Cracking Krakow

August 12, 2011 · 4 comments

This is a guest post from Alex Sayers. Alex is from England dreams of travelling the world on a cultural odyssey, seeking out new adventures, fantastic experiences and seeing all the sights one exciting country at a time!

A couple of years ago a few friends and I were looking for somewhere cheap we could go to, and having browsed, we settled on Krakow in Poland. Krakow is ideal for anyone looking for a good mix of fun nightlife and cultural sights, and everything is cheap enough for students or backpackers, and we really loved it!

Krakow street

Krakow city streets

The part of Krakow I adored the most was Rynek Glowny, or the main market square, which forms pretty much the heart of the city. The majority of the main streets lead into this square meaning it’s really easy to find your way back to and it can easily be a starting point for all your adventures, plus the area all around the square is full of cheap hotels, hostels, restaurants and bars, so I’d really recommend finding somewhere to stay here. Everything in Krakow is within easy walking distance, so I’d recommend getting a tour on one of the cities golf buggy tours, which are located all over Krakow. It sounds a little odd I know, but it really is great fun hurtling through the winding back streets on a wobbly old golf buggy, and it’s useful for helping you learn your way around.

The main feature of the square is the Cloth Hall, a big enclosed market packed with stalls and although they are mostly souvenirs, they are still great fun to look through. The square also contains the colossal Church of the Virgin Mary which you can get into for a tiny fee, and is worth a look. I suggest having a look around the square at night because it’s jam-packed with people, live music and a plethora of bars and cafes which spread out into the square. All over the square are tour offices to get bike tours of the city, which also do trips outside of the town to famous places like Auschwitz or the Wieliczka Salt Mines; both of which I’d really recommend visiting.

Krakow Art

Krakow Art

My other favourite area of the city is Kazimierz, the Jewish district. Kazimierz is a lot less touristy than the main square, but still is full of cheap places to get food and drink as well as lots of interesting historical parts. It’s not that far from the centre of Krakow and we got another of the golf buggy tours which drops you off there. The centre of the area is another big market place, except that this one sells pretty much everything you could imagine; from food to antiques, arts and crafts. Krakow shopping is such a fun experience, it’s not necessarily about what you buy here, but about the haggling and experience you have with the vendors.

Krakow shops

Krakow shops

Nightlife in Krakow is amazing, there’s something for everyone, and it’s so cheap too! There are plenty of nightclubs, but to get a good feel for Krakow I’d suggest looking for smaller pubs and bars. Not only do these have a bit more character, but lots also have their own breweries in and a few even just put barrels of beer on our table for us to help ourselves…I don’t have to tell you how that ended!

For anyone looking for a really good holiday packed with culture and history as well as good nightlife on a budget should definitely check out Krakow!

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Donna August 16, 2011 at 2:26 PM

Krakow seems as a wonderful place.The streets remind me of the Ancient town in Plovdiv which I have visited before.


Lorna August 17, 2011 at 6:26 PM

I was in Krakow in July this year and agree it is a great place to visit. The main square is full of bars and cafes so a lot of people watching can be done. Food is good and reasonably priced. We went to the Salt Mines and had a 3 hour guided tour which I recommend, although only approx 10% of the mine is open to the public. Also had a tour round the city in the ‘golf buggies’ which is cheap. Went to Auschwitz and learnt a lot more than when I was at school!


AdventureRob August 18, 2011 at 5:03 AM

Thanks for comment, Krakow sounds good!


Marcia August 29, 2011 at 12:17 PM

Spent a holiday in the area last year with my husband and the kids. We had a lovely time, since we’d never had a chance to see such unique traditions and architecture. We’ve been recommending the place ever since :).


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