We had a full day to spend in Kraków, and we made the most of it. Kraków is, and remains, my favorite city in the world [though I will admit that Gdańsk is a very close second now, too].
We started our morning with a self-guided tour of Wawel, the castle and ancient capital of Poland. First off was a view of the statue of the Wawel dragon and his cave, right along the Wisła (Vistula) River. The castle is a wonderful edifice, with lots and lots of history. We did the self-guided tour of the magnificent chapel, which is truly amazing itself. To think, many kings of Poland were crowned and worshipped here. It’s really a moving experience. We walked around a bit, then moved on to the palace itself and the chambers there. The area is currently undergoing a renovation, but it’s very impressive.
After wandering around a while and taking lots of photos, we took off walking to our next destination, a trendy spot where young locals go to party at night. It’s an old factory complex, said to be slated for future demolition and remade into luxury apartments or townhomes but currently a trendy night hot spot of restaurants and clubs. We had lunch at one of the cool restaurants there, and it was very avante garde cuisine, and very good.
Eventually we headed back to the old town. Our next stop was the marvelous National Art Museum on the second floor of the Sukiennice. We got the English audio guide and I’m glad we did. We saw some fantastic art by Polish artists, it was truly amazing.
Our next stop was the Mariacki, the fantastic Cathedral that is right on the square. It is amazing, very ornate, and very historic. No trip to Kraków would be complete without a visit to this magnificent, historic church.
Our next stop was Kazimierz, the old, historic Jewish quarter of Kraków—actually, our apartment/hotel is in Kazimierz. We walked around a bit and enjoyed the old buildings, then stopped and had a few drinks along the way.
While weather now was a bit wet, we headed back to the old town and found a place for dinner—Italian food! It was just OK, though.
Later, on the way back, we stopped at a very cool underground restaurant and had dessert and drinks.
Wow, what a day we had in Kraków. I still love this beautiful, historic city a lot. I’ll be sad to leave tomorrow, but hope to return for an extended stay next year…