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If you’re looking for a reason to visit Poland then you’ve just found it with Krakow. Beautiful, charming and romantic, this Polish city of idyllic medieval squares and imposing Gothic architecture might be the country’s second city, but it is the number one destination for tourists visiting the country each year.
This city knows all about the limelight. After all it was the royal capital of Poland for 500 years, meaning it’s had plenty of time to grow the rich cultural, artistic and architectural heritage you’ll find there today. And it’s certainly very impressive, with its 6000 historic buildings, nearly two-dozen museums and a staggering 2 million pieces of artwork.
An unmissable Sunday activity is a visit to Hala Targowa, an outdoor flea market full of Polish knick-knacks, located east of the central square. Vendors spill out onto the pavement selling communist memorabilia, army tat, dodgy watches and other nostalgic junk. Bring plenty of loose change for haggling then celebrate a great find with a snack from one of the food stalls.
Krakow's Museum of Pharmacy may sound like a seriously sleep-inducing tourist attraction, but this quietly brilliant showcase of old medicines, apothecary shops, laboratory equipment and animals in jars is actually a unique, enjoyable and rather educational experience. As weird museums go, it's up there.
Korzkiew Castle is a renovated 14th century fortress that makes for a wonderful overnight stay outside the city. Surrounded by dark green forests, this hotel is a medieval dream: roaring fires, cobbled floors and original decorations await inside, while candles light up the beautiful courtyard as you explore the walls and tower.