A Postcard from Krakow

My first holiday of the year took me to Poland for a short weekend break. I never really thought of Poland as a place I wanted to visit, or a place I ever would, but my sister suggested it, my mum and aunt wanted to visit Auschwitz, so I thought ‘why not?’. Krakow ended up being better than I thought it would be, and alongside Amsterdam I can safely say it’s now one of my favourite cities.

Krakow is a beautiful place. I went in the summertime when it was sunny, hot and incredibly green, but I’m sure if you went in the winter it would be just as beautiful. We stayed in the heart of Krakow near the Main Market Square so that’s where we ended up most nights. It’s full of shops to buy souvenirs, restaurants and cafes to grab a bite to eat and/or drink, and gorgeous architecture. With cobblestone streets and buildings which look as if they’ve been standing there for centuries already Krakow is a city full of history.

Krakow (1)

Krakow (2)

Krakow (3)

There are winding streets and plenty of directions you can walk in, meaning you’ll likely get lost more than once but end up finding something you’ll never would have otherwise. One night, while wandering around the Jewish Quarter, we stumbled across the Bridge Between the Water and the Sky, which as well as having a name that could have been pulled out of a fantasy novel, is gorgeous.

Krakow (4)

Like I said earlier the main reason we ended up in Krakow was because of Auschwitz. We travelled there on the only full day we had in Krakow and it was a long trip but this is somewhere I think everyone needs to visit at least once. Everyone knows about the history behind Auschwitz but it’s one thing reading about it and another seeing it with your own eyes. The size and scale of both camps is something that is literally haunting, and you don’t realise how much until you’re standing there.

Krakow (5)

Krakow (6)

We also visited the Wieliczka Salt Mines, and it’s a place I cannot recommend visiting highly enough. It may sound uninspiring but you travel down 135 metres underground and there is so much to see; incredible carvings done by the miners themselves, underground chapels, and lakes so pure you can see all the way through them. It’s an incredible experience but tiring after walking down 800 plus steps.

Krakow (7)

Krakow (8)

Advice (a.k.a. learn from my mistakes)

  • Go to Auschwitz and the Wieliczka Salt Mines on the same day…It makes for a long trip, it took us eleven hours from beginning to end, but you can get it done on one day and if you’re travelling outside of Krakow for one why not fit the other in as well. Also, speaking of…
  • If you get a choice, visit Auschwitz  last…It’s important to visit  but emotionally draining, and after walking around both camps you’ll unlikely be up for a visit to the Wieliczka Salt Mines.
  • Wear comfy shoes…This relates to the first two points I made about Auschwitz and the Wieliczka Salt Mines. There is a lot of walking in those two places alone and it can be challenging if you don’t have comfy shoes.
  • You don’t need publish transportation…Everything in Krakow is within easy walking distance. However if you find yourselves in the Main Market Square you could always go for one of the horse and carriage rides, which are a very fun way to see some of the city.

A Postcard from Krakow (2)

Krakow is so much more beautiful than I thought it would be, and it’s a city I’d love to go back to one day for a little longer. There’s so much to see and do and I know what I saw was only a small part of what the city has to offer. It’s also not expensive at all, so if you’re looking for a budget holiday Krakow really is the place to go.

We ended up being in Krakow for the Grand Dragon Parade, which happens at the beginning of June, and which is a very fun time to be in Krakow for.

