Monday, August 5, 2013

"I Really Like Krakow"

Have you ever heard of Krakow, Poland? Most of the people, myself included, have not. Well that was before we moved to Poland, a country I knew very little about in general before we looked into moving here, and realized they have some amazing cities. So when we visited Krakow, all I could say was "I really like Krakow" - on repeat because I really liked Krakow.

It is beautiful. It has everything one would want in a European city and Chris and I would go as far to say we liked it better than Prague, even though we really like Prague too.

From the moment we arrived we noted some differences right off from Wroclaw (where we live). The city, which is the 2nd largest in Poland, is a real city. It has much more of a larger city feel. For WWII buffs, Krakow was spared from the bombings and remains in tack as it was for the most part before the war, where as Wroclaw was bombed out and rebuilt to look like it previously did.

The Rynek is HUGE and beautiful. The buildings are so pretty and while it has many similarities to the Rynek in Wroclaw, it is definitely noticeably larger, prettier and more impressive.

I am truly a sucker for beautiful churches and Krakow does not disappoint. Even better, when we were there, it seemed like every church was cranking out brides - pretty sure we saw about 15 brides and even sat in on one of the ceremonies.

We suggest walking the Royal Road down to the Wawel Castle - it is full of shops and restaurants.

At the bottom of the road, you will come across the castle's back side. Take the ramp up and you will be delighted with the beautiful Wawel Castle and Cathedral. It is gorgeous. We didn't tour the inside and from what we hear, the outside is the most impressive part but if you are interested in touring the inside, we heard purchase your tickets ahead of time.

From there, you are close to the Jewish Quarter, Kazimierz. They have a much larger Jewish Quarter than Wroclaw and we enjoyed walking around. With so much history on every corner - this is a must see area.

And don't miss the parks. The Old Town is lined with a park and makes for easy walks in the shade and a place to sit on a bench and talk with friends.

For anyone who is currently planning a trip to Prague, we suggest adding Krakow to your destination list - decide for yourself which one you prefer - you won't be disappointed.

Travelers Notes:  As always walking is the best way to see any city and Krakow is no exception. So many places to explore. Don't forget Poland isn't on the Europe (neither is the Czech Republic) and a lot places prefer cash only but it is the 21st century so major credit cards are accepted at most places.

Reviews of our time in Krakow: 

Krakow: Jewish District (Kazimierz)
Krakow: Wawel Cathedral
Krakow: Main Market Square (Rynek)
Krakow: Cracowdays Apartments
Krakow: Ancora Restaurant

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