We visited Krakow in September this year and it was our first time. It is nothing like other places in Europe we have visited and it was a refreshing surprise. We thought we would share with you our top tips for Krakow!
Getting around the city
We stayed in a hotel in Bronowice which is about a 5 minute drive from the main square in Krakow. We were feeling pretty lazy for the days we were there as it was our first break from work in a while and so we used taxis to get around. If you can download the Uber app as it was considerably cheaper to get around than the local taxis. When the local taxis saw that you were tourists they were adding more than double the amount on to the fare. Our average taxi trip for a journey into the centre with Uber was around £5.00 or 25 zloty. For a 20 minute journey from the airport it only cost us £8 in an uber, when we asked the local taxis they were charging double this. If you’re feeling less lazy, then you can always use the bus or tram systems to get around which are very cheap. Or even walk!! As soon as we got into the centre of Krakow, we walked around the city and the outskirts with no issues it was easy to navigate around!
In Krakow there are various FREE walking tours. They are really informative and a good way to get to know a bit more about the city and its history. The tour guides usually stand with a sign in the main market square so they are easily spotted, however, if you want to know more about the free tours, visit this site. It is free but it is always polite to give a tip at the end of it for their time.
When planning excursions out of the city it is possible to do these by yourself and it can be easily organised. However, with us having such a short amount of time to squeeze everything in we chose to get a tour guide to take us to different places. We chose to visit the Salt Mines and Auschwitz in one day. We used Krakow Tours. They were really excellent from start to finish. We were given an itinerary before we even arrived in Poland and they picked us up outside our hotel. We got a small mini bus with 6 other people and it cost us around £58 for both the Salt Mines and Auschwitz. It really was a great day and well organised. They also do other excursions out of Krakow city centre so if you are interested in this, please consider them!
Okay so when we changed our money, we were given large amounts of zloty such as 100 zloty notes. In Krakow they like it when you have change. In every shop or restaurant that we went, we were constantly asked if we had change because they did not have the change in their tills for the large bills. So keep this in mind. We also had some money to change when we arrived in Krakow. If you want to change your money then use the local ‘Kantor’s which are dotted around Krakow. There are a few in the main market square but they do not offer a good exchange rate so it is best to walk a bit further out. We had ours changed on the way to the Castle and they offered us a fairly good rate for our money.
Speaking the language
Okay, so we were typical English and expected everyone to speak English to us in Poland. We were very wrong. Apart from the tour guides who spoke English, literally everyone else spoke Polish (obviously). However, they also expected you to know a bit of Polish and not surprisingly when we did not understand them they became a little irritated by us. So we would recommend maybe learning the basics such as hello, thank you, please, can I have etc. Anywhere you go, we think that people definitely appreciate it more if you try to speak their language, even if you accidently end up saying something else!
We will be doing another post about the best things to do in Poland and where we visited so keep checking for when we post this! Give us a message if you have any other questions!