February 2013
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Krakow Old Town is the historic central district of Krakow in Poland – Part 1

Poland is a country located in Central Europe. It has a long Baltic Sea coastline. It is bordered by:
• Belarus
• Czech Republic
• Germany
• Lithuania
• Russia
• Slovakia
• Ukraine

Krakow Old Town is the historic central district of Krakow in Poland.

Overview of Krakow Old Town

• It is one of the most famous old districts in Poland.
• It was the center of Poland’s political life from 1038 until 1596.
• The entire medieval old town is among the first sites chosen for the UNESCO’s original World Heritage List.
• This is inscribed as Cracow’s Historic Centre in the list.
• The Old Town is known in Polish as Stare Miasto.
• It is part of the city’s first administrative district.
• It also has the name “Stare Miasto”.
• It covers a wider area than the Old Town itself.
• Medieval Krakow was surrounded by a 1.9 mile (3 km) defensive wall.
• It was complete with 46 towers and seven main entrances leading through them.
• The fortifications around the Old Town were built and erected over the course of two centuries.
• The current architectural plan of Stare Miasto was drawn up in 1257.
• It is known as the 13th-century merchants’ town.
• The district features the centrally located Rynek Glowny also known as the Main Square.
• This is the largest medieval town square of any European city.
• There are a number of historic landmarks in its surroundings.

They include:
• St. Mary’s Basilica (Kosciol Mariacki)
• Church of St. Wojciech (St. Adalbert’s)
• Church of St. Barbara
• Other national treasures

At the center of the plaza, surrounded are:
• kamienice (row houses)
• noble residences
• stands the Renaissance cloth hall Sukiennice
• gift shops
• restaurants
• merchant stalls
• the National Gallery of Art upstairs
• It is flanked by the Town Hall Tower

The whole district is bisected by the Royal Road which was the coronation route traversed by the Kings of Poland. The Route begins at:
St. Florian’s Church outside the northern flank of the old city walls in the medieval suburb of Kleparz, passes the Barbican of Kraków (Barbakan) built in 1499, enters Stare Miasto through the Florian Gate, leads down Floria?ska Street through the Main Square Pp Grodzka to Wawel.

• Grodzka was the former seat of Polish royalty overlooking the Vistula River.
• Most of the Old Town fortifications were demolished in the 19th century.
• The moat encircles the walls.
• These walls was filled in and turned into a green belt known as Planty Park.
• The Old City of Krakow which was referred to in Polish as Stare Miasto, forms the historical kernel of this vibrant Polish city.
• It is the first target for most travelers to the city.
• This is in regards to accommodation, eating out, entertainment, and attractions.
• The area of the Old City is bounded by the ring of lightly-forested parkland, known as the Planty.
• This marks the Old City walls and moat.
• The Wawel is the long-fortified hill which is located at the southern end of the Old City.
• It overlooks the River Vistula.
• It forms an integral part of this district.
• The center of the Old City is the Rynek Glowny.
• This is the Main Marketplace from which all the main streets radiate.

Best time to visit / climate

• The climate is mostly temperate throughout the country.
• The climate is oceanic in the north and west.
• It becomes gradually warmer and continental towards the south and east.
• Summers are generally warm.
• It is with average temperatures between 18 °C (64 °F) and 30 °C (86.0 °F).
• Winters are rather cold.
• There are with average temperatures around 3 °C (37.4 °F) in the northwest and 6 °C (21 °F) in the northeast.
• Precipitation falls throughout the year.
• The warmest region in Poland is Lower Silesian that is located in south-western Poland.

Location on Google Maps

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How to get to Poland?

1. By plane
• Most of Europe’s major airlines fly to and from Poland.
• Poland’s national carriers are LOT Polish Airlines.
• There are also a number of low cost airlines that fly to Poland. These include:
– WizzAir
– EasyJet
– Germanwings
– Norwegian
– Ryanair
There are also direct flights from United States and Canada. LOT operates direct flights from:
– Toronto
– New York
– Chicago
– Non-direct flights from other cities
International airlines fly mainly to Warsaw (WAW). Other major airports in Poland are:
– Krakow
– Katowice
– Gdask
– Pozna
– Wrocaw
– Szczecin
– Rzeszow
– Bydgoszcz
A new terminal has been opened at the Warsaw Chopin airport which will significantly increase the airport’s capacity.

2. By Train
Direct connections with:
• Berlin
• Amsterdam, via Koeln, Hannover
• Kiev via Lviv
• Vienna
• Prague
• Moscow

3. By Car
You can enter Poland by one of many roads linking Poland with the neighboring countries.

4. By Bus
There are many international bus lines that connect major Polish cities.
• Voyager
• Eurolines
• Ecolines
• PolskiBus.com
• Simple Express

5. By Boat
• From Sweden
– Ystad by Unity Line
– Karlskrona by Stena Line
– Nynashamn
– Visby
– Ystad by Polferries

• From Denmark
– Copenhagen
– Bornholm

• From Finland
– Helsinki by Finnlines

• From Germany
– Rostock by Finnlines

6. By Yacht
There are more and more ports along Polish coast. Bigger marinas are located in:
– Szczecin
– Eba
– Hel
– Gdynia
– Gdask

7. By plane
– Polish national carrier LOT has daily connections.
– These are between the biggest cities with a hub in Warsaw.

8. By train
– In Poland, the national railway carriers are PKP InterCity and Przewozy Regionalne.
– There are few local carriers that belong to voivod ships or major cities.
– Train tickets are quite economical.
There are new InterCity routes such as:
• Warsaw – Katowice
• Warsaw – Krakow
• Warsaw – Pozna
• Pozna – Szczecin
Train types
• E-IC (ExpressInterCity) / EC (EuroCity) / Ex (Express)
• TLK (Twoje Linie Kolejowe)
• RE (RegioEkspress)
• IR (InterRegio)
• REGIO / Osobowy
• Podmiejski
• Narrow gauge

Some Travel Books on Poland

Poland Lonely Planet Poland Poland: A Unique Country & Its People

Places to stay (hotels / restaurants along with website / contact numbers)

Hotels at tripadvisor.in
Hotels at staypoland.com
Hotels at travelpoland.com

Blogs / Sites about Poland

blogs at wikipedia.org
blogs at wikitravel.org
blogs at lonelyplanet.com
blogs and reviews at inyourpocket.com

Images and photos of Poland

images at google.com
images at wikipedia.org
images at worldtravelimages.net
Images at virtualtourist.com

Videos of Poland

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