It feels like we were in Krakow, Poland ages ago but I am just now getting around to looking through our photos of our overnight trip in May 🙂 Oopsies!
This is the first city that we have visited that we have actually been to before. However, we came to Krakow before we moved to Poland so this kinda felt like a new experience since we now know a bit of the language and are familiar with Polish culture and cuisine. Overall, Krakow is a beautiful city worth adding to a vacation itinerary, especially if your wallet needs a break from the expense of Euro cities like Rome and Paris. Krakow (like most of Poland) is very affordable compared to other destinations across Europe and worth a visit.
Krakow was actually one of the only large cities in Poland not to be destroyed by the war so the charm of the city is authentic and not a rebuilt version of what was. The weather was a bit gloomy during our trip, but hopefully you can envision the true beauty of a sunny day!
When we visited, we didn’t actually “do” much in Krakow – just walked around the town going into shops and eating in the restaurants. And, if you are curious – yes, Krakow has a Hard Rock Cafe and yes, we ate some good ‘ol American burgers there. Judge away, but sometimes it is nice to get a taste of home 🙂
Here’s a look at some of my favorite pics from around the center of the city.
One of my favorite things about the city is the trumpeter. Every day on the hour, the trumpeter plays from a tower in the center of the city (pictured below) but his tune ends abruptly in the middle of a song. Legend has it that in the 13th century, the trumpeter saw intruders approaching from this tower and played his trumpet to warn the people. Sadly, he was shot by a bow that ended the warning call. It is a nice tribute adding to the charm of Krakow.
In the image below and under the arches is a cute covered market full of Polish pottery, Amber and other knick-knacks.
We also took a walk through Wawel Castle – though we didn’t do a tour of the castle, we still enjoyed walking the grounds.
Make sure you see the Iron Dragon, an unofficial symbol of the city and protector of the castle. To my surprise, the dragon actually did breathe fire about every 15 minutes! I’m not sure if this is a normal occurrence, or if it was just because we visited during a holiday weekend but either way, it was great!
On your walk around the castle, make a quick stop inside the church on the grounds. When we visited, mass was in progress so I did not take any photos inside but it is worth your time to look inside.
As some of you know, we try to collect an oil painting from almost every place we visit. We stumbled across the below outdoor ‘art gallery’ full of oil paintings. Quite an impressive display 🙂
BUT, this art was crazy expensive so we passed on an oil painting of Krakow and opted for a $15 water color seen here. After a nice frame, we love it just as much as our other paintings.
As you plan your trip, know that there are two ‘must do” day trips that we did during this trip: Wieliczka Salt Mine
and the Auschwitz concentration camp. After some deliberation, I have decided not to do a post on Auschwitz, or post any photos from our tour. It’s a hard place to explain. It is definitely somewhere that all must visit should you have the chance, but I don’t want it to seem like a “feature” alongside my other cheerful destinations on Morning Kawa – it just doesn’t seem fitting. My advice is go to the camp first because it is just so sad then head to Krakow to help lighten your mood. We then did the Salt Mine
on our way out of the city back to Wroclaw.
Personally, I think one night/two days is enough time in Krakow. Also make sure you take the time to explore the Jewish Quarter, which we were not able to do this trip. Great food, shopping and history.