first_imgDD TRAVEL: Go to Kraków and see some of the world’s finest medieval architecture in a city basking in grandeur and history.For this reason alone, it is worth the short flight to this beautiful, civilised city for the perfect weekend break.It is truly a wonderful sight and soothes the soul in this age of plastic fast-food outlets, quick-fix tourist attractions and hen and stag parties. Flights are scheduled from Belfast International Airport with Easyjet and Ryanair recently announced new flights from Belfast to Kraków due to start this winter. Krakow is one of Poland’s oldest cities, dating back to the 7th century.While the rest of Poland was bombed during WW2, Poland’s second city and former capital escaped the destruction.Any exploration of Kraków’s Old Town should start with the ‘Royal Route’ – the historical coronation path of the Polish kings when Kraków served as the royal capital from the 14th century to the very end of the 16th century.Europe’s largest market square and Unesco World Heritage-listed site, Rynek Glowny, is lined with bustling cafes, bars and restaurants -it’s the ideal people-watching spot.Nearby is the gothic-style St Mary’s Basilica which dates from 1220. It is here where the city’s famous quirky bugle call is played every hour on the hour.Crowds gather to listen to the tune as it stops mid-melody in honour of the mythical trumpeter who was shot in the neck while warning the city of Mongol invaders.Overlooking the Square is the medieval Sukiennice Cloth Hall with its imposing colonnades and the touristy Belle Epoque café.South of the city lies the Jewish Quarter, the Kazimierz district. A vibrant Bohemian area with trendy bars, music and energetic nightlife.Checklist for an unforgettable trip to Kraków: *Wawel Hill and Royal CastleThe hill where for over 500 years Polish kings were crowned, housed and buried. It’s now a museum and separated into five sections including State Rooms and Royal Apartments.*Rynek GlownyChill out in Europe’s largest medieval town square.*Kazimierz contains Krakow’s hip Jewish neighbourhoodHome to the Old Synagogue and an example of buildings that survived the war. Steven Spielberg decided to use the old buildings and streets as the setting for his epic 1993 film Schindler’s List.The film attracted an influx of tourists and new businesses as a result.*Oskar Schindler’s factoryYou will also find what is left of the imposing Ghetto wall. Today the factory is a living historical monument, where you can see his former office and where he saved the lives of hundreds of Krakow Jews from the gas chambers.The modern museum tells the life stories of some of those he saved, as well as walking you through a reconstructed Krakow with scenes from history and confronting you with a ‘Hall of Choices’. *AuschwitzThe Nazis renamed the small town of Oświęcim, 44 miles west of Krakow, as Auschwitz in their Germanisation programme of Poland.Today, visitors can see the original brick barracks at the Auschwitz I camp, and the stark expanse of Birkenau.*Archdiocesan MuseumA few streets from the Old Town and easy to miss, lies this Museum ( Kanonicza St) which gives an insight into the life of Pope John Paul II. His vestments are displayed here along with his personal effects, such as his shaving kit, typewriter, jackets, scarves, gloves, camera, watch, boots, shoes, kayak and even his skis. There is also a replica of his study.*Eat wild boar stew with juniper berries and the rest…..From fine dining to Communist-era milk bars, Kraków is bustling with culinary gems to suit all budgets. Enjoy roast venison with porcini mushrooms, retro rustic dishes of stroganoff, tarts, cupcakes and every conceivable flavour of vodka.*Movida Cocktail BarJust has to be on the checklist. Great spot with great music and dreamy cocktails.Getting there: A number of operators service Kraków from Ireland. Ryanair start a new service from Belfast on October 30.DD TRAVEL: HISTORY MEETS HIP IN BEAUTIFUL KRAKÓW FOR A PERFECT WEEKEND BREAK was last modified: May 20th, 2016 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:donegal daily travelguide toKrakowweekend breaklast_img

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