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Planty Park Krakow

Planty Park in Krakow: Everything You Need to Know (2023)

    Planty Park is the ideal place to observe the daily life of Krakow. Local families, young couples and groups of friends love to stroll through its tree-lined avenues.

    Go there in the morning and enjoy a nice stroll among the kiosks selling obwarzanek and sweets and the manicured gardens. Enjoy the calm of Planty Park and find out why it is so loved by locals.

    Planty Park: a green belt on the site of the ancient city walls

    The old town of Krakow was once enclosed within majestic and mighty defensive walls. The city walls, dating back to the 13th century, were a complex of fortifications, towers and gates, while in the outer part there was a deep moat.

    By the early 1800s the medieval city walls had fallen into disuse, the city had expanded far beyond the walls, and the area around the walls had become a dirty, unhealthy and ruined place.

    Krakow in the early 1800s was under the influence of the Austrians, so Emperor Franz I of Austria-Hungary ordered the dismantling of the old fortifications, the filling of the moat with soil and the creation of a garden in place of the moat.

    This short-sighted demolition has erased the traces of the marvelous medieval fortifications. However, Professor Feliks Radwański of Jagiellonian University managed to persuade the Senate of the Free City of Cracow to preserve part of the ancient fortifications.

    It is thanks to him that today we can see the Barbican and the St. Florian’s Gate, which was part of the inner city walls.

    Things to see and do in Planty Park

    The Planty Park in Krakow is nowadays a 4 km long green belt that encloses the city. It consists of a chain of dozens of smaller gardens, each in a different style, connected by walkways and lawns adorned with fountains and statues.

    A walk along Planty Park will allow you to see many historic buildings in Krakow. You can start from the Barbican, an imposing fortress dating back to 1499. Near the Barbican you can visit the Florianska Gate, the ancient main gate of the city dating back to the 13th century, from which begins the Royal Route that runs through the old town.

    Along the walkways you will meet street performers, stalls and kiosks selling street food, sweets and the inevitable obwarzanek, the typical donut-shaped bread.

    Szewska street runs through the park and leads directly to the Main Market Square, there are a lot of eateries and cafes here. A few hundred meters further you can see the ancient Jagiellonian University. Here you can visit the amazing Collegium Maius, the oldest building of the University, where Copernicus studied.

    Continuing along Planty Park you will pass by Franciszkańska Street, opposite the Philharmonic. Here is the Bishop’s Palace and the Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi.

    Walking along the old wall of the Archaeological Museum you will end up at the foot of the Wawel Hill, and from here to the bank of the Vistula. After passing the most famous tourist spots, you can go to Grodzka Street, which leads back to the Main Market Square. Across the street you will find the Planty Park continuum, but there isn’t much to see on this side.

    Returning to the Barbican, it is worth seeing the beautiful Juliusz Słowacki Theater, a Baroque theater-opera house built in the late 1800s and listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site together with the old town of Krakow. Behind the theater take a look at the beautiful medieval Church of the Holy Cross, a Gothic jewel dating from the early 14th century.

    Planty Park Krakow Attractions

    How to Visit Planty Park

    You can visit Planty Park for free. To visit the various museums and attractions you will encounter along the way (such as the Barbican, the City Walls, the Archaeological Museum with its beautiful gardens, etc.) you will need to purchase a ticket for each attraction. With the City Pass Krakow Card you can visit them for free.

    A great way to visit Planty Park is by bicycle. You can rent a bike and explore the city on your own or you can join one bike tour that allow you to see the most famous attractions of Krakow city center, including Planty Park.

    There are also excellent guided walking tours, and segway tours are also very popular. Don’t miss the Krakow Night Tour: an evening walk to discover the legends of Krakow and ancient stories of ghosts, vampires and alchemists.

    For those traveling on a budget, there are also good free walking tours.

    Things to see and do around Planty Park

    Planty Park is the main gateway to the wonderful Krakow’s Old Town and from here you can easily reach all the main attractions of the city. Check out our must-read list of the Best Things to Do and See in Krakow.

    Planning your trip to Krakow? Then these will come in handy: