Krakow, Poland Travel Itinerary
How long was your stay?
How did you travel?
As a couple
Tell us why you traveled to this destination.
We decided to try something different for our couple’s getaway. My husband suggested Krakow, Poland. At first I was skeptical, but it ended up being my favorite city in Europe!
Give us all the details! Tell us where you went and what you did on your trip.
We visited Krakow in the month of October. The weather was cool, but perfect for all of the walking we did around the city. We easily logged 15 miles of walking per day around this fabulous city.
After arriving off a night flight, we checked into our hotel (the cool boutique Hotel Indigo), and while I could have easily napped, my husband decided it was time to head out and check things out. We set off on foot, and walked along a long (Planty Park) parkway until we came to a restaurant/bar. He had his typical local beer, and I decided to try the local hot chocolate. I had no idea what was in store for me, but I quickly learned that they don’t make hot chocolate in Poland the way they do in the states. This was the most delectable, decadent version of hot chocolate I have ever eaten. Think more center-of-a-lava-cake than drinkable chocolate infused milk. It was the perfect kick off to the trip for this chocolate aficionado!
Krakow is an old city which is rich in World War II history. The city center is a beautifully-preserved historic town, lined with old buildings, an ancient underground city, medieval architecture, museums, and picturesque castles. Walking tours are available, but we just grabbed a map from our hotel, and made our way around. As we were there in October, we were lucky enough to be there during a large Christmas market. This market was like nothing I had seen in the states- filled with artisanal local crafts, cheeses, hand-carved homemade chocolates, and of course, their famous hot chocolate. We strolled through the market daily, sometimes eating the delicious Polish street food, or shopping for Christmas gifts and souvenirs.
A must-see is the district of Kazimierz, the former Jewish ghetto from WWII. I recommend walking here and stopping at various Holocaust historic sites, eating at one of the many fun restaurants, or grabbing an infused-vodka cocktail at one of their many hip bars (One of our faves, Singer, where every table was made from a vintage Singer sewing machine). This vibrant neighborhood is populated with lots of young people (25% of Krakow’s population is students) and provides a fun daytime or nighttime spot to go out. There are also weekend antique flea markets (I picked up some old keys dating back to the WWII days) located in this district.
In the Old Town square, be sure to visit the underground ancient city ruins, the 13th century St. Mary’s Basilica, Wawel Castle, and walk the Royal Road, containing some of the most important historical landmarks in Krakow.
Another walkable must-see attraction is Schindler’s Museum, which the movie Schindler’s List was based off of. Note, you need to book tickets well in advance, so make sure you do this! 2 day trips that are must-see include Auschwitz and the Wieliczka Salt Mine. We rented a car upon landing at the airport. The country is easily drivable, clean, with a verdantly green countryside.
Auschwitz-Birkenau is the site of the former concentration camp used by the Nazis. It is a sobering experience, but should not be missed. Book the full-day tour, it is totally worth it! The guides are extremely knowledgeable. Again, tours must be booked well in advance. You can easily drive here from downtown Krakow.
The Wieliczka Salt Mine was really interesting and fun to visit. Also a drive out of town, the mine dates back to the 13th century and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Everything in the mine is carved out of salt and stone by the minors. You will descend to over 9,000 feet on this super cool tour.
Would you recommend this trip to a friend?
What was the highlight of your trip?
-Walking the entire city and taking in all of the rich history
-The Christmas market
-Delicious food and drinks in the many great restaurants and bars
If you were to take this trip again, is there anything you would add or do differently?
Make reservations to Schindler’s Museum well in advance- we weren’t able to get in, but walked the grounds around the museum.
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