval buildings in different colours with Maly Rynek with St Mary's Basilica in the background.


Maly Rynek is a small square next to Rynek Glówny.

Ulica Sienna (Sienna Street) seen from the square Maly Rynek.


Ulica Florianska (Florian Street) is Krakow's most famous street. It is filled with beautiful medieval buildings and begins on Main Square and ends at the Florian Gate.

Grodzka Street is a very atmospheric pedestrian street filled with churches. We stayed at a lounge on the 2nd floor of one of the buildings to rest our legs.

The Baroque church of St. Peter and St. Paul's from the 17th century is located at Grodzka Street.

Florain Gate, entrance of Old Town. It is one of Poland's most famous Gothic towers and was built in the 1300s. The 33.5 meter tall tower was once one of 33 towers defending the city as parts of the city wall.

Part of the Florian Gate with Czartoryski Museum to the left in the background.

Czartoryski Museum. This small, but fine museum from 1796 has a world famous painting by Leonardo da Vinci.

Czartoryski Museum's is the building to the right of the church.

Konserwatorium Towarzystwo Muzyczna (Academy of Music) is a beautiful building between Kazimierz and Downtown with St Mary's Basilica in the background.

Kraków Central Station is where we arrived in the afternoon with our train from Warsaw on a Wedneysday. This is also were we took the night train to Budapest the next day. The buildings reminds me of some buildings in Malmö and Lund, so it felt like were right at home when we arrived here. But beware of the dirty and expensive toilets! The station is located somewhat in the outskirts of downtown and it is easy to get a feeling that you are arriving in a small town when walking in to the square in front of the station...

...or at least until you have seen the enormous Galeria Krakowska, a shopping mall of 226 stores where you can find everything!

A firefighter's building.

Trams of Kraków next to Planty Park, the nice university park in the beginning of the city center close to the station.

The blue trams of Kraków next to Planty Park. The photo was taken from a spot close to the station outside a fine restaurant with great food.

I ordered calf, but didn't have to pay too much!

Krakow Opera House (in the middle), next to Plany Park. A magnificent building.

Planty Park is to the right of the grey funkis building.

Some streets close to the main train station. Some of them rundown, but worth to be renovated.

Blue trams at Planty Park.

Drapers Hall seen from Sienna Street.

Church of St. Wojciech by night.

Drapers Hall by night.

St Mary's Basilica at Main Market Square.

Wyspianski 2000 Pavilion. Light slips out between the elements of the exterior to this modern pavilion, dedicated to the famous Polish Stanislaw Wyspianski.

Church of St. Peter and St. Paul's at Grodzka.

St Andrew's Church's 11th century Romanesque exterior stands in contrast to the Baroque St. Peter and St. Paul's at Grodzka.

Rain pouring down at Market Square in the late evening at .