Krakow is one of Eastern Europe’s best-loved cultural gems, but today the historic city also hosts an eclectic programme of monthly events. It’s not too late to get in on the best of 2014 – here are our top picks.

If you’ve been meaning to visit the Polish city of Krakow, we’ve got a few more reasons to add to your list. Plan your trip around one of these exciting events – from music to football, there’s an unforgettable experience for everyone.

May 11: Procession of St. Stanislaus

Held in memory of Bishop Stanislaus – a martyr killed in 1079 by the King himself, according to legend – this procession starts from his burial place in Wawel Cathedral, continuing as far as Skalka (believed to be the site of his execution). It’s said that under the guardianship of eagles, Stanislaus’ body became whole again. Venerated by the Church – despite charges of treason – he’s one of the most interesting characters in Poland’s colourful historic ensemble. The procession is made up of cardinals and bishops carrying banners and relics of saints.

May: Krakow Juwenalia

A festival for anyone nostalgic for their university days, Juwenalia sees Krakow’s mayor handing out keys to the city – a mediaeval tradition – among students. Parades and all-night parties are held across the city, with bars and clubs staying open late to cater for the festivities. Students from across the country turn up for the series of concerts, ranging from rock to reggae, and you’ll see plenty of quirky fancy dress throughout the streets. What else would you expect from high-spirited students?

6-8 June: 16th European Airports Football Championship

Yes, this actually exists, and yes, it’s as awesome as it sounds. Organised by the European Airports Football Association, it’s a friendly annual competition among airline staff from across Europe. This year’s tournament is hosted by Krakow Airport and will be held at the Com-Com Zone Football Complex, a massive sporting facility with four pitches to accommodate all the action. Pick an airport team and cheer them on to victory!

June 24th: Wianki

Deeply rooted in Polish history, this festival has ties to midsummer and St. John’s Eve. Krakow’s streets come to life as fireworks burst over the riverbank, and wreaths of flowers lit by flickering candles float down the Wisla. There’s always a series of classical performances and modern jazz concerts, and though this year’s line-up has yet to be confirmed, it’s sure to set the tone for the traditional all-night celebrations. (Not to worry – our Park Inn by Radisson Krakow Hotel will make sure you’re awake and ready to paint the town again the next day.)

27 June-6 July: Jewish Culture Festival

This fascinating series of events includes photography exhibitions, a cantors’ concert, and tours of Krakow’s landmarks. Now in its 24th year, the festival has established itself as a must-visit celebration of Jewish culture and its role in the city’s history. The programme is still in the works, but last year’s events included a talk from Poland’s first female Rabbi, and we expect this year to be just as groundbreaking. 

July: Krakow Summer Jazz Festival

Bringing together local, national and international musicians, and this annual series is a treat for any jazz aficionado. More concerts are added every year, and if that’s not enough, the festival is followed shortly thereafter by Krakow’s Jazz Autumn. Whether you’re into long improv sessions or dancing to the standards, there’s a gig for you.