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Krakow

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Steeped in history, a visit to Krakow is a must.

Krakow

City Description

The ancient royal capital and intellectual epicenter of Poland, Krakow ranks with Prague and Vienna as one of the architectural gems of central Europe. Chock-full of history and Old Town charm & totally undamaged by World War II (in fact it has been listed by UNESCO as one of the world’s 12 most important historic sites), Krakow is a beautiful city, ideal for a short break.

Krakow sits on the banks of the Vistula River and is a feast of medieval towers, cathedrals and castles; a warren of beautiful cobbled streets; a maze of the pretty, the intricate and the ancient.

Its significance for Poles goes well beyond the aesthetic, for this was the country’s ancient royal capital, and the Catholic Church has often looked to Krakow for guidance – Pope John Paul II was Archbishop of Krakow until his election in 1978.

Equally important are Krakow’s Jewish roots: until WW II this was one of the great Jewish centres in Europe, a past whose fabric remains clear in the old ghetto area of Kazimierz, and whose culmination is starkly enshrined at the death camps of Auschwitz-Birkenau, some 70km west of Krakow.

Kazmirez is the old Jewish quarter of the city. It is fast becoming the trendy part of town and all nightlife starts in the New Square – there are about 6 or 8 bars around the New Square and you go in, get your booze and hang out on the benches in the New Square.

Krakow

Food and Drink

Food

Don't expect first class service in Krakow's restaurants and bars - the city still has a long way to go in that respect! Things have improved a lot however in the last few years, and with an ever-increasing amount of tourists in the city tipping is also becoming customary. Ten percent on any meal should mean you're welcomed back next time!

  • Copernicus Restaurant at Hotel Copernicus, Ul Kanonicza 16, Krakow. As plush as it gets for Krakow dining, the prices are actually quite reasonable. Fancy some saddle of rabbit on black truffle? Here’s the spot.
  • U Bonera, Ul Florianska 15, Krakow. Located in one of the cities oldest cellars, U Bonera is more middle-of-the-road but the food is very good and the prices very reasonable.
  • Chlopskie Jadlo, Ul Sw Agnieszki 1, Krakow. Cheap and cheerful, the Chlopskie serves traditional specialities including black duck, herring, smoked eel and ‘military bean soup’. You should leave with more than your fill and change in your pocket from a tenner.

Drink

If there’s one city that could break the myth that Eastern Europeans don’t know how to have fun, then Krakow’s the one to do it. As a University Town there is an abundance of youth and youthful activity; and remember that the Old Town district has more bars per square metre than anywhere else in the world, so don't expect to get very far on a pub crawl.

  • Stalowe Magnolie, Ul Sw Jana 15, Krakow. Besides a well-stocked bar that offers cocktails galore, an atmospheric front room that hosts live music throughout the week, the club has yet one more ace card up its sleeve. Ferret out the secret rooms at the back and recline like a Roman Emperor on the maroon velvet beds.
  • Alchemia, Ul Estery 5, Krakow. Located in the Kazmirez area, Alchemia has become something of a flagship in the gritty club world of Kazimierz. Packed to the rafters almost every evening, this place is more than just a pub/club - it has become a genuine place of meeting and partying for the Kazimierz crowd.
  • Czekolada, Ul Braka 4, Krakow. Czekolada (Chocolate) is a light and airy hangout that can be found just off the Main Market Square in a small courtyard off ul. Bracka. It enjoys a regular clientele who go for the relaxed music and comfortable sofas and chairs.

Krakow

Shopping

Whether you're simply spoiling yourself or trying to track down that perfect present, it’s always difficult to know where to begin when you're in an unfamiliar city. Here are some ideas to get you started: Krakow is changing all the time and individual stores with real character are opening up week in week out so it shouldn't be a problem to find what you're after (or a nice surprise that you weren't expecting!).

Of course if you prefer the shopping mall experience then Galeria Kazimierz and Krakowska are essential ports of call.

If You Do One Thing

in Krakow

  • Landmark.....Vavel Castle
  • House.....Pope John Paul II residence as the bishop of Krakow, Kanonicza Street.
  • Church.....Across the road from the John Paul II residence is a beautiful church with an official replica of the Turin Shroud from the Vatican.
  • Factory.....Oscar Schindler’s Factory; parts of it were used in the movie Schindler’s List.
  • Day Trip.....The Salt Mines are fascinating.
  • Auswitch.....In order to get a handle on the size of the crimes committed during World War II, a visit to Auswitch might just satisfy your curiosity.

Krakow

Airport to City Information

Balice Airport is 15 km west of Krakow and is served by a regular bus service which takes about 35 minutes.

Alternatively you can get a taxi which can take you directly to your hotel.

We are Open

9am - 5:30pm Mon - Fri

10am - 2pm Saturday from January to September

Closed Saturday from October to December

40 West Street

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