Exploring Krakow, Poland

Krakow has been on my bucket list since I visited Warsaw a few years back, I was amazed about how beautiful the country is. I had a misplaced preconception that it must not be nice if so many people are leaving to live else where. It was Poland that made me realise how foolish that assumption was. Sure just look at how many Irish leave for Australia, Canada even over to the UK, and its certainly not because our island isn’t beautiful. If I thought Warsaw was nice, I was not ready for Krakow. This place is as close to perfection as a city can be, in my humble opinion anyway and I got to go for a few days in May 2018 (as a Christmas present from a fantastic boyfriend I might add.)

We stayed at the Holiday Inn Krakow City Centre, a very reasonable comfortable, clean hotel with spacious rooms, but whats more, it was a mere 7 minute walk to the main square of the old town. The old town medieval architecture is surrounded by a green belt of park land and houses a number of historic landmarks including a Bascilia, churches and museums. The main square itself has a unique ability to be full of life, the hustle and bustle of any popular city, but at the same time, be extremely peaceful. It is surround by bars and restaurants with outside seating under canopy’s, decorated horse drawn carriages, and street performers, I could honestly sit and people watch for hours in this gorgeous place.

         

As soon as you get into the city you will see hundreds of 6/8 seater golf carts, which we quickly found out it was the electric cars city tours. Since we were only there a few days we thought this would be the best way to see the city and find out its story. The tickets seems to be around €30 per person some even as high as €60, but we found tickets for around €15 on the getyourguide app, we were worried at first it was a scam being a lot cheaper than the rest, but no, it was perfect, electric car showed up with a great tour guide who knew all about the city, it was also had audio headsets for every person. Now we may have got a good price because we booked last minute, but there is so many carts available you can safely leave it till last minute to book and still get a tour no problem. I would definitely recommend the electric car tours. I am not good a remembering stories but we were taken around the Old Town, Gothic Quarter and Jewish Quarter and told all the stories in between. The one thing I do remember is that it is said that when a King sinned, he would repent by building a church, and that is why there is over 100 churches in Krakow, very sinful Kings. This explained why there was so many nuns and priests walking around, they had a lot of buildings to look after.

And of course we went to Auschwitz, which is an experience in itself. Needless to say it was an emotional day but I am glad I heard their stories, and that their stories are told every day, that they are remembered as heros. Our tour guide was perfect, she has being telling the story for 13 years and had family killed in auschwitz, you could feel how much she cared about the story. What they did to the prisoners was barbaric and I can’t even begin to imagine what they went threw.

All in all Krakow is a MUST SEE, you will not be disappointed. I can’t describe the wonderful feeling I had exploring this city and its wonderful little quirky shops. In the centre of the main square there is a market that runs through the middle of The Cloth Hall with all kind of treasures to pick up.  If it wasn’t for the other half I would have spent a lot more time and money there, probably a good thing. I loved this trip. Let me know if you have been or plan to go and your thoughts on it.

Shaz xx

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