Advertisements

38 thoughts on “A Postcard from Krakow

  1. Krakow seems like such a beautiful place to visit! I’m glad that you had a great time on your trip! 😀 I have never been to Poland before, but it’s a place that I definitely need to visit in the future. I also agree that visiting Auschwitz is important and that’s also something that I plan on doing in the future. It’s simply different reading about something and seeing it with your own eyes.
    Great post Beth! ❤ 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh it really was, and it was an amazing holiday as well so I’m glad I went. I’d highly recommend going to Poland if you get a chance Anna, I’m sure you won’t regret it if you do. Auschwitz is very important but at the same time it’s an incredibly moving place so you need to almost be prepared for it as well.
      Thanks so much Anna. 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Looks like you had a wonderful trip! Krakow sounds like a beautiful city. I love the way you’ve described it. Cobblestoned streets are my weakness. And there’s something so charming (almost enchanting) about old architecture. The Bridge Between Water and Sky is gorgeous and that name is even more so! I can’t believe it’s actually called that. How wonderful 😀 The Salt Mines sound very intriguing and I’ve always been curious about Auschwitz, although I know that it’d be really tough to take in. All the more reason to visit, I think. I feel like it’s something that needs to be seen in person 😦 Glad you managed to visit. I’ll have to go to Poland one day! It wasn’t high on my places to visit in Europe, but it seems I may be missing out on some amazing destinations if I don’t go! Lovely pictures and great tips! Thanks for sharing this, Beth! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah it was a brilliant holiday Azia! A beautiful city and now one of my favourite places I’ve visited so far. Oh the cobblestone streets are gorgeous, and combined with the architecture it creates an unforgettable city to explore.
      Yeah I loved the name of that bridge, it just made me think of something from a storybook and it made me fall in love with it even more! 😀
      Auschwitz is quite tough to take in, the size of it isn’t something you can fully comprehend until you’re standing there and then it just makes it even more heartbreaking. The Salt Mines are gorgeous, so much more than I expected as well which kind of made it all the better.
      Poland was never on the high list of my places to visit either but after going there I think that was a mistake, it’s an amazing place and I almost wish I’d gone there sooner.
      Thanks so much Azia, I’m glad you liked this post. 😀 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow, that sounds like a lovely trip!! I’ve never been out of the US, but I’ve always wanted to go to Poland. My great-grandparents moved here from Poland, so I feel a bit of a connection with it.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Such a lovely post, Beth – it’s always so great to hear about your traveling adventures and only makes me more impatient to travel again. I’m glad you enjoyed Poland, I haven’t thought about visiting but Krakow seems like a pretty city for sure 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I went on almost the exact same trip last year. I went in winter and Krakow was beautiful, especially with the snow. It was incredibly cold though! Auschwitz was very hard-hitting, but as you said, so important to visit! And last, but not least, those salt mines were beautiful too!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh I can imagine Krakow in the winter would be amazing to see, especially if it was snowing. Yeah I don’t think you realise how hard-hitting Auschwitz will be until you’re there for yourself, and the Salt Mines were a highlight for me, so much better than I thought they would be,. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh wow, this sounds like an amazing trip and the area (based on your pictures) is beautiful. I love the architecture and would love to visit Poland some day (I’d probably say the same thing for any other place outside Canada though hahah). Auschwitz would definitely be a must if I ever went! Beautiful pictures, again! Thank you for sharing, Beth! Hope you had a blast. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It really was, and it’s a city I’m so glad I went to as well. It’s a beautiful place and honestly I don’t think my pictures fully do it justice. I’d definitely recommend going to Poland one day if you ever get a chance Lashaan, I’m sure it’ll be a place you’ll really love as well.
      Thanks so much Lashaan, and yeah it was a great holiday! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh I didn’t realise there was one in Switzerland, but I can imagine how beautiful it must have been after seeing the one in Poland.
      I can’t imagine it either, but I guess if you actually did work down there you’d get used to it quickly.
      Thanks Dani, yeah it was a brilliant trip! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh, wow, Krakow looks AWESOME! Those are some gorgeous photos. ❤

    The Wieliczka Salt Mines look so cool! I mean I'd probably be super scared, but it looks so fascinating and intriguing. I can't imagine working so far underground!

    And Auschwitz. Oh my gosh, Auschwitz. I'm so glad that you got to see it because it is so… haunting. I don't know how else to describe it. The Holocaust always makes me feel super sad because how can someone be so cruel and heartless, right? This is one of the places I want to visit, because I feel like it's such an important piece of our world's history, and I want to see it with my real eyes. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Krakow is a beautiful city, and thanks so much May. ❤ I don't think my photos fully do it justice. 😀
      Oh they really are, and it's not that scary at all. It's well lit and doesn't feel claustrophobic or anything. Plus there are large tour groups so you're never on your own or anything. 🙂
      Auschwitz is a place well worth going, it is really haunting but I think so important to visit because of the history it had. It was a sad place, and the size of it just makes it all the more worse in a way.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I visited Krakow around 10 years ago now – we went on a school trip and it was fantastic. I adored Wieliczka and I’d love to go back again and explore on my own. Your photos bring back some fantastic memories (and some less fantastic ones as Auschwitz was obviously very upsetting but I agree that it’s very important to visit it)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow that sounds like an incredible school trip, and it must have been great to see all the sights as well. Wieliczka was probably the highlight of the trip for me because it was so stunning, and yeah Auschwitz was a hard-hitting place to visit but I agree it’s important to visit. I’d love to go back to Krakow again myself one day. 🙂

      Like

    1. Thanks so much Meghan, yes it was a brilliant trip. Seeing Auschwitz was moving but unforgettable at the same time, somewhere I’d highly recommend going because I think it’s something everyone should see.
      Hopefully you’ll make it to that part of the world soon then. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s