It’s finally here!! So as you seen on my Instagram, I went on a 5 day trip to Krakow. Krakow is somewhere where I have always wanted to visit. It is a city full of history and culture and I could not wait to experience it for myself. Before I went, I asked you all to give me suggestions on where to go, things to do and places to eat. I was inundated with suggestions which I was delighted by, and some asked would I share my findings so decided to put it into a blog post so you can always refer back to it whenever you are going.
We had an early start this morning, as our flight was at 7.45 in the morning, meaning our wake up call was at about 4am but that was fine, I had that “I’m going on my holidays” buzz. We were flying out of Belfast International Airport and we used the McCausland Park and Fly which is brilliant, it is just across the road from the airport, they keep your car and then drop you off at the departures entrance. We booked the flights for this trip in February and cost around £120 each and that included one suitcase between the three of us, not bad considering it is a popular time to go to Krakow.
We flew into John Paul ll Airport just outside Krakow after an easy three hour flight. Once we landed we had to go through customs, I was hoping to get another stamp on my passport (LOL) however the woman behind the counter could bearly give me a smile never mind a stamp. Anyway we collected our suitcase and headed to the hotel which took about 20-25 minutes. We were staying in the Rezydent Hotel (link) which was just off the Old Town Square so it was a great location. I was recommended this hotel by a few of my work colleagues who had previously stayed here. The hotel was quite old, but very clean and tidy and to stay it cost around £115 each for the four nights which was amazing especially for a city break. So I would definitely recommend the hotel if you are ever staying in Krakow. The taxi to the hotel from the airport cost about 90 zloty which exchanged to around £18 which was good! The taxi fares are quite reasonable especially if you are weary about public transport in different countries.
Once we got settled we headed for a dander around the square and to try and find our bearings. The square is lovely, there is restaurants everywhere so you won’t be stuck for food. We heading to Cloth Hall which is the massive building on the middle of the square, it holds a lot of little stalls which sell jewellery, Christmas bubbles and different little trinkets. So lovely to stroll through and have a look.
We then heading for cocktails in Harris Jazz Bar. It was so lovely to just sit, drinking cocktails and people watching plus the cocktails were Devine. For dinner we went to Spaghetti, a restaurant on the square that serves Italian food. This was recommended to me and it did not disappoint.
Today was the day we visited the Auschwitz and Birkenau concentration camp and later that day we visited the Salt Mines. We booked this excursion at the hotel reception the day before and the next morning the driver lifted us from the hotel reception at 6.30am. Not all trips go from that time but we wanted to do the two trips on the one day. The excursion for the day cost us £70 each, not to bad as we were away the full day. However we didn’t shop around so it may have been cheaper else where or even might be worth booking before you go but because we wanted to do it at such short notice we didnt mind paying it.
Without going into to much detail because I think its hard to put into words and something you need to experience for yourself. Auschwitz and Birenau was so so sad. To think these people were promised a “better life” and told to take their belongings because they were going to a “nicer place”. Plus the fact this happened within this century is so horrendous. Our tour guide that lead the tour was brilliant and very sympathetic in how he spoke. As I said if you are going to Krakow it is definitely something you should see but just be prepared as it is very sad.
After this trip, we headed to the salt mines, this was a nice relief after the camps and something mummy was very excited to see. The Salt Mines date back to the 13th Centruy and are the oldest salt mines in the world. We had to walk down around 300 steps to get down the mines but when you get down there, One Word: Spectacular! The first hour is mainly about the history of the salt mines for example how they worked, which felt quite long. However, you are then taken down this corridor which opens up to the most stunning underground chapel, completely made of salt. It was amazing! The walls, the floor, the statues, the alter even the chandeliers were completely made of salt. Then you walk further into the mine and there was the most magical underground lakes. It was honestly so beautiful and something I definitely recommended if you are going to Krakow.
Doing the two trips in the one day can totally be done. It is an early start and you will be tired but if your maybe only there for a couple of days and want to see both, it is the better option.
So I am a very touristy person when it comes to going away. I love to visit the famous land marks etc that the city or country has to offer. I always want to make the most of where I am and love visiting new places therefore when I go somewhere I like to do it right. So on day two we went to Shinler’s Factory. If you have seen the film then this is somewhere to go. I will say this is a self guided tour- there are English tours but at only certain times of the day and we didn’t know until we got there so thats something to remember if you are going. Anyway as I was saying, it is a self guided tour and the meuseam is brilliant and so informative however there is a lot of reading and when you have a mum that is just looking at the photographs and taking pictures of all the script (told me she was reading it later LOL) you dont get a chance to take it all in. But it is something I enjoyed and if you are into history this is the place for you.
We then strolled through the Jewish Quarter, which has some beautiful eateries and cute little boutiques – of course I had a look. Then we stumbled across Wawel Castle. OMG! It is beautiful. We dandered through the castle, where there was the most beautiful Gardens, courtyards and chapels. Defo one for someone who is into their architecture and historic buildings. We also went for lunch in the Cafe situated on the grounds of the Castle called Kawiarnia Cafe. This was the first place where we found like a light lunch. I found it was hard to get food that wasn’t a heavy meal at lunch, it felt like we were having two dinners. However this place was so yummy and lovely for a light lunch.
As the day went on it was getting duller and duller and we could tell it was going to rain, so we knew there was nothing else for it; Cocktails. I was recommended a roof top bar called Cafe Oranzeria. This was just facing the castle on the other side of the lake. This was fab, it had a beautiful view of the castle and the cocktails were amazing. I would say you don’t have to be close to the castle to go here, everything in Krakow is relatively close. We finished the day with dinner at The Old Town Restaurant, it was quite a traditional restaurant with all your favourite food, I had a steak and it was beaut.
When I told people I was going to Krakow, they automatically told me about the the massive shopping, and my god was it massive. It had three floors, the bottom floor is mainly home, the middle floor is pure style and the top floor is more fashion plus a few sports shops. I was like a kid in a candy store, things I wouldn’t usually be interested in were suddenly my favourite thing… hello Zara Home.
We literally spent the whole day there and it was needed to get around all the shops. The Zara was amazing, does anyone else think Zara abroad is better than the one at home? I could have spent loads but my baggage allowance wasn’t allowing me to over buy.
Once we finished shopping we headed out for dinner. Moo Moo was one of the restaurant I got the most recommendations for and now I know why. The food was amazing. It is like a grill style restraunt, yano all the usuals – steak, burgers, fish- food that we are use to over here. It is not a massive restaurant but was so busy and we had to book, so if you are considering heading here for meal 100% book it either that morning or even the day before to be garrenteed a table. To start I had King Prawns – delisicous, then I had the Moo Mo Burger which was divine and it was all washed down with a few majitos. This was probably the nicest place that we ate out of the whole trip so I can see why it would be so popular.
Today was our final day, our flight was at around three that afternoon. It was lashing that morning so we couldn’t really do to much so we just packed and got ready to head to the airport. It only rained the day before and the morning we were leaving which was predicted on the weather forecast which I had been watching in the weeks running up to the our trip. So I had planned all our activities around the rain. So if you are heading away and have loads planned, keep an eye on the weather forecast and then plan your trip accordingly.
What I wore.
I knew I was going on a winter holiday so I was thinking Layers, tights and boots. I bought a beautiful teddy coat that I ended up wearing loads. I also bought boots from Stradivarius which you have all seen me wear loads on my Instagram. They are definitely my favourite purchase for winter.
The weather was very similar to what we had at home at the time so it wasn’t overly cold.
Day one I was wearing an outfit on the plane which was a jumper, jeans and boots but when I got to Krakow I wanted to change just to freshen up. So I put on a cream light knit from Marks and Spencer which is brilliant staple piece for teaming with different bottoms, I wore my jeans, my Stradivarus boots and my teddy coat from TK MAXX.
Day Two is when we done our excussions to Auschwitz and the Salt Mines so I knew I had to have comfy shoes on. Plus I knew the camps were on feild like premises so I knew not to wear anything new on my feet. I wore a cosy jumper from Mango, my Zara trousers that I got last year, and my Zara Trainers I got in the summer sale. The Salt Mines can get so warm so make sure you wear layers incase you boil up.
Day Three was shopping time, today I wore my Leopard print blazer from the Walk in Wardrobe, a black dress, my 15 denier tights and my boots from Starivarius. I knew I would be inside all day so wearing my 15 diner tights didnt bother me.
Day four was home time so I defiitly wanted cosy, so today I wore my tartan trousers from newlook, jumper from Primark, coat from TK MAXX and boots from stradivarius.
Hope enjoyed my little travel guide.. let me know what you think under my photo on Instagram
Love Ro x