Main Square, Kraków


Best time to travel: March-May, Sept-Nov
Ease of travel: Easy
Cost ($-$$-$$$): $

  • Urban space located in the center of the city
  • Dates back to the 13th century
  • One of the largest medieval town squares in Europe

Wieliczka Salt Mine


Best time to travel: Jan-March, Nov-Dec
Ease of travel: Easy
Cost ($-$$-$$$): $

  • One of the world’s oldest salt mines still in operation until 2007
  • Opened in the 13th century
  • Includes dozens of statues and 4 chapels carved out of the rock salt by the miners

Morskie Oko, Tatra National Park

Best time to travel: July-Sept
Walk difficulty: Easy
Ease of travel: Hard
Cost ($-$$-$$$): $$

  • Largest and fourth-deepest lake in the Tatra Mountains, it is located deep within the Tatra National Park in the Rybi Potok (the Fish Brook) Valley
  • It is reached by foot in about two hours from the nearest road that allows motorized access
  • In winter, a short section of the journey is in an avalanche danger zone, and the area can remain cold and rainy even in summer
  • In the advent of its popularity, visitors have been forbidden from swimming in the lake or feeding the trout

Auschwitz Concentration Camp, Oświęcim

Best time to travel: May-Sept
Ease of travel: Moderate
Cost ($-$$-$$$): $

  • Was a complex of over 40 concentration and extermination camps operated by Nazi Germany in occupied Poland, in 1939, during World War II and the Holocaust
  • It consisted of Auschwitz I, the main camp in Oświęcim; Auschwitz II-Birkenau, a concentration and extermination camp with gas chambers; Auschwitz III-Monowitz, a labor camp for the chemical conglomerate IG Farben; and dozens of subcamps
  • In the decades after the war, survivors such as Primo Levi, Viktor Frankl, and Elie Wiesel wrote memoirs of their experiences, and the camp became a dominant symbol of the Holocaust
  • In 1947, Poland founded the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum on the site of Auschwitz I and II

Wawel Castle, Kraków

Best time to travel: March-May, Sept-Nov
Ease of travel: Easy
Cost ($-$$-$$$): $

  • Castle residency located in central Kraków, and the first UNESCO World Heritage Site in the world
  • Built at the behest of King Casimir III the Great, it consists of a number of structures from different periods situated around the Italian-styled main courtyard
  • It was built between the 13th and 14th centuries
  • The castle, being one of the largest in Poland, represents nearly all European architectural styles of medieval, renaissance and baroque periods

St. Mary’s Basilica, Kraków

Best time to travel: March-May, Sept-Nov
Ease of travel: Easy
Cost ($-$$-$$$): $

  • Brick Gothic church adjacent to the Main Market Square in Kraków, and built in the 14th century, its foundations date back to the early 13th century and serve as one of the best examples of Polish Gothic architecture
  • It is particularly famous for its wooden altarpiece carved by Veit Stoss (Wit Stwosz)
  • On every hour, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, a trumpet signal—called the Hejnał mariacki—is played from the top of the taller of Saint Mary’s two towers
  • The plaintive tune breaks off in mid-stream, to commemorate a famous 13th century trumpeter who was shot in the throat while sounding the alarm before a Mongol attack on the city
  • The noon-time hejnał is heard across Poland and abroad broadcast live by the Polish national Radio 1 Station

Palace of Culture and Science, Warsaw

Best time to travel: June-Aug
Ease of travel: Easy
Cost ($-$$-$$$): $

  • High-rise building in central Warsaw, it is the second tallest building in both Warsaw and Poland after Varso, the 6th-tallest building in the European Union (including spire) and one of the tallest on the European continent
  • Constructed in 1955, it houses various public and cultural institutions such as cinemas, theaters, libraries, and sports clubs