Crowned with an impressive royal castle and dotted with church spires and world-class museums, Kraków combines the historic with the cosmopolitan.
The streets of former Jewish quarter Kazimierz and nearby Auschwitz are sobering reminders of 20th-century tragedy, while the crowds thronging Kraków’s main square and the restaurants lining photogenic Old Town lanes buzz with 21st-century joie de vivre. Alongside heavy-hitting attractions exist simpler local pleasures: strolling alongside the Vistula River; dining on hearty home-style cooking in a retro bar mleczny (cafeteria); catching a local band at a legendary dive bar; enjoying a coffee in hipster enclave Tytano; gawping at the art nouveau architecture.
Here are the best things to do in Kraków.
Overlooking Old Town from its Wawel Hill perch, what was once the seat of Polish royalty for centuries is the city’s most impressive sight, not to mention the symbol of Poland and a source of local pride. Red-roofed, turreted and ringed by a red-brick wall, this 16th-century Renaissance palace is merely the latest incarnation: royal residences on this very spot have come and gone (burned down, extended, vandalized by Swedish and Prussian armies…) since the 11th-century.
Highlights include the 16th-century tapestries and carved wooden heads in the grand state rooms, the royal private apartments that give you an intimate glimpse into the monarchs’ private lives, the crown jewels in the treasury, and the Szczerbiec (jagged sword) that’s played an essential role in Polish coronations from 1320 onwards – find it inside the vaulted Gothic armory.
Give yourself plenty of time to visit the adjoining Wawel Cathedral, where many of Poland’s kings and queens are seeing out eternity in elaborate tombs, alongside the bones allegedly belonging to the legendary Wawel dragon. The grounds are free to visit, but it’s a really good idea to book tickets for exhibits you want to see at least two weeks ahead due to their enormous popularity.
Surrounded by restaurants and overlooked by handsome centuries-old buildings, Główny Rynek (Main Market Square) is the focal point of Old Town, as well as Europe’s largest medieval town square. After you’re done browsing the wares inside the market building, go back to the Middle Ages by descending to the medieval-meets-the-21st-century museum beneath the square.
Clever multimedia displays, holograms and animated puppets show you medieval market stalls and teach you about vampire prevention burials. Buy your timed ticket online in advance. Free entry on Tuesdays; closed second Monday of each month.
You don’t know what will touch you particularly deeply until you get there. For some, it’s the "Death Block" with its torture cells and its crematorium. For
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There’s no denying that the power of libations brings people together—and there’s simply nothing like toasting to the holiday season with Christmas drinks that are essentially crafted cocktails. This year is a perfect excuse to sip your way into one-of-a-kind Christmas traditions, celebrated around the globe.
The Connaught is a beloved five-star oasis of indulgence conveniently located in Mayfair. Guests return year after year for exceptional service, stunning rooms and consistently fabulous meals. The property becomes even more special as the holidays approach and guests are welcomed with special Christmas trees and festive holiday menus. This year’s tree was designed by influential British artist and sculptor Dame Rachel Whiteread. It sits outside the hotel and is decorated with over 100 circular neon white hoops, encouraging everyone to celebrate a feeling of togetherness.
Last November, a group of us took a trip to the Peak District for my dad’s 60th. We booked the Packhorse Inn in Little Longstone for the celebratory dinner, just off the famous Monsal Trail. The pub sources all its produce locally and changes its menu monthly. When we arrived, we were welcomed with roaring fires and delights on the menu such as pork belly with black pudding and mustard mash, game pie, and a top tier sticky toffee pudding. It was worth it, although we ended up having to navigate a muddy walk home afterwards through cow fields in complete darkness.Eloise
The highest echelon of hotels know how to take an experience and bed it into something that lives on in the heart. The world’s finest perfumiers do a remarkably similar job. So it’s fitting that - increasingly - the two are coming together as hoteliers create brilliantly evocative scents - and perfumiers pay homage to their favorite hotels creating an experiential circle of glorious memories.
Tbilisi is a city of contradictions, where Soviet-era feats of concrete, Silk Road caravanserais and decadent European-style mansions sit cheek by jowl. Moulded by invaders for much of its history, Tbilisi’s skyline can be read like a book, each city block a catalogue of its trials and triumphs.
This year, airlines have been rolling out Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales that have us dreaming about everything from Scandinavian escapes (courtesy of SAS Airlines) to exploring even further afield (hello, South Africa and Seychelles).
Gothenburg is ranked one of the world’s 100 best cities in 2023* (the only non-capital in the Nordic Countries) and is also the winner of the Global Destination Sustainability Index Leadership Award 2023* for the 7th time in a row. Here are 7 reasons to visit in 2024. There’s also a selection of new restaurants, bars, and shops to discover in Sweden’s second city situated on Sweden’s west coast. Experience World of Volvo World of Volvo, run by Volvo Cars and Volvo Group, will be both a landmark and meeting place with space for the new Volvo Museum, exhibitions, concerts and dining experiences. The circular, five-storey, 22,000-square-metre building is inspired by the Scandinavian landscape and will be located just next to Liseberg Amusement Park. It opens April 2024.
Revisiting Panem, the dystopian country in which The Hunger Games novels and movies are set, in prequel film The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes offered director Francis Lawrence an opportunity to present the world through a new lens. Set 64 years before those earlier works, the new film (based on a 2020 novel of the same name) showcases the familiar country just 10 years post-war—the thriving political Capitol, 12 outlying districts. As part of reconstruction, the Capitol has introduced the series' titular competition.
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