Ride a bike along the network of paths in Jordan Park. You’re likely to pass flower beds in full bloom, noisy games of football, families out walking and fitness enthusiasts working out on public gym equipment. Stop to watch skateboarders defy gravity on the skate ramp or sit beside the lake and watch boaters paddling across the water.
Jordan Park was established in 1889 by the doctor, philanthropist and social reformer Henryk Jordan. The park was designed to promote his theory that physical exercise was just as important as education for the development of children. It was the first public park in Poland and the first park of its kind in Europe. Although World War II left the park largely in ruins, it has now returned to its former glory. Its 52 acres (21 hectares) of green space is packed with trails, sports fields and activities encouraging locals and visitors to get active.
Stop and watch a ball game or ask friendly locals if you can join in. Local teams and groups of friends are often playing soccer, touch rugby or Frisbee. Reserve one of the nearby tennis courts to play a game of tennis.
Test your fitness and follow one of the exercise trails. Take a morning jog or cruise around the trails on a rented bicycle. A variety of equipment comes with instructions to guide you through a full body workout. For something less strenuous, enjoy the water by renting a paddleboat or kayak.
See blooming flowerbeds, 100-year-old elm and lime trees and well-tended lawns. Watch closely along the sides of the paths for the busts of Poland’s most eminent historical figures; give your children the challenge of finding all 36 statues.
Jordan Park is situated a few blocks west of Krakow’s Old Town. You can walk there as the start of your exercise or take a bus or a tram. It is open every day of the year and entry is free.