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Krakow is below the radar for many people as a city break but that is soon to change. With cheap flights on airlines like EasyJet or Ryanair, this is the place to visit before it gets too popular. Here are our top reasons to visit Krakow soon!
Krakow is Poland’s 2nd largest city with a long history. It is known for its medieval architecture that is largely intact, particularly that of the Old Town and main medieval square Rynek Glowny. A walk here is to step back in time to the 12th century and explore one of the few examples of urban planning to survive the toil of time. Architectural gems through the baroque and renaissance periods also exist, so a walking tour of the city is highly recommended to truly get a feel for this city’s history.
Krakow is truly a slice of history. During WW2, the Nazis occupied Krakow and made the city its base. Many tourists use the city as a stepping stone for a visit to Auschwitz, the site of infamous WW2 tragedy about an hour’s drive outside of Krakow. A tour there is a sobering affair but the guides are respectful and informative. The Jewish Quarter, Kazimierz was abandoned after WW2, but recent developments have seen the area move into a new trendy, cultural scene. A visit here is worthwhile while the older buildings and cobbled streets are still intact to give a sense of how the Jews lived their daily lives.
Also a visit to Nowa Huta will give you some insight into the height of Communist rule. Built by the Soviet Union, the buildings are a true example of proletarian life in that period.
One of the better kept secrets about Poland is its food. There is much more than sausages to be discovered. Try pierogies, delicious dumplings with fillings that will leave you eager for more. For something more warming, we recommend, Bigos, which is a stew made from cabbage and meat or barszcz, a warm beet soup. If you are visiting in the warmer months, do try oscypek, a smoked sheep’s milk cheese that is very tasty. There are lots of eateries for all budgets so our best advice is to be open minded and just try things! You might be surprised by what you discover- after all good things like the bagel originated from Poland!
If a tipple after dark is your thing, then Krakow is the place to be. With a large university community, Krakow is reputed to have the highest density of bars of any city, there is something for everyone. Many drinking establishments are to be found underground, literally. In Krakow in cellars that are full of atmosphere. If you prefer to be outdoors, there are also historic courtyards converted into bars and more modern venues pumping out cocktails to fulfill every hedonist’s dream. Try a glass of Soplica, Poland’s oldest vodka, or one of the flavoured varieties of the spirit that have become popular recently.
What are your travel plans for the coming months? Let us know where you go!