5 Things to Know about Krakow

Straight after visiting Warsaw, we hit the road till Krakow, where we decided to play 100% tourists. Besides, in such touristic place it turned to be close to impossible to find a CouchSurfer on a short notice. Let us share our impressions with you!

Krakow is a very beautiful historical city

Small and cozy, Krakow is amazing. It is like a small museum, even if its Old Town is quite big for its epoch. Unlike Warsaw, Krakow was incredibly lucky – despite the clear intention to explode the city during the war, it escaped any sort of damage and was kept in close to perfect condition. Authentic gorgeous streets, beautiful cathedrals and hidden yards make Krakow so attractive.

krakow market poland

krakow market poland church

krakow market poland

krakow street poland

krakow poland church

Krakow is delicious and relatively cheap

You can’t miss the Market Square for many reasons, and food is one of them. For three days that we spent in Krakow, the market was generously feeding us at any time. :D  Absolutely try their typical smoked cheese and don’t forget to have a cup of hot chocolate in one of cozy Krakow’s cafés.

krakow polish food

Krakow is too touristic

And it is not surprising knowing how charming it is. However, quite fast the crowds of tourists, trains equipped with loudspeakers offering city tours and other individuals earning their living from tourism become oppressing. If you want to enjoy Krakow, get up early. It’s not a new tip, but in Krakow was the first place where we were basically forced to make this step.

krakow street fortress castle poland

krakow market poland

krakow street poland

Let’s be respectful towards history

Putting aside medieval history and turning to more recent events, Krakow is a sad place. Poland suffered greatly during the Nazi occupation, but nobody suffered more than its Jewish population. Ghettos followed by extermination camps – that was the most common destiny of 80 000 Jews living in Krakow before the war. Former Jewish district is called Kazimierz, now it is mainly appreciated for the interesting art galleries and night life spots, but it also keeps important places of memory. Unfortunately, a lot of tourists consider them just like another tourist attraction, thinking that selfies and stuff are appropriate at the places of sorrow. The same concerns Auschwitz concentration camp situated in 70 km from Krakow. Please, don’t be like them.

krakow jew gheto kazimierz

krakow jew gheto kazimierz

Memorial to Jews from the Krakow Ghetto

krakow jew gheto kazimierz

krakow jew gheto kazimierz

krakow jew gheto kazimierz krakow jew gheto kazimierz

Jewish cemetery

krakow jew gheto kazimierz schindler factory

Schindler’s Factory

krakow jew gheto kazimierz

krakow jew gheto kazimierz auschwitz krakow jew gheto kazimierz

Former ghettos walls. Made in the shape of the tombstones.

krakow jew auschwith poland

krakow jew auschwith poland

Auschwitz

Free walking tours are amazing

Honestly, if you are not big fan of organized tours, free walking tour in Krakow will change your mind about excursions. We joined one spontaneously and it turned to be one of very few excursions that actually stuck in our memories. Charismatic local guides are helpful and well… awesome. The tour is free, but you will see, that it will be absolutely worth of your donation.

krakow street poland krakow jew gheto kazimierz krakow poland church

krakow street poland

More about Krakow

Check out this informative and very detailed article of Samantha from As the Sparrow Flies

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5 Things to Know about Krakow

2017-05-13T17:04:56+00:00 May 13th, 2017|

4 Comments

  1. Samantha Sparrow Monday May 15th, 2017 at 07:55 PM

    Thanks so much for linking to my article! :-)

  2. Birthe (from Wandering the World) Tuesday May 16th, 2017 at 07:23 PM

    We’ve never been to Krakow (or Warsaw for that matter), but it looks like we should pay it a visit. Loving the colourful houses and authentic buildings and streets! People always say it’s a shame if a place gets too touristic, but I think it’s inevitable if it’s such a beautiful place. Just find a way to get away from the tourists and enjoy it on a less busy hour or time of year, like you guys did. Free walking tours are the best indeed! By a local guide? Even better! Great photos btw. :)

    • independentpeople Monday June 19th, 2017 at 08:57 AM

      Oh yes, that’s why we try either to wake up very early or to travel off-season. Otherwise it’s too overwhelming…

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