Poland was on my ‘I HAVE TO VISIT THIS PLACE’ for a while and so I and a friend booked to go for a few days during the Christmas period. I am going to say this now and get it out of the way, you have to visit Poland. Whether that be Kraków, Warsaw or any of the other beautiful cities, please go! Here is my guide to the Perfect weekend getaway to Kraków Poland
Where to stay
Finding a hotel in any city can be a bit tedious and expensive but Airbnb has always been my go too and it has been for many years.
We stayed into the old town area of Kraków which was about a 5 minute walk from Kraków glowny train station.
The Airbnb cost £84.29 / €96.67 / 438.10 polish zloty for 3 nights, which I think if it’s split between 2 people is a bargain!
The room was really cute and quirky with a raised bed, which you had to climb up a ladder to get to it! Although not so great when you get back from drinking a lot of vodka shots and the room is spinning! (When in Poland, ay?)
There are plenty of hotels to choose from all around Kraków that is in walking distance to everything.
Travelling across the city is very easy, as everything is practically in walking distance and by foot is always the best way to explore a city as you’ll always come across things you’ll miss with public transport.
But if walking isn’t for you then there are a number of ways to get around such as cabs, Uber, mini buses and trams which are all really frequent and run till a reasonable hour. Please check out this website for more information and price.
What to do
Kraków is known for its Wawel Royal Castle and largest city square in Europe but there’s so much more to do and eat!
The cat café is basically what it says on the tin and has two locations in Kraków, Cat Café Kociarnia & Kocia Kawiarnia Kociarnia which are not too far from each other.
The location we visited was the Kociarnia, which is around a 2 minute walk from Glowny central station.
TIP: head there early to be able to get a table as it’s quite the tourist attraction.
NOTE: if you are travelling with your children, please be aware that under 10s aren’t allowed.
Auschwitz – Birkenau
I know this is a hard place to visit, but it’s a must see trip when going to Poland. With many tours available getting to Auschwitz – Birkenau is relatively easily and cheap.
NOTE: The tour is a full day round trip, as you are there for a while and then you head to the Birkenau location.
Main Market Square
Rynek Glowny or The Main Market Square is the biggest medieval plaza in Europe.
The square is home to these famous landmarks;
St Mary’s Basilica
Town Hall Tower
Cloth Hall (Sukiennice)
Church of St. Adalbert
TIP: You are able to visit these places but you will need to get an admissions pass which are available from local shops on the square.
You may have heard rumours about the polish nightlife and I can guarantee you they are all true. Whether is summer or in the middle of winter everything is always open! Many of the most popular clubs are Shine Club Kraków, Club Jasczury & Choice Club. But for us, we found the local bars had the best atmosphere and cheaper drinks!
Kazimierz also known as The Jewish Quarter is the hipster part of Kraków, with streets lined with art galleries, quirky little trinket shops vintage stores and cocktail bars.
The Jewis quarter is lined with famous graffiti murials, communtiy centres & Synagogues.
Plac nowy is the main square of The Jewish Quarter, not quite as big as the main square but it has markets on the weekend. This area is Kraków is my favourite and it’s definitely a must see!
Wieliczka Salt Mine
Even though we didn’t see any of the salt mines whilst we were there as we ran out of time (it’s on my list for next time)
There are different routes you can take such as the tourist route or the minor’s route.
There is more information on their website of the tours and prices.
Wawel Royal Castle
The piece de resistance is Wawel Castle. Admission to Wawel hill and the arcaded courth is free but if you did want to go inside you do have to pre book via the website. Even though I went in winter, we visited the castle on a sunny day and it was beautiful!
Once you have visited the castle you can head outside to the foot of Wawel hill to visit the Wawel Dragon aka Smok Wawelski to see it breathe actual fire!
TIP: get in early, as the slots do sell out a fair bit in advance.
Where to eat
There are so many great places to eat in Kraków, and because of all the vodka that was consumed I can’t for the life of me remember names of some of the restaurants but here are a few of them ones that stuck in my memory;
Who doesn’t love burgers? There are a few locations around Kraków of Bobby Burgers and the menu is full of meat, vegetarian and vegan goodness and it’s so cheap!
Vintage Restauracja & Winiarnia
This place is right in the heart of the main square with picturesque outdoor seating all year round. This restaurant is perfect if you’re after something a little bit more sophisticated, and I would 100% recommend the cheeseboard platter to share.
Found this quirky little café whilst strolling through Kazimiers. If your after a bagel with all the trimming and a lovely cup of tea or coffee (or if you’re like me, mulled wine) then you have to visit this place. I had a bagel and a mulled wine and it came to less than £5!