Where to Stay
We stayed in an AirBnB in the Jewish Quarter, which is filled with bars, restaurants and nightlife. It is a 20 minute walk in the Old Town from here. I was also recommended, Greg and Tom Party Hostel by a friend, which is right by the Old Town.
What to Do
Walking Tours – There’s so much history in Krakow, and it’s very important to learn about, so I recommend doing at least one walking tour. On our first day we did a walking tour with the company Walkative , which took us all through the Old Town and finished at the Wawel Castle. It was two and a half hours, which was slightly too long, but it was packed full of history, and we learnt a lot (do not recommend on a full tummy). The other walking tour was through the Jewish Quarter, with a company called Cracow Free Tours. This tour was my favourite, we learnt so much, and our guide was so passionate about the subject and full of information.
Wawel Castle – We didn’t go in to the castle or cathedral, but walked around the grounds, which are stunning. There are a few different options with tickets and exhibitions you can visit, and you can read more about that here.
Oskar Schindler’s Factory – I recommend watching Schindler’s List before you visit Krakow, it’s a tough one to watch, but very important. Unfortunately we didn’t get to visit the factory, as there are limited tickets each day, and I didn’t look into it properly, so go in the morning if you can, or book online, its about £10.
Main Market Square – This is the centre of Krakow and home to the famous Cloth Hall and St. Mary’s Basilica. This is the perfect place to soak up the atmosphere of the city. Every hour, a trumpet player plays a song from the top of the Basilica.
Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum – Visiting these concentration camps was a very sombering experience, but it’s a very important part of history, and if you visit Krakow, there isn’t really an excuse not to go. Althought you can find your own way there on a public bus, and walk around yourself, you should do a guided tour. We paid £30 for a 7 hour tour, through the tour company, Cracow Visit Tours and Transfers, we met in the Old Town and were dropped back after.
What to Eat
Pierogi – Also known as Polish dumplings. This was our first meal when we arrived in Krakow. We went to highly rated restaurant in the Jewish Quarter called Pierożki u Vincenta. It’s quite a small place, and not too touristy, and there are so many options. For £3 I got 10 pierogi, filled with goat’s cheese and potato, with a cheese sauce and oh my goodness they were so delicious but so filling! This was the only time we ate pierogi, but I highly recommend coming here.
Chimney Cakes – I’m not actually sure if this is a specifically Polish thing, as I’ve also had them in Prague, but there was a little food truck market down the road from us in the Jewish Quarter that had a truck called, Chimney Cake Bakery, and it sold cones like churros, filled with Nutella and ice cream, which sauce and brownies on top, oh so naughty, but so delicious. There are also loads of gelato shops and bakery’s around the city that sell sweet treats, like cakes and donuts.
Zapiekanka – This is an open baguette filled with mushrooms and cheese, and other toppings of your choice, and is a very popular street food. The best place to get some is in the Jewish Quarter, is at the Ploc Nowy, there is a building in the centre, which is filled with many different stands, where you can buy zapiekanka.
Where to Drink
We found alcohol so cheap here! We were paying the equivalent of £1-£3 for pints of beer and glasses of wine, and £5 for cocktails, amazing. The main market square is a great place to sit and have a drink, here you can soak up the vibe of the city and have a good old people watch. The House of Beer is a great little spot, loads of different beers to try, and the biggest plate of nachos I’ve ever eaten.
My favourite bar was one in the Jewish Quarter, called Alchemia, which is also very popular with the locals. It’s a quirky bar, and does yummy cocktails. On our last night we did a pub crawl called, Krawl through Krakow, it was 55zl or £10, and that including an hour of unlimited alcohol, very dangerous.