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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. 



If you're looking for a sweeping panorama of the region climb the 1930s memorial mound to independence hero Marshal Pilsudski in the woods on the fringe of Krakow. Access is swift by 134 bus to the zoo, then follow the marked trails.


Check out quirky examples of contemporary Polish design at the new exhibition 'The Logic of the Local', at the International Cultural Centre on the Main Market Square (No. 25). Polish designs are presented alongside Norwegian ones, with many interesting traits in common. Runs 2 January to 26 March.

Drop into the newly opened Czapski pavilion, recently opened as part of the National Museum. Besides showcasing art works by this noted 20th century painter, the pavilion illuminates his extraordinary WWII odyssey. There's a fine cafe to boot. (http://mnk.pl/)

Spielberg made use of Oskar Schindler's historic factory for his Oscar-winner 'Schindler's List'. The vast building now hosts two fine museums, one chronicling the Nazi German occupation, the other showcasing contemporary art (4 Ulica Lipowa).

Key Areas

Hop on a tram east to the Polish Aviation Museum, which boasts a sleek new HQ and over 200 flying machines. Interactive exhibits make this a hit with kids too. (39 Aleja Jana Paw?a/ tram No. 4 or 52 to the Muzeum Lotnictwa stop).

Day Trips

If the weather is not at its best, the salt mines at Wieliczka make for a handy back-up plan. The UNESCO-listed site includes a vast chapel carved from salt.

One of the most picturesque castles in Poland reopened this year after two years of painstaking restoration. Pieskowa Ska?a can be combined with a saunter along woodland walking trails in the Ojców National Park. Hire a car or jump on a bus. (Photo: Press materials/Scanning 3D)

Rent a bike and cycle along the river to Tyniec Abbey. The banks below offer perfect spots for a picnic. (Picture credit: wikimedia commons/Wojciech Grabowski)

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