Southern part of Kraków consists of six districts. Most interesting are Podgórze and Dębniki, located on the Vistula river bank opposite the Old Town. Districts further south (Łagiewniki, Kurdwanów, Bieżanów) are mainly residential.
Podgórze was granted city status in 1784 and until 1915 was an independent city. In 1915 it become a district Krakow and at that time it was one fifth of the whole Krakow city size.
In 1941 Kraków Ghetto was formally established in Podgórze by Nazi occupation authorities. In 1943 the Ghetto was 'liquidated' and inhabitants were moved to concentration camps. The monument located on the Ghetto Heroes Square (Plac Bohaterów Getta) is inspired by that moment, when deported Jews were forced to leave their belongings (furniture among others) on the square before mounting trains headed to the camps. See Steven Spielberg's award winning film Schindler's List shot in Krakow in 1993 to catch a glimpse of life conditions in Krakow Ghetto and KL Krakow - Plaszow and understand the story behind Oscar Schindler's enamel factory. There are still some props left from shooting the film in Liban work camp, but it's important to know those are not the real thing.
Podgórze to this day remains one of most 'industrialized' districts in Krakow, but lately a kind of gentrification process takes place with new cultural (like Museum Of Contemporary Art Krakow) and housing projects appearing in former industrial areas.
Stroll from Kazimierz through the bike/footbridge called "The Father Bernatek's Footbridge" (originally in Polish "Kładka Bernatka") at the end of ul. Mostowa. This footbridge will deliver you nearby to the Rynek Podgórski (Podgórze Market) surroundings.
- Krak Mound (Kopiec Krakusa). Manmade hill (with great views of the city) which age and purpose remain unknown. Some believe it has Celtic origins and is over two thousand years old. There is a folk fest every year on the first Tuesday after Easter.
- Fort Benedict (Fort Benedykta). Gun turret built between 1853 and 1856. Unique in terms of European fortress architecture. The building is not accessible and the surrounding area is fenced off.
- Krakow-Plaszow concentration camp (Obóz Koncentracyjny Kraków-Płaszów). Area of former camp is now grass fields and hills with one large stone monument commemorating the victims. Also the villa of Amon Göth, the commandant of the camp, is still standing. See Holocaust remembrance for context.
- Liban work camp (obóz pracy Liban). Camp for Polish and Ukrainian prisoners who worked in very harsh conditions in a quarry and lime kiln.
- Ghetto walls. There are two places where you can still see remains of the wall shaped like a row of matzevas (Jewish tombstones). One at ul. Lwowska is fitted with memorial plaque, the other, less known, is behind the school at ul. Limanowskiego 60 - 62.
- Bednarski Park (Park Bednarskiego) (behind St. Joseph's Church). Established (by the end of 19th century) around former industrial area (limestone quarry). These days slightly run down but has its own unique atmosphere and is considered the most beautiful park in Krakow.
Museums and Galleries
- MOCAK (Museum Of Contemporary Art Krakow), ul. Lipowa 4. Tue-Sun 11:00-19:00, Mon closed. One of the newest museums in Krakow, located in renovated buildings belonging to the former Schindler’s Factory, houses a permanent collection and temporary exhibitions of modern art, sometimes the 'I don't get it' kind. Inside a bookstore with albums on not only Polish art and a cafeteria. 10 zł, reduced 5 zł, Tuesdays free.
- Schindler's Factory Emalia, ul. Lipowa 4. Apr-Oct (summer): Mon 10:00-16:00 (except every first Mon of the month when it closes at 14:00), Tue-Sun 09:00-20:00. Nov-Mar (winter): Mon 10:00-14:00, Tue-Sun 10:00-18:00. Museum houses a permanent exhibition concerning Krakow under Nazi occupation, it is located in the administrative building of former Schindler's Factory. 19 zł, reduced 16 zł. Nov-Mar (winter): Mondays free. A combined ticket also giving access to MOCAK (see above) is available: 22 zł adults, 19 zł concessions.
- Under the Eagle Pharmacy (Apteka pod Orłem), pl. Bohaterów Getta 18. 9:00 - 17:00. Exhibition focuses on the pharmacist - Tadeusz Pankiewicz, a Righteous among the Nations and life in Jewish Ghetto and Plaszow camp. Museum was renovated as memory lab and expanded in March 2013. 10 zł, reduced 8; Mondays (open 10:00 -14:00) free.
- Tadeusz Kantor Museum, ul. Nadwiślańska 4. Museum documenting life and work of one of most important 20th century Polish artists. Rusty structure built on the Vistula bank, opened in 2014.
- Gallery Starmach, ul. Węgierska 5. Mo - Fr 11 am - 6 pm. Former Zucker Synagogue built in 1880s. Today a gallery showing well-known Polish artists such as Magdalena Abakanowicz, Tadeusz Kantor or Jerzy Nowosielski.
- In Podgórze you can find pieces on modern art on the street: murals by Polish and foreign authors (including BLU on ul. Józefińska) and sculptures: a seesaw dedicated to Polish absurdist writer Witold Gombrowicz (ul. Józefińska as well) or AUSCHWITZWIELICZKA by Mirosław Bałka next to the passage below rail tracks.
- St. Joseph Church (Kościół św. Józefa). Built in 1905 - 09 in neogothic style and modeled after the St. Mary´s Church.
- Most Holy Redeemers Church. Built in 1905 by Jan Sas Zubrzycki in neogothic and neoromanesque style.
Jewish cemeteries in Podgórze were destroyed during the occupation and today it's hard to find them. There are only symbolic monuments in grass fields in the area of Plaszow camp.
