Krakow was not really on top of my wishlist, but I ended up there in June 2019 to go to a concert. At the end, I really LOVED that city! I liked the history, the culture, the people and the food! You’re planning a citytrip there? Have a look at my top 5 of Krakow!
The old town of Krakow is very pretty. The main place to see is the Rynek (the square). It’s a beautiful square surrounded by beautiful buildings, bars and restaurants. The most important building is the St Mary basilic. Visit the inside of the basilic and go to the top to enjoy a beautiful view on the town. But be prepared, there are 280 steps! Don’t forget to go inside the Cloth Hall, it’s the best place to buy nice souvenirs!
#2 Auschwitz Birkenau
The concentration camp of Auschwitz Birkenau is located at about 70km from Krakow and lots of people visiting the city spend a day there. If you go to Krakow, I HIGHLY recommend you to go to Auschwitz! The visit of this place where 1,5 millions people died is incredible. Even if we all know what happened there, being there makes you realize how it really was. I think everyone should see this place once in his life to understand what happened.
#3 Jewish quarter (Kazimierz)
I really enjoyed walking in Kazimierz, the Jewish quarter of Krakow. Have a look at the walls, you’ll see some paintings on it. I visited for the first time a synagogue and a Jewish cemetery. The first thing that intrigued me is the stones on all the graves. When people go to the cemetery, they don’t put flowers, they put stones instead. Another thing that caught my attention is the papers on the grave. People write a prayer on a piece of paper and put it on a grave. The Jewish quarter is also a nice place to eat and have a drink, you’ll find a lot of cool restaurants, bars and even foodtrucks.
#4 Wawel hill
On the Wawel hill, there are the Wawel castle and the cathedral. The cathedral is very beautiful! I recommend you to visit it. The castle is divided into several parts and you need to purchase a different ticket for each part. I didn’t visit everything, I chose the state rooms and the towers, but I was a bit disappointed by the visit. I also visited the dragon cave, which in my sense, is not really worth it. But I liked wandering around the castle.
#5 Try the Polish cuisine
I was not expecting to enjoy the Polish cuisine that much! I tried different local specialities and I loved it! Here are the restaurants that I recommend you:
- Jadłodajnia U STASI: I’ve tried their pierogi, a polish specialty. The tradition is to drink it with a fruit syrup. It was quite good! It’s not a touristic place, there were only local people in the restaurant and the atmosphere was cosy.
- Czerwone Korale: very nice restaurant where I tried the Placki, a potato pancake, with a mushroom sauce. It was delicious.
- Restaurant from the hotel Ester: this place is very cool, they serve food inspired from the Jewish cuisine. I ate falafels, it was very good!
How to get around?
Krakow is not a big city, I did everything by foot. If you are tired or if the weather is not good, you can take the bus or the tram. From the airport to the city center, you can take the train, the bus or a cab. I took Uber because it was the quickest option and it was quite cheap.
Krakow is a very cheap city, it’s actually the cheapest city where I’ve been to! Everything is cheap: the food, drinks, taxis, visits… Don’t forget that the local currency is zlotys (PLN). 1PLN = +- 0,23€.
I really enjoyed my first trip in Poland. The food, the history, the people… And it’s super cheap! Can’t wait to visit more of this country. Next on my list: Warsaw, Wroclaw and Gdansk!