Kraków, set in the south of Poland, is a medieval city that many pass through to gain an understanding of its turbulent past. We visited for the same reason many travellers do – to make the heart-wrenching, yet somewhat necessary, visit to Auschwitz. What we found was a bustling city with old-town charm. Pleasantly surprised at what we discovered, we wished we’d had more time just to enjoy the city, and we know we’ll be back. Here’s why.

1 – If you’re looking for bang-for-your-buck, Krakow’s the place to be. Juice, soup, salad and main for the total of 15 Zloty or $5AUD, you still leave with a full wallet and an even fuller stomach. Try Kuchnia Domowa in Kazimierz on Miodowa Street and ask for the lunch special (it will be on a board behind the counter – make sure you do self-serve). You won’t regret it. krakow2 – Snow in winter, high 30s in summer, Kraków has the best of both worlds when it comes to weather, so no matter what time of the year you choose to visit, you’re sure to be able to enjoy the outdoors.

3 – Being the old Jewish quarter, Kazimierz could potentially have a very sad atmosphere, and although there are areas you can feel the remnants of WWII, it’s come alive with funky little cafes, underground bars, and street art. It’s the somewhat ‘hipster’ sector of Kraków.

krakow4 – A large percentage of the Kraków population are uni students, so there’s certainly no shortage of nightlife. A wander through the Main Square in after the sun’s gone down solidifies this. There’s a good party to be had in Kraków.

5 – Perched atop Wawel Hill, the Royal Castle overlooks the river and is one of the most impressive pieces of architecture we’ve seen in Europe to date. A stroll around this beautiful area is guaranteed to ensure Kraków captures your heart.

6 – The Vistula river runs through the city and is certainly maximised by the locals. You’ll find cafes and deck chairs and makeshift beaches, and even a pool atop a boat. The perfect spot to enjoy a drink in the summer sun. Not to mention the abundance of runners, inline skaters, cyclists and skateboarders along the river bank, that you can join for your daily 30.krakow

7 – Jump in the car for an hour and you’ll reach the town of Zakopane, located at the base of the Tatras Mountains, 300km drive and you’ll find yourself amongst the Bieszczady Mountain range. Kraków’s perfectly located to enjoy day trips out of the city to get a breath of fresh air.


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