Kazimierz is a district so stuffed with beautiful spots that it might get overwhelming to see all of them. We hope that our guide will help you choose what you want to see the most. Hopefully you’ll spend the most amazing time in one of the most interesting Krakow’s neighbourhood!
1. TEMPEL SYNAGOGUE
Established in the 19th century as a religious centre for progressive Jews, the synagogue held services in both Polish and German. During the interwar period, it also had a women’s choir. The interiors are richly decorated in the Moorish style, making it very different from other synagogues. Although partially destroyed during World War II, it was restored to its former glory following a thorough renovation. The most characteristic features are the 49 colourful stained glass windows made in the years 1894–1925. Worth seeing is also the monumental Aron ha-Kodesh made out of white Carrara marble.
2. ALCHEMIA CLUB
After it opened in the 1990s, the Alchemia club quickly became one of the most iconic bars in the city. Boasting unusual old paintings and furniture, secret doors hidden in the cloakroom, and a basement which hosts alternative music concerts. It truly is a spot not to be missed!
3. ETHNOGRAPHIC MUSEUM IN KAZIMIERZ
One of the oldest museums in Poland. It was founded in 1904 and houses a huge collection of 80,000 pieces of folk art, everyday objects and photographs. Many of exhibits were donated by Polish travellers and researchers. The collection also includes over 8,000 painted eggs, pieces of South American art from the Asháninka people and the world’s oldest Siberian collection.
4. COURTYARD BETWEEN MEISELSA STREET AND JÓZEFA STREET
Undoubtedly one of the most popular and most photogenic places in Kazimierz. The buildings on the street date mostly from the 19th century. After the war there was a cultural centre here, and later restaurants. Such courtyards were a frequent element of development in the district. However, many of them have either been destroyed or are only available for residents of the buildings to enter. In addition to its beauty, the courtyard is also noteworthy for being the location where a number of scenes from Spielberg’s movie Schindler’s List were shot.
5. PRE-WAR SIGNBOARDS ALL AROUND KAZIMIERZ
Kazimierz was a multicultural district for centuries, and the efforts of the Nazis and the neglect of the communists did nothing to change that. While you look around the district, in addition to looking around the more obvious places such as synagogues and their adjoining cemeteries, it is also worth checking out some of the more discreet reminders of the everyday life of the Jewish community here. To that end, there are numerous signboards and inscriptions on the walls that you can seek out. The most famous ones are located on Miodowa Street and Szeroka Street. However, the neighbourhood is full of them in many places so you can be sure you’ll come across them pretty much anywhere.
6. POPPER SYNAGOGUE
This baroque synagogue was the most richly decorated of all Krakow’s Jewish temples thanks to the generosity of its founder, the merchant Wolf Pepper. However, maintaining the synagogue proved so costly that it resulted in his heirs going bankrupt! The elegant interior was utterly destroyed by the Nazis during World War II. Luckily, the building itself was quickly renovated. Nowadays it is the location for a very interesting and beautifully arranged bookstore belonging to the Austeria publishing house.
7. RESTAURANT IN THE SYNAGOGUE – HEVRE
Strange as it may seem, there are many synagogues in Poland which now have a completely different function, and this change of purpose has helped to save them from ruin. After World War II, the size of the Jewish community had decreased significantly, leaving many synagogues deserted. That was the fate that befell the Chevra Thilim synagogue. It was built at the end of the 19th century on the initiative of the Psalm Brotherhood. In 2016, however, the Hevre restaurant was opened inside the synagogue. It allowed visitors to admire the original frescoes that were reclaimed from under many layers of paint by painstaking conservation work, as well as the building’s beautiful interiors. It makes it really easy to imagine the splendour it possessed when it was first built.
8. MOSTOWA STREET
This seemingly inconspicuous street runs along the Vistula River (above the embankment) and offers an amazing view of the river. It was marked out as an avenue at the end of the 19th century due to the construction of the Podgórski Bridge which connects two districts of the city – Kazimierz and Podgórze. The street used to be extremely busy as it was the route of the first electric tram line in Krakow. In later decades, it has become an atmospheric place for a stroll. It has plenty of shade provided by lots of old trees, and offering a beautiful view of Podgórze.
9. JÓZEFA STREET – THE ARTSIEST IN KAZIMIERZ
A medieval street known for its beauty and atmosphere. Few people know that before the 14th century it was a wooden road connecting the villages of Bawół and Skałka. It was later attached to Kazimierz. Its inhabitants were almost entirely Jewish, with many establishments, shops and restaurants subsequently being set up there. Despite its turbulent history, it’s a place that still captivates visitors with its charm. It’s one of the most important points on the tourist map of the district.
If you love charming places, you will be delighted to see the Wawel Royal Gardens!