Things To Do In Krakow, Poland – Walking Around Old Town


Old living towns somehow continue to live in old town squares with stories peeping from the corners. Sometimes you walk on them literally and most importantly life somehow moves at a leisurely and relaxed pace in these spaces. You can simply sit by the fountain or at one of the open coffee shops and watch and enjoy the surroundings. By evening there are performing artists showcasing their talents. Entertainers trying to grab your attention and there is so much of food around to fill your senses. Krakow Old Town is one such tourist attraction in Poland and Europe.

The church in the Krakow old town
The church in the old town

Walk around Old Town – Things to do in Krakow

Town Square

The old town square is one of the largest and oldest town squares in Europe. It is a big square with a rectangular market square in the center. There are open cafes all around the periphery of the square. If you visit this place in summer you must try the strawberry ice cream here. Townhall tower stands tall like a guard overlooking its area.

Landscape view of the Krakow Old Town Market Square
Landscape view of the old town market square

The Basilica of the Virgin Mary with its unusual asymmetric towers is one of the most famous churches in Poland. It dates back to the 14th CE. Narrow lanes lead you out of the square to various parts of the town. One such lane leads to the University of Krakow. It fondly displays its affection for its famous student Nicolas Copernicus the famous physicist. I was delighted to see poetry written on some walls around the university campus.

Poetry on the walls of Krakow Town
Poetry on the walls of the heritage buildings of the old town

Market Square

Market square in the center was a trading center in medieval times and potentially had traded with Asian countries like India. Spice and textiles were imported from the east. The salt and minerals from the mines here were exported. This also means that this was a part of the old trade route. Today it is a shopping center for tourists with all kinds of souvenirs being sold in the colorful small shops.

Live Music

In the evening, you can hear the music coming from various pubs and cafes in the area. We visited a couple of them I heard some of the best live music played and singing that has an impact far greater than any recorded music. There are quite a few Indian restaurants in the city, though there are not many Indians around. We also visited an old café, which still maintains its old-world charm. And boasts of being the oldest cabaret in town, and it is a story for another day. In the middle of the square are a few fountains and a hand pump and people were actively using it. Horse-drawn carriages took tourists for a joy ride around the square.

A scene of the nightlife of the old town
A scene of the nightlife of the old town

Archaeological Museum

I found the underground archaeological museum the most fascinating place in Krakow’s old town. The many centuries-old town squares kept going down under the weight of new constructions. Eventually what was the ground floor has now become the basement. What they have done is converted this basement into a museum showcasing the history of the town. Especially the town square through various archaeological artifacts and audio-video displays. Through the glass ceilings that are also the base for the fountains on the current day ground floor, you can actually see outside. And see the tall structures and people moving around in the square. I found this design incredible.

It was like standing in the past and yet looking at the present. Of course, you admire the way they have conserved the whole basement as well. In fact, if you go to certain restaurants, you can see the operational basements. And the owners will tell you that it was actually the ground floor when the restaurant first came up. This was one of the most interesting parts of the old town.

Old town market scene
Krakow old town market scene

Old towns are typical of most European cities, similar yet unique.

Recommend you to read the following Things to do in the city and other Poland Tourist attractions.

Walkthrough Zakopane – Ski Town

Schindler Museum

Meeting the World War II Soldier

Wieliczka Salt Mine

European Quartet – First Impressions


  1. Indeed. I find it hard to believe even though most people generalize how most European countries to be the same, when you actually been to each of them you’ll know how unique they are in all aspects even culture.


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