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Once a royal capital with an extraordinary history, and now a lively university town with fashionable bars and restaurants, Krakow is a fascinating city with beautiful monuments and an exuberant atmosphere.

Insider Tip

Submerge yourself in a little piece of Krakow history at the Singer pub in Kazimierz. Dark, candlelit and atmospheric, the bar is named after the singer sewing machines and trestle tables dotted about the rooms.

There is a huge amount of choice around the Main Market Square, from pavement cafes, pizzerias and restaurants to numerous cellar bars and pubs. Venture down any alleyway or street however, and you will be rewarded by a cosy eatery or welcoming underground bar. Establishments range from the cheap and retro bars mleczny (milk bars), relics from communist times to modern gourmet treats and fine dining. Traditional dishes such as pierogi, delicious stuffed dumplings, and borchst, a beetroot soup are offered alongside more international menus so all tastes are catered for. The cafes are renowned for their delicious cakes and desserts.

Descend the 360 steps in to the Wieliczka Salt Mines and be amazed at the devotion of the miners who carved the incredible Chapel of Salt. A well-deserved place on the UNESCO World Heritage list.

See for yourself the site of Auschwitz-Birkenau; this former concentration camp is now a poignant museum.

Make the trip across the River Vistula to Podgorze, site of the Jewish Ghetto in Krakow and home to the Schindler factory - much of the film 'Schindler's List" was filmed here. Now a real emerging district it is spotted with hip, bohemian cafes, bars and restaurants.