Small-Group Krakow Old Town Walking Tour Including Rynek Glówny, Mariacki and Wawel Cathedral
- Explore the local streets on a walking tour of the city
- Led by a local guide
- Small-group tour
Marvel at the square’s design, which was created in 1257, as you walk to the northeast corner, where you'll see the Basilica of the Assumption of Our Lady (St Mary's Basilica), better known in these parts as the Mariacki. You may even hear the hejnal (bugle call) from the top of the taller of St Mary's two towers.
Next head to the center of the square, dominated by Cloth Hall, originally designed for the medieval rag trade. Walk inside the hall, where you’ll pass by the craft stalls before heading to Jagiellonian University, established in 1364 by Casimir III the Great. It is the oldest university in Poland and the second oldest in Central Europe.
Continuing further south, make your way to the outer circle of Old Town, which was originally surrounded by double defensive walls complete with 47 towers and a moat; today the moat has been replaced by a ring-shaped park called Planty.
Strolling through the park, you’ll arrive at the foot of Krakow's must-see attraction and the symbol of the nation, Wawel Hill. Follow your guide to the top, where you'll see stately Wawel Royal Castle, a magnificent Renaissance palace built by Italian architects. It was the kings’ seat for more than 500 years until the end of the 16th century, when the seat of power moved to Warsaw.
After snapping some photos of the castle, head inside neighboring Wawel Cathedral, which has hosted most of the coronations and funerals of Poland's monarchs. See kings' graves and the Royal Sigismund Bell, the largest of the five bells hanging in the Sigismund Tower of the cathedral. Hear from your guide about the bell’s history, which dates back to 1520. The bell weighs almost 28,000 pounds (13 tonnes) and requires 12 bell ringers to swing it!
Your tour ends on Wawel Hill, where you can enter the castle if you wish (own expense) or keep exploring Krakow on your own.
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- Professional guide
- Entrance fees
- Hotel pickup and drop-off
- Gratuities (optional)
- Confirmation will be received at time of booking
Reviewed by: Robin S, December 2014
The tour guide was very informative and personable.
Reviewed by: Michael M, August 2014
Great introduction to Krakow. Info was invaluable for venturing on our own over the next few days. Guide was informative and a pleasure to share a few hours with.