Krakow’s history spans a millennium: it was the seat of Polish kings and the capital of the country, developing into one of the key European metropolitan centres. The Old Town is an exceptional treasury of works of art, with traces of history and heritage representing nearly all architectural styles from the early Middle Ages to contemporary times.
Kraków boasts one of the oldest institutions of higher education in Central Europe, second only to the University of Prague: the Jagiellonian University, whose students have included Mikołaj Kopernik (Nicolas Copernicus) and Pope John Paul II.
Kraków is a city with a dynamic cultural life. In 2000 it was a European City of Culture. Every year, nearly 100 festivals and other events, many of world magnitude, are held here; notably Misteria Paschalia, Sacrum Profanum, the Jewish Culture Festival, and the Kraków Film Music Festival (FMF). It is also a city of modern museums, where visitors are invited to discover history in an interactive manner.
It goes without saying that Kraków enchants with its unique atmosphere: lazy and relaxed at times, brimming with events at others, yet always exceptional and inspiring.
Founded: 7th century
Number of Higher Education Institutions: 24
Kraków is a major center of education in Poland. Twenty-four institutions of higher education offer courses in Polish, English and other languages. Jagiellonian University, the oldest university in Poland and ranked by the Times Higher Education Supplement as the best university in the country, was founded in 1364.
– There are about 50 large multinational companies in the city, including Google, IBM, Royal Dutch Shell, UBS, HSBC, Motorola, Aptiv, MAN SE, General Electric, ABB, Aon, Akamai, Cisco Systems, Hitachi, Philip Morris, Capgemini, which are interested in employing international workers.
– Kraków lies in the southern part of Poland in a valley at the foot of the Carpathian Mountains which gives an opportunity to enjoy wonderful landscapes, as well as short tours to neighbor countries as Czech Republic, Ukraine or Slovakia, or one of the most famous Ski Resort in Poland called Zakopane.
– Krakow is a center of tourism in Poland, so it has really much to offer foreign visitors. English and German are spoken in Krakow almost as much as Polish.
– As a touristic capital Krakow is quite expensive comparing to other big cities.
– In 2013 Lonely Planet voted Krakow square the best market square in the world. It is also the largest in Europe.
– Stephen Spielberg’s famous movie Schindler’s List was shot in one of Kraków’s Jewish quarters, called Kazimierz. Most of the quarter’s houses are still decorated with Stars of David. The local synagogues and tiny shops and cafés that serve Jewish dishes are all enshrouded in the spirit of those times.
– It’s forbidden to feed pigeons in Krakow.