Looking proud on the banks of the Wisła river (Vistula), the former royal city of Kraków is remarkably easy going. It is popular magnet for the creatives and tourists alike, with about about a million people calling it home if one count the about 200,000 students in that are still officially registered in the villages of their mams and dads. And the about 100,000 Ukrainians that fled the war, and of which many found a job in the buzzing city. Having students is a real long historic fact for Kraków, as the Jagiellonian University was founded here in 1364 and remains the centrepiece of the academic world today.

The rooftops of Kraków are a must see, and the city has several options, like here from the rooftop terrace of the Music School. The white domed building is Poczta Główna, the now mostly empty Central Post Office building. The balloon in the distance is a tourist attraction, on a wire.

Unlike many Polish cities the buildings of the Old Town are authentic, and is on the UNESCO World Heritage list. Word has it that the Nazi-German general advancing into Kraków in 1939 liked it that much, he forbid bombing like what happened to almost all other Polish cities. Some buildings date back to the Middle Ages. The iconic Wawel Castle is from the 16th Century, and the city just grew around it.
I just recently started to process more of the photos I have been taking in Kraków, my home town, ever since my first visit as a tourist in 2017.

"Art wall" on the reconstructed old city wall near the Florian gate.

"The bridge of love", pedestrian and bicycle bridge that connects the popular centre city areas of Kazimierz and Podgórze.

The biggest and probably most impressive landmark of Kraków and its Old Town (Stare Miasto) is Wawel Castle. Once it was the residency of kings, ever since king Kazimierz the Great ordered it buit in the 14th Century. After that it was expanded and it shows at least four different main architectonic styles. Some parts look more German, some parts - like the inner courtyard, Italian. But it is the Polish flag on top. The fortified stronghold is a tourist magnet, with an estimated 1 to 2 million visitors every year post-COVID.

Especially in summer, tourist boats float up and down the Krakowian part of the river Wisła (Vistula)

Inside the Sukiennice, or Cloth Hall, bazaar on Kraków's main square one can find anything from jewelry to souvenirs

The main square (Rynek) with the Saint Mary's Basilica (Kościół Mariacki), the Cloth Hall (Sukiennice) and the touristic horse and carriage
The main square (Rynek) with the Saint Mary's Basilica (Kościół Mariacki), the Cloth Hall (Sukiennice) and the touristic horse and carriage
The touristic horse and carriage, with almost always a crew of a male horseman and a female side-kick - and with not always the greatest chemistry between them
The touristic horse and carriage, with almost always a crew of a male horseman and a female side-kick - and with not always the greatest chemistry between them

Kraków is home to about 200,000 students, that give the city a lively vibe

On Rynek, the main square in the old town is one of Europe's biggest

The trumpet player in the cathedral tower on main square. Four of them work in shifts, playing the same tune every hour. Legend has it that centuries ago a predecessor tried to signal the alarm for advancing forces and was killed by an archer. Up to today the trumpet player stops where - according to the stories - his fellow man was silenced in history.

View at the main cathedral, the Bazylika Mariacka, on main square - seen from the rooftop terrace of the Music School.

The Bazylika Mariacka during a crazy 2 January sunset.

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