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An autumn journey to Krakow, a city that is probably best known of stag parties, where already many Britons come over weekends to celebrate, may become an unforgettable experience. Getting there is easy with cheap flights, affordable hotel prices and almost everyone speaking English. This should not come as a surprise, as Krakow is one of the largest academic cities home to the oldest Polish university founded in 1364. The city is literally flooded by young people. Next to their studies they have part time jobs in pubs, clubs, cafes or cinemas. Being Poland's former capital from 1038 to 1569, Krakow enjoys presently a more languid life style than Warsow.
Located in a valley, Krakow has mild temperatures in autumn, while the rest of Poland shivers from the first chilly days. It is a perfect opportunity to take a leisure walk through the city's historical streets. The first written mentions of the city date back to 966. Therefore, it embraces such architectural styles as Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque, as well as Stalinist monumentalism. Krakow's Old Town has been listed as a UNESCO world heritage site. Strolling through its streets is one surprise after another, each corner offers a new architectural revelation.
The main square of Krakow is the largest medieval town square in Europe. It is surrounded by Planty Park where you can find benches to take rest before setting off to yet another beautifully located little street with old tenement houses, theatres, museums, university buildings or art galleries.
Recently, it is Kazimierz district that has become a popular place to be. This historic part of the city was mainly inhabited by a Jewish community from the 14th century until the Second World War. Now it hosts the annual international Jewish Culture Festival and its renaissance streets include dozens of pubs and clubs.
The Tatra Mountains, located nearby, provide picturesque city escapes. Hire a car in Krakow's centre or at the airport and see most of the region, which includes the (in)famous Auschiwtz concetrantion camp, or the 13th century Wieliczka Salt Mine. It is all there for you to explore... and fall in love with. The new pedestrian bridge linking the Kazimierz and Podgorze districts is the best place to admire sunsets, the Wawel Castle as well as Krakow's panorama. There are love padlocks with couples names fixed to a steel net balustrade. Some sections of the net are already cut off, indicating the unhappy ending of a love story...