The Małopolska Province is where one finds some of Poland’s most visited sites. This most varied region stretches from the snowy peaks of the Tatra Mountains to the rugged limestone cliffs of Kraków-Częstochowa Upland, and the scenic, low lying Vistula River Valley.
Kraków is the region’s capital and the most recognized city. It is worth noting that Kraków is on the UNESCO World Heritage List. This royal city attracts visitors from around the world. Kraków’s greatness has its roots in its history. As a former capital of Poland, visitors are enchanted by the Wawel, the royal castle and Cathedral, where Polish kings were crowned.
The old Jewish quarter, Kazimierz, has the charm of Montmartre in Paris, and the endless, grey apartment blocks in the communist-built Nowa Huta could easily serve as a backdrop for Orwell’s, ‘1984’.
The myriad of other notable historical monuments, the unique atmosphere inspired by the hospitable locals, a multitude of students, the many restaurants, inns, and pubs as well as exciting festivals and notable cultural events all attract and invite a visit.
Besides Kraków, Małopolska boasts other UNESCO monuments. The list is impressive: the underworld of the salt mine in Wieliczka founded centuries ago, the Bernardine Monastery in Kalwaria Zebrzydowska with its little churches and chapels that crown the so-called “Calvary paths” scattered throughout the nearby hills. The wooden churches in Binarowa, Dębno Podchalańskie, Lipnica Murowana, and Sękowa, or the horrific historical memorial- the Former Nazi German Concentration Camp Auschwitz-Birkenau in Oświęcim.
The Małopolska region is also home to the Polish Pope, John Paul II. Wadowice, his hometown, is visited by thousands of pilgrims who queue in front of local pastry shops to buy Pope’s favorite cream cakes. The Pope’s family home turned into a museum depicts the whole life of Saint John Paull II. The heart of the museum is the apartment in which Karol Wojtyła was born and raised. Inside, there are original pieces connected with the Wojtyła Family.
Nature in Malopolska is very diversified. There are the Tatry Mountains, the only Alpine mountains in the south of Poland. Further to the east, the Beskidy, gentle hills are covered with forests, and the rocky country with rafting on the Dunajec River in the limestone Pieniny Mountains are a great delight for those visiting the area. The limestone cliffs, canyons, and caves are the main attractions of the Krakowsko-Częstochowska Highlands.
The Małpolska Province has in store a whole lot of original experiences, exciting adventures, regional flavors, and urban discoveries just waiting for the curious and intrepid traveler.