I went for three weeks to Krakow for business and I decided to go out of the bitten path and explore the city differently. No museums, no cathedrals, no galleries and monuments, just the city and the pleasures it offers. Keep reading to check what pleasure to seek in Krakow, Poland.
Krakow is the former capital of Poland and it’s literally a vibrant city where you can live a dolce vita at the fullest. Additionally, stayed close to the city centre and enjoyed its chill-out atmosphere in the evenings.
Admire the show of Smok Wawelski – The Wawel Dragon
In the first place, what you absolutely should see in Krakow is Smok Wawelski – The Wawel Dragon.
A metal sculpture of the Wawel Dragon is placed in front of the dragon’s den (at the bottom of the Castle). It breathes fire every few minutes and is one of the biggest attractions of the city. Not only, but also many legends tell the story of the Wawel Dragon. Not to mention that nowadays it became a part of the recreational area between the river and Wawel Castle. It’s a get-together place where people and tourists meet, chill out, get some drinks, ride skates and bikes or just buy little plushy dragons as a souvenir from Krakow. Needless to say that, the street where the dragon is located is called Ulica Smocza which means ”Dragon Street”.
Krakow is for pleasure seekers – try the mouth-melting ice cream
The second absolutely must-try thing in Krakow is The Ice Cream. Polish ice cream is the best ice cream ever!!!!! Thus, I spent three weeks there and never missed to treat myself an ice cream in the evening. However, the best ice cream place for me remains Argasynscy. The shop is located close to a Red Cathedral (that how I call it) and a little street leading to cosy restaurants. My favourite one is Yagodowe sorbet!!! Yummy!!!!!
Offer yourself a pleasant romantic concert
Therefore, the best introduction to Poland is Chopin’s music. I had the pleasure to listen to Chopin’s mazurkas and polonaises in Chopin Gallery. The experience itself was amazing. Even if you are not a classical music fan, and you don’t look for concerts to listen to, you will hear music everywhere. With this in mind, street artists and free concerts are organized in every corner of the city. If you seek pleasure in music, that’s the place to be!
What else to do, to see and to eat in Krakow?
Another key point is to get to know Krakow: explore the Main Market, the little streets and the Wawel Castle. Also, have a walk in Kazimierz – the former Jewish Quarter. In fact, it’s a hipster place with a lot of local design shops, cafes, restaurants and Jewish music. To emphasize, Kazimierz is the former city centre of Krakow and there is the main market square. Two synagogues are open to visitors. Also, Jewish romantic music is played by artists working in the surrounding restaurants. A Jewish ghetto is located nearby – worth discovering too.
Essential eating and drinking experiences in Krakow, Poland
Try Polish cuisine – pierogi, placki ziemnaczane, obwarzanki, paczki and other Polish traditional dishes are just a part of my edible experience in Krakow. Needless to say that the food is good and affordable everywhere. One of my favourite restaurants is a vegan one – Veganic. Besides, the sweet potato fries are delicious and the beer is worth tasting too.
The Salt Mine: Kopalnia Soli Wieliczka
Next experience on the list: reach the Bowels of the Earth in Kopalnia Soli Wieliczka. The Salt Mine is located 40 minutes by public transport from Krakow and is one of the top attractions around. By all means, tourists are allowed to go 135 down where huge salt figures are waiting to be admired. A point often overlooked is that The Salt Mine is huge and you need at least three hours to visit. Buy tickets online to avoid the queues.
Skip for a day all Krakow pleasure and visit Auschwitz – Birkenau concentration camp
Visit Auschwitz – Birkenau concentration camp, a synonym of human terror is open to visitors to remind us that those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. Both places leave you speechless as you can imagine the scale of the cruelty committed there. Worth visiting if you are in the region.
As everything comes to an end, our business trip came to an end and the last evening we decided to have some goodbye drinks. To sum up, Polish vodka Bison Grass and Vishnyovka are the local alcoholic drinks you should absolutely try. Well, the best vishnyovka we drank was in a Ukrainian bar, but still, local specialities are worth tasting.
What souvenir to bring from Krakow?
What did I bring as a souvenir from Krakow? – a notebook made by the artist Aga Gaj. Her Galeria is situated on 11 (Je)Sienna street. The notebook branded Make Your Own Rainbow will remind me of my beautiful days in Krakow!
Do you think Krakow is for pleasure seekers? Are you convinced it deserves a place on your Bucket list?
Thanks for reading!