The historic centre of Kraków has been featured on Unesco’s World Heritage List since 1978. Packed full of restaurants, museums, galleries and bars, the medieval layout of the Old Town has not changed for centuries.
The heart and focal point of the historic centre of Kraków is its graceful main market square, the largest medieval town square of any European city.
Most visitors to Kraków visit the market square with its Cloth Hall, the Church of the Holy Mary, Wawel Hill and its Royal Castle, Wawel Cathedral with its outstanding Renaissance chapel, the Barbican and St. Florian’s Gate.
Wawel Royal Castle and the limestone Wawel Hill are extremely important historical and cultural sites containing one of the most important collection of buildings in Poland. Wawel was once the seat of Polish rulers, the residence of kings and the focal point of many Polish historical events. The hill is a symbol of the Polish nation and has witnessed some of the greatest moments in Polish history. Many Polish kings have been laid to rest below Wawel Cathedral.
The Jewish quarter of Kazimierz features a wealth of Jewish heritage with its 16th century cemetery and seven synagogues of which one is now the Jewish museum.
The historic centre of Kraków was once surrounded by a 3km long defensive wall complete with 46 towers and seven main entrances. Today only a fragment of the old fortifications remain including the Florian Gate, the Barbican and a few towers.
Beneath the city of Krakow and housed within the underground corridors of the market square, you will find a museum; which showcases how the city looked and felt during the Middle Ages complete with stone roads with potholes made by cart wheels during the 13th century.
The historic centre of Kraków is bisected by the Royal Road, the coronation route traversed by the Kings of Poland. The Route begins at St. Florian's Church outside the northern flank of the old city walls in the medieval suburb of Kleparz; passes the Barbican of Kraków built in 1499, and enters Stare Miasto through the Florian Gate. It leads down Floriańska Street through the Main Square, and up Grodzka to Wawel, the former seat of Polish royalty overlooking the Vistula river.
The best way to see the historic centre of Kraków is to take a tour. See our Experiences & Tours page for further details.