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The Royal Road in Krakow 

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Krakow's Royal Way

Royal Road in Krakow, the ceremonial route kings and the like took across Poland’s historical capital, links most of its marvels. As the city had 8 gates, sure the Monarchs entered through the main one, the Gothic Floriańska gate of circa 1300 and–since 1499–the mighty Barbican before it; now both nicely preserved with the adjacent city walls and towers.


Krakow's medieval barbican
City Walls
700-year-old main city gate with adjoining mighty walls and towers.

From the gate the Floriańska street, from time immemorial Krakow’s busiest, leads to the central square. At 45 Floriańska street the Jama Michalika cafe (est. 1895) boasts period art nouveau decor; at no. 41 there is The House of Jan Matejko, the great 19th-century painter’s residence turned into a museum. The street ends at the foot of the 14th-century Gothic basilica of the Virgin Mary’s, the city’s chief and biggest church. Every full hour the ancient Krakow Signal is trumpeted to the world’s four sides from its taller, crowned tower.

Krakow's Rynek Glowny grand square
Basilica of the Virgin Mary's
The immense Gothic church, Krakow's principal temple since the 13th century, shelters the world's
greatest Gothic sculpture among its many excellent works of art.

The basilica overlooks the Grand Square–Europe’s largest medieval city plaza, with the Renaissance Cloth Hall of 1555 in the midst and the 13th-century Gothic Town Hall Tower in the background. In the square’s southern corner one finds the tiny 11th-century church of St. Adalbert’s (Polish Wojciech), its original Romanesque form barely veiled by a Baroque renovation, with an archeological preserve underground.

street cafe at Krakow's central square

Grand Square

Krakow’s central Grand Square (Rynek Glowny), the largest plaza of medieval Europe and one of the world’s finest with its spectacular landmarks, has remained the hub of the city since the 13th century.

One block down the near Grodzka street there is a square flanked by two grand 13th-century temples. Right, the Romanesque basilica of St. Francis’, famous for its turn of the century’s splendid stained-glass modernist windows and floral frescos, adjoins a Franciscan monastery. Left, the Gothic basilica of Holy Trinity dwarfs the adjacent Dominican monastery. Both monasteries boast the 14th-century great cloisters, full of art. The Franciscan one neighbors the Renaissance Wielopolskich Palace of 1560, a city hall since 1865. Halfway down the Grodzka street turn right to the Senacka street and next instant left to find the scenic Kanonicza street, arguably one of Europe’s finest, lined with stately and mostly Renaissance houses.

Krakow's Kanonicza street

Kanonicza Street

The most beautiful of Europe's ancient streets, arguably.

In its half a charming square unveils the white facade of the imposing Jesuit Baroque church of St. St. Peter and Paul’s of 1619 next to the grand Romanesque church of St. Andrew’s of circa 1090. From 1951 to 1963 Father Karol Wojtyla, future Pope John Paul II, dwelled at 19 and 21 Kanonicza St, where his former rooms have been turned into a part of the Archdiocese Museum, otherwise showing mostly church art.

Wawel Hill

Wawel Royal Castle

Home to three dynasties of Poland's monarchs. Its stately halls and exquisite chambers are filled with priceless art, best period furniture and rare ancient objects. The collection of the 16th-century monumental Flemish tapestries of Wawel is matchless.

The street ends just at the foot of the Wawel Royal Castle atop the Wawel Hill and next the Royal Road climbs up the elevation to the double gates (of the 20th c and 17th c respectively) in its walls. The steps on the left behind the second gate lead to the Wawel Cathedral, while the next turn left will bring you to the Royal Castle’s entrance.

Select restaurants on the Royal Route. 

Any following information has been provided by respective restaurants on their sole responsibility.

Jama Michalika restaurant in Krakow

Jama Michalika restaurant and art cafe
Polish cuisine.
Address 45 Florianska street. Phone/fax (+48) 124221561. Email Website
The original vibrant Art Nouveau interior of famous Jama Michalika, established in 1895, dates back to 1908. The place was immortalized by its early 20th-century patrons:  the greatest artists, actors and men of letters of the period, whose caricatures still adorn the walls. The restaurant is situated at the Royal Road, five minutes walk from the central square, close to Brama Florianska city gate. It serves traditional Polish dishes.
Dinners for organized groups from 5 euro per person.
We arrange banquets, special events, weddings, and business gatherings at negotiable prices.

Pod Aniolami restaurant in Krakow, Poland

Pod Aniolami restaurant
Polish cuisine.
The Pod Aniolami – “Under the Angels” restaurant is an extraordinary place, famed far and wide for its marinated meats, grilled over beech hardwood fire, and other old Polish dishes. The restaurant’s historical 13th-century interiors and brilliant cuisine, based on the Polish culinary traditions, will make you soak up the atmosphere of the Medieval Kings’ City of Cracow. At “Under the Angels” time stood still and one can still find the ambience of old Cracow here. Beautiful interiors and excellent cuisine attract renowned guests from all over the world. On the ground floor we invite you to The Chamber of the Wawel Castle’s Comptroller where one can admire the 18th-century polychromes during private banquets. There is also a charming year-round open garden with a mosaic fountain to which one can always drop a coin wishing to come back to this unusual place.
Meal for two without wine - about 40 euro
Address: 35 Grodzka street.
(+48) 124213999.

Suggested itineraries in Krakow, on foot
The best way to enjoy old Krakow is afoot.

Stroll Round the Grand Square

Stroll through Krakow's Kazimierz District

Planty walk round the Old Town

In the footsteps of Pope John Paul II


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