KRAKOW IS FULL OF CRAIC
Looking for a cool and budget-friendly place to visit during the summer months? Book a flight to Krakow, Poland and you won’t regret it.
Krakow is absolutely beautiful and very warm in summer! There are loads of things to do and people to meet in this vibrant student city. And if you have some extra time on your hands you can also visit the Auschwitz concentration camp and the mountains of Zakopane – just a short trip away.
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THE OLD CITY
You can spend many delightful hours just walking around the medieval cobblestone streets of Krakow, lined with pubs and colorful restaurants. The major attractions are the main square (Rynok Glowny), known as the widest square in Europe, and the old Wawel castle: legend has it that a dragon lives under the ramparts and you can even pay a visit to the dragon’s cave. There will be a surprise waiting for you outside! If you want company for exploring the place, there are free walking tours available every day.
OUTSIDE OF THE CITY
There are three great places to visit outside of Krakow. The closest is the Wieliczka salt mine – a huge labyrinth of underground passages where generations of Krakow miners worked for centuries. You’ll find passages stretching thousands of meters underground, salt sculptures, gaping caverns, historic reconstructions showing you the day-to-day of the salt miners of old, and a stupendous underground chapel built entirely of salt!
The former Auschwitz concentration camp is about an hour away driving from Krakow. It is a very sad, depressing site, but a visit is good if you want to experience the place where Nazis killed over a million people just over 70 years ago.
Zakopane – gateway to the beautiful Tatra Mountains – is about a 2.5 hours driving to the South of Krakow. It’s got pure Alpine air, plenty of refreshing mountain walks and some really amazing views. In summer you can also go rafting, rock climbing and explore the local caves – loads of fun!
CAFES, RESTAURANTS, AND BARS
There are too many good places to mention! For food we’d recommend a visit to Pod Wawelem – a restaurant located just under the Wawel castle and styled as a beer hall. They have a large selection of meats, local delicacies such as dumplings (pierogi) and sour rye soup (zurek) and loads of beer! Those with a sweet tooth should make their way to the Chocolate factory in the Old town. Brought to Krakow by a Ukrainian company from Lviv, the factory doubles up as a museum because you can literally watch as your chocolates are made and get plenty of information about the process. They have a huge selection of sweets, coffees and some really original souvenirs!
Finally, for drinks go to Forum Przestrzenie (or just Forum). Located on the banks of the Vistula River, the place looks like an urban beach – with long chairs and umbrellas spread around a large space covered with pebbles and grass. Listening to chill out electronic music, lazily watching the sunset over Krakow with a cocktail in hand you’ll feel almost like you were in Ibiza!
JEWISH HERITAGE AND SCHINDLER MUSEUM
For centuries Krakow has been home to a large Jewish community and it has a carefully preserved Jewish quarter called Kazimierz. Make sure to spend some time wandering its narrow streets, admiring the beautiful architecture and maybe pay a visit to a couple of local cafes or restaurants.
Over on the other bank of the river is the Oskar Schindler museum – based in Schindler’s enamel factory where the German industrialist saved thousands of Jews from extermination by the Nazis. A visit is highly recommended – and not just for history buffs.
Enjoy Poland and its cheap but incredible places. Go for it!