Districts to discover on your visit to Krakow

From the unmissable historic center to the artistic, bohemian Jewish quarter and a neighborhood with a rich history, Krakow’s neighborhoods have something for everyone!

Krakow is divided into 18 districts, each with its own distinctive architecture and atmosphere. Among the most important and interesting districts to visit in Krakow are Stare Miasto, Kazimierz, Podgorze and Nowa Huta.

Note that all these districts can be visited on foot and are accessible by streetcar. Here are the essential neighborhoods to discover on your visit to Krakow.

The Old Town (Stare Miasto)

Halle aux Draps, Stare Miasto, Cracovie

Inside Sukiennice, the Cloth Hall – Photo credit: Flickr – Karl Reif

Stare Miasto (Old Town) is one of Krakow’s official neighborhoods and also includes the Kazimierz district. However, when locals speak of the Old Town, they very often mean the part of Krakow that lies within the city walls. The center of this district is Krakow’s main market square(Rynek), one of the city’s symbols. The district’s main streets (such as Florianska, Sienna and Grodzka) extend right up to the walls, which are surrounded by the Planty Park, the historic center’s green belt. Wawel Hill adjoins the Old Town on the side where the city walls were completely destroyed. This district is probably the most famous and the most visited by tourists to Krakow, as it contains all the most important monuments.


Kazimierz, Plac Nowy, Cracovie

People enjoying zapiekanki on Plac Nowy – Photo credit: Wikimedia – Kpalion

Kazimierz was once an independent city of Krakow. Christians and Jews coexisted in Kazimierz despite differences in religion, culture and language. But it was the Jewish community that flourished the most: up to 7 synagogues were built in the district. Not long ago, this district was one of the poorest and most damaged in Krakow, but it is now one of the most fashionable and popular spots for locals and tourists alike.

Numerous cafés and pubs, quite different from those in the old town, bustle here and there around Place nouvelle(Plac nowy in Polish). Candlelit cafés and bars offer a cosy drink in a warm, slightly melancholy atmosphere. Klezmer music can be heard in Jewish restaurants, and the flea market open every Sunday on Plac nowy is a must. Don’t miss out on zapiekanki, the local street food. Old merchants’ houses, some still unrestored, add to the atmosphere. Not to mention the street art that’s very much in evidence here.


Plac Bohaterów Getta, Podgorze, Cracovie

Photo credit: Flickr – Jacek

The Podgórze district is located close to Kazimierz (on the opposite bank of the Vistula river). Its main feature is Rynek Podgorski (Podgorze Market Square), with the beautiful neo-Gothic St. Joseph’s Church. During the Second World War, Podgorze was transformed into a ghetto, where some 15,000 Jews were rounded up and deported to concentration camps. Today, there are virtually no remnants of this historical event, apart from two pieces of the ghetto wall hidden in the buildings. In the Podgorze district, you can visit Oskar Schindler’s factory, which saved the lives of many ghetto citizens, and whose story was brought to the screen by Steven Spielberg. In fact, scenes from the film were shot on the site of the Plaszow labor camp, some of whose ruins still exist. An interesting place to visit is the Ghetto Heroes’ Square(Plac Bohaterów Getta), featuring sculptures of chairs left behind by Jews transported to concentration camps.

Nowa Huta

Nowa Huta, Cracovie

Photo credit: Flickr – Ann Baekken

Nowa Huta was built after the Second World War as a city for workers (mainly employed in the metallurgical plant). With its industrial wastelands, socialist and monumental architecture, it pays homage to the Communist regime. The main part of the district is the central square(Plac Centralny), but many tourists come here to see the Sendzimir metallurgical plant. The district is undergoing a slight revival thanks to the efforts of its citizens to promote Nowa Huta by offering tourist itineraries and tours of the area. But the district remains interesting above all for its monumental architecture, but also a few curiosities such as the small village of Mogiła, where you’ll find the surprising St. Bartholomew’s church and the Cistercian abbey.


Sanctuaire Łagiewniki à Cracovie

Photo credit: Flickr – Piotr Drabik

The Łagiewniki district is located outside the center of Krakow (on the road to Zakopane). The area has become popular especially with pilgrims visiting the Divine Mercy Shrine built there as a tribute to a nun called Faustyna. The old neo-Gothic monastery there is where she spent her life having visions of Jesus Christ pointing out mercy to the world. The new sanctuary contains numerous chapels, while those interested in Saint Faustina’s life can still visit the places where she lived.

Main photo credit: Flickr – Alberto Cabello

Map of hotels and accommodation – Krakow,pl