The Royal Route is the most interesting and most frequently visited tourist route in Krakow. The name via regia alludes to the times when this road was traversed by rich royal retinues heading for the Wawel hills on the occasion of grand ceremonies.
The route of ceremonial processions and coronation rides starts at Matejko Square and leads through the gate and Florianska Street, the Main Market Square and Grodzka and Kanonicza Streets to the Wawel Royal Castle. On the Matejko Square the attention is drawn first of all to the Grunwald Monument, the edifice of the Academy of Fine Arts and the corner church of St. Florian.
The royal landing
At the very beginning of this tour we were greeted by a slight fog. From the window in the plane, only thick clouds could be seen. Fortunately, as time went by, the sun started to show and we got off at the Balice airport near Krakow, full of excitement for the new day. From there our royal adventure began. To feel like royalty right from the start, we used the following service: https://jtp.group/en/vip-transfers-from-krakow-airport-to-the-city-centre/, and in just 20 minutes we were comfortably at our hotel.
We decided to visit the wonderful city of Krakow in a rather unusual way, by following the royal trail. Not just any way, not according to our own chosen paths. We booked a tour with Krakow Direct which included a guided tour, a lunch break in local restaurants and at the end a short cruise on the Vistula River for those who wanted to 🙂 If you are curious, check out their offer yourself: https://krakowdirect.com/krakow-airport-krakow-transfer/.
On the track of kings
We started our tour from the Florian Gate, from where you can see the two towers of St. Mary’s Church. The guide started to tell us in details all the stories that are connected with it and how it was built.
St. Mary’s Church
This monumental, gothic building hides many treasures in its interior, among them the famous and stunning altar carved by one of the greatest artists of medieval Europe, master Wit Stwosz from Nuremberg. The figures in the altar were made with such precision and naturalism that it’s hard to believe that a human hand could have done such a work. Just behind the Basilica we saw the famous Cloth Hall.
A conspicuous city building, located in the middle of the market square. For centuries it has been the center of trade. Previously Gothic, the Cloth Hall was rebuilt in the spirit of the Renaissance by Italian architects Giovanni Maria Padovano and Santi Gucci. All around is the main square of the Main Square.
The Main Square
Visiting Krakow you have a unique opportunity to see one of the biggest town squares in medieval Europe. Attention…its surface is as big as 200 x 200 m! A few rounds around and a small marathon completed 😉
Krakow’s Market Square was set out in 1257, when Prince Boleslaw the Chaste signed the act of incorporation of Krakow under German law. Today it is a place of magnificent architecture (the Cloth Hall, St. Mary’s Church, the Town Hall Tower, the Palace under the Rams… the list goes on) and amazing historical and artistic atmosphere.
Following our royal route we will find ourselves in one of the most beautiful urban spaces of Krakow. On the square there is a beautiful, baroque church of St. Florian and an impressive monument commemorating the victory at Grunwald.
The main seat of our monarchs and royal court. In front of us appeared the Wawel Cathedral, whose beauty and exaltation took our breath away. For a small additional fee, we could visit the royal tombs and climb the tower where the magnificent Sigismund Bell was hung in the 16th century. We finished the Wawel Castle tour admiring the beautiful arcaded courtyard of the Renaissance Royal Castle. The guide really spared us no information and told us legends in a very funny way.
A crunchy finale
From the walls surrounding Wawel Castle we admired the Vistula River meandering below. At sunset we strolled through the Planty Park, surrounding the Old Town like a green veil. What would a trip to Krakow be without trying bagel? By the way we fed a flock of pigeons. In addition we drank delicious aromatic coffee from nearby cafes and did a little souvenir shopping. Who doesn’t like fridge magnets?
Krakow has its own wonderful atmosphere and unique climate. After all it is the former capital of Poland. It was a really successful trip and we sincerely recommend it to everyone. Krakow sightseeing tour along the Royal Route is an ideal offer for tourists who want to see the main attractions of Krakow in one day. It is a great choice for couples, families, school trips or corporate trips.