So, Krakow, where do I begin. I spent 5 days in Krakow but felt like I could’ve easily stayed a lot longer and before I left I was toying with the idea of extending my stay. Unfortunately, I think the lack of sleep from hostel life totally clouded my judgment on my next move and I wish I stayed longer.
There is something for everyone in Krakow!
I think Krakow is a city that would be appealing to many people due to the wide array of activities that are on offer there.
For History and Culture Lovers
There are numerous walking tours, I personally recommend an Old Town tour with Free Walkative tours (the guide carries a yellow umbrella) and many friends recommended a tour of the Jewish Quarter. These walking tours are a great way to be introduced to Krakow, you can also get specific advice on the city from your guide.
Tip: These tours aren’t actually free, you are expected to tip what you feel it was worth.
In terms of museums in Krakow, I’ve heard the Castle Museum is one of the best if you only have time for one museum.
You can take a day trip to visit Auschwitz and Birkenau from Krakow
You can do this either through a tour or by yourself. I booked a tour via my hostel, where a bus was organised to take me to and from Krakow to Auschwitz and Birkenau and back and I had a guide meet me and a small group at the entrance. This cost me $46AUD.
Thoughts on Visiting Auschwitz
I was very conflicted about visiting Auschwitz mostly because I find it disturbing how it is sometimes seemingly treated like a tourist attraction and I also knew I would find it very upsetting (just being honest).
I decided, in the end, it was important to bear witness and to get a better understanding of the experience of victims of the holocaust. It certainly gave me a more visual, tangible idea of what life was like for prisoners in these camps, after basing my ideas solely on documentaries, movies, photographs and books. And yes, it was a deeply upsetting experience, this isn’t a fun day trip. I am however glad that I made the decision to go. Oh and I didn’t bring my camera, the idea of doing that made me feel strange, so I took a few photos on my phone, one of which I have included above.
There are endless opportunities to try traditional food and you can’t go past a plate of ‘Pierogi’ for a simple but delicious feast. You may also wish to try the popular street food ‘Zapiekanka’ which is an open sandwich topped with a variety of ingredients. You can eat very cheaply in Krakow, I spent between $5-$10AUD on a large meal with a drink. If you like to actually taste your alcohol too, there are many different foreign tipples to try and at a low cost.
For Party Animals (not me!)
You can go on pub crawls (this might be easiest if you go to a hostel like one of Greg and Tom’s) or wander around the Jewish Quarter for cool bars.
For Those that Like to Wander Aimlessly
Krakow is safe, the locals are friendly and there is so much to see that is easily accessible by foot.
Krakow Hostel Recommendation
I highly recommend Greg and Tom’s. The value is unbeatable at around $16AUD on average per night with breakfast and dinner included daily (they will even prepare you a special dinner if you are vegetarian or vegan!) and free drinks after dinner every night. The only downside is you might not sleep very much or very well… There is also Greg and Tom’s Beer hostel which is even more party orientated.
What Was My Daily Budget in Krakow?
Krakow is easily one of the most budget-friendly places I have stayed at in Europe. I spent between $20-$80AUD on a daily basis for all my expenses. The day that I spent $80 was when I paid for a tour to Auschwitz and Birkenau including transportation ($46AUD). Prices are comparatively very low compared to daily costs when travelling in Western Europe.
Krakow… I’ll be back ;). Do you have any tips or recommendations for Krakow? I’d love to read about them, please comment down below!