Spending time in the beautiful city of Kraków, it’s easy to fill your days milling about the picturesque streets or darting in and out of small cafes for a cup of coffee and Polish Paczki. But, one highlight of any well-planned itinerary in the city is devoting time to exploring Kazimierz, better known as the historic Jewish Quarter.
Before the World War II, Poland was one of the largest “homes” to the European Jewish population and the Jewish Quarter in Kraków was at the heart of the community. Here, there are stunning synagogues, restaurants, Judaica shops and cemeteries that tell a part of the story belonging to the Polish Jews that once inhabited this area of the city, before being forced into the Jewish ghetto across the Vistula river.
The area fell into disrepair during communistic times, but has since been restored and offers visitors a stunning display of history and context for anyone interested. But, even if your trip to Kraków isn’t focused on Jewish history, do not fear. You can still visit the area to soak-in the ambiance and eat traditional Polish and Jewish foods that make-up the vibrant culinary depiction of this city
My favorite sights are the Remah Synagogue, the old Jewish cemetery and adorable Ariel restaurant – which is a fantastic place for lunch or dessert. Investing time in Kazimierz will definitely be a highlight of your trip.