Poland is located right in the heart of Europe. Its neighboring countries are Germany, Ukraine, Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Lithuania. Before visiting Kraków, Poland, I had heard so many great things about the country and also their residents and it did not disappoint. So here is a list of 7 Reasons to Visit Kraków, Poland.
1. History of Poland
Kraków is the second largest and one of the oldest cities in Poland. By the end of the 10th Century, buildings were constructed such as Royal Castle, Romanesque churches and a basilica and was a leading center of trade. After the invasion by Nazi Germany at the start of World War II, Kraków became the capitol of Germany’s General Government. There are so many museums and historical sites and buildings you can visit with reflects the fascinating history of Poland, including many Gothic architecture. HERE you can find a list of some of the best museums in Karków.
2. Polish Party
The Polish know how to party! Even though we were only in Krakow for a long weekend, we noticed that there was something happening every night. Whether that be an arranged bar crawl to sitting in a local bar all warm when it is -1 degrees outside. After doing a bit of research and self exploring we noticed that most of its clubs and good bars are all based in Old Town (Floriańska or Szewska Street) where the clubs and even the streets are busy with people wanting to party.
After going into bars and got given an imaginable amount of free vodka shots we came across Społem Deluxe, which is around the corner from the main square. It had a retro interior with lots of lights on the walls, a great atmosphere, and of course free shots!
If you are even unsure on where to go, always ask.
3. The food is great!
I had never had Polish food before going to Poland and it did not disappoint. If you love big portions, meat, vegetables and whole heatedly comfort food then you are going to be in heaven. By far Pierogies were my favourite. Pierogies are little flour dumplings with lots of different stuffings such as meat or vegetables. You can also have sweet Pierogies (which I didn’t try *sad face*) which have a variety of stuffings such as strawberries, raspberries or cherries and are all served with cream and sugar. (YUM) Other variety of Polish cuisines are; Bigos – Hunters Stew Tartar – Raw & unmixed Hamburger Flaki – Soup with lots of herbs. There are also so many options for Vegetarian and Vegans wherever you go.
During my visit to Kraków, I really struggled to spend all the money I had taken with me. A glass of wine was around 4PLN (£1), and if you wanted to buy a bottle from the local supermarket you will be paying £1.50 for a whole bottle. Alcohol in bars is just as cheap, with cocktails averaging around 14PLN (£3/4). The food is also just as cheap. A standard meal is around 34PLN (£7-9) with sides at around 4PLN (£1-£4). Kraków has so much to offer, with museums and historical monuments which are so visit. Tickets for the tourists sites range from £2-£10 (5PLN) We didn’t need to use any public transport as we stayed very central to the train station, Kraków Glowny but it was 14PLN (£3) to get to the airport.
5. Wawel Castle
Wawel Castle is one of the most famous buildings in Poland. Today in the 21st Century, Wawel Castle in 1000 years old and its one of the biggest polish castles. Wawel Castle today, is a museum which you can go and visit. Please be sure to check out the Wawel Castle website, for seasonal times. Qhen you go to visit Wawel Castle be sure to head down to the river to check out the Wawel Dragon. It is said that a horrifying, blood-curdling dragon dragon (later described as Holofagus, meaning – the one who eats whole) lived in the caves that the castle was built on top of. The dragon is commemorated by a statue that breathes real fire. You can even go and see the Dragons Den for just 5PLN (£1) but please check the opening times here. As it is seasonal.
The weather is Kraków is very seasonal, and by that I mean Poland has proper winters and proper summers. As I went in late November, I knew the weather was going to be very cold and I was not wrong. It reached into the minus’s in the day and the night so my advice is to take very warm clothing and wrap up. I have never been in the summer, but I know a few people who have and have said it reaches high into the 20 & 30 degrees. I am planning on going to another city in Poland within the next year or so and I cant wait to experience the country in the heat.
Auschwitz-Birkenau is the largest and most notorious Nazi concentration camp. Visitors get a dose of reality as they learn about the unspeakable atrocities of the Holocaust wrought upon millions of Jews during World War II. When booking my trip to Kraków, the top of my list was to go to Auschwitz. I was planning on getting public transport and then doing the tour by ourselves but after doing some research I decided to book the trip through a guided tour, and I am so glad I did. I booked my tour through Get Your Guide and it cost £28 per person. This tour included pick up from near we were staying, transport to the museum, skip the queues and a full guided tour. The lady who give us the tour had a personal connection to the events that took place there and was so understanding, knowledgeable and happy to answer any questions that were asked. Auschwitz-Birkenau is a horrible place with a very important lesson to future generations. Everything that happened there, should never happen again even though it’s not a fun tourist attraction, it’s definitely something I would recommend to anyone.
Have you ever been to Krakow or Poland? Please let me know about your experiences!
Check out my post on how to best the Winter Blues.
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