Krakow: Where the Baltic Run Begins
Krakow is a fantastic start city for the Baltic Run.
The Baltic Run minimal assistance winter rally takes place mainly, predictably, in the Baltic States: Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia. However, it actually starts in the wonderful Polish city Krakow. Poland’s second city is historic, picturesque, and a great place to party. Now, some facts about Krakow.
Often a Capital (but not Anymore)
Though Poland’s current capital if Warsaw, Krakow has been the capital city of many states in its time. For many centuries is was the capital of the Crown of the Kingdom of Poland, and later became the center of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. Under Nazi rule, it was the capital city of the so-called ‘General Government’.
Home to a Very Big Square
If there’s one thing to see in Krakow, it’s the Main Square. And it’s not hard to miss it, as this medieval relic is one of the largest such spaces in Europe. Not only that, but it’s often considered one of, if not the, best squares in Europe. Centered around the 15th Century Cloth Hall, and lined with other historic treasures, there are also a phenomenal amount of lively cafes (ie places where you can have a beer…).
While a lot of our time on the Baltic Run is spent exploring the unexplored, and celebrating the unusual, that can’t really be said for where we begin our adventure. In recent years more and more tourists are recognising the unique beauty and history of Krakow. That’s why it’s great that we arrive in winter: it’s the only time of the year to see the city in peace and quiet! Don’t worry, there’s still plenty places to party!
Better yet, we reckon that Krakow never looks better than in winter. With ice rinks, Christmas markets, and snow, it’s a special time of year. And, of course, keeping warm gives you plenty reason to try the local vodka.
Lots to See
There are plenty must-see places in Krakow, from the famous Wawel Castle to (though it’s a bus ride away) the Wieliczka Salt Mine, with its tunnels, salt lakes, and even undergound chapels. Finally, there is the option of visiting Auschwitz. The concentration camp is 90 minutes drive from the center, but everyone should see it for themselves at least once.