Krakow, the second largest and oldest city in Poland; a place that is becoming increasingly popular and a destination on everybody’s travel lists. My main reason for wanting to go to Krakow was the thought of seeing the concentration camps at Auschwitz-Birkenau, but what I found is that there’s so much more to Krakow than the camps. I spent four days in Krakow and have broken down my review into three simple sections; where to eat, what to do and where to stay.
BOOKING THE TRIP
Use my ‘How I book my holidays – top tips’ to help you book your mini break if you’re wanting to fly. I used Skyscanner to book my flight (as always) and managed to find a flight from East Midlands to Krakow for £100 – so I immediately booked it. I then used google maps to find places that were close to the centre to find somewhere suitable to stay. I booked an apartment through booking.com for 3 nights at a cost of £140 in the Old Town known as Stare Miasto, the hosts were lovely and did everything they could to help me find my way around.
WHERE TO STAY
I stayed in ‘Stare Miasto’ which translates to ‘Old Town’ and found this to be a really good location. It was quiet enough at night but a short walking distance into the main square and into the hustle and bustle of city life. Whilst out in Krakow I was told that there is also another place that is highly recommended for location and that is Kazimierz – the old jewish quarter in Krakow. Kazimierz was once the centre of jewish life for 500 years but now filled with quirky cafes, boutiques, restaurants and indie shops. I would definitely stay here should I return to Krakow!
WHERE TO EAT
Now let me tell you – the food in Krakow is incredible so you’ll have plenty of choices. There are a few places I’d recommend:
For a great view check out The Cafe Terrace, at the Gallery of the 19th Century Polish Art. In need of letting your hair down? Head over to the ‘Singer’ in Kazimierz for a late night. If you’re looking for a bakery try Charlotte’s bistro in the Old Town. For lunch head to Max Grill. For a ‘date night’ meal try No-Bu a 50s style cafe diner.
WHAT TO DO
There is plenty of options to keep you busy in Krakow but it’s important to take in the beauty around you, even by walking through the Old Town the beauty of the architecture and the stone makes for a pretty picture and a nice pit stop at a local coffee shop. Here’s some of the things that I’d highly recommend if you are to visit Krakow:
- A morning trip to Wieliczka Salt Mine – underground chapels, chambers and lakes
- Visit Wawel Castle – a medieval royal castle with beautiful surroundings
- The Main Square – a 13th Century square at the centre of the city
- St Mary’s Basillica – a local landmark
- Planty Park – for the people who love green
- A morning trip to Auschwitz Concentration Camp – an absolute must do and highly recommended. I couldn’t believe the horror in which people went through, and to think that it wasn’t that long ago. It’s such a surreal and indescribable experience. Some people would tell you to save your money and get the bus but I would recommend paying for the guided tour as you get much more information.
- Drink Vodka at a Polish Wodka bar!
- Tag along in a free walking tour – you can usually find these in the Old Town Square
- If you have longer than a weekend, book a day trip to Zakopane and take in the sights of small town at the foot of the Tatra Mountains!
- Take comfortable footwear because you’ll be doing a lot of walking and exploring!
- Get a city map as soon as you get there as they often have deals and discounts in for your trips and meals out. You can then easily work out how far away you are from the attractions you’re wanting to see.
What did you do in Krakow? Do you have any questions? Let us know in the comments!