Hey, travellerspoint! I am going to be in Krakow this weekend (Friday morning to Sunday evening), and was wondering if you had any suggestions on what to do, where to go, where to eat, etc., plus just any tips in general about Poland and the city itself.
Thanks so much! Happy travels.
Definately go to Auschwitz-Berkanau. Its a sad, but worthwhile trip.
Also the salt mines are breathtaking. Its unbeleivable how far down they go. They even have chapels carved entirel out of salt!
In the city itself theres a lot of arcitecture such as the wawel castle and various others.
If youve got three days, Id spend the first wondering round the town, the second visiting auscwitz and the third at the salt mines.
The jewish quaters quite pleasant too.
yes Auschwitz/Oswiecim in polish, is a place to visit i do agree,
a history lesson and big experience - http://www.auschwitz-muzeum.oswiecim.pl/
but if u prefere to have a 'nice' time please hung around Kazimierz, its an old polish judish district in central Krakow, there are lots of nice cafes bars and sights to visit or just walk aronud my absolute favorite in the city is Wawel, the Castle's courtyard specially, to just sit there on the stone floor, feel the magic power and relax If u have more questions feel free to ask me directly on my mail. G.
The one touristy thing I would whole heartily recommend, besides Auschwitz, is the Salt Mine. Sounds boring, but hell its not. From the local train station you can catch a privately owned mini buses to almost any tourist destination. They're cheap and very reliable. The only problem we had was trying to find the damn coach to Wieliczka Salt Mine. Eventually we did find the coach, nestled amongst a batch of local men, on the street out front of the chief bus station... just ask someone. The ride was 4ztoty return, the mine located about 10 km southeast of Krakow. Set 135meters underground the 700 year old mine was freezing. A lot of the miners were incredibly religious, so in their want for daily worship they constructed vast reverence chambers, entirely from salt. The most amazing room was a gigantic chamber with pictures of the last supper, birth of Christ and so forth literally carved into the walls, (you don't have to be religious to find it all impressive) Up above hung two monstrous chandeliers, again constructed entirely from salt blocks. On the whole, the tour measured up to 3kms of walking, I suggest you wrap up though. It was 40ztoty, I recommend the guided tour, our man was very funny and told some really gruesome plus interesting stories of the history behind the mine
I would definitely recommend Auschwitz-Birkenau, a must see.
Also linked in with the Holocaust, you can visit Schindler's factory in Kazimierz. Quite easy to find and I am glad I visited it. You can go into his office and look out at the factory buildings. Weird when you've seen the film and can picture certain scenes from it when you're there.
Didn't visit the Salt mines but one place we did visit was the mound. We saw it on a map of the town we got from the Hostel and decided it would be an idea to go check it out. It was a bit of a trek to get there but worth it. It;s basically a man made hill with a story behind it, something about all the towns people placing a mound of earth on the site in remembrance of a local hero and it creating the mound that stands there today. You can see the whole of Krakow from the top and the views are amazing.
Sitting having a local beer in the main square is good too, but watch the pigeons as there can be lots of them!
If you are wanting to go clubbing/drinking then keep your eye out as they are all hidden quite well unless it was just me not looking hard enough!!
I absolutely love Krakow and can't wait for the day I get to return.
you do realise that that wasnt actually Schlinders factory, just where it was filmed dont you?
if you want to have an idea of what polish mountains are like, go to zakopane, which is sort of polish aspen it is only 2h by bus from krakow. although it is quite touristy, zakopane gives you a chance to have a short but pleasant insight into traditional architecture and lifestyle of polish highlanders.
Guess you're already there, but if you check this make sure you go to the milk bar (bar melzcny sp?), its on the main street inbetween the market square and the castle, just near to where the tram tracks cross. its got a blue sign with a knife and fork on it. great food and very cheap and a bit more authentic polish. dont be afraid of the polish menu, i always found the people serving spoke enough english. i'd recommend the potatoe cakes with goulash on them, yum!