Cracking Krakow

Krakow Travel Blog

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Rynek Glowny

We had booked the overnight train from Berlin to Krakow and paid a little bit extra for the luxury of being in a four berth cabin over sharing a six berth one. Our luck was in as everyone else was crammed into six berth but we had ours all to ourselves and the train journey was a total dream trip. We'd stocked up a couple of beers for the trip and had a nice evening watching the world roll by and planning our time in Krakow. We actually managed to get a decent nights sleep and arrived bang on time.

We had no Polish currency and realised that we couldn't take the tram to our hostel so ended up having an early morning stroll through town to get to Deco Hostel on the far side of town from the train station.

Steph deciding which pierogie to try first
The hostel was easily among the nicest we've stayed in and was beautifully decorated with the theme of the rooms being early 20th century starlets and flappers. Our room was the Isadora Duncan room which had a cute little balcony and was clean and bright. The self catering kitchen was great but perhaps the best thing was the super friendly girl who was working on the front desk, very sweet and helpful.

Our first priority was to find a cashpoint as for the fifth or sixth time on this trip our bank had cancelled one of our cashpoint cards in the name of security. Luckily the other one was still working and money in hand we set of to search for beer and pierogies. For those not familiar with Polish cuisine pierogies are similar to ravioli but contain various fillings such as cheese and potato, cabbage and mushroom, brocolli and sweetcorn as well as several flesh varieties.

Adam tucking into his very first pierogie
The weather was scorching so despite the lure of the pierogies we settled in for a beer first and headed down to the main square called Rynek Glowny where we found the last two seats out of the several thousand seats in bars lining the square and ordered a couple of local beers called Zywiec. The girl working at the outside tables was inundated but still managed to be happy and smiley and the buzz around the square as people soaked up the sunshine was fantastic.

Our grumbling stomachs couldn't be placated with booze for long though and we headed for the pierogie restaurant where with some pointing and bad attempts at the impossible Polish pronunciation we ended up with a plateful of fantastic pierogie morsels. The restaurant was very busy and full of locals which is always the rule of thumb to rate the standard of a place and we have to say they were superb.

The Planty

The old town is surrounded by a strip of park called the Planty which literally circles round the town and is a perfect place for people watching as the locals stroll around. If you are in Krakow keep an eye out for a little fella dressed up as a glass of beer who hands out vouchers for a free beer at one of the more touristy restaurants called Podwawelem near the Castle. It just so happened that our stroll around the Planty took us there and it seemed rude to ignore the invitation of a free beer!!!

The Wawel Castle is a hugely important cultural icon of Poland and we strolled up and walked around the courtyard taking in the cathedral and the views out across the city. At the base of the castle is a statue of a dragon which every so often spouts a fiery flame of gas to the delight of the watching children.

Adam at a bar in the Jewish Quarter

Another opportunity for amazing views is the Kosciuszki Mound which is a lengthy stroll away from the city but totally worth it for the views (there is a bus that goes there but it's not as rewarding). There seems to be a thing for mounds in this part of the world as there are several of them including a small one dedicated to the last pope John Paul II who was born near Krakow and used to ply his priestly trade in these parts.

There are many nice areas to wander in Krakow and we found some lovely places to sit and soak up the atmosphere especially around the old Jewish quarter of Kazimierz where we ended up sitting and discussing the parallels of the Nazi's rounding up the Polish jews into walled ghettos and denying them food and fresh water supplies with the current situation in Palestine with the Israeli's occupying Palestinian territory and forcing them into ghettos. If ever there was a case of the lessons of history not being learned what sadder and more ironic example can there be.

snpontour says:
Hi guys, pleased to see you have found a green and pleasant land with free beer! We are currently in Peru on the gringo trail having muchas fun. Hope you are too.
Steve & Paula
Posted on: May 29, 2008
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Rynek Glowny
Rynek Glowny
Steph deciding which pierogie to t…
Steph deciding which pierogie to …
Adam tucking into his very first p…
Adam tucking into his very first …
The Planty
The Planty
Adam at a bar in the Jewish Quarter
Adam at a bar in the Jewish Quarter
The view over Krakow from Kosciusz…
The view over Krakow from Koscius…
Steph atop Kosciuszki Mound
Steph atop Kosciuszki Mound
Us on Kosciuszki Mound
Us on Kosciuszki Mound
Adam on his descent from Kosciuszk…
Adam on his descent from Kosciusz…
Kosciuszki Mound
Kosciuszki Mound
Wawel Castle Dragon
Wawel Castle Dragon
Rynek Glowny
Rynek Glowny
Adam and our first Polish beer in …
Adam and our first Polish beer in…
Our favourite pierogie haunt
Our favourite pierogie haunt
The Planty
The Planty
Free beers from Pod Wawelem
Free beers from Pod Wawelem
Wawel Castle
Wawel Castle
Wawel Castle Cathedral
Wawel Castle Cathedral
Views from Wawel Castle
Views from Wawel Castle
Views from Wawel Castle with Kosci…
Views from Wawel Castle with Kosc…
Krakow
photo by: EmyG