I always love visiting cities that sound like what appears on the screen when Adam West strikes an evildoer in the old Batman show. Krakow! So I was naturally excited about visiting mydestination.com/krakow
I was amazed just how religious the people of Krakow were. I guess I figured that the Communists pretty much stamped out religion in their former Soviet Union, but I was very wrong. There are churches and pilgrimage spots all around Krakow, and they don’t feel like relics from a previous era, they are still important spiritual symbols for the city’s predominantly Catholic population.
Most of the really important historical and religious stuff, like all European cities, is in the Old Town. Wawel castle is very impressive, and it’s connection to the cathedral gives it added religious significance. The Town Hall Tower is nearby, and it from the top you can see the whole Old Town. It’s thirteenth century gothic, and has a very cool museum in it as well. Krakow was clearly under a lot of stress in regards to foreign invaders around the fifteenth century, or they were just disproportionately influenced by the military-mercantilist complex, because they put some serious money into defense. The Florian Gate is all that remains of the former city walls, and you can see that they were no joke. The Barbakan was the arsenal and overall defense building meant to defend the Florian Gate and it looks impenetrable.
Of course there is way more to Krakow then just antiquated defense measures. The food is actually really good. Definitely check out some Krakow Restaurants
, as well as street vendors (gotta love that Polish sausage) and Milk Bars, which are a great value for lunch. (The name comes from the communist era and signifies that those places don’t serve alcohol.) If it’s summer, find some Chlodnik (a cold refreshing beetroot soup, way better than it sounds) and some Tatanka, a apple juice and vodka combination. Sit outside if you can and enjoy. There is sure to be something older than European discovery of the Americas to marvel at.