What To See & Do; One Weekend In Krakow
What to see and do during one weekend in Krakow, while I was visiting Warsaw in Poland and family in town I just had to get myself to Krakow and really see what all the hype is about, yes people hype on about how amazing Krakow is, so pretty, so cute and just completely unmissable! Right that was me sold on the ‘I must see it!’ concept, so I went to Krakow for the weekend to see for myself. The weather was so beautiful, the sky was clear, the blue was intense and the air was crisp! I was loving it especially for the time of year November. I got my groove on right away! First up I stayed in a HOSTAL yes I was amazed too, a far cry from the Marriott 😉 I had my own room though, I just have to have my own room! Anyway I started by promoting my blog in reception.
I decided whilst I was here in Krakow for one weekend I would need to visit Auschwitz you can read about it here and the salt mines of Wieliczka. I booked my tours with a great company who did both tours on the same day for a very reasonable price with excellent logistics. For the time being I took a few tours around and hired a bike so I could make the most of my weekend and see as much as possible. The streets of Krakow are oozing with character, the architecture is so beautiful, the roads are cobbled, shops are cute and people are really merry.
Hello Two Wheels! Krakow By Push Bike
In 2008, Kraków introduced a reasonably priced system of public municipal bikes with stations around Krakow’s centre. The nice thing about the system is that you don’t need to return the bike to the same station you originally took it from – you just grab a bike for a few minutes to transfer from one point to another and drop it at any other station you come by. Before using the bikes you need to register in the system and pay some small initial fee which is similar to the Barclay’s bikes in London.
My bike was actually a rent out from the hostel I was staying at. The brakes barely worked!
This is the main square in Krakow, I was fortunate to get this shot of the sun just before it went down behind the buildings.
Krakow is Polands cultural capital with the Old Town hosting the majority of things to see and do.
It consists of the historic Krakow Old Town, as well as the Wawel castle hill, Nowe Miasto (“New Town”), Nowy Świat (“New World”), Krakow’s historic centre, covering the Old Town and Wawel was entered on the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites in 1978. These are the most popular tourist destinations, and if your time is limited, you would be best sticking to these.
I was surprised to see that Krakow wasn’t as expensive as some people tend to say it is, I mean any very touristy city has slightly higher prices than other rural areas but then again, is there really a city as costly as London?
Krakow is not only full of cozy cafes, but is also said to be the place of the first cafe founded in Europe.
Eating out: I was searching around the main square for dinner, the sun had just set, people were out in full force to seek the best places to dine at, I walked around for a good hour to see what was available, I don’t really eat meat so I was after a good meal which contained fish, potatoes and a selection of seasonal vegetables, bingo! I came across Tradycyja, I was sure this had to be a nice place to dine at… I was not mistaken!
This restaurant was amazing, each area of the restaurant had a range of different seating and furniture, from garden terrace, which is where me and my friend were seated, above the rest of the restaurant up some uber cute staircase, there were statues and plants dotted around, I would totally recommend this restaurant but don’t let me stop there..
The food was so good too as well as the presentation not to mention the service, the lady did a wonderful job and catered us very professionally. We ordered starters, mine of which was a tomato soup, not something I would really order back home but here I know the produce is fresh and well prepared so decided upon that, oooohh my gosh yummy, it was seasoned delicately which was ever so satisfying and wholesome!
Roasted trout (I think) with spinach and potatoes and some weird thing I decided to force my friend to try which did not turn out to taste so bad, whatever it was..
Potato wedges, yes, no meal wherever one is in the world is not complete until you have some kind of wedges whether they are regular potatoes, sweet potatoes, or some selection of Peruvian potato of which they have several hundred to choose from! I am without a shadow of a doubt a mega potato lover.
Human Statues: This guy was very good, in fact some of the best living statues can be found in Krakow, the best of all the cities from which I’ve visited anyway.
It wouldn’t have surprised me if this guy was half frozen seeing as the air temperature dropped to a big fat Zero! I guess it would of helped with his role playing.
This guy dressed as the grim reaper was quite scary, very tall indeed!
Krakow is the most popular tourist destination in Poland and this supports a lot of the local economy. Krakow is covered by an extensive network of public transportation consisting of tram and bus lines.
Horse and cart rides where to be seen around every other corner in Krakow, they are defiantly stunning and no matter how many times you pass by one of these they always have you in awe.
This one was at the bottom of Wawel Hill.
At the bottom of Wawel Castle Hill you will find musical players and the opportunity to participate in dress up as these kids and their parents did. Kraków is one of the oldest cities in Poland, with evidence showing settlements there since 20,000BC. Actually legend has it that it was built upon the cave of a fierce dragon whom the mythical King ‘Krak’ had slain…. However, the first official mention of the name was in 966 by a Jewish merchant from Spain, who described it as an important centre of trade in Slavonic Europe. Pretty cool!
Cycling past Wawel castle Hill on a clear yet freezing day in Krakow. In 1241, the city was almost entirely destroyed by Tatars. It was rebuilt to a design that remains largely unchanged to the present day. However, after more successful attacks by the Mongols in the late 13th century, Kazimierz the Great set about defending the city. Walls, fortifications, and the original Wawel Castle were added.
Walk around the Planty, a large park that surrounds the entire Old Town. I cycled passed one of Krakow’s Universities. The 16th century was Krakow’s golden age. Under the influence of the joint Polish-Lithuanian Jagiellonian dynasty, Krakow became a centre of science and the arts.
Visit St Mary’s Church, image taken from the main square with horse carriages in view.
Visit the district of Kazimierz, losing yourself in the tight streets and searching the tracks of the Jewish past of Krakow.
You can also grab a coffee in this place, you’ll be spoken to rudely and almost ripped off, yes, if you are not Jewish they do not like you! We stood our ground and my Arab friend ensured we paid the right price or we ditch the coffees!
There are hundreds of shops to discover in Krakow, the most touristy ones are located within the Planty garden ring, the old town, I came across a Lego toy shop, handmade chocolatier, textile shops selling bags, hoodies and key rings, well known clothes shops such as Zara. The Old Town district offers excellent shopping, especially for clothes, jewelry, and art. You can wander all around the Old Town and Kazimierz, where antique stores are not in shortage.