So far, probably you visited the majestic Wawel Castle, saw a fire-breathing dragon, chased away pigeons in the Main Square and walked the charming streets of Jewish Kazimierz … If not – you have to definitely!
Now you just want to chill a bit with friends in some cool spot. But if you’re not there yet with your knowledge of the city this article is here to help! Some places won’t be surprise for you if it’s your not the first time in Krakow, but however they might sound obvious – there is still plenty to discover!
1. Bulwary Wislane (Vistula Boulevards)
Bulwary is a quiet and picturesque place for walks, located in the very center of the city. Due to numerous walking paths, bicycle paths and nearby playgrounds, they are one of the most popular recreational and leisure zones. Together with the adjacent fragments of the Vistula and Rudawa embankments, they obtained the status of park areas. Along the boulevards, there are many Krakow attractions and monuments (including the Church on Skałka or the Monument to the Wawel Dragon). In 1991, they were divided into parts and given new names. On the left bank there are: Rodła, Czerwieński, Inflancki and Kuryszne boulevards, and on the right bank – Poleski, Wołyński, Podolski and Lotników Alliedskich boulevards.
Cracovians love that part of the city for the long Sunday walks and chill time on the grass. On a warm day, you can spot people taking sunbaths on the blankets, reading books and just chilling. Personally, I have two-three favourites spots there. One of them is Buwar Poleski –just across the river, with the Wawel view. This blank of the river is not that crowded with people, you can easily find a nice spot, do a picnic, read a book or just stare at Wawel Castle and not be interrupted all be time by others.
Bulwar Wolynski located on the same blank is only a few steps away, but with a vibrant restaurant’s zone and ‘Forum Przestrzenie’ is a great spot if you want to drink a beer, meet with friends and eat some good food. Additionally, is located just next to ‘Balloon Viewpoint’ , you can go there with friends and watch Krakow from above – totally worth it on a sunny day!
Bulwary na Dąbiu and Park Dąbie is located a bit further, but totally worth the effort of getting there. Compared to the Boulevards in the city centre, it is much calmer and less crowded. The green belt is much wider, partly wooded, so on a hot day, we will find more shade, as well as more free benches or wide lawns to put up a picnic blanket. Comfortable, asphalt paths. In addition, we have the Dąbie barrage next to it – a dam on the Vistula. Thanks to it, there is more water in the centre of Krakow in the Vistula (so it looks nicer), thanks to this dam, the river rinses less sand from the bottom – it does not destroy bridges and banks of boulevards. In addition, there is a small hydroelectric power plant, and ships have a special lock.
2. Planty Krakowskie
When visiting Krakow, at some point we reach the Krakow Planty, we hear from the guide that the city park was built on the site of the city’s defensive walls, that only the Florian’s Gate, three towers and a barbican remained, that the last demolished part was the neck connecting the gate with The name of the Barbican comes from the word to plant, that is, to level the ground. There is nothing wrong with it. All of this is the truest truth. Today’s Planty, divided into 8 gardens, is about 4 km long and covers an area of 21 ha, which makes it the largest city park in Krakow. In their area, you can admire 40 species of trees and shrubs, including natural monuments, such as the 130-year-old plane tree at the end of Wiślna Street.
What I like the most is to walk around planty! It’s a great workout and a really pleasant way to spend your afternoon. From may, when the days are much warmer, in the “Altana” you can attend live-free concerts, dance lessons and much more!
3. Zakrzowek & Skalki Twardowskiego
This place is very unusual, the water shimmers in shades of turquoise and contrasts with the bright rocks.
Zakrzówek is one of the most beautiful diving reservoirs in Poland, and from the nearby rocks there is a beautiful panorama of Krakow. The water reservoir in Zakrzówek was built in 1990 after the old limestone quarry was flooded. Located southwest of the Old Town, it consists of two reservoirs connected by an isthmus. The shores of the lagoon are one of the favourite holiday destinations of Krakow, but swimming is forbidden here. The reservoir is also available for divers: at a depth of 7-21 meters you can see, among others fiat 125, bus, van, boats and the former changing room of workers.
Due to the diversity of the terrain, the maximum depth of the reservoir is 32 m, therefore bathing in this place is prohibited. Now, the place is under modernisation. There will be charming walking paths and a bathing beach where entire families can relax under the watchful eye of a lifeguard.
In the vicinity of the lagoon, there are groups of rocks and rock walls, called Twardowski Rocks, intensively used by Krakow climbers. A large number of climbing routes have been marked out here, equipped with permanent belaying. This place is often visited by walkers and cyclists who value wilderness more than asphalt paths.
Worth mentioning: there is a blue trail which is basically a 3 km loop. The route passes through quarries, rocks, the rampart of the Krakow fortress, viewpoints and numerous caves. And all this is less than 3 km from Wawel Castle!
4. Łąki nowohuckie
Located in the Kraków district of Nowa Huta, at Plac Centralny, they are a unique natural object. It is the perfect place for a long walk, especially for nature lovers. Łąki Nowohuckie is an Ecological Site under legal protection. Here we find unique, rich vegetation and many species of birds inhabiting the area. The route is 4 km full of beautiful landscapes and extraordinary gifts of nature, researchers count over 300 species of plants and over 70 species of birds living here!
I recommend going down and walking along the embankment around the entire meadows. The route is less than 4 km, which with a break to rest and admiring the views will not take more than an hour. After the walk, I recommend grilled sausages at NCK (Nowohuckie Centrum Kultury – Cultural Center of Nowa Huta). They have good quality products there, as evidenced by the constant lack of free tables in the evenings.
5. Park Jordana
Last but not least – Jordan Park in the city center. The entrances are located on the side of ul. Reymonta, ul. Ingarden and two from the side of Błonia and ul. 3 Maja. There are kilometers of alleys for cyclists and inline skaters – both in the shade and sun, and several playgrounds – for young and old, waiting for us there. You can also find there : volleyball, football , tennis and basketball courts, a small pond, a sledge hill in winter, a concert shell and a catering facility.
Walking around you can also spot many busts of famous poets, writers, scholars and other personalities important for Polish culture.