Sixt Europe Travel Guide – Krakow
Poland has a rich and fruitful history and culture and nowhere represents this better than Krakow, or Cracow, still reeling off the momentum of being named European capital of culture for the year 2000, there is much to see and do in this exciting city! Krakow is the second largest city in Poland and can be dated back to the 7th century.
Krakow is home to host of museums, and one novel aspect about the museums is they all offer one day a week that has free admission. Be sure to check out the website of the museums you wish to visit to find out the exact day of the week. Some of the best in the city include the Wieliczka Salt Mine, which is just a 20 minute drive in your car rental. This salt mine has been in continuous operation for the past 700 years. The eerie labyrinth of tunnels is connected by galleries and churches and alters carved from solid salt and makes for a fanatic day trip for the whole family. In addition to this interactive museum, The Czartoryski Museum is also well worth a visit. This rich collection of historical artefacts includes a fascinating assortment of Europeans paintings from Italian, Flemish and Dutch origins, containing one from the Leonardo Da Vinci. However, the museum itself has an interesting history too. Having originally opened in the 1800, however, during the Nazi occupation of Poland lots of pieces of art were stolen and have still never been recovered to this day.
As the former capital of Poland, Krakow is home to several important historical buildings. Representing this is Wawel Castle which is now considered a symbol of national identity. This classical renaissance castle was built in the 16th century by an Italian architect. The sister building to the Wawel Castel is the Wawel Cathedral, which has stood there in some form since 1140. The Cathedral you see today was built in 1364 and is the third construction, and has more of a gothic appearance with elements of the infrastructure supposedly having supernatural powers.
One of the most somber, yet important sites to be visited around the periphery of Krakow is Auschwitz Concentration Camp, where more than 1,100,000 men, woman and children were killed as a result of the Nazi Regime during World War II. After you’ve driven the short distance from Krakow, there are tours available onsite upon arrival that detail the story of this tragic part of history. From Auschwitz, it is not far in your rental car to the small quant town of Tarnow, which has a beautiful ‘old town’ to gaze upon with arguable the best market in the whole of Poland. The best way to experience the whole of the south of Poland is with a Sixt rent a car, of which we would recommend the simple, yet efficient and effective Ford Focus SW which will get from A to B completely hassle-free. For more information on our vast variety of cars in Krakow please visit the branches, and familiarize yourself with our 3 locations in the Krakow.