The city of Kraków is one of the oldest and largest cities in Poland and known primarily for its grand historic architecture and cultural heritage. Kraków has an estimated population of over 765,000 people and is situated in southern Poland,,on the Vistula River. Thousands of historic buildings and sites mark the city, and its old town was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Most prominent are the many churches, including St. Mary’s Church and Wawel Cathedral as well as Kraków‘s Main Market Square, the largest market square in Europe with its iconic 13th-century architecture. Besides the many relics of its past, Kraków has maintained its place as a cultural and artistic centre through its numerous institutions of higher education, museums, theatres, and the opera house. In 2000 it was named a European Capital of Culture.
Every year nearly 100 festivals and other events, many of world magnitude, are held there. Today Kraków is one of Poland's most important economic centres and the economic hub of the Małopolska region. Moreover, Kraków is a major rail junction with connections to other cities in Central and Eastern Europe. The city also has an international airport (Kraków-Balice John Paul II International Airport) and is an attractive location for foreign investments.