Cracow- the city of old dream.
When we’re planning to travel to some new country we’re usually thinking about visiting a capital. Because there we are expecting to see the heart of the country. With Poland, it’s another story. The heart of this country- definitely Cracow, the oldest city, with long and rich history, with unique old architecture, the tastiest food, and never-ending nightlife. Cracow never sleeps, unlike some other cities in Europe.
For me Cracow is a very special place, it’s one of the places where I’m feeling myself like at home: safe, free and always loved. I have spent 3 years in the city during my student time. And always felt that I’m in the right place at the right time. So, because of it, I had enough time to explore the amazing city and right now can tell what is really the best and necessary to see there.
Generally, it’s hard to pick out only 10 places in Cracow, because there’s much more, especially depends on that you’ve become more interested in getting if it’s history or nightlife, art or nature. Here I’ll highlight 10 the best spots in any category for myself and I’m sure that anyone would enjoy it. I want to show already experienced travelers that Cracow is not only Wawel castle, main market, and Kazimierz, it’s much more, you can’t even imagine how much unique thinks are hidden in the town. So, let’s start…
1. Salwator: Ancient district
The oldest neighbourhood in Cracow and one of the most expensive about living there, because it’s not usual place, you’re so close to the city centre with a lot of tourists, restaurants etc, but at the same time you’re feeling like you’re in some small village, far from megapolis’s life. It’s a real pleasure to walk through those streets. And the main road on Salwator will lead you to our second topic.
2. Kopiec Kościuszki ( Kosciuszko’s Mound)
Kopiec Kościuszki unusual monument to one of the folk polish heroes. This is a big mount from where you will be able to see all city from one side and an incredible view of truly polish nature from another side. For entering the monument you have to pay some money, (around 2-3 euro, free enter for students) but you will receive priceless memories.
3. Restaurant ” U Romana”
It calls a restaurant, but in the reality, it more looks like a cafeteria or even student canteen. For me it’s good-) The price is great, food is tasty and the VIEW !! You can seat on the roof and look at all the city center from there: Wawel, st. Maria Basilica) And one bonus plus. The cafe is located in a building of school of philharmonic society, so moreover, you can listen to live classical music.
4. Saint Joseph church
Even if you’re not a very religious person you will find the church is very special. It’s huge roman catholic basilic which will not leave you indifferent. Don’t hesitate to come inside, sweat smells, exciting music of the organ. For me, it’s a mix of relaxing and connecting with myself. The church is located in an old area of Cracow which calls Podgorze, and actually, I recommend you to find a time to walk there, any small street there is full of stories and amazing beauty of this old city. You’ll not meet smthg like this in the city center.
This is the biggest center of contemporary art in Cracow and maybe in all Poland. You will be really inspired after visiting the museum. There’s also often you can find some exhibition of modern artists all over the world. When I have been there last time I found there works of the father of pop-art, Andy Warhol.
6. Zakrzówek lake
It’s a small piece of paradise in Cracow. Full of trees, wild nature with cliffs and blue pure water. During summer there’s a lot of ppl going there for swimming and enjoying their vacation. And during a winter it’s very quiet and peaceful place. It’s hard to describe how beautiful is this place, let you take your chance to see it with your own eyes.
7. Cemetery Rakowicki
This is kind of like Père Lachaise in Paris, the cemetery is a historical and culture museum. The area around 42 hectares is full of gothic statues and majestic atmosphere.
8. Bar Philo
And let’s start talking about nightlife. I can’t say that I’m a party person, usually, I don’t like clubs, because of the music and expensive second-rate alcohol, but bars are absolutely another story. Especially this one. Try to imagine a place with great old-school classic rock, grunge, metal, not too loud, not too quiet. With overage prices on alcohol, all walls are filled with painting works of some Cracow’s artists and also there’s a lot of books which you’re free to take and read ( Mostly they’re in polish, but it shouldn’t embarrass you 😉 So, you already want to go there? Me too. It’s located in the old city area and I think you’ll not miss it.
This is a building of school of art, but a bit more than it. When you’re coming inside you see at once representing works of students and professors of this school. And you’re free just to walk there and see it for free, nobody mind. And they’re really great in what they’re doing: photography, fashion design, even sometimes you can find there some small artistic performances.
10. Aquapark ( Park Wodny)
I’m just a fan of this kind of entertainment. Take your friends and go there- you won’t be sorry. It’s cheap, there’s a lot of really cool attractions and it’s super funny.
Also about traveling in Poland, I would like to recommend you to read some short phrases in polish, believe me, it will help you. Not so much ppl in Poland able to speak English well, especially in some small stores or when you need to buy some ticket in some small museum. So, here I’ll write short phrase polish dictionary
Proszę bilet normalny – 1 adult ticket, please
Nie mówię po polsku – I don’t speak polish
Jak dojechać do.. – How can I reach …?
Dziękuję – Thank you
Dobry dzień/Dobry wieczór/Dodranoc- Good morning/ Good evening/ Good night
Gdzie jest.. – Where is..?