The province is located in central southern Poland with its largest city being Krakow. You will find it is bordered to the north by the Świętokrzyskie Mountains and to the south by the Slovakia border. Surrounding the Lesser Poland Voivodeship is the Silesian Voivodeship to the west, Świętokrzyskie Voivodeship to the north, Subcarpathian Voivodeship to the east, and Slovakia (Prešov Region and Žilina Regions) to the south.
The region of Lesser Poland is popular for both domestic and international tourists who come to visit sites including Krakow, Auschwitz Memorial, Zakopane (Poland’s most popular winter resort) and the Tatra, Pieniny and Beskidy Mountains. The natural landscape features many historic sites. and four national parks and numerous reserves have been established in the voivodeship to protect the environment of Lesser Poland.
The salt mine at Wieliczka, the pilgrimage town of Kalwaria Zebrzydowska, and Kraków’s Old Town are all protected as UNESCO world heritage sites. A museum at the birthplace of John Paul II is 50 kilometres southwest of Kraków while the area of Oświęcim is the location of former Nazi concentration camps Auschwitz-I and Auschwitz-II-Birkenau. Hiking, skiing and mountain biking are popular in the Tatra Mountains around Zakopane.
Krakow the capital of Lesser Poland Voivodeship
Krakow is the second largest city in Poland, with a population of 756,632. It is located on the Vistula River in the Lesser Poland region of the country.
The city has traditionally been one of Poland’s most important intellectual, cultural and economic centres. It was the capital of Poland from 1038 to 1596, and its Old Town is one of the country’s official national Historic Monuments.
Krakow is also one of Europe’s leading tourist destinations with many attractions including the historic old town centre, Wawel Hill with a castle, St Mary’s Basilica, National Museum; Kraków City Park, Jewish quarter Kazimierz, University buildings and monuments to Polish National Heroes such as Nicolaus Copernicus and Jan Matejko; Kazimierz district with its historic churches, cobbled streets and old town hall.
Krakow is home to a large Jewish community dating back centuries, which has had an important role in the history of Poland. The largest Jewish community in Krakow is today the third largest in Poland after Warsaw and Lodz.
Getting to Lesser Poland Voivodeship
You can fly into John Paul II Kraków-Balice International Airport which is a hub for Ryanair, LOT Polish Airlines, Austrian Airlines, Eurolot, and Centralwings. The airport is located in the village of Balice, 11 km west of the city centre. LOT Airlines is the main airline in Poland and offers flights to 134 destinations around the world. Search flights to Krakow today
Flixbus has the best options if you’re travelling around Poland by bus. Polish rail has connections to Krakow and beyond from most cities in Poland. International trains arrive in Poland from Germany, the Czech Republic and Austria. By car, the region is connected to Western Europe via the A2 Autostrada that runs from Germany to Ukraine. You can have a rental car at the airport awaiting you for your Poland travel adventures.
Distances to other Polish cities by road
- Warsaw – 290 kilometres
- Poznan – 456 kilometers
- Gdansk – 595 kilometers
- Wroclaw – 270 kilometres
- Rzeszow – 167 kilometers
- Bialystok – 485 kilometres
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