First- hello to all, and a special hello to all the people I met at the MegaDo; thanks for all the fun and laughs! Angelina is whipping me again to write a “Dad Post”.
In 2015, my wife and I went to Russia and had a great time; St. Petersburg was like being in Western Europe. We survived the Russian visa experience, the Cyrillic writing, and the limited English spoken in Moscow and St. Petersburg. Visiting Russia on my own gave me the confidence to plan any vacation from there on out.
This year, we went to Krakow, Poland. The index was part of the reason I chose Poland, but I’d be lying if I didn’t mention that the real reason was finding a $308 round trip fare.
Perhaps, I can save you some money and inspire you to take a similar trip. The trip was a 4-day, 3-night trip to celebrate our 31-year wedding anniversary.
Transportation in Krakow
We took a train from the airport for 8 pl (approximately $2) for about 5 stops to the Krakow Glowny stop. We travel light, so we walked about a half mile to the Best Western. The good thing about Krakow is that it’s cheap to get around (Uber, Trams, Buses, etc.).
We used 60,000 Best Western points (20K a night) to stay at the Best Western Krakow Old Town, right in the middle of the action. The hotel is well-located, and in walking distance to the old town, a half a mile away from Krakow Glowny station, and Wawel Castle.
Of course the hotel is not a luxury property, but it’s clean and has comfortable beds and free breakfast.
Food in Krakow is tasty and cheap due to the great currency exchange value. Here are 4 of our favorites:
- Pod Wawelem: located directly across from Wawel Castle. It’s a popular place with a nice atmosphere and good food, so go early if you can. I ordered a schnitzel that was bigger than my plate, potato pancakes, two beers, apple strudel and a cappuccino. My wife had a kielbasa fries, apple strudel, cappuccino, 2 beers, and 2 after hour drinks all for under $50.
- Kuchnia u Doroty: Tasty homemade Polish food at great prices in the Jewish Quarter.
- Pizza Garden: The brick oven pizza opens at 1pm, and is almost as good as Brooklyn pizza.
- Pierogarnia Krakowiacy: Casual pierogi place that’s absolutely delicious.
Attractions We Visited on Our Own
- Wawel Castle: Gothic castle built for Casimir III the great, who reigned from 1333 to 1370.
- Auschwitz: Visiting Auschwitz an Birkenbau was a very somber experience. It is a shame the world did not stop the slaughter of so many innocent people. Dad tip- if you go on your own, reserve a tour spot before you go. To come back to Krakow, the bus stop is next to Birkenbau.
Getting to Auschwitz: The bus station is directly behind the Kraków Glowny train station. The trip from Krakow to Auschwitz take about an hour to an hour and a half. Most buses stop in front of the museum (be sure to ask).
- Schindler: This is also a popular attraction (more of a tour on Nazi occupation, in my opinion). We took Uber for about $4 (you can also take the #14 trolley), and it’s close to the hotel. Oskar Schindler was a German industrialist, former Nazi, who got credit for saving over 1,200 Jews during the Holocaust.
We did not do the Wieliczka Salt Mine because we ran out of time (there were also some mixed reviews).
My impression of Krakow, Poland is that it’s a beautiful and underrated city. It offers an original “old town’, which was not bombed during the World War. We especially loved that it was a cheap weekend escape with great food, friendly locals, and English is widely spoken.
Have you visited Krakow before?