Krakow has no shortage of medieval monuments and tucked away bars to explore. But a few days in Poland’s compact second city is enough, giving you time to explore further afield.
Day trips from Krakow range from a sobering visit to Auschwitz to an educational trip down Wieliczka Salt Mine.
Nature lovers often head to Zakopane, at the base of the Tatras Mountains. A two-hour drive away, the tourist-packed town is best explored on an overnight trip.
If you’re pressed for time, though, there’s a lesser explored natural wonder right on Krakow’s doorstep: Ojcowski National Park.
Here’s how to visit its towering limestone karsts, Neolithic caves and lush green valleys.
Limestone cliffs, ravines and over 400 caves make up the varied landscape of Ojcowski National Park - often shortened to Ojców - in the Polish Jurassic Highland.
Covering less than 22 km squared, it is the country’s smallest national park and is easily explored by bicycle or on foot.
The park is well signposted with coloured trails leading the way to its main attractions.
Ciemna Cave bears traces of human settlement dating back more than 100,000 years.
Polish speakers can learn about the cave’s Neanderthal settlements on a guided tour, while others can join to admire the stalactites, stalagmites and bats inside the grotto.
An office at the base of the hill sells tickets for PLN 20 (€4.30) for adults and PLN 10 (€2.20) for children.
The steep steps leading up to the attraction are not for the faint hearted, but it’s well worth persevering past the cave itself. Higher up, you’ll come across an iconic view of the Skala Biala Reka or ‘white hand rock’ - shaped like a raised hand.
You can catch sight of the Brama Krakowska (Krakow Gate) from the viewing platform at Ciemna Cave, but the towering natural structure is well worth an up-close look.
Further down the trail, you’ll also find King Lokietek’s Cave - the park’s largest. It is rumoured to have been used as a hiding place for a 14th century Polish king threatened with capture.
On a limestone cliff on the boundaries of Ojców, you’ll find Pieskowa Skała castle.
The well preserved structure is one of the best surviving examples of Poland’s Renaissance architecture. After wandering its manicured garden, check out the collection of Polish art inside before admiring the panoramic views from the onsite restaurant.
Pieskowa Skała is one of 25 medieval castles and watchtowers along what’s known as the Trail of Eagle’s Nests.
The chain also includes the 14th century Ojców Castle, perched right above one of the park’s main car parks.
If you get peckish while wandering Ojców National Park, make a beeline for Pod Puchaczówką.
From an unassuming wooden shack nestled among green fields and towering rocks, its friendly owner
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With its cobbled historic downtown, fascinating museums and lively dining and bar scene, Bogotá can keep you busy for days. After you’ve made the most of the city’s cultural and historical experiences, consider a day trip to Bogotá’s lush and evergreen hinterland, where you’ll find misty cloud forests, quaint towns, striking mountains and lots of outdoor activities. Most of these places can be reached on a bus, but if you rent a car, you might be able to combine a few of them into a one – or two – day trip.
If you’re already thinking ahead to next summer, you’re not alone. Recently, Delta announced a slew of new, returning, and expanded flight routes, many from its Atlanta hub to popular destinations in the American West, slated to kick off in summer 2024.
Somehow, the baby I used to Björn to my chest and tote around trips to Hawaii and Colorado is now a 6'2" man with beverage preferences reclining his seat on a cross-country flight to college in Oregon. I chose to spend our pre-campus nights in the decidedly un-stuffy Jupiter Next in Portland’s Central Eastside district for its fun vending machine (get a mystery bag for $10!), chill communal outdoor balconies with views of Mount Hood, and proximity to food vendors with delicious local eats. I packed for five days, anticipating much walking, hydrating, and chowing down. Oh, and lugging books into my son’s dorm room. Read on for a peek into my packing list for Portland, Oregon.
Since 1885, travelers have been exploring the snow-capped Rocky Mountain peaks and aqua-blue lakes that define Banff National Park: Canada's first national park and the third in the world. This UNESCO World Heritage Site has served as a home for guests ranging from mountain climbers to Olympians to Queen Elizabeth, and has belonged to six indigenous tribes in the area for thousands of years.
Editor’s Note: Monthly Ticket is a CNN Travel series that spotlights some of the most fascinating topics in the travel world. In September, we’re celebrating superlatives as we look at some of the world’s biggest, tallest and most expensive attractions and destinations.
The cozy timber-frame lodge of Camp Denali bustled with morning energy just moments ago. Guests chatted with each other, lodge staff cleared the plated breakfast of pancakes with blueberries harvested from the tundra outside, and coffee mugs clinked on the long wooden tables reminiscent of dining together in someone’s home. But now the lodge is quiet. Guests have left for activities of their choosing, from guided naturalist hikes designed for a range of abilities, biking the park road, and canoeing on Wonder Lake to relaxing in their cabins and enjoying the view. It’s a good day for it; the peak of Denali, all 20,300 feet of it scraping the rare clear sky, gleams impossibly through the window like some snow-covered image of myth.
This as-told-to story is based on a conversation with Samantha Meany, a TikTok content creator, and lifelong Taylor Swift fan from Raleigh, North Carolina. It's been edited for length and clarity. Meany's trip took place in the first week of August, shortly before the wildfires broke out on Maui.
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