Kraków is a beautiful city in the South of Poland which is vastly gaining popularity among the British as a new holiday destination. I spent four days in Kraków at the beginning of January, with it becoming one of my favourite cities to visit. Here is a list of some of the best things to do and see in Kraków if you are there for a short trip!
Where to eat?
One of the quickest and most filling meals we had while there was the Polish dish pierogi, served in many restaurants in the city. Pierogies are dumplings that are filled with either sweet or savoury and then boiled to cook. During your time in Kraków, try pierogies at the very popular restaurant, Mirror Bistro- Pierogi Bystro. The service was quick with big portions and reasonably priced plates.
Although the city has great transport links, Kraków is highly walkable with many routes through the old town exposing you to some of Poland’s most interesting history. We did a free walking tour and went through the Jewish Quarter, hearing stories of Jewish persecution in Kraków from medieval times until more recently, to the occupation of the city by the Nazis in World War Two. Our local tour guide was excellent and very knowledgeable about the city, answering questions which allowed us to understand the Jewish struggle in Kraków better.
Kraków is rich in culture and history, with the city being made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1978. The city has a multitude of historical sites to visit, ensuring you won’t find yourself with nothing to do during your stay. Some of the notable sites include Wawel Cathedral on top of Wawel Hill. The Cathedral is the site for Polish coronations and has been situated in Kraków for nearly 1000 years. There are Royal tombs beneath the surface, accessible to the public and contain the bodies of some of Poland’s most famous Kings and national heroes.
If you are willing to take a short trip out of the city centre, the Wieliczka Salt Mine is a perfect option. Dating back to neolithic times and first dug in the 13th century, the mines were used for salt mining until extraction was halted in 1996. The mine has nine levels with the lowest level reaching the depths of 327 meters. Today, the mines are open to the public with daily slots being filled, with a cafe and gift stores being accessible within its depths.
And finally… what is the nightlife like?
Kraków is home to great bars and pubs, with the Old Town being full of many bars that offer cheap alcohol and good music. One bar I would recommend is BaniaLuka, which had a great atmosphere and closed really late.