There are four mounds (kopiec) around the city, each with its own unique story. Some are said to have Kings buried below them, while others are made of soil carried by citizens from prominent battlegrounds. No matter the legend, they provide breathtaking views of the entire city, each from a different view point, and some of the best picnicking places in the city. Watch the sunrise from Pilsudski Mount, or the sunset from the Krakus Mound. Join the hoards of tourists at the Kosciusko Mound, the most well-kept of the four, hence the admission fee, or discover communist architecture on your way to the Wanda Mound in Nowa Huta…
The Kosciuszko Mound: The most popular, and largest. It costs 11zł to enter, but it’s worth it. Take Tram 1, 2, or 6 (or a bus) all the way to the end, Salwator, and then follow the signs to climb to the top of the mound.
The Krakus Mound: Can be reached by foot from the Old Town, or by tram, is located in Podgórze, near the cemetery. Easy to find on a map or take Tram 3 to Powstańców Wielkopolskich and walk 670 meters to the mound. Legend has it that after King Krak’s death, villagers carried dirt here in their sleeves to build the mound.
The Piłsudski Mound: The newest mound, built using soil from all the battlefields in which Poles fought for independence. It is located in center of Wolski Woods, Las Wolski, near the zoo and Bielany Monastery (the woods are also worth a walk through). From here, both city and country can be seen, as well as the occasional airplane. Take Bus 102 to Chełmska, and then walk 600 meters into the woods.
The Wanda Mound: is located in Nowa Huta, and is said to be the burial site for King Krak’s daughter; it’s the largest prehistoric burial mound in Poland. Take Tram 4 to Kopiec Wandy, and while you’re in the area, check out the communist architecture of Nowa Huta, the famous Steelworks, or a number of buildings from the wooden architecture route.