One of the best ways to enjoy the new city, to feel its spirit and atmosphere is going on unhurried strolls along its charming streets. I recommend walking along these streets not only in the morning and afternoon but also in the late evening and you will be impressed! Here are 5 of my favourite and the prettiest streets in Kraków you shouldn’t miss.
1. Floriańska Street
Beautiful Floriańska Street in Krakow is the most famous street in the city. It’s always crowded and noisy, regardless of the time of year or day. Floriańska Street leads from Market Square directly to the historical Florian Gate and the Barbican. It is full of not only historic tenements, but also beautiful facades which have been existing here for centuries. There are plenty of cafes, restaurants where tourists can relax after an intense tour of the city.
2. Kanonicza Street
One of the most picturesque streets of Krakow and of the oldest at the same time, which leads to the Wawel Royal Castle. It used to constitute the last glorious part of the Royal Road, Krakow’s ceremonial route leading from the main city gate through the central square to the Royal Castle. This is an exceptionally beautiful street, where every house holds a rich and long history, often dating back to the first half of the 14th century. Although they are medieval in their foundations, today’s tenement houses at Kanonicza Street have facades from various eras. In the sixteenth century, many earlier buildings were transformed into Renaissance palaces. Until today, you can admire arcades and loggias in the yards, and beautiful portals have been preserved as well.
3. Grodzka Street
Grodzka is one of the oldest streets in Krakow and one of my favourite ones. It is a historical part of the Royal Route and links Wawel Castle with the Main Market Square. The most important and impressive monuments of Grodzka are the Romanesque Church of St Andrew, built in 13th century and the Church of Saints Peter and Paul. They stand next to each other at the intersection with Poselska and Senacka Streets.
Besides numerous churches and historical buildings, Grodzka Street has also many restaurants, cafes and shops.
4. Józef Street
One of the most atmospheric streets of Krakow’s Kazimierz district which is totally different from all the streets in the Old Town area. Józef Street is originally famous for its artistic ambience. There are numerous art galleries, antique & vintage shops, graffiti art walls, charming cafes and souvenir shops. Here you can also admire the High synagogue, built in the 16th century and located at 38 Józefa Street. I believe this street is the best representation of what Kazimierz is in its essence.
5. Szeroka Street
Szeroka Street in Krakow’s Kazimierz is the widest street in Krakow. It has the shape of a square and is located in the very heart of Kazimierz.
Even before the city of Kazimierz was established, the village of Bawół had existed there and Szeroka Street had served as its main square. From the fifteenth century, Jews started to settle here, and it is here that most of the monuments from this culture are located. In fact, Szeroka Street is currently one of the few places in Krakow covered with pavement from Austrian times. Moreover, in the famous «Schindler’s List» by Steven Spielberg a lot of scenes were filmed in Plac Zgody as a place from the Krakow ghetto.
6. Pijarska Street
This charming street is one of the few preserved streets that were built under the defensive walls of Kraków. Pijarska was founded at the end of the 13th Century and has an irregular, zigzagging course. While walking along the street you will see many beautiful buildings including The Princes Czartoryski Museum – one of the country’s oldest museums, featuring one of Leonardo da Vinci’s best-known works ‘The Lady with an Ermine’. You’ll also see the 18th-century church of the Transfiguration whose fancy baroque facade shields the prettiest interior. Also you’ll pass by the open-air gallery featuring framed paintings by local artists. The street ends at the wall of the picturesque 17th-century monastery and the church of St. Casimir (on the left).
7. Krakówska Street
Krakówska Street has always been one of the most important streets in the city. It was laid out in 1335 as part of Kazimierz’s main artery and communication axis. After recent reconstruction, this Kraków street has definitely become more comfortable and beautiful, with a new character. Walking along the street you’ll see the Ethnographic Museum, the Church of the Holy Trinity (bonifratrów), the Esterka House, the Board of Trustees of the Jewish religious community, the Nuremberg Houses as well as numerous cosy cafes & shops.
8. Szewska Street
This street begins at the Main Square from which it heads west, where it adjoins Podwale Street. Most of the street’s buildings were built between the fourteenth and seventeenth centuries. Now in the centre of the cobbled Szewska street, you can see the old tracks of former tram lines. Today this street is one of the most busy and lively streets in Kraków because of its many cafes, pubs, bars and clubs. Walking along the street to the main square, you can enjoy a beautiful view of the Cloth Hall.
9. Karmelicka Street
Karmelicka Street is one of the most original streets of Kraków from the 19th century. From the Middle Ages, there was a road leading to the village and to Lobzow, where the royal summer palace was located. However, the current buildings on the street date mainly from the 19th century. Nowadays the street looks very charming, full of shops and cafes. Walking along Karmelicka, pay attention to the famous Bagatela Theatre and the 17th-century Baroque Temple, which is mostly known as the Church of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
10. Stolarska Street
Stolarska Street is one of the most atmospheric streets in Kraków, which extends southwards from Small Market Square to Dominikańska Street. The street features the consulates of France, Germany and the United States of America. On the opposite side, there are historical stalls featuring cosy cafes & shops. The street runs along the vast compound of the Dominican monastery that dates back to 1222. It ends at the foot of the friars’ 13th-century basilica of the Holy Trinity rich in masterpieces of sacral art it accumulated over the ages. On Stolarska, there is a hidden passage to the Main Market Square between ancient mansions: the Pasaż Bielaka featuring some cafés and pubs (ul. Stolarska 5).
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