Southern part of Kraków consists of six districts. Most interesting are Podgórze and Dębniki, located on Vistula river bank opposite to 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. On the 4th of July 1915 in has become one of Krakow districts 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.
Krakus 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.
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.
Liban work camp (obóz pracy Liban). Camp for Polish and Ukrainian prisoners who worked in very harsh conditions in a quarry and lime kiln.
Bednarski Park - behind St. Joseph 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, . 11 am - 7 pm; Mondays 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; Tuesdays free.
Schindler's Factory Emalia, ul. Lipowa 4, . 10 am - 6/8 pm (winter/summer season). Museum houses a permanent exhibition concerning Krakow under Nazi occupation, it is located in the administrative building of former Schindler's Factory.17 zł, reduced 14; Mondays (open till 2 pm) free.
Tadeusz Kantor Museum and Cricoteka, ul. Nadwiślańska, . Museum documenting life and work of one of most important 20th century Polish artists. Opening planned in 2012.
The Eagle Pharmacy (Apteka pod Orłem), pl. Bohaterów Getta 18, . Hours vary, Sundays closed. Exhibition focuses on Jewish Ghetto and Plaszow camp.6 zł, reduced 5; Mondays (open till 2 pm) free.
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.
St. Joseph Church - built in 1909 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.
Divine Mercy Sanctuary reason for religious pilgrimages to Kraków.
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.
Ekobistro Papuamu, ul. Romanowicza 15 (entrance from ul. Lipowa), ☎ +48 791 37 1717, . Mo - Fr 11AM - 8PM Sa - Su 12AM - 8PM. Natural food recipes: breakfasts, soups, main courses, desserts, atypical drinks.10 - 16 PLN.
Drukarnia, Nadwiślanska 1, . Café with a nice street view on the ground floor; in the basement concerts/disco.
Fabryka (Factory), ul. Zabłocie 23, . Important point on Krakow's club scene. Huge postindustrial space with two big concert/party chambers, cinema, smaller galleries etc. It closes and opens awaiting final closing and destruction of the buildings to make way for residential blocks. Check the website, these days it only opens on specific dates, when a party is being organised.
Backpackers Hostel Bursa Jagiellonska, ul. Śliska 14, tel. +48 12 6561266, email@example.com, . The hostel is located in Podgórze, next to the former Jewish ghetto, near the concentration camp in Plaszow. Accommodation for tourist groups and individual tourists. 40 - 65 PLN
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.
Park Inn Hotel Krakow - ul. Monte Cassino 2. tel +48 12 375 5555.
Hotel Poleski - ul.Sandomierska 6, on the other side of the Vistula, with a 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 PLN, tent, car 10 PLN, trailer 40 PLN.
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 PLN, tent 10 - 14 PLN, car 10 PLN, van 20 PLN.
SSM Youth Hostel Na Grochowej, ul. Grochowa 21, (firstname.lastname@example.org), . Far away from the centre but cheap.