- Manggha Centre of Japanese Art & Technology (Centrum Sztuki i Techniki Japońskiej Manggha), ul. M. Konopnickiej 26. 10 am - 6 pm; Mondays closed. Houses the National Museum's Japanese artifacts, consisting mostly of the fabulous 6,500-item collection of local legend Feliks Jasieński (1861-1929) who adored Japan. It is located across the river from Wawel castle in a very interesting contemporary architecture building by Arata Isozaki. 15 zł, reduced 10; Tuesdays free.
- The Benedictine Abbey in Tyniec (Opactwo Benedyktynów w Tyńcu), ul. Benedyktyńska 37. St. Peter's and St. Paul's Church and Benedictine Abbey are situated at the bank of Vistula river. In 11th century it was one of the most important scientific places in the first Polish Kingdom, the first chronicles of Poland were written here about 1100. Built as a fortress, in the 15th century the church was rebuilt and later remodelled in the 17th and 18th centuries. It's buildings damaged during the Confederation of Bar in 1764 hostilities. The revival of the Benedictine tradition at Tyniec occurred in the 20th century.
- Divine Mercy Sanctuary reason for religious pilgrimages to Kraków.
- John Paul II Sanctuary is located nearby Divine Mercy Sanctuary. You can find there an original tomb table taken from his grave at Vatican. In the main altar, an ampoule containing the Pope's blood is built in.
- Kika Cinema, ul. Ignacego Krasickiego 18. A cinema and a cafe. Arthouse, European films, classics, showings for children.
Zakrzówek - one of the nicest recreational areas in Krakow. In summer lots of people go there to swim, have barbecues etc. The legality of these actions is disputable and the owner of the area wants to prevent them and builds fences.
If you really like going to shopping malls, you can visit Bonarka City Center mall located nearby Podgórze centre. To get there, you should approach Rondo Matecznego (Mateczny Roundabout) and take any bus going via Kamieńskiego Street. After two stops you will see a big building with a high chimney standing nearby. This chimney remains from the Bonarka chemical factory, located on this area in twentieth century. When it is after dawn, you can notice that the top of the chimney is illuminated with colorful lamps.
- Bar Południowy, Rynek Podgórski 11. 07:00-19:00, Sat, Sun 07:00-15:00. Support your local milk bar!
- Jadłodajnia Wczoraj i Dziś, plac Bohaterów Getta 10, ☎ +48 12 656 20 75. Good, inexpensive Polish meals.
- Makaroniarnia, ul. Brodzińskiego 3, ☎ +48 12 43 00 147. Breakfasts, pastas, pizza.
- ZaKładka, ul. Józefińska 2. French style bistro / restaurant. Interesting wine list.
- BAL (Bal na Zabłociu), ul. Ślusarska 9. Postindustrial space, big wooden table, children's corner, papers, books, breakfasts and beer.
- Café Rękawka, ul. Brodzińskiego 4b, ☎ +48 12 296 20 02. First café in the neighbourhood, very good coffee, nice, sleepy atmosphere.
- Cava (Café & Wine), Nadwiślanska 1.
- Drukarnia, Nadwiślanska 1. Café with a nice street view on the ground floor; in the basement concerts/disco.
- Forum Przestrzenie, ul. Marii Konopnickiej 28 (Hotel Forum). 2013 hit. Bar located on the ground floor of big, abandoned hotel right on the Vistula river bank. Outside 1000m2 grass field with lots of deck chairs and great Wawel Castle view. Brunches, lunches, picnics, film screenings, discos. Beer 7 - 8 zł.
- Konfederacka 4, ul. Konfederacka 4, ☎ +48 12 266 00 90. Mon - Sun: 10:00 - 22:00. Café/winebar.
- Backpackers Hostel Bursa Jagiellonska, ul. Śliska 14, ☎ +48 12 6561266, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Accommodation for tourist groups and individual tourists. 40 - 65 zł.
- Stairway Hostel, ul. Targowa 2, ☎ +48 12 296 10 06. 35 - 70 zł.
- Hostel Patria, ul. Limanowskiego 1, ☎ +48 12 656 22 60. 60 - 90 zł.
- Guliwer Hostel, ul. Kalwaryjska 42, ☎ +48 12 266 00 11. 60 zł.
- RK Hostel, ul. Krasickiego 24/14, ☎ +48 12 296 36 55. 50 - 100 zł.
- Qubus Hotel Krakow, Ul. Nadwislanska 6. Four-star hotel located in the city centre, in a vicinity of a historical district Kazimierz. The hotel offers interesting forms of activity and relaxing: Finnish sauna, jacuzzi, steam bath and fitness centre with a swimming pool.
- Hotel Poleski, ul.Sandomierska 6. Frontal view of Wawel Hill, a modernly fitted hotel with friendly and helpful staff.
- Camping Krakowianka, ul. Żywiecka-Boczna 2, ☎ +48 122 681 135. It's close to a shopping centre and a tram line, so getting to the centre is easy. Person 40 zł, tent, car 10 zł, trailer 40 zł.
- Camping Korona, Gaj gm. Mogilany, ul.Myslenicka 32, ☎ +48 12 270 13 18. Not exactly in Kraków itself, 12 km to the south from the Kraków's centre, city buses reach this location (not often though). Person 20 zł, tent 10 - 14 zł, car 10 zł, van 20 zł.
- SSM Youth Hostel Na Grochowej, ul. Grochowa 21, e-mail: email@example.com. Far away from the centre but cheap.