A dozen or so kilometres southeast of the city centre is the town of Wieliczka, famous for its salt mine which has been in operation for at least 700 years. Like the Old Town of Cracow, Wieliczka has been honoured by being included on UNESCO’s World Heritage list. Even today, one can see how salt is being mined. The highlight of the place, however, is the part of the mine open to visitors. Created partly by nature and partly by the very capable hands of Wieliczka miners, the tourist route of the museum takes us through an eerie world of pits and chambers; hand-hewn from solid salt are chapels, with altarpieces and figurines, statues and other adornments, all carved in salt! Here, there are even underground lakes. The mine is renowned for its microclimate and health-giving properties; therefore, an underground sanatorium has been established, where respiratory tract diseases, motor problems as well as rheumatic conditions are treated.

Nestled at the foot of the Tatras, approximately 100 kilometres south of Cracow, Zakopane is the most famous mountain resort in Poland and the winter sports capital. Tourists continue to flock to Zakopane all year round, as they did in the second half of the 19th century. renovated, the church enchants visitors with its simplicity, high vaulted naves and beautiful wall paintings. Every hour, the hejnał (bugle-call) is played from the higher tower to commemorate the destruction of the city during the 13th century Tatar raids. After listening to the hejnał melody that breaks off abruptly in bar, one can never forget the town’s special ambience. In the southern corner of the square is the small, domed St Adalbert’s Church.

A good example of Romanesque architecture in Poland and one of the oldest churches in Cracow. The Town Hall Tower dominates the western section of the square; its basement contains a very well preserved medieval torture hall, a theatre and a café.

Lined with magnificent houses, the Main Market Square attracts crowds of tourists day and night. After long and successful rounds of shopping, they can sit and relax in the many restaurants and cafés located here; they can also enjoy savory meals in the ambience of their original interior decorations. The Main Market Square has always been Cracow’s salon.