Once the capital of Poland, Krakow may be best known for its castle and charming old town. But those who want a deeper introduction to Polish history can head to the city’s plethora of interesting, informative museums. Here are a few top picks.
Polish Pilots Park (Park Lotników Polskich)
Polish Pilots Park is popular with travelers visiting the Polish Aviation Museum next door and with runners and cyclists. A highlight is the Stanisław Lem Science Garden, known in Polish as Krakowski Ogród Doświadczeń or Ogród Doświadczeń im. Named for the science fiction writer Stanisław Lem, the garden features a wealth of interactive models demonstrating the laws of physics, from acoustic devices to a giant prism, as well as a maze and a rock display.
Things to Know Before You Go
The Polish Pilots Park is a great choice for families. Runners will also appreciate its network of shady paths.
There are food trucks, coffee carts, and ice cream vendors in the area during the summer, and the park is also an excellent place to bring a picnic.
Wide, smooth paths and a generally mellow gradient make the park wheelchair friendly.
To enter the Stanisław Lem Science Garden, you’ll need to buy tickets, which are available online and in the park.
How to Get There
The Polish Pilots Park is in eastern Krakow, about a 2.5-mile (4-kilometer) drive from Main Market Square. From Krakow Glówny Rail Station, catch the number 5 tram and get off at the fifth stop, the Polish Aviation Museum (Muzeum Lotnictwa).
When to Get There
The Polish Pilots Park is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and is especially attractive when the fall colors are on display. The Stanisław Lem Science Garden is only open between late April and October and closes in the evening.
What Did the Polish Pilots Do in World War II?
As the Polish Pilots Park attests, Polish pilots remain some of the unsung heroes of the Second World War. Soviet Russian and Nazi German forces defeated Poland in just five weeks, but many pilots made their way first to France and then to Britain. The No. 303 Polish Fighter Squadron was the most successful air unit in the Battle of Britain, downing at least 126 enemy planes, including 14 or more in a single sortie.
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