Crack on with Krakow

Alicja Dryja explains why Krakow should be on your travel list.

Alicja Dryja
30th October 2019
Image: peter89ba on Pixabay
Krakow is one of the most intriguing travel destination in Europe and definitely has a lot to offer. It's the kind of place where everyone will find something interesting, from sightseeing the tourist gems to eating delicious Polish food, tasting vodkas or enjoying a vibrant night out.

In comparison to the Polish capital, Warsaw, Krakow wasn't  bombed by Nazi Germany in World War II thus nowadays we can still admire its centuries old beauty. Walking down the streets of the old town or Planty Park which surrounds the old city is an experience itself. The town can be proud of owning the largest marketplace in the whole of Europe where you can do various activities like shopping for souvenirs in beautiful Sukiennice (Cloth Hall), sightseeing the Basilica of the Virgin Mary with the largest Gothic piece anywhere in the world, visiting the Middle Age Museum Rynek Underground or Art Gallery on top of the Sukiennice, and if you’re hungry just have a seat in one of many restaurants or cafes and simply enjoy the view!

The Oscar-winning Schindler’s List was filmed in the old Jewish Quarter Kazimierz

Secondly, visit the Wawel Royal Castle perched on top of the hill and have a walk through the courtyard to admire architecture and then you can follow your walk along the Vistula river. Another must-see point is an old Jewish Quarter, Kazimierz, which was a centre for Jewish life in Krakow for over 500 years and today is one of the most charming districts in the city. It has been rediscovered thanks to the lens of Steven Spielberg and his Oscar-winning Schindler’s List. If you have a little bit more time you may fancy a day trip to resort town Zakopane, located at the foot of Tatry mountains, or as a more thought-provoking destination choose Auschwitz concentration camp. 

The district of Kazimierz is well worth a visit.
Image: Jakub Hałun on Wikimedia Commons

Poland is well-known for its delicious cuisine and Poles tend to be very traditional in terms of food. Dishes that are worth trying without a doubt are pierogies (Polish dumplings) in both sour and sweet variations, red broth, or zurek - a soup made of fermented cereals. In fact, Poles love marinated food of any sort including sauerkraut and the famous dill pickles. If you are on a budget, try Cracovian pretzels, which you can find on one of many stands around the old town for less than 50p! Krakow has a very well developed culinary scene thanks to the many tourists. Not only you can eat well but also you won’t spend lots of money. I would compare prices of food in nice Cracovian restaurants as equivalent to the prices in fast food bars in the UK. On top of that the price of a pint of beer or shot of vodka starts just from one pound. Krakow offers a wide range of bars and pubs not only in the heart of the city but also in Kazimierz or in Dolne Mlyny, a ‘city in a city’, located in an old tobacco factory. There's a lot of choice but every venue has its own unique vibe.

So if you have a free weekend or are looking for a holiday destination you can surely consider Krakow!

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