We thought we would share with you the top things we thought there was to do in Krakow! Enjoy!
So this is more well known with the locals than tourists, which we loved! We went when it was 28 degrees and was expecting it to be packed but it was relatively quiet. It is a lake just outside the city centre which used to be an old quarry. It took around 15 minutes drive but you can walk it from Wawel castle in around 45 minutes. The lake has amazing blue and green colours and is perfectly safe to swim in! We arrived and it wasn’t too clear where the entrance was. We heard that you had to pay 5 zloty to get in but there was a gate open at the side of the lake and no one was on it so we just walked in for free. Apparently there are a lot of gates like this which you can freely walk into the area.
We hiked around the lake for a while, we would recommend that you wear comfortable clothes and shoes as in places it is quite rough terrain. We took some time on the cliff edges to take the view in but we also made the descent down to the water so that we could swim. This is where it gets a bit tricky. It is a very large lake. There are no signs to show where it is safe to enter the water, however we used our common sense and made our way down a less steep edge and managed to get to the bottom! We warn you that the water is extremely cold, Pedro jumped in first and from his reaction Liv did not make it in haha! Definitely recommend this place to take a break from the city for half a day!
So in our previous post it tells you how we got to Auschwitz, please check it out. We have both always wanted to visit Auschwitz to pay our respects to those that died and also to learn more about what happened. A lot of people said that this was a very emotional day for them and it can be emotionally draining. We found the day sad but we were not too emotionally drained. We think this is because it is really incomprehensible what happened and even though you see exhibitions that do shock you, it doesn’t quite hit you because we haven’t ourselves experienced what those poor people went through.
Through our tour to Auschwitz we also had a guided tour there and at the Birkenau death camp which was really informative. We found out things that we were never aware of and it really was insightful. We are glad that we visited and we definitely recommend visiting to pay your respects, educate yourself and pass on this education to others to prevent anything like this happening again in our world.
Wieliczka Salt Mine
So this was recommended to us by a lot of people, we had BIG expectations. Which did not really come through, in all honestly we found it a little bit boring, we think this is because the tour lasted nearly 3 hours and we did not really need to be in the salt mine that long. However, that being said, we were still glad that we visited. Again, you can make your own way there quite easily but we used a tour company which we mentioned on our previous post! The salt mine is actually on the UNESCO’s World Cultural and Natural Heritage List and Polish people are very proud of the salt mines in Poland.
It is quite exciting at first as you have to go down around 800 steps and altogether you are 135 metres below ground. You get to see different ‘chambers’ of the salt mine where the miners used to use for different things such as a chapel. There are also saline lakes along the way which you can see. There was a large hall completely made out of salt which 4 miners created and that was very impressive to see actually. It was interesting to find out facts such as the mine actually had tunnels that went on for 250km and we only explored around 3km of that. The mine is no longer in use and is now just a museum as, if they continued to mine it was thought that the ground beneath Krakow would collapse and it was unsafe.
Although the tour did go on for some time, it was worth the visit to tick off the list of things to do in Krakow!
Main Sights in the City
When you get to the main square of Krakow you can basically navigate to all the major sights of the city. We recommend that you visit Wawel Castle, Krakow Cloth Hall (this is in the main square), St Mary’s Basilica (main square), Town Hall Tower (main square), Saints Peter and Paul Church and Krakus Mound. In most hotels there are free maps showing all of these sights on it! On our previous posts we mentioned the free walking tours and if you want to see all of the main sights with some more information added by a knowledgable guide then we recommend one of those tours! Also in the main square they do horse carriage rides… it was very cheap to do this and a really cute way to explore around the main square!
We thoughts Kazimierz deserved its own section. It is the Jewish Quarter of Krakow and is full of cool little bars and places to eat! If you keep walking past Wawel Castle you will enter Kazimierz. The most popular area is called Plac Nowy which is basically a square surrounded by quirky bars and restaurants. The bars are all candle lit and most have live bands playing. We recommend that you visit Alchemia bar in the main square and then just off the main square there is also a bar called Propaganda which is very quirky!
We also ate twice in Kazimierz. Once we ate in a place on Plac Nowy called ‘Plac Nowy 1’, it is more on the expensive side (for Poland) but it was very nice food. We also ate at a restaurant called Warstat restaurant, the food was really good quality and was incredibly cheap. We got two drinks, a starter and 2 very large main courses for £16, bargain!!