Cracow is located in the south of Poland, on the Vistula River, where cultures, regions and traditions merge: a testimony to the meanders of history and legends lastingly fused with facts. The city of kings and rebels, stately bourgeois and inspired artists, academics and students. Teeming with life is always attracting.
Cracow is a former seat of the Polish kings and the capital of the country, nowadays is an important European metropolis. Cracow’s Old Town is a unique treasury of works of art, historical monuments and historic buildings, representing almost all architectural styles, from the Middle Ages to the present day. For hundreds of years, the Main Market Square has remained the heart of the city. It is the largest town square of medieval Europe, preserved in unchanged form since 1257 and included in the first list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites already in 1978. Cracow’s pride is also the second oldest institution of higher education in Central Europe – the Jagiellonian University (fonded in 1364). Also the Wawel Royal Castle has been overlooking the city for centuries. Apart from the monuments of the Old Town, Kazimierz district, which is an example of a centuries-long coexistence of Christian and Jewish cult ure continues to amaze.
Cracow is also a city vibrating with cultural life. In the year 2000 it was chosen to be the European Capital of Culture and in 2013 awarded the title of UNESCO City of Literature. Now Cracow’s literature team is a member of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network Steering Committee. In the framework of the Organization of World Heritage Cities and other international organizations Cracow actively works to build peace by safeguarding cultural diversity and fostering intercultural dialogue worldwide.
Every year, nearly 100 festivals and other world-famous cultural events take place here. It is also a city of modern museums, where visitors can come face to face with history. The capital of the Malopolska region can also boast about a rich offer for sports and recreation enthusiasts. Cracow also offers festivals of international renown, innovative museums in which modernity links with tradition, dozens of places connected with Pope John Paul II, the Jewish district Kazimierz as well as the Nowa Huta district, designed in the early 1950s.
Today, Cracow proudly stands as a modern European metropolis, a university city and a hub of new technologies. Although, “time flows differently” in Cracow, its medieval buildings and Renaissance Royal Route are vibrant, attracting young people from around the world and encouraging contemporary scientific research and creativity.
The greatest asset of Cracow is the city’s most appreciated atmosphere, allowing hipster’s, art and music lovers, pilgrims to find themselves, and the modern ICE Cracow Congress Center and Sport Arena attract sports enthusiasts sports enthusiasts and participants of more and more congresses.
There is no doubt that Cracow has in recent years become a top brand amongst Polish cities, highly recognized by tourists. The evidence for this is not only the number of visitors – 13.5 million in 2018, but also the measurable economic effects. The induced value of GDP produced by the tourism industry constitutes 8.27% of the total GDP of Cracow. More than 40,000 jobs are connected to the tourism economy of Cracow, which means that the phenomenon applies to one in every ten professionally active Cracow residents. The share of taxes and fees generated by the tourist industry in the city’s income amounts to 5.25%. The growing network of air connections, the increase in the number of beds, the growing effect of recommendations, distributed via social media, strengthens reputation of Cracow.