For our vacation, this summer the boyfriend and I went to Cracow. It was decided kind of in the moment. Neither of us had been there before and there was a sale on plane tickets so why not right? We stayed at an AirBnB flat in Lobzowska while we were there and it was so nice! I highly recommend both the area and the landlord, we had no issues at all! We stayed for nine days and Cracow really showed itself from the best side! I did not know there was so much to do in the city! Cracow is very nice price wise (all of Poland is) and we travelled mostly by Uber or our feet. They have student prices almost everywhere at museums and other tourist attractions so bring your student ID with you if you ever visit! We stayed mostly in the Old Town Cracow and it is full of wonderful restaurants with great food and beer.
Monday, day 1 – We went to the zoo after looking at TripAdvisor for something to do. I love animals and the zoo was well worth a visit although some of the animals had too little space to move around. After the zoo, we went back to the city and did some walking and sightseeing by ourselves and we had lunch at the most amazing pizza place named Trattoria Mamma Mia. I can not praise this restaurant enough! Such good service, amazing food and vine. I think we ate here a total of three times during our visit. Later on we walked the short distance to the Maria Cathedral which is so pretty and very old (from the 11th century) and later on we walked to a great mall called Galleria Krakowa. They had almost everything you could wish for. In the evening we went to a restaurant called Pimiento Argentino Grill. They are ranked as one of the best restaurants in Cracow through TripAdvisor and the meal was wonderful! It was on the more expensive side compared to regular Polish prices. I had a steak that must be one of the best I’ve ever had in my life. If you get the chance I would seriously recommend a meal here, you will not regret it.
Tuesday, day 2 – This day we spent on a guided tour to Auschwitz and the Salt Mines outside Cracow. I have wanted to see Auschwitz/Birkenau for a very long time. We ordered our trip through VisitKrakow and it was very successful. We had a great guide in both Auschwitz and Birkenau as well as the Salt Mines. The whole experience was kind of hard to comprehend. You know the stories and you’ve heard them told from the concentration camps, but it is so hard to picture are the evil and brutality when you are actually standing in the place where it all happened. This was how I felt it at least, but I also feel that it is important to have been there. The Salt Mines was simply amazing. It is insane that humankind can create such things. I can hardly be described by words, you have to see it for yourself. This is also nice and fun for children I can imagine. You can have parties down there and they actually have a spa as well so if I was rich I would have the wedding reception there in a heartbeat!
Wednesday, day 3 – After all the walking the day before we took a day with a little less walking. We went to the Gestapo Headquarter Museum to explore a little bit. Both my boyfriend and I felt that it was a little too much text to get through everything. It was a very tiny museum, only two rooms in total. I enjoyed learning more about the role of Gestapo in Cracow and Poland. It is worth a visit, but I think we visited on a day when our brains couldn’t quite comprehend more information after our visit in Auschwitz the day before. Before lunch, we also visited the Historic Museum of Cracow and we managed to walk the wrong way in the exhibition, but that wasn’t too much of a problem. It was very nice to learn more about Cracow’s history in total! I recommend both the museums that we visited that day. The rest of the day we spent chilling in our room before going out to dinner.
Thursday, day 4 – This was the ultimate chill day. A couple of friends would join us in Cracow later that day so we spent the day chilling with movies and books and a late breakfast before we went out to have dinner with them.
Friday, day 5 – Another chill day. Our friends went to Auschwitz and were there most of the day so we joined them for dinner later on.
Saturday, day 6 – Aha, the big exploring day! First, we walked down to the Wawel Palace. This is a palace as well as a cathedral and it is on the UNESCO list. The property is huge and it has played a historical value in Polish history. We went into the cathedral (cover your shoulders, they might not let you in) and it was simply amazing. Churches never stops to surprise me. This one was so pretty on the inside and the outside and there was so much to see. You could go down into the crypt, you could go up into the bell tower (you had to buy a ticket for everything and we got the combo ticket which allowed us to walk everywhere). We wanted to enter the armoury as well, but the tickets were sold out for the day so we moved on to the Jewish Quarter. I was a little bit disappointed about this, but I assume that I didn’t quite know what to expect so I made up my own picture in my head and they are rarely realistic. I still think it was worth a walk through to at least have seen it and I think we would have made more out of it if we had had a guide to tell us the history as we walked through. From the Jewish Quarter, we walked down to Schindler’s Fabric on the other side of the river. I loved this museum and I could have spent so much more time there than I did! I find it so fascinating and it was not just about the factory but also how it all started when the Nazis came into power and started to persecute the Jews. I will definitely return here to walk through it one more time and read and look more. This was one of the highlights of the vacation according to myself. From the factory, we took one of these HoponHopoff busses just to be super touristy. I wanted to see the Ghetto, but we were tired of walking so we found a driver who would drive us to the Ghetto, through the Jewish Quarter and back to the city with an audiotape playing throughout the trip to tell us about our surroundings. Our driver was very good too and stopped at different places and told us about them. Certain of those places I wouldn’t even have thought to be something special, but there is more to something sometimes that meets the eye. In the evening we went out to a nicer dinner since this was our friends last day in Cracow. We had the worst food experience in Cracow. The name of the restaurant escapes me but it is on the left side of the horse carriages when you stand to look at the Maria Cathedral. It is ranked as one of the better places to eat. First, it took some time to get our appetizers and then it took almost 50 minutes between the appetizers and the main course. It turned out they had forgotten about us so our food wasn’t made before we asked for it and when we first got it they didn’t even manage to serve us at the same time and some food was missing from my boyfriend’s meal. There was no apologizing, no checking if we liked the food, nothing at all. When we were done eating we had a hard time getting hold of a waiter to bring us the bill and clear the food so it was just getting better and better. Finally, I got up and went to the butler and asked if someone could clear our table and bring the check. Things happened quite effectively after that and they gave us a tiny discount, but still, there was no apologizing or explaining. That would have made the whole experience much better. To brighten up the evening we took a horse carriage around town and it was wonderful! To round up the evening we had a late dessert at Hard Rock Café.
Sunday, day 7 – My boyfriend and I went back to Wawel to check out the armoury, the tower, the Oriental exhibition and the Dragons Den. This time we got tickets for everything. We struggled a little bit with finding the way due to the lack of small or missing signs to show the tourists where to go. I think the armoury was my favourite part. My boyfriend knows extremely much about weapons so even though there was a lack of information about the different objects he was able to tell me about most of the stuff in the exhibition. This is a nice place to walk around and also bring kids! Very fun to see such an important place in Polish history.
Monday, day 8 – This was our last day in Cracow and we were considering to take a trip to the Ghost House but decided to have a late breakfast and see the rest of Galleria Krakowa that we hadn’t seen the first time. It was nice to take it slow the last day and just walk around in the Old Town and looking and chilling.
All in all, I really enjoyed Cracow and I would like to return sometime later in life to see it again. It is a wonderful town if you would like a city vacation!
– The Book Reader