A few weeks ago, I joined one of my besties Rachael for her hen do in a surprise location. She eagerly boarded the flight with no idea of where we were going, with a gaggle of giggling girls behind her. I’m not sure how far she got before she realised where we were going, but we soon found out our destination was going to be Krakow, Poland. As we landed we excitedly jumped into our awaiting stretch hummer to take us to our accommodation – eager to discover what the weekend ahead would bring and to see the sights of Krakow.
I had never visited Poland either so I was completely intrigued by Krakow as a city break destination. I have to say it completely lived up to my expectations and more, it’s such a beautiful city with so much to see and do. It was absolutely perfect for a hen party, only two hours flight from the UK, cheap accommodation and cost of living, plenty of nightlife and lots of historical sights too. It really had everything we needed.
So, after an amazing weekend in Krakow, I’ve written my top 5 things to do when visiting Krakow – enjoy!
1. MOOCH AROUND THE MAIN MARKET SQUARE
The main area you’ll come across will be the huge Main Market Square, lined with bars, restaurants and coffee shops this is the perfect location to start your trip. Dating back to the 13th century, the Main Square in Krakow is one of the largest medieval squares in Europe. Surrounded by the most beautiful historic townhouses and churches, the main building dominating the skyline is the Cloth Hall and the gothic towers of St Mary’s Basilica. It was a photographers paradise! I spent a good 2 hours just mooching about, with a sorbet in one hand, my camera in the other, capturing the main square and watching the world go by.
2. Take a Walking Tour around the Old Town and visit the Castle
As Krakow is a relatively small city, a walking tour is the perfect way to see everything. Also, having a guide in tow means you’ll find out all of the hidden gems and won’t miss anything along the way. We had a lovely guide from Free Walking Tours who knew just about every detail of Krakow’s history and explained everything in perfect English, as well as being in a fun and informal style too. The Old Town and Castle are just stunning and not to be missed!
3. EXPERIENCE KRAKOW’S NIGHTLIFE
It was such a shame, but on the hen do I was too poorly to visit any of the bars or nightclubs (I know, on a hen party too – what a loser!) but the girls had the night of their lives and stumbled in at 5am with many a tale to tell. We were only there a couple of nights, so the girls wanted to experience as many of the coolest bars and clubs in the city, so they hired the services of a Krakow Nightlife Private Guide, who took them to all of the swankiest bars in the city, some quite off the beaten track – they’d have never have found them without a guide. Great idea, sounds like the guides were great fun too. I’m still sulking I didn’t get to go!
4. Try Traditional Polish Food
I might have missed out on the night out, but I certainly didn’t miss out on the food! Eating out in Krakow is just amazing, I was SO surprised by the food, it was utterly delicious. The first thing I wanted to try was dumplings – I managed to find a great place that did a vegetarian option filled with potatoes and cottage cheese, served with golden fried onions. They were better than I imagined and I could have eaten about 5 plates of them – SO GOOD. I also had an amazing meal which was fresh mountain river trout served with a baked apple and cranberries – an unusual combination but it went together perfectly.
OUR TOP 3 RESTAURANTS IN KRAKOW
- Pod Aniolami – Fine dining in the most beautiful indoor garden, this has got to be my favourite restaurant in Krakow.
- Morskie Oko – Traditional Polish food, served whilst live musicians play and dancers dance, by the end of the night the whole restaurant was up, you just couldn’t help but join in.
- Cafe Oranzeria – Hardly a cafe, this beautiful rooftop bar and restaurant is had the best views in town. With views over the castle and river this a truly special space.
Lastly, on the food front (can you tell this is my favourite part of any city break!) there are so many amazing ice cream parlours and chocolate shops around the city. Just head to the Main Market Square, you can’t miss them. For the true chocoholics, you have got to visit the Wedel Chocolate Lounge – where you can indulge in all the chocolate you can eat, pretty much in every form. A-MAZING.
5. Visit Auschwitz and Schindler’s Factory
Unfortunately we didn’t get the time to visit either, but Auschwitz and Shindler’s Factory are two very important sights when it comes to history in Krakow. It wasn’t quite right to visit on a hen party, but one day I know I’ll come back and visit. You can take a tour from the centre of Krakow, you’ll see lots of golf buggies buzzing around, just ask one of those and they’ll be able to advise you on the next available tour.
We had an absolutely amazing time in Krakow, it’s the perfect city for a break away, whether it be a hen/stag party or a romantic break away, Krakow has something for everybody and I can’t wait to go back one day and explore the city further.
Have you been to Poland? What are your top travel tips?
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