Krakow: Castles, Churches and Cellars

• Krakow, the former capital, has long since morphed into a university town; its population of 1 million includes 200,000 students.

They, together with tourists, are key reasons for the numerous cafes, restaurants, theaters, cabarets and other nightspots

A costumed vendor on the streets of old Krakow.

in town, some of which are underground.

The underground interior of the Pod Aniolami Restaurant, one of many such spots in Krakow’s Market Square area.

There are more than 100 cellars under about 18.5 acres of Krakow’s Market Square area, according to tourist literature.

Our group had dinner inside the gothic cellar that houses the Pod Aniolami restaurant, near the Market Square. The site is a 13th century building, home to goldsmiths for three centuries.

It looked very much the part, especially with the period pieces displayed on the stone walls and the heavy wood furnishings — which might or might not have been as old as they looked.

Menus emphasize traditional Polish cuisine, and meats are cooked over a beech wood fire.

Some of our group went to a jazz club in another cellar on the Market Square, but I preferred a walk.

During the day, we had visited Jama (meaning den) Michalika, an aboveground cafe dating from 1895 and known for its cabaret show born in the first years of the 20th century.

There seems to be plenty of Krakow entertainment, above or below ground!

Here’s a report on sightseeing alternatives, at sites near Krakow.

Horse-drawn carriages are popular with tourists for sightseeing in Krakow.

The article and photos are by Nadine Godwin, the author of Travia: The Ultimate Book of Travel Trivia, which was published by The Intrepid Traveler.

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