Krakow happened in October 2013 because of the Unsound Festival. What seemed to be just a music trip, turned out to be a one of a kind vacation.
It took almost forever to get to Krakow. We took a bus from Cluj Napoca at 23.00 and after stopping for an hour and a half in Budapest, we arrived in Krakow the next day at 2.00 PM, a bit tired of sitting on the bus, but feeling like going for a walk just to let our bodies move for a while. We stayed in Krakow for 5 days and it was more than enough to visit everything we had planned, but also to relax, enjoy the city and go partying. The only part that I didn’t enjoy too much was the weather. Around 7 – 8 degrees, a bit cold for having a city break and walking around the streets all day, but Krakow is absolutely mesmerizing so every effort was worth.
Visiting Krakow means going to the Old Town district (called Stare Miasto) and Kazimierz (area located really close to the Old Town, independent city in medieval times with a Christian quarter in the West and a former largely Jewish quarter in the East). The touristic attractions are all very close to one another so if you plan you trip wisely, you will need no more than 2 days to check everything a tourist should see once in Krakow.
Our hostel was right in the center and close to the train and bus station so we didn’t have to use too much the public transportation. We did take the tram from time to time as we were just very tired and it was quite cold outside to keep walking, but otherwise, on a warm and sunny day, you can walk around the town.
I have to admit that I was surprised by everything that Krakow has to offer. We left home with the impression that, as Poland was also a communist country as Romania was, this city will not be too appealing for us. But still, getting there, we suddenly changed our opinion. Krakow has it all. Medieval buildings, baroque architecture, palaces, churches, parks, very nice restaurants and bars, everything at a low cost but also absolutely beautiful women.
It’s been a long time since we went there and some things are not so fresh in my mind, but here are some of the places we passed by around the city :
Juliusz Słowacki Theatre (Teatr Słowackiego) – close to the train station.
Wawel Castle – you cannot miss this Castle once you put foot in Krakow. You can see it from everywhere you go, but go on a walk on the bank of the Vistula river and you will have the perfect view.
Rynek Główny (Main Marketplace). A fine medieval square at the heart of the Old City, festooned with churches, restaurants and bars. It is the biggest medieval marketplace worldwide with more than four hectares of area and eleven streets beginning here
Florian Gate is the only part of the medieval walls which has survived. It consists of four towers and the arsenal and gives you a good idea of what the five kilometers of walls around the Old City looked like in the Middle Ages.
Barbikan. Barbikan was built in the 15th century as the biggest European defense building of its kind.
Sukiennice (Cloth Hall). Sukiennice was built in the early 14th century in the middle of the Main Market as a trading hall in Gothic style. It got its present Renaissance look in 1555.
Town Hall Tower was once a part of the big 13th-Century Gothic-Renaissance Town Hall on the Main Market. The town hall was destroyed by the Austrians in the 19th century after they took control of Krakow.
Plac Mariacki (Mary´s Square) — A small medieval place connecting Main and Little Marketplaces. It was a cemetery in the Middle Ages, but is now a charming and quiet place with the Sculpture of a medieval Cracovian Student.
Planty park surrounding the medieval city. It was set up in the 19th century in the place of torn down town walls.
Remuh Cemetery– the old Jewish cemetery.
Schindler’s Factory – not too much remaining of the factory, as it has now turned into a museum, very well documented, explaining the Polish history during the Nazi occupation.
There’s much more to say about Krakow, but I think that the photo gallery will say it better than any words.
So yes, Krakow is a very nice destination, definitely worth seeing once in Poland. History, culture, architecture, cuisine, you will find all you can imagine.
Also read on Krakow: