Enjoy some truly relaxing walks along the Vistula River in Krakow.
The Vistula, in Polish the Wisla, is the longest river in Poland. It is 1047 km long and it runs through Slovakia, Belarus, Ukraine, and Poland.
The Vistula has its source in Silesian Beskids, a mountain range in Poland and the Czech Republic. Around the middle of its length, it runs through Krakow and also passes Warsaw. Near Gdansk, it finally flows into the Baltic Sea.
Like many other rivers in Europe, the Vistula is at risk for flooding. During a high water period in Mai 2010, a large area was flooded.
In September 2012, however, the Vistula carried only a little water, and artifacts from centuries ago were revealed that used to be covered by the waters of the river. Marble remains from the castle and the Villa Regia were found in Warsaw.
The discoveries show the emblem of the Wasa family of the 17th century.
The Vistula River and Krakow
The Vistula runs through Krakow for around about 30 km. Canals have been built to regulate the flow of the river and to enable bigger ships to pass through ship locks. These regulations are also for flood prevention.
Only a few ships sail the Vistula in Krakow. They mainly carry tourists. Little boat tours also are offered in Krakow.
On a walk along the Vistula impressions rich in variety can be gathered. Sacred buildings, industrial plants, and bridges are in many different shapes. All that can be enjoyed from the green embankments or from one of the restaurant ships.
You can walk along a stretch of the Vistula or explore the entire trail along the riverside on a bike from one of the many bike-hiring stations.
Right behind the Debniki Bridge lies a sharp river bend after which the visitor gets a view of the hill with the Wawel, the cathedral, and the castle. Between the 11th and the 16th century, this used to be the hub of political and cultural life in Krakow.
The king and his royal household and personnel resided in the castle. The dragon cave of Smok Wawelski, now also open to the public, lies beneath it.
After passing the next bridge, you will see a very beautiful Michael’s Church.
Another sharp turn later, you will come across the Krakowska bridge and into the Jewish District Kazimierz, which adjoins the embankment.
Some restaurants put their tables out on the riverside walk. Restaurant ships pass the Vistula.
The next stop is a very interesting bridge across the Vistula River.
Father Ojca Bernatka Bridge
This fascinating bridge crosses the Vistula since September 2010. The Father Ojca Bernatka Bridge is split in the middle. One side belongs to cyclists, the other one is used by pedestrians.
A little art exhibition can be found between the two parts of the bridge.
It is also a bridge for lovebirds. All over the bridge, they hung their padlocks with their names and dates engraved.
There are two more bridges to pass.
Finally, you will reach the shopping mall Kazimierz, one of the biggest shopping facilities in the whole town was built on the former grounds of the city’s slaughterhouses. Parts of the slaughterhouses were integrated into the new building.