Krakow is the second largest and one of the oldest cities in Poland. Situated on the Vistula River in the Lesser Poland region. Kraków has traditionally been one of the leading centres of Polish academic, cultural, and artistic life and is one of Poland's most important economic hubs. Krakow boasts five full-fledged shopping malls of which Galeria Krakowska and Galeria Kazimierz enjoy central location, while Krakow Plaza and M1 are strategically situated halfway between Krakow’s central Old Town historic district and the city’s eastern major residential and industrial area of Nowa Huta. Krakow’s shopping malls vie for the customer’s time and money with big retail centers positioned at major access roads to the city’s downtown.