Quality of life

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Public administration and diplomatic representations

The most important state offices are represent in Kraków, e.g.. Polish National Bank, the OCCP, the National Health Fund, etc. In the capital of Malopolska are located institutions of the Governor (Governor's Office) and the Regional Assembly and Marshall of the Malopolska. There are also diplomatic consulates (general consulates): including the US, France, Germany, Hungary, etc., (or honorary consulates) including Montenegro, Italy, Pakistan, Chile, etc. Their availability guaranteed diplomatic protection for tourists and foreign entrepreneurs, but also has a huge impact on the economic and cultural relations.

Education

Kraków and Małopolska offer a high standard of living and quality of life. The region has 34 schools of higher education, some of which enjoy a world renown: the Jagiellonian University, the AGH University of Science and Technology, the University of Economics, the University of Technology, the National Luis University in Nowy Sącz, numerous vocational schools of all levels, private and state schools. The number of students in the region exceeds 200 thousand annually, and the number of graduates is around 40 thousand. Kraków has also primary and secondary schools with a foreign teaching language for children and youths of foreign families residing in Małopolska.

Cultural life

There are over 25 theatres and music scenes in Kraków and Małopolska. Certainly, the most important of these include the Juliusz Słowacki Theatre in Kraków, the Stary Theatre in Kraków, the theatre groups in Zakopane and Tarnów, the Cracow Philharmonic, the Cracow Opera and Operetta. Among the most important cultural events are the annual festivals: Sacrum Profanum, Muzyka w Starym Krakowie (Music in the Old Cracow), the Cracow Jewish Culture Festival, Tarnowska Jesień Kulturalna (Tarnów Culture Autumn), Festiwal Kultury Ziem Górskich (International Festival of Highland Folklore) and the Cracow Film Festival. Overall, Małopolska hosts 40 cultural events of international renown annually. The region also boasts a number of museums, notably the National Museum, the Ethnographic Museum, the Archaeological Museum and the Manggha Museum of Japanese Art and Technology. Małopolska has 8 sites featuring on the UNESCO list of world cultural heritage (including the Old Town in Kraków, the Wieliczka Salt Mine, the Kalwaria Zebrzydowska Sanctuary and the former Auschwitz Concentration Camp in Oświęcim).

Małopolska’s new cultural investment projects: The Cracow Opera House, the Congress Centre in Cracow, The Cricoteka Museum of Tadeusz Kantor, the Garden of Arts in Kraków (Małopolski Ogród Sztuk), The Polish Aviation Museum Cracow, The Museum of Modern Arts and the Museum of History in the vaults of the Kraków Main Square (photo)

Tourism, sport and leisure.

Małopolska has the most diversified nature of all the Polish regions. It has 6 national parks (Babiogórski, Gorczański, Ojcowski, Pieniński, Tatrzański and Magurski), 84 nature reserves and 11 landscape parks. Małopolska is the most frequently visited region in Poland. The number of tourists who have visited it in recent years has reached 10-12 million. The region offers good conditions for a range of sports and leisure activities - several dozen ski stations, hiking routes, water sports sites (Rożnowskie, Czchowskie, Czorsztyńskie lakes), studs, tennis and golf clubs, swimming halls and open-air swimming pools, kayaking courses, diving sites, etc. The most important tourist and leisure destinations in the region include such towns as Zakopane, Krynica Górska, Szczawnica, Zawoja, Gorlice.
Among the most important on-going investments are the Sports & Entertainment Tauron Arena Kraków in Kraków-Czyżyny, modernisation of the Wisła and Cracovia football clubs’ stadiums.

Kraków and Małopolska have perfectly developed trade and services. The region’s stores range from hypermarkets, such as Metro, Carrefour, Alma, Tesco, IKEA, Kaufland, Lidl, Leroy Merlin, Castorama, OBI, to elegant shopping malls (Krakowska, Kazimierz, Solvay) and outlets of Polish and foreign brands. Lovers of food & drink can enjoy more than 1000 restaurants, pubs, cafés and bars serving regional and foreign cuisine (Italian, Spanish, French, Asian, Georgian, Ukrainian, Indian, South-American). Małopolska is famous for local specialties and traditional regional dishes: sheep cheese, fish dishes, fruit preserves, bread, liqueurs and beer. In the nearest future, the offer will be enriched by wines produced in the regional vineyards of Małopolska and Podkarpacie (Małopolska Wine Trail).

Other major types of operators include car dealers and car service shops, real property agents, legal and advisory offices, tour operators and tourist agencies, mobile network operators, Internet providers, etc.

New investments in Kraków and in the region are planned by TRI GRANIT (Bonarka City Center), Casino (Maryland) and IKEA.

Medical care

Many of Kraków’s and Małopolska’s hospitals, clinics, health centres, sanatoria and rehabilitation centres are well known nationwide and worldwide. The most famous of these include the Collegium Medicum Hospital in Kraków, the St. John Grande Hospital of the Merciful Brothers’ Order in Krakow, the Ludwik Rydygier Hospital, the Stefan Żeromski Hospital, the Polish-American Children’s Hospital, the Cardiology Centre, modern hospitals in Tarnów, Nowy Sącz and Zakopane. There are a number of private medical service providers in most of the region’s cities and towns (Falck, Alcor, Luxmed, Eskulap, etc.).

Real property market

Kraków and its area has a wide and diversified offer of flats and houses, both for rental and sale. Real property may be purchased both on the primary and secondary market. Flats are available in a range of standards and locations. The average transaction price for a flat in Kraków on the primary market was PLN 6132.00 (22.10.2015) and was lower than the price in Warsaw (including the Warsaw conurbation). In the preparation and implementation is several number of new investments, as well as upgrading existing complexes

Financial services

Małopolska has many banks, which offer a range of services both to private and corporate clients. The following banks have their seats and branch offices in Małopolska: Bank Przemysłowo-Handlowy (head office), PKO BP, PKO S.A., Fortis Bank (head office), Deutsche Bank Polska, CitiHandlowy, BRE, BZ WBK, BGŻ, BOŚ, Millenium, ING, cooperative and specialised banks (e.g. VW Bank, LG Bank, etc.). Banks offer the full range of banking services and have a well-developed system of ATMs.