Krakow Holidays: A Peek into Polish Culture

Krakow is situated between valleys formed by the Vistula River. A leading tourist destination and cultural centre of Poland, it features exceptional architecture, distinct historical landmarks, and museums with a diverse collection of art. Tucked within Krakow’s Old Town, separating the city centre from the noisy outside world, is the Planty Park, characterised by its green rings. It has 30 unique gardens covering around 21 hectares, dotted by monuments of notable Poles such as King Wladyslaw Jagiello, his wife Jadwiga, the astronomer Copernicus, and the painter Artur Grottger.

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Stary Teatr (Old Theatre), the oldest theatre in Poland, is another must-see on your Krakow holiday. Built in 1781, a brainchild of the actor Mateusz Witkowski, it was remodelled several times, and is known today for its art nouveau facade. This legendary theatre catapulted the femme fatale of Polish theatre, Helena Modrzejewska, to fame, and served as home of various stage dramas. Today it continues to offer a wide range of theatrical plays, and is home to other attractions such as the small museum and Maska cellar café.

A popular choice among families, the Krakow Zoological Garden is home to almost 1,500 animals representing nearly 260 species. Opened to the public in July 1929, the zoo features fascinating animals such as the Indian elephants Citta and Baby (the crowd favourites), endangered pygmy hippopotamuses, and Przewalski horses, also known as the Asian Wild Horses, which can no longer be found in their natural habitats.

Archaeological treasures await discovery in the Historical Museum of Krakow, which houses intricate ceiling frescoes, traditional Polish costumes, and pictures of prominent Krakow citizens. Interesting collections abound in other museums: coins and medals at the Museum of Emeryk Czapski, Polish relics at the Ethnographical Museum, and “Royal regalia” and artillery from the Battle of Vienna in the Treasury and Armoury.

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