Kraków (Cracow) - is the second largest (760.000 residents) and one of the oldest cities in Poland, situated in the southern part of Poland, on the Vistula River. Kraków, the former royal capital of Poland is one of the most important Polish economic hubs, a major national academic and cultural centre.
Kraków is classified as a global city by GaWC and cited as one of Europe's most beautiful cities, approved by UNESCO for its World Heritage List, famous for its Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque architecture, which includes: the Royal Castle and Wawel Cathedral, St. Mary’s Basilica and medieval market square (the Rynek Główny), the Barbican, the Old Town with plenty of palaces, churches and theatres, the Jewish quarter of Kazimierz and 28 attractive museums. Kraków is also very famous for the historical Wieliczka Salt Mine museum. Kraków was awarded Best European city to visit in 2014 and top city-break destination in a 2014 survey and is the second city in Poland (after Warsaw) most often visited by foreigners, mainly from the UK, Germany, France, Italy, the USA and Russia.
Kraków is home to the Jagiellonian University, one of the oldest universities in the world (founded in 1364) and a major centre of education, with 24 institutions of higher education, with more than 200.000 students. The Jagiellonian University with its 42.000 students and 3600 academic staff is one of the leading research centres in Poland. AGH University of Science and Technology is the largest technical university in Poland, with 15 faculties and 30.000 students. Kraków is also home to Cracow University of Technology, Cracow University of Economics and Agricultural University of Cracow.
Thanks to the high amount of students, Kraków is the main destination in Poland and one of the most popular destination in Europe for R&D and BPO centres, launched by companies such as Google, IBM, Motorola, Capgemini, Hitachi, General Electric, MAN, Delphi. Because of the large number of foreign and local hi-tech companies Kraków has been trying to position itself as Europe's Silicon Valley and is also the most emerging city location for investment in global BPO projects. Kraków is one of the co-location centres of Knowledge and Innovation Community (Sustainable Energy) of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT).