Botanical Garden in Krakow
There are times when a bit of boring quietness is more than needed, for Krakow can be a tiring place, especially for those who want to see it all. A tour of the Wawel Castle, short walk to the Main Square, a few museums, a bus ride to Nowa Huta, then a quick walk around Kazimierz, and you're so exhausted that you can't even recall your own name anymore, but you still have about two hours before your train.
Situated next to Rondo Mogilskie, two tram stops away from the Krakow Train Station, the Krakow Botanical Garden is the perfect place for spending some peaceful time with all the Krakow landmarks and the traffic out of sight.
From the few buildings that can be seen in the University Garden, perhaps the most interesting one is the former astronomical observatory, built there between 1788 and 1792. Its current form is a result of a refurbishment that took place in 1859. The place now serves as a botanical museum and one of the colleges of the Jagiellonian University, called Collegium Sniadeckiego, after the first head of the observatory, Jan Sniadecki. As for the plants, it's certain that the connoisseurs will be satisfied with the collection. The amateurs, on the other hand, can still count on finding something spectacular, namely the nearly 300-year-old Jagiellonian Oak and a nice collection of carnivorous plants.
Those seeking peace in the green should have caution, though: the Krakow Botanical Garden is open only from mid-April to mid-October, from 9a.m. to 7p.m., and closes earlier from September on. No pets or bicycles are allowed, although the latter can be left in front of the Collegium Sniadeckiego.