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 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 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.
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.
Memorial to Jews from the Krakow Ghetto
Former ghettos walls. Made in the shape of the tombstones.
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.
More about Krakow
Check out this informative and very detailed article of Samantha from As the Sparrow Flies