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Day trips in the proximity of Krakow

Krakow is Poland's tourist Mecca, and also a gateway to many other must-see sites in the region (and beyond). 

 

Auschwitz 

The site of the Nazi notorious Auschwitz death camp is an hour’s drive from Krakow. Between June 1941 and January 1945 about one million men, women and children perished in the three Auschwitz concentration camps–i.e. Auschwitz proper, Birkenau and Monowitz–and their more than forty sub-camps.

  Auschwitz

Ojcow National Park

With its mere 21.5 sq. km it may be the smallest of Poland’s twenty national parks, but the Ojcow National Park ranks among the most attractive recreational areas in Europe, and it is just a 15 minutes’ drive–i.e. 24 km–northwest of Krakow. 

Ojcow National Park northwest of Krakow

Eagle-nest Castles

Eagle-nest Castles is a legend-shrouded chain of medieval strongholds picturesquely elevated over the utterly scenic landscape graced with profusion of fancy limestone rocks, gorges, cavities, etc. Eagle Nests’ Route that connects several of the most interesting castles and ruins starts in Krakow and has its end in Czestochowa

castle ruins near Krakow

Tatra Mountains and Zakopane town

Alps-like Tatra Mountains, or the Tatras (Polish Tatry), is the highest range of the Carpathian Mountains. Two hour’s drive from Krakow one finds stunning views and pristine nature as well as the best skiing in winter and hiking, rock climbing, cave exploration, cycling, paragliding, etc. through the rest of the year. And Zakopane, Poland is Europe's most popular mountain resort north of the Alps. 

Morskie Oko lake in the Tatra Mountains, Poland

Jasna Gora Sanctuary in Czestochowa

The holiest place of Poland and one of the world’s most important destinations for pilgrims. Every year several million pilgrims–commoners as well as celebrities–come here to pray before the miraculous picture of Our Lady of Czestochowa. The faithful has believed for ages that St. Luke the Evangelist himself painted the divine icon on a tabletop from the Holy Family’s house. 

Our Lady of Czestochowa

Calvary Sanctuary in Kalwaria Zebrzydowska

UNESCO's World Heritage Site. 400-year-old vast complex of 42 churches and chapels of all shapes and sizes in addition to the central basilica and the Franciscan monastery is biggest such compound in Europe. 

Our Lady of Kalwaria

Warsaw

As Poland's capital city, Warsaw boasts an array of National culture institutions–The National Opera, The National Theater, The National Library, etc–and vies with Krakow for cultural preeminence. There are also admirable restaurants and vigorous nightlife.

Warsaw, Poland

Wadowice

The birthplace of Saint Pope John Paul II is situated some fifty kilometers southwest of Krakow and just twenty kilometers from the famous sanctuary of Kalwaria Zebrzydowska. The little city in the foothills of Beskidy mountains attracts many of visitors, mostly from Poland.

Wadowice, the birthplace of John Paul II

The Wooden Architecture Route in Malopolska 

The Wooden Architecture Route links 237 sites in the Malopolska province known for ancient timber buildings such as churches, manor houses, cottages, granaries, etc. In 2003 four of them have been entered in the UNESCO List of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage. Those four are village churches in Sekowa, Binarowa, Lipnica Murowana and Debno Podhalanskie. 

17th-century wooden church in the town of Rabka

Polish National Parks near Krakow

Six of Poland's national parks are situated in the Krakow region. Two of them, the Tatra Mountains National Park and the Babia Gora National Park, have been listed as  World Biosphere Reserves by the UNESCO.

 Czarny Staw lake in the High Tatra mountains

 

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