Use the park surrounding the Old Town to walk between attractions or stop for a picnic among flowerbeds and fountains in summer.
The Planty gardens run in a ring around Krakow’s Old Town (Stare Miasto). The 30 gardens that make up the park are filled with statues, fountains, brightly colored flowerbeds and well-kept lawns. Use the peaceful surroundings as a base to explore some of the Old Town’s most famous sights. Stop on one of Planty’s many benches to admire the red brick facade of the university or peek over the walls at the gardens of the Dominican Monastery.
The 52 acres (21 hectares) of Planty gardens run in a 2.5-mile (4-kilometer) ring around the outside of Krakow’s Old Town. They were built between 1822 and 1830 as a replacement for the old city walls that had fallen into disrepair. Now, 30 uniquely styled gardens are connected by a walkway. Stop here between visiting other attractions in the Old Town or simply to enjoy the hour-long walk around the park.
Start at the Wawel Garden at the foot of the castle. The first building you see is the neo-Gothic brick seminary. Stroll slowly through the different gardens to take in numerous fountains, monuments, statues and carefully designed flowerbeds. Plantings are designed so that the gardens remain in bloom for much of the year, except in the middle of winter. Don’t miss the sections close to the Barbikan building, which contain the graceful forms of weeping willows and a pond with a wrought iron bridge.
Have something to eat or drink at the cafes, restaurants and bars that line the Planty or bring a picnic. The spacious lawns are a perfect place to stop and rest during warmer months.
Spring and summer are the best time to visit the Planty, although it remains an attractive place to escape the bustle of the city all year-round. Entry is free and the gardens are accessible 24 hours a day. Be aware that while it is mostly safe after dark, some caution is advisable if traveling alone.