People have often described Krakow to me as being like Prague but not as overrun with tourists. Seeing as I’ve never been to Prague that wasn’t a lot of help in terms of imagining what it’d be like. It’s also a city I’m not very familiar with from telly or from mates’ experience either, so I wasn’t really sure what to expect, which actually made the prospect of visiting more exciting.
Somehow central Krakow managed to largely avoid being physically scarred either by the Second World War or the excesses of communist town planning, making it both a historic and very handsome city to wander round. In fact, just wandering around was for me the best way to enjoy the city – actually going inside many of the sights was a little disappointing (notably the cathedral bell tower – lots of queueing, rubbish view).
Pretty much every street is worth exploring, with numerous baroque churches and crumbling town houses all over the place. Visiting in November means the whole city is shrouded in fog, making it even more atmospheric.
Aside from the general prettiness of the place, the most obvious highlight of the city is the huge market square (apparently the largest of its kind in Europe), dominated by the huge Basilica Mariacka.