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Spend a Wintry Weekend in Kraków, One of Poland’s Oldest Cities

According to legend, Poland’s historic capital was founded upon the defeat of a dragon, and, especially in winter, a mythical atmosphere permeates its attractive streets and squares.
Wawel Castle from the south bank of the Vistula

Kraków in winter



As Poland’s political and cultural heart in the 16th century, Wawel Castle is a national symbol. Within the Italian-inspired palace are the impressive State Rooms and Royal Private Apartments. There’s also a display (£1.70) of Leonardo da Vinci’s captivating painting, Lady with an Ermine (; grounds 6am-dusk, most exhibits closed Mon; grounds free, indoors sights individually ticketed).


Some nine miles southeast of Kraków, the town of Wieliczka (vyeh-leech-kah) is famous for its deep salt mine. It’s an eerie world of pits and chambers, and much within its depths has been carved by hand from salt blocks, including chapels with chandeliers, altarpieces and fgures; the complex even contains underground lakes (; ul Daniłowicza 10; 7.30am-7.30pm, 8am-5pm Nov-Mar; £14).

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