Krakow – Places to Visit

I’ve been to Krakow, Poland, at least four times. Most of my visits were related to the school Fall trips. For the past four years I’ve been a Fall Trip leader for the grade 10 students. This gave me a unique opportunity to get to know this magnificent place better. The suggested itinerary is perfect for people who want to know more about WW2 and the history of this place.

Traveling

The first day for me is a travelling day. If you are looking for a cheap flight in Europe, using Wizz Air might be an option. There is no direct flight from Kyiv, Ukraine to Krakow, so in order to save some time (and money), I usually fly to Katowice with Wizz Air. It’s extremely easy to get from Katowice to Krakow, using public transport, busses and even taxis. You can book bus tickets in advance, using this website. If you don’t fancy traveling by bus, you can book a train ticket to get to Krakow, using this website. You can also rent a car and pick it at the airport or rent a taxi. You got that – there are different options to get from Katowice to Krakow. And, of course, you can always fly directly to Krakow, duh!

Where to stay

As I’ve already mentioned, I traveled to Krakow with a group of students, so we were looking for something that will welcome a bunch of 15 year old students and at the same time will be close to the Main Market Square (the heart of the Old part of the city). We always stayed at Hostel Deco. The price per night is around 30 USD. It has rooms with 5-6 beds or single rooms with the bathroom. The hostel is clean and the interior is very unique. They serve amazing breakfast. The owner of the hostel, Anna, is outstanding. She always book different excursions and tours for us, and is very supportive. There are couple of supermarkets near the hostel. It takes around 10 minutes to walk to the city centre from the hostel.

There are other hostels, that I’ve heard were good for staying at – Mundo Hostel & Good Bye Lenin Hostel. Unfortunately, I haven’t stayed at any of these, so cannot vouch for them. If hostel or hotel are not your type of accommodation, maybe finding a place with AIRBNB is an option. Of course, there are many different places that you can stay at in Krakow.

A MUST Places to eat at

As a tourist destination, Krakow have tons and tons of places to eat at. I’m not going to write here all the options, as it will require a separate post. I will list my three most favourite places in Krakow. I always go for dinner to these places when I’m in Krakow.

  1. Indus Tandoor is a place that’s is on one of the small streets that lead to the city centre. Basically, it is in the city centre. This place serves the best Indian food I’ve ever had. The atmosphere is very cozy and the meals are delicious. I love spicy food, but when ordering at this place I always go for medium spiced option – their food is extremely spicy. Try their lassi drinks, they are yummy.
  2. Mazana is a Mexican restaurant. Their food is decent for a Mexican food served in Europe 🙂 but what makes this place so appealing to me is the atmosphere of this place and low cost. I would recommend to visit this place with a bunch of friends and treat yourself to daiquiri. You can see the reviews of this place on Trip advisor here.
  3. Dynia is my most favourite restaurant in Krakow. It offers a lovely garden patio which is a perfect spot for a nice and warm day. Anything that you order is delicious, portions are huge and the service is good. It’s definitely worth a visit. You can see the reviews of the restaurant on Trip advisor here.

Currency

Poland is a part of the EU. However, they have their own currency – Polish Zloty (PLN). The exchange rate can be checked at the xe.com

1 USD ~ 3.77 PLN

1 Euro ~ 4.25 PLN

Day 1

1. Start your day with a guided city tour (recommended time 2 hours).

This is the best way to get to know the city better. We always book our tour with Tomasz Klimek. He knows a lot about Krakow and is a very interesting person. Our students love him.You can contact him here. To see the reviews of the tours with him, follow this link.

There are a humber of options, so go for the one that is affordable and sounds like a good deal for you. If you don’t want to spend money on a guided tour, you can join one of the free city tours. Ask at the reception of the hotel for suggestions.

2. Visit the Main Market Underground Museum (recommended time 2 hours).

This place offers an amazing opportunity to explore and get to know the history of Krakow. It is situated right in the centre of the main squire. On their website, you can book a tour or purchase tickets in advance. If you fancy a guided tour, try to get Celina Bukowy. This is a very knowledgeable and interesting guide.

3. Gestapo Headquarters Museum (recommended time 1 hour).

This place is a hidden gem in one of the Krakow residential areas. It will take you around 10-20 minutes to get there by foot from the Main Square.

Picture source

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You don’t necessarily need a guide here, as the museum is pretty interactive and you can wonder around. But if you want to have a guided tour, make sure you’ll book a guide prior to your visit, as the museum doesn’t provide you with one. Also, it’s pretty small and not very busy with people. This museum is definitely worth a visit as it collects some uniques items. Of course, the most breathtaking experience is to visit the real cells (also part of this museum).

3. Spend the rest of your first day in the city centre, shopping and enjoying the atmosphere of the beautiful city.

Day 2

1.Visit Auschwitz and Birkenau Concentration Camps (recommended time 2-3 hours)

While it’s not the most fun experience, it’s a very important one. I would highly recommend getting early in the morning and get to the museum before 9 to Auschwitz. We started at 8:45 a.m. At this time it’s less crowded. I would highly recommend getting a guided tour. Otherwise, your experience will miss out of some of the important details about the place. Most of their guides are very knowledgeable. After the tour in Auschwitz make sure to go to the Birkenau Concentration camp. Try to book a guided tour through their website. Keep in mind that the spots are limited as it’s a popular destination for many school groups and tourist groups. You can book a visit (and a guide) 3 month in advance.

2. After this visit to the camps, get back to the city Main Square and indulge yourself in the positive and relaxing atmosphere of the city.

3. Visit the Galicja Jewish Museum (recommended time 1 hour).

This museum is located in the Jewish part of Krakow. It is a photo exhibition documenting the remnants of Jewish culture and life in Polish Galicia, which used to be very vibrant in this area. Guides are available at the museum.

4. Stroll around the Jewish district and visit one of the Jewish restaurants to taste some traditional Jewish food.

Day 3

1.Nowa Huta (recommended time 2-3 hours)

Get some fun and book a tour with the Crazy Guides. These are funny and knowledgeable young people who will tell you more about the Polish culture and traditions. Visit Nowa Huta, Krakow Communist “Perfect” town, with these guys. Take a ride on trabant and visit a typical apartment of those time. If the tour to Nova Huta doesn’t sound like fun, check out other tours offered by this company.

2. Make sure Crazy Guides drop you off at the Schindler’s Museum.

It’s a former metal item factory. Before visiting it, you can also watch a movie Schindler’s List. If you want a guided tour, I would highly recommend booking one in advance. You can also go on your own. Either way it is a great place to get to know more about Schindler, things he’s done and people he’s saved.

3. Eagle Pharmacy Museum (Apteka Pod Orlem (Polish))

Walk for less than 10 minutes from the Schindler’s factory to get to this museum.

Picture source

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Tadeusz Pankiewicz and his staff were the only Poles allowed to live and work in the ghetto and over the two years of the ghetto’s existence, Apteka Pod Orłem became an important centre of social life as well as aid in acquiring food and medicine, falsified documents and avoiding deportations. It’s a small museum but is definitely worth your visit. Check the Trip Advisor reviews.

The end…

There are so many places to visit in Krakow. There are bike tours, boat cruises, salt mines (around 40 minutes away from Krakow), cinemas, shopping centres and restaurants. Whatever, you prefer Krakow is a great place to visit!

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