One of our favorite things to do in Krakow is walk along the Planty, sometimes we even run the entire 4k or bike it with friends. It is technically considered a city park, one of the largest in Krakow, but what makes it unique is that it encircles the entire Old Town, Wawel Castle included. Walls protecting the city used to stand here, actually the asphalt used to be a moat! You can see a remaining piece of wall when you are near the Barbican, but the rest were taken down in the 19th century by the city government and the moat was filled in to create the Planty…
This was a great time of urban revitalization for the city of Krakow. Fun fact: The Austrians in control of Krakow (remember Poland didn’t exist in the 19th century it had been split between Prussia, Russia, and Austria) actually said “no more dead people in the city!” so a lot of the cemeteries inside the city were moved– and the ones that stayed were not allowed to add dead people to them!
Throughout the planty you can find benches to sit and relax, along with a lot of significant statues and artwork. This is one of our favorite statues:
Cities often integrate some of their most famous people and events into the landscape of parks theough the form of permanent art, a.k.a., statues! But sometimes you walk by them everyday and never even know who they were! In today’s episode of “Who the heck were they and why is there a statue about them?” I present Stefan Banach and Otto Nikodym- famous mathmeticians- discovered in Planty Park talking about Lebesgue’s integral by Hugo Steinhaus. This statue commemorates that moment; and celebrates the knowledge these men brought to the firld of mathematics, not just in Krakow- but globally. #Krakow #travel
There are also beautiful cafes to sit and have something to eat or drink (our favorite was Bunkier Cafe- but it’s closed now), and a few churches to visit, in addition to the main tourist attractions The Planty encircles– so be sure to walk the whole Planty- but don’t be afraid to make detours as well.