Krakow, Poland

We spent Friday, September 4 through Wednesday, September 9 in Kraków. On some of those days we left the city with our guide Pawel, and went to some of the major tourist locations in the area.

I would love to give you a day by day synopsis of what we did in Kraków but that would be nearly impossible. In 2013 when I visited Kraków I was unable to spend much time there and knew there was alot to do. With the fiasco of our plane tickets and return date, I decided to add a few more days to our Kraków experience. I had quite an extensive list of things I wanted to see and do in Kraków, so the plane ticket mix-up actually benefited us.

Knowing a little about Kraków, I knew location was everything. I wanted to be close enough to walk to all the main tourist attractions, the main one being Main Market Square. I wanted to spend some time there. If you’ve never been to Kraków, the square itself is the focal point of the city. You could spend weeks there and never try all the restaurants that line the streets around the square.

Main Market Square

Main Market Square

I knew one place in particular that Denise would like would be the Cloth Hall. If you’re looking for souvenirs of any type, the cloth hall is the place to go.

Krakow Cloth Hall

Krakow Cloth Hall

Our hotel Kraków Residence Hotel, was about a 25-30 minute walk to the square. We did this walk at least 3 to 4 times a day. Any opportunity we could do lunch or dinner at the square in Kraków we did. By the last day we decided to try a change of pace and had dinner at a Chinese restaurant just down the street from our hotel.

The square itself is a hustling, bustling place of restaurants, vendors, musicians, break dancers, and various other forms of entertainment. One particular musician was getting a rather large following while playing in the square. He is Imad Fares and his guitar playing is amazing! ( Video1 ) ( Video2 )

There are lines of horse drawn carriage rides available around the square. They take you for quite an extensive tour around the city.

View from the carriage.

View from the carriage.

We spent the better part of one day touring and seeing the sights of Wawel Royal Castle. The tour of the castle is broken up into nine parts, and we toured six of them. Many are limited to the number of people that can go in per day at a certain time. If you’re visiting Kraków, this is your primary tourist location.

View from Tower in Krakow

View from the tower in Krakow

Wawel Royal Castle

Wawel Royal Castle

Tower outside Wawel Royal Castle

Tower outside Wawel Royal Castle

The day after we arrived in Kraków I finally got the opportunity to meet Zenon from PolishOrigins. I’d spoken with Zenon a few times during our trip, as he called to check to make sure that everything was going well with our customized tour. Zenon had been on tour with another group for the first part of our trip. He had only one day off and took the time to come to meet Denise and I for dinner. It was our first experience dining in the Jewish district of Kraków, and the food was absolutely amazing. His visit spoke volumes to us in regards to the PolishOrigins business. You don’t find many tour companies whose owners take the time to come to meet you and keep in contact with you the way he did. PolishOrigins definitely strives to make sure that your trip expectations are met and/or exceeded.

On September 5, my cousin Kazmierz and his wife came from Olesnica to meet us for lunch/dinner. Zbigniew took the time out of his day to come with us and act as our translator. We had a great time dining, talking and laughing at a very unique restaurant.

After dinner Kazmierz mentioned and old monastery The Benedictine Abbey in Tyniec that served great coffee, so we headed there. Standing by the wall looking down at the river below was a magnificent view.

View from the monastery

View from the monastery

After bidding my family farewell, we headed back to Kraków . When we arrived we noticed a long line of people waiting on the street near a building called, Lody na Starowiślnej. We asked Zbigniew what was going on there, and he replied it ice cream/yogurt. Being the curious sort, we decided to try it, and waited in line for 15 minutes. It was well worth the wait! (check out the link for their facebook page above. The photo at the top shows how long their lines usually are.)

We spent nearly five days in Kraków, and while some of those days we were off viewing other destinations, I still feel like I had enough time there. Kraków is an absolutely beautiful city and you really need like a month to take it all when. Maybe next trip. 🙂

We left Kraków on Thursday, September 10 via train and headed to our final destination of Warsaw.

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