Known for it's beauty, exciting culture and as an inexpensive weekend away whether you want a romantic mini-break or a few days off with friends, we decided that this year we would catch up in a city we had never visited before - Krakow, Poland. From the fabulous and endless choices of places to stay, from the heart of Old Town to the Jewish Quarter, to all of the best places to eat and drink, find out our recommendations of visiting Krakow...
Main Market Square
WHAT TO DO - Day one
Although on our visit we visited the city to enjoy a fun weekend together, we also wanted to learn about Poland's culture and history. On day one, we went for a long walk of the relatively small city, visiting the Main Market Square, where a year-roundmarket sold everything from leather coats to Polish sausage. We enjoyed watching a group perform songs while in traditional garb, and journeyed into the Jewish Quarter, which has some amazing history and is architecturally beautiful. There, we stayed for a glass of wine or two, listening to the live band in an outside bar (one of many) play Fiddler on the Roof.
On the second day, we spent the morning wandering around Wawel Castle, a castle right in the middle of the city sat on a hill which is so huge, so impressive, that nothing in the UK can compare (sorry Windsor castle)! In the afternoon, we tentatively booked a tour of Auschwitz museum, which is a must-visit for tourists and locals alike. The camp, which is infamous for being the main camp in WWII which killed over a million people, most of whom were Jewish, is located just an hour and a half from the city. We booked a package online for the journey there and back, and a tour that lasted four hours. It was a tough and emotional visit, but an important one, and we were glad that we visited. Other worthwhile visits include the Wieliczka Salt Mine and Ojców National Park.
WHERE TO EAT AND DRINK
Where to begin?! I was so pleasantly surprised by Krakow's vast choice of dining experiences, and one of the loveliest moments we had on the trip was dining outside in the Old Square while watching the decorated horse and carriages trot past every few minutes, listening to a band playing live music, while warming ourselves with blankets and outdoor heaters. There is a great atmosphere of everyone enjoying themselves, which only continued when we stumbled upon the fantastic group of bars in the area. Laden with red velvet and candle wax, Alchemia is a hidden treat, as is Singer, which has old school sewing machines at every table. The bars in the Jewish quarter are also definitely worth a visit, and for a treat we went to Sababa, with tip top table service and an impressive mirrored bar that's definitely worth a few Instagram snaps.
Breakfast in Krakow
To make our final night in Krakow special, we booked at a fabulous and well-reviewed restaurant named Trezo, and we were not disappointed. Bringing us glasses of prosecco to start our nights and a tray of dumplings that weren't on the menu (but we had gained a liking for the Polish delicacy over the weekend), our waiter couldn't do enough for us, and after our incredible mains (duck, lamb and beef respectively), along with a bottle of wine, the final amount came to under £20 each.
WHERE TO STAY
My friends and I decided that a cosy TripAdvisor rental apartment would be the perfect choice for our weekend in Krakow, and luckily for us that we landed the apartment we did. In the middle of Old Town, which itself was right in the heart of Krakow's most charming and picturesque area, the apartment couldn't have been in a more perfect location. Just far away enough to escape the hubbub of the busy city, the quiet street was still only a ten minute walk from the famous Main Market Square, one of Krakow's most talked about must-see spots.