Weekend in Kraków

Weekend in Kraków

In the turn of the month between April and May me and four friends took a trip to Kraków in Poland. It was my second visit to Poland, I had been to Warsaw once before, and didn’t have that high expectations to be honest. But we had a great time and Kraków really showed its best side with the summer weather. We spent the days walking around in town taking in the atmosphere. Quite often we sat down for good food and drinks as well.

The Historic Centre of Kraków is on the UNESCO’s World Heritage List. The Historic Centre consists of the old town, the Wawel Hill complex and Kazimierz.

The old town

The old town of Kraków is small but with many beautiful and old buildings. In the middle of the main square is the Kraków Cloth hall which was once a major center of international trade.

Nowadays the Cloth Hall have many small shops that sell all kinds of souvenirs. On the upper floor there’s a museum with paintings and sculptures.

The Bazylika Mariacka is another popular sight on the main square. The highest tower is 80 m high and every hour a trumpet plays a tune from the top that can be heard all over the square.

Everywhere are small squares with restaurants to sit and enjoy a drink and look at people passing by.

On the main pedestrian street there are some restaurants and many shops, both souvenirs and other shopping. On the crossing streets you’ll find restaurants and ice cream shops.

In the southern parts of the old town, next to the river Vistula, lies the Wawel Castle. It is one of the biggest castles in Poland and was built in the 13th and 14th centuries. Nowadays the castle houses an arts museum. The castle is the white building below and to the left is the Wawelska cathedral.

The courtyard is a beautiful area with lots of flowers and some cafés to extinguish the thirst and rest your legs.

We visited one of the towers of the wall and got a nice view over the town and the river.

Kazimierz

Another part of the historic centre is the jewish quarters Kazimierz. This was an area we really enjoyed and where we spent the evenings eating good food and drinking drinks. This is where the nightlife is with all the restaurants and bars.

The food

The polish cuisine may not be the most popular in the world, but they are good in cooking meat and they serve good dumplings.

There are many nice restaurants in town and we had some really nice meals, especially in the area of Kazimierz.

In Kazimierz we also passed by some food truck courts. We never had time to try any of their food but I thought all of them looked really nice. Next time I’ll definitely eat from one of them, if I can choose which food to have, it all looked really good!

The court below served both meat and vegan dishes as well as desserts.

The last night in Kraków we ate meze at an israeli place called HAMSA in the jewish quarters. It was really really nice! The falafel, baba ganoush and everything else was amazing. They have outside seating on a small square and a small garden on the other side.

There seem to be a lot of roof top bars in Kraków as well. First we tried to go to the bar on top of the hotel Sheraton Grand, but it was closed for a wedding. Instead we visited the bar on top of Jubilat called Vidok. It was a little hard to find the entrance, but the view from the roof was worth the problems we had finding it.

The history

Even though we were here mainly to enjoy a weekend together, we couldn’t leave without getting a little history lesson.

We visited the Schindler’s factory which now is a museum about the occupation of Poland during the World War II. It’s a terrible history and we all got chills. It’s a very good museum and it really makes you think.

I recommend going there in the morning so there won’t be a line. We got there when they opened on a Sunday morning and didn’t have to pay to get in. I don’t know why it was free entrance on that particular day though. After 1,5 h when we got out there was a long line even outside the museum.

On the last day in Kraków before going to the airport we had time for a short excursion to a mound. In Kraków there are four memorial mounds spread out over the city. Two of them are prehistoric and two are modern. We visited one of the modern ones called Kosciuszko mound. It was completed in 1823 and is named after the Polish national leader Tadeusz Kosciuszko. The brick citadel around the mound was built around 1850 and made it a strategic lookout.

The height of the mound is around 35 m and you can walk to the top and get a panoramic view over the city.

There’s also some small museums about the founder of the mound but we didn’t visit them. Instead we walked down the hill that the mound is located on and took a uber to the airport. Uber works really well in Kraków by the way.

And that’s that! This ended up being a much longer post than I had intended, looks like we had time to explore pretty much of Kraków after all. We had a really great time and I can’t recommend Kraków enough!



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