We bid our fair-wells to Ollie, Kasia, and Gosia at the Gadansk train station on the morning of May 6th. We arrived in Krakow around 6pm at Krakow Glowny (main station). The location of the station is excellent for visiting the old city. Also Galeria Krakowska mall is adjacent to the station with many shops and eateries. And if you want to save money there is a Carrefour market located right next to the exit of the train station as you enter the mall. It’s a great place to buy your own groceries and save a lot of money :). We visited this store a few times to stock up on water and food. We stayed at Euro Rooms, which is very close to the city center about 20 minutes from the Glowny station.
On our first full day in Krakow we purchased our on-going train tickets to Prague at the Glowny Station. We aren’t sure why, but we were given a promotional price for the tickets. We think it might be because we were to travel on a Monday. Whatever the reason, the discount seemed significant as the regular price was almost double. We paid 258 Zloty (USD $78) for the both of us.
Next we headed to Wawel Hill to see Wawel Castle. As with many castles there are individual costs for different parts of the castle. It was a cold rainy day so it was good to get inside :). We opted to visit the Crown Treasury & Armoury and the State Rooms. If you haven’t seen other European armories then it is definitely worth the visit; otherwise, you might want to visit a different gallery. The weapons and armory were nicely displayed, it just wasn’t as extensive and impressive as what we had seen in Madrid, Spain. The same goes for the State Rooms, they may be a bit boring, if you have visited other castles. However, the cathedral is worth a visit! As usual, no photos were allowed inside and we had to check our bags.
As we came down the hill there were many places to eat from fancy high end restaurants to fast food. We were pleasantly surprised to see that Kebab is very popular in Krakow. In fact, you can find a shop on just about every street, sometimes more than one! We ate at one place on the main street that appeared to be a food court at first. But as we ate, we realized that it was first a Chinese fast food restaurant that happened to also make kebabs and pizza! No matter, as the kebabs were delicious and a great price at 10 Zloty (USD $3) each. One thing that is expensive is soda. A small 330 ml bottle costs 5 Zloty (USD $1.50), and that seems to be the going rate everywhere around the old city. Another reason to go to Carrefour to get much cheaper prices.
Rynek Glowny, the center square, is where a lot of action and people watching goes on. It is also picture-perfect with the amazing architecture. In particular the clock tower and the amazing St Mary’s Church with its Gothic spires. On every hour a trumpet player will sound his horn through a couple of the windows of the Gothic tower. The smaller but also amazing Cathedral, St. Barbara (right next to St Mary’s Church), with a beautifully painted ceiling (think Sistine Chapel) is definitely worth a visit!
We really enjoyed walking the old streets of Krakow and returned every evening to discover something new or something very old that we didn’t notice before.
And while we were still in Poland we had to fit in some more traditional food. The Polish sausage is much better than the ones at Costco ;).
Ever since our first day in Gniezno, Poland I had seen people walking around with these delicious-looking soft serve ice cream cones. But every time I planned to try one it was raining. I finally got a cool swirly ice cream on our last evening in Krakow. The ice cream is scrumptious- much better than soft serve back home!
I included the photo below, since I love the spelling of “alkohole.”
From Krakow we took a couple day trips, one to Oswiecim and one to Wielicka.
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