What to expect from a stay in Krakow, Poland.

Today’s post was written by Guy Arnold.

They’re passionate eaters

With regards to cuisine, when you picture a country, Italy for example, you might think of either pizza or pasta. For France it could be fine wine and luxurious deserts. Krakow? Lots of things, actually. They love their food, and they love to stuff it down your throat, figuratively speaking. On every corner, wherever there’s a space, you’ll find an eatery. Old Town, specifically, is chock-full of cafes, restaurants, salad bars, bistros, grills and pizzerias. In fact, a lot of the food available in Krakow has strong European influences (Italy, Sweden, Germany etc.) so they really do tailor to a wide demographic of eaters.  

Don’t be left on the street

As with most holiday destinations, remember to book in advance. Hotels fill up quick and, even if you’re looking to downsize, get a room in a hostel as quick as possible, too. The cheapest hostel going is Nathan’s Villa Hostel, starting at a shared dorm of ten beds, costing €6.34 per person, on average. Nathan’s Villa is situated about a hundred meters from Wawel Castle. Another option, and about a ten minute walk from Krakow’s main square to the secluded Pędzichów Street, is the Dizzy Daisy hostel. A shared dorm of twelve beds is, on average, €7 per person. A private twin at Dizzy Daisy’s is just over double that and, if you’re a couple looking to travel together, this would probably be the best bet as far as communication and romance goes. 

Tying one on

In Krakow, and also in most of Europe, parties start when they usually end: at about two in the morning. The people of Krakow can’t get enough of having a good time. So, if you’ve chummed up with any locals on your travels and they suggest a party in town, brace yourself, especially if they suggest Old Town. It is here where you’ll find the most pubs, bars and nightclubs per square meter than anywhere else in the world. It’s the alcohol capital of Earth, effectively. Pretty much anywhere you go, expect to find yourself sandwiched by another bar in the basement, and a nightclub upstairs. Perhaps sharing a dorm doesn’t sound like a bad idea, considering the amount you could spend on traditional Polish vodka and their 8%+ beers. It may also leave enough room in your pocket to splash out on one of the many Krakow spas around the city; perfect hangover cures. 

Taxi!

Don’t shout this in Krakow if you want to save a little more cash. Hailing a cab in the city costs around 30% more than it does for someone to pick up a telephone and press a few keys. Having said that, taxi ranks are plentiful around the city, so self-discipline could spark a war against convenience at times. 

To follow on from this, using a telephone in Krakow is pretty much impossible. Phone boxes are a rare thing so, to counter this, buy yourself a phone card while you’re out there from either a post office or a roadside kiosk. 

Know your shapes

A small point to make but, if you’re currently unaware, it could save you a hell of a lot of embarrassment and confusion. In Britain and, presumably many other countries around the world, the traditional signage for public toilets is a symbol of a man for the gents’ and a symbol of a woman for the ladies’. Not in Poland. They’ve resorted to the rather basic and certainly brow-furrowing approach of using a circle for woman, and a triangle for men. I’ve no idea why, but there’re the facts. Remember them if you’re caught short in Krakow.

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One Response to “What to expect from a stay in Krakow, Poland.”

  1. Sandra says:

    Happy to read that you enjoyed Krakow and Poland in general. Just a little correction: we do not drink 8%+ beers, never seen such in Poland even ;-). Maybe it was some Solvak of Chech beer imported to Poland, don’t trust anyone telling you it’s a custom here ;-). Plus to visit Warsaw next time I suggest you use the “USE IT” map, you’ll definitely not get bored after 3 days again :).
    Cheers!

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