Study Experiences can arrange a wide range of visits in Krakow, such as:
Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camps
This authentic Memorial consists of the former camps and the post-camp relics, protected by the State Museum which was created in 1947. Your guided tour is conducted by an Auschwitz Memorial guide which ensures efficient movement around the entire Museum grounds and full information about the museum, the buildings and their history, and the exhibitions.
Auschwitz I was used originally to hold those deemed to be political prisoners, while Auschwitz II, also known as Birkenau, was the purpose-built death camp constructed to murder many thousands of European Jewish, Roma and Sinti people.
Instantly recognisable by the haunting train tracks and watchtowers, Auschwitz II-Birkenau was the largest of all the concentration camps in the area. The camp itself has been maintained in the same condition in which the Nazis left it, as a constant reminder of the atrocities that took place. Its size, with its endless lines of barbed wire and watch towers, provides students with an insight into the scale of the Nazi programme, that can only be understood by visiting the camp.
Oskar Schindler’s Factory/Museum
This museum located on the right-bank of Vistula River focuses on life in Kraków pre and post invasion and is located in the former administrative building of Oskar Schindler’s Enamel Factory at 4 Lipowa Street. The permanent exhibition ‘Kraków under Nazi Occupation 1939– 1945’ is primarily a story about Kraków and its inhabitants, both Polish and Jewish, during World War II.
Nazi-era Jewish Ghetto
On March 21, 1941, the entire Jewish population of 68,000 men, women and children, residing in Kazimierz (Jewish District), were marched across the Silesian Uprisings Bridge and crammed into what was to become known as the Podgórze Ghetto. Liquidated on March 14, 1943, the majority of the Ghetto’s residents were murdered there, while others met death in the nearby Liban quarry and Płaszów concentration camp, or in the gas chambers of Auschwitz-Birkenau and Belzec.Traces of the Nazi-era Jewish Ghetto still exist; in the south of the square at Lwowska Street there is a fragment of the ghetto wall with a commemorative plaque. Ghetto Heroes Square, the scene of mass deportations, is dotted with large metal chairs – one for every thousand Kraków Jews. The chairs represent possessions discarded by the deportees and remind today’s passers-by of the displacement of Jews.
Kazimierz (Jewish District)
Located south of the Old Town, Kazimierz was the centre of Jewish life in Krakow for over 500 years, before it was systematically destroyed during World War II. In the communist era it fell into disrepair and gained a reputation for being one of the city’s most hazardous districts. However following the fall of the regime in the 1990’s and worldwide exposure through Steven Spielberg’s film “Schindlers List”, it has continued to develop into a fashionable, bustling district where historical sites, numerous synagogues and Jewish cemeteries reflecting traces of Kazimierz’s Jewish history sit alongside trendy cafés and art galleries, popular among tourists and locals alike.
St Mary's Church
Situated in the north east corner of Krakow’s central Main Square, St Mary’s Church (Church of Our Lady of the Assumption) is considered to be the most famous of all Poland’s churches. Following the Tartar raids in the 13th century the original church was left in ruins but was then rebuilt in Gothic style on the existing foundations and consecrated in 1320. In 1365 a chancel was added followed by large and impressive stained-glass windows, three of which are still in place. By the end of the 14th century the body of the church got its current form of a basilica. The exterior of St Mary’s Church has two towers. In the early 15th century the towers took the iconic form they have today, when the northern “Excubiarum” tower was raised to 80m high and made into a watchtower for the city. The church bells are located in the lower tower at a height of 69 metres. This is the only tower in the world from which a trumpeter has played the Heynal (bugle call) to the four quarters of the globe every hour throughout the whole day for over 600 years.
Rynek Underground Museum
One of the newest attractions in Krakow is the unique Rynek Underground located in the east corner of the Cloth Hall. Opened in 2010 the museum was built on the site of an archaeological excavation that took place over five years. Situated four metres below the main Market Square, visitors can explore the excavated medieval merchant stalls that predate today’s Cloth Hall and are taken on an interactive journey through the city’s entire history from its first settlers right up to the death of Pope John Paul II via high-tech multimedia exhibits.
Royal Wawel Castle
The Royal Castle on Wawel Hill has been home to three dynasties of Poland's monarchs, at the political and cultural heart of Poland through the 16th century, and is an important symbol of Poland.
Wieliczka Salt Mine
Located approximately 10km from the city centre, the Wieliczka Salt Mine is impressive in its size and complexity, visited by more than a million people each year. This unique mining site was placed by the UNESCO on its first World Cultural and Natural Heritage List In 1978 and is the oldest salt mine in the world still in operation.