Last year I visited Krakow, Poland and just thought I’d share a little bit about my experience with you. If you are planning a visit to this amazing city then this ‘Krakow travel guide’ has all you need to know.
Krakow is an absolutely amazing city. I have completely fallen in love with it. I visited for four days in late October which was a nice time of year to go as it was dry (for the most part) and hadn’t gotten too cold (By polish standards). Saying that it was bitter cold, for Irish standards, so if you plan to travel that time of year I would definitely bring the hat and scarf as you’ll more than likely be doing a lot of exploring by foot.
Krakow Travel Guide: Where to stay?
I had been dying to visit Krakow for a number of years and eventually decided to bite the bullet and go on a budget holiday. I knew I wanted to be out exploring all the time and food and drink are so affordable in Poland I knew I’d be eating out. This meant we would be spending very little time in the accommodation and therefore didn’t need anything spectacular. I wanted a clean room with a bathroom and a bed. We opted for staying at the High Life hostel which was just that. The room was very cute as far as hostels go and was located just a 10 min walk from the main square and shopping centre. Ideal. Our flights and accommodation ending up costing us approx €150 each for the four nights. Below are pictures of the room we stayed in.
Krakow Travel Guide: Where to eat?
Hard Rock Cafe – The Hard Rock Cafe is located in the centre of the main square. This is what prompted us to go there. When we arrived in Krakow it was in the late evening and we said we would venture to the square for some food. The Hard Rock Cafe’s are a cool experience and the food is great but they are pretty much the same in every country so you wouldn’t be missing anything if you’ve already been to one. I collect the drumsticks from the Hard Rock Cafes so I always make sure to visit them if I travel.
Pizza Hut – This was perfect after a long day of shopping as it’s in the shopping centre. The pizza was so delicious and they serve beer so it kept himself happy.
Boscaiola Pizzeria – We visited here after one of the tours as we were famished. I got the garlic bread with cheese to start which smelled and tasted so yummy the table next to us asked us what we were eating. This was followed by a pepperoni pizza and a delicious glass of the house white wine.
Mo-ja Cafe – Breakfast was had here most mornings as it was right beside the hostel and on the way to the main square and shopping centre. Their pancakes with bacon and maple syrup were what I stuck with for the week and I really enjoyed them.
Wedel Pijalnie – This is located in the main square and is perfect for a sweet treat. They have an extensive menu that has just about every sort of dessert you could think off. I ordered the chocolate souffle and a hot chocolate. The souffle was baked fresh so be prepared to wait for it.
Krakow Travel Guide: Things to do
Auschwitz – I highly recommend visiting Auschwitz. We booked our tour from a little kiosk off the square. The tour included the transport, and a guided tour of both the Auschwitz and Birkenau camps.
Krakow Travel Guide Tip: Wear comfortable shoes and bring snacks. There is a lot of walking and there aren’t many options for food.
The Salt Mines – Again, I highly recommend this also. It’s amazing. There is no way to describe it. But again it’s a lot of walking so wear comfy shoes. There are a few hundred steps on the way down so it may not suit everyone. It also wouldn’t be appropriate if you suffered from claustrophobia.
Shopping – I could have spent days in this shopping centre. They had everything. Although to save you some time, the ‘big’ generic brands aren’t any cheaper in Poland than they are around the rest of the world. Big generic brands to me are the likes of Levi, Calvin Klein, Ted Baker and so on. The polish shops are considerably more affordable. Inglot makeup produces their products in Poland which makes Inglot very affordable in Poland.
Krakow Pub Crawl – From what I can remember, this is a lot of fun (Polish vodka is strong). But in all seriousness, this is a great and affordable way to see some of the coolest bars in Krakow. The organisers are great fun and will keep you entertained for the whole evening. Pro tip: Don’t have a tour booked the next day. We booked to go to the salt mines at 9 the next morning and let’s just say the few hundred steps down to the mines that are in a constant circle did not help the head.
Wawel Royal Castle – The castle is breathtaking and has spectacular views of the whole city. Make sure to visit on a dry day and plan your visit before you go as the tours fill up quickly. We did the tour of the armoury and the underground caves. Both were pretty cool if you’re into history but honestly, I would have just been happy to explore the gardens of the castle and take in the views.
Horse & Carriage ride – These go from the main square and bring you around the city of Krakow. They have a few different options for rides that vary in time and cost. I think we opted for the middle option which for me was perfect. This is a great way to see the city and therefore, you might want to do it on the first day so you can get your surroundings.
Krakow Travel Guide Tip: Consider doing the horse and carriage trip at night – The city looks fabulous when it’s all lit up. Especially at Christmas time.
Of all the cities I’ve been too, Krakow is now taking the number 1 spot as my favourite. If I was going again, I would love to see it during the spring. Late November/early December would be a good time too as it would be Christmas market season. However, I still would recommend October as it hadn’t gotten unbearably cold yet.
I hope you enjoyed this travel guide. If you did and want to check out some more have a look at the travel section.
Let me know if you have any questions,