More commonly known as Poland’s cultural capital than its sporting one, Cracow can also boast a fine sporting reputation and some decent facilities for those who like to keep active.
Sporting traditions are also an important part of Cracow’s history. The city is home to two of Poland’s oldest football clubs: Cracovia and Wisla. But Cracow takes part in more than just football, there are also cycling races, volleyball and basketball tournaments, and even kayaking and ballooning competitions. Football, basketball, ice hockey and volleyball are probably the most favorite sports of Cracow, both to play and watch.
There are a number of places to play tennis and squash, as well a whole variety of fitness centers and gyms for enthusiasts. There are also numerous cycling paths by the river, which also double up as routes for joggers, rollerblades and skaters. Other sporting activities that Cracow offers tourists and locals alike include golf, horseback riding, go-carting, shooting, adventure sports and every drinker’s favorite sport: billiards.
Cycling – Cracow’s Planty, pedestrian friendly center and river banks all lend themselves to cycling, so unless there are actually several centimeters of snow on the ground you can expect to see Cracovians shuttling from place to place on two wheels. Hire a bike from one of the many outlets around the city, or from the Bike One self service stands. There are established cycle routes around the city and further afield, offering easy rides to beauty spots such as Tyniec.
Horseback Riding – Due to the Polish love of the outdoors and the typical beauty of the countryside, horseback riding has long been a popular pastime in Poland. There are many options for tourists wanting to explore the Polish landscape on horseback, with stables open to tourist, both close to the city and further afield. A tourist who will not want to stray too far from Cracow should head to the Cracow Golf and Country Club, which offers excellent facilities set in 160 hectares of beautiful countryside, while those willing to travel a little farther should head for the Beskid Wyspowy Mountains, where several stables offer riding trails around the high peaks and dense forests of this amazing place.
Tennis – In Cracow, tennis is much less elitist than golf or even squash. The young give it a try as any other recreational sport; the middle-aged take it up as an alternative to other outdoor activities. Sure, as elsewhere, tennis in Cracow has also a legion of enthusiasts, age eight to eighty, eager to spend on the court a couple of hours quite possibly every day.