Located on a bend in the Vistula River to the west of Krakow’s Stare Miasto is the neighbourhood of Nowy Świat. Nowy Świat is also referred to by locals as Smoleńsko after one of the major thoroughfares which runs east to west through the area.It’s home to numerous luxury hotels within its quiet, leafy streets.
Nowy Swiat is a relatively small neighbourhood, bordered by Jozefa Pilsudskiego Street in the north, Zygmunta Krasińskiego to the west, Straszewskiego to the east and the Vistula River in the south. Many of its hotels cluster along Straszewskiego, from where it’s just a short walk to the sights of the Old Town, while a picturesque reserve hugs the riverbanks to the south. Zwierzyniecka is the main commercial thoroughfare which carves north-east to south-west through Nowy Swiat, and it’s here that many banks are situated, together with a haunted house tourist attraction. The beautiful Krakow Philharmonic Concert Hall is also found here, with a design that was inspired by Maison du Peuple in Brussels. Other landmarks of note within Nowy Świat include the Rzeźba-Paweł Orłowski art gallery which showcases the work of this local sculptor, together with the oldest branch of the National Museum at Emeryk Hutten-Czapski and the stained-glass museum and workshop at Muzeum Witrażu w Krakowie.
Nowy Swiat is well served by public buses which connect the neighbourhood with destinations across Krakow. Its compact size and proximity to the Old Town mean that it is easily explored on foot or by bicycle.
Translating as “New World”, the Nowy Swiat district was its own separate cadastral district between 1859 and 1948, before becoming a neighbourhood of Krakow. Together with the Old Town, Wawel Castle, the Stradom, Kazimierz and nearby Podgórze, it was designated as a historical monument in 1994.