Back in June, I crossed another new country off my bucket list – Poland. Poland is somewhere I have wanted to visit for a long time. I spent four nights and three days there. One day was spent visiting Auschwitz and Birkenau while the other two were spent exploring Krakow.
I do want to go back to Krakow and other parts of Poland as there’s still so much that I want to do there. My main reasons for visiting Krakow was how close it is to Auschwitz, but I’d also heard a lot of great things about the city from Kariss. I will have a full post up on what I got up to in June, but I wanted to share five reasons to visit Krakow.
It’s so cheap
My flight from London Stansted to Krakow cost me just £35. I flew with Ryanair and the flight was delayed by two hours, but for £35 you can’t really complain. Due to my delayed flight, when I landed just after 11pm, the trains from the airport were no longer running. In the end, I got a taxi to the city centre. I was worried that it was going to cost me a fortune but it ended up being only 89PLN (which is around £18). I definitely could have got it a lot cheaper if I hadn’t just gone to the first taxi parked outside of the airport. The hostel I stayed at only cost me 272PLN (£56) for four nights, which was amazing. The cost of transport in Poland was also really cheap. It cost me just under £3 for a bus ticket to Auschwitz which was an hour and a half away.
There is a lot of history in Krakow and the surrounding areas. As I mentioned, Auschwitz and Birkenau are only an hour and a half away by bus in Oświęcim. The Old Town is just beautiful, there’s so much to take in from the Barbican to Schindler’s Factory to Wawel Castle. You can also take a trip to the Wieliczka Salt Mines which are just outside of the city. If you have any interest in World War II, then Poland is definitely one to put on your to-visit list. Make sure you dedicate a whole day to Auschwitz and Birkenau as there is so much to see and take in.
Everywhere you look in Krakow, there are stunning buildings. Poland is one of Europe’s most religious countries and around 95% of the population identify as Catholic. This means that there are a lot of Catholic places of worship in Krakow, most of which are just beautiful. There’s also a lot of colourful buildings which are perfect for instagram! Krakow Market Square honestly looks like something out of a fairytale. I could have sat there for hours taking it all in. Even in the rain, Krakow was beautiful.
The cat cafe
Okay, a cat cafe shouldn’t be the main reason for visiting a city but it definitely makes me want to go there even more. When I decided that I was going to visit Krakow, one of the first things I did was see if they had a cat cafe. It turns out that they actually have two! I only visited one, Kocia Kawiarnia Kociarnia but it was the most relaxed cat cafe I have ever been to. It was also really really cheap! I had a lovely iced coffee for the equivalent of a couple of quid and there was no cover charge to enter the cafe. There were also no time limits, usually you are restricted to an hour in cat cafes. I had a nice play with the cats, including this big fella, Simba. I also got on with a spot of work for a couple of hours while the cats wandered around.
How easy it is to get around
Krakow is a relatively small city. You could easily walk from one side of the Old Town to the other in an hour. However, if the weather isn’t great you can opt for the tram or bus which is fairly cheap. I did a lot of walking while I was there and I didn’t use the trams, however they seemed easy enough to use. There’s a sizeable railway station which has links to many other Polish cities. There’s also a bus station which I used to visit Auschwitz and I also caught the bus (Flixbus, I definitely recommend them!) from Krakow to Budapest from there.
Have you ever been to Krakow?