Walking, cycling or maybe... wakeboarding?
One of the most interesting forms of exploring Krakow on foot is to follow the Małopolska Young Poland Route, which in the city includes 13 places and facilities related to the history of the Young Poland artistic movement. We set out from Juliusz Słowacki Theatre located in the centre of the city and then visit, among others, the Academy of Fine Arts, St Mary's Basilica, Józef Mehoffer House and Szołayski Tenement House. The Krakow part of the route is crowned by the Rydlówka Museum located in a house built at the end of the 19th century by Włodzimierz Tetmajer. An interesting form of walking the city can also be the Krakow Street Art Route, covering 19 places with impressive murals, including faces of people associated with Kazimierz at the Józefa street or the famous “Indian” on św. Wawrzyńca street.
Krakow is a great place for lovers of religious tourism. First of all, due to the trail leading through the places associated with Pope John Paul II, which are simply innumerable, just to mention the church of the Ark of the Lord Church, the Błonia green area with papal stone, or the famous papal window at the Franciszkańska street. Krakow is a unique place in this part of Europe in terms of the number of graves of people recognized as saints or blessed, which we will find out by following the Krakow Trail of Saints, leading through 19 temples, from the Cathedral Basilica in Wawel to the Sanctuary of Divine Mercy in Łagiewniki. It is also worth mentioning the Małopolska Trail of the Holy Sepulchre Order with two of its sites located in Krakow: it is the former church of St Jadwiga in the Krakow's district of Stradom and the church of St Barbara located in the vicinity of St Mary's Basilica at Mariacki Square. Members of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem were brought to Krakow from the nearby Miechów.
For those who prefer active leisure in beautiful natural surroundings, we recommend a walk through the famous Krakow Błonie (one of the largest meadows in the city centre in Europe) combined with visits to the nearby Wolski Forest with its Zoological Garden and nature reserve – Panieńskie Skały (you can get there following the yellow trail). In turn, a visit to the city centre is a great opportunity to walk along the paths of the Jagiellonian University Botanical Garden (which is the oldest botanical garden in Poland). In the vicinity of Krakow, you can also try the Forest Wilderness trail, leading from Niepołomice to Stanisławice. During the 18 km hiking, we will walk, among others, through the Royal Route, by where Polish monarchs used to go deep into the forest to hunt.
Cycling enthusiasts will not be disappointed either. Near the city there are routes created as part of the Velo Małopolska project, including Velo Natura or the Vistula Bicycle Route. Cyclists can choose from various themed trips, e.g. "Through fields, meadows and a forest reserve", "In the shadow of the Niepołomice forest" or the "Kościuszko Trail". The "Krakow Fortress Trail" of historical, cultural and sightseeing nature is extremely interesting. It includes as many as 100 military facilities, including 38 forts. Its northern section is 61 km long, while the southern – 41 km. We also recommend the First World War's Eastern Front Trail (marked out from Krakow to Książ Wielki) and the trail Onto the Battlefield of Racławice, leading to Racławice located 35 km from the borders of Krakow.
And why not a trip to some bathing spot? Cracovians spend their free time in summer, among others by the Bagry reservoir, in Przylasek Rusiecki, Kryspinów and at the Nowa Huta Reservoir. Lovers of water fun, including rafting, will certainly be interested in the canoe track “Kolna”, while fans of wakeboard cannot miss the above-mentioned Przylasek Rusiecki and Bagry. If the weather allows, it is worth going on a boat or gondola cruise on the Vistula (romantic cruises under the stars are also organised). In turn, families with children are recommended to visit the Water Park, where 8 water slides with a total length of 800 meters await them. Whoever wants to combine relaxation with biological regeneration, should go the health resort Swoszowice, that offers treatments based on the benefits of sulphide healing waters.
But that's not all! For those who love active leisure, Krakow and the surrounding area offer, among others, the Sławicki Raj slope (ski resort in Połajowice located approx. 35 km from Krakow), horse riding school in Michałowice or numerous places for rock climbing, e.g. Zakrzówek, Krzemionki, the Liban quarry. In summary, it's hard to get bored in this city!