Krakow is in some ways unexpected.
A couple of blocks from our hotel is Stary Kleparz, the oldest continuing market in Krakow. The Kleparz region dates from the eleventh century, and the market from the fourteenth. It fills a complete square, with permanent wooden stalls all along the outside, tables filling the middle, and a roof over most of it, plus the occasional tree growing through the market and the roof. It's cobbled, with narrow aisles, and looks like it hasn't really changed in a couple of centuries. Inside there are butchers, bakers, candlesticks if not makers, tables of produce, pierogies, clothes, housewares, books... Probably a kitchen sink in there somewhere, and piles of what looked like used clothing in one corner. It was very full, not of tourists. We heard little English, and our purchases mostly involved pointing and writing numbers down. Food seems mostly aimed at "take home and make dinner", not at eating there. Pierogies from the pierogie stand, for instance, turned out to be frozen, ready to cook. It seemed like we could have been anywhere in Europe's old cities, and in any of the past several centuries.
We failed to get anything that was actually a lunch to be eaten right then, so we headed back toward the hotel, following a slightly different path. It took us to a street across from the hotel, where is to be found
Galeria Krakowska, a recently completed shopping mall, adjacent to the recently updated main train station. It could have been in any major 21st century city. Clothes, electronics, music, food court, Levis, McDonalds, Starbucks, drug store, grocery store, liquor stores. Etc.
Literally, three blocks apart. And centuries.