Krakow is incredibly beautiful city in Poland. And by the way, it is an ancient capital and second most populous city in Poland. And that is also the place of coronation of Polish kings. In Krakow there is a large number of historical monuments and of course, the city center is listed in a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
I will tell you about what to do in Krakow, but now I would like to pay special attention to the hospitality of Poland and, how much they care about comfort of tourists.
1. A lot of people in Krakow speaks English. Even in normal grocery store, you can always find an English-speaking seller. And that is make easier life of tourists, because you can without any problem ask for directions, order the desired food in a restaurant, get acquainted with the locals well, etc.
2. Many attractions of Krakow are located next to each other, so you can easily move around the city on foot. In Krakow, are comfortable and wide enough pedestrian zones; courteous drivers, which are care to give way to pedestrians.
And how work there traffic lights! In my life I have never seen something like that. All traffic lights are set up for the convenience of pedestrians. Is enough come up close to the traffic light, click on the button that controls the pedestrian zone and instantly illuminates the green light for pedestrians. I was so struck by this phenomenon, that once stayed close the crossroad and watched how it works.
There was a green light for pedestrians, then lights up green for cars, but in less than 30 seconds a new pedestrian come up close to traffic lite and pushed the button, and what do you think? Immediately lit red light for the cars and green for pedestrians.
3. Information desk and money exchange. Information desk in Krakow located at every step. Especially if you are in the historic center of the city, approximately every 500 meters, you can find one of them. At the information desk you can get a free city map, find out how to get to the desired destination, and buy any interesting for you tours.
Money exchange. I recommend you don’t to exchange money in the hotels, the airports and the tourist locations, because usually in these exchange offices is not favorable rate. Better to go in one of the parallel streets, and there you will find a lot of exchangers, but with a pleasant for you exchange rate. By the way, the locals are happy to prompt where you can find an exchange office with good rates.
4. Free tours in three languages: English, Spanish and Italian. Another good indicator caring about the tourists in Krakow is the free tours. Of course, the concept of “free tour” is conditional, because in the end of the tour you will be asked to leave a tip, but believe me you will be happy to pay.
On the Main Square in front of the St. Mary’s Basilica you can met a friendly staff of “Good Cracow Tours Company“. From them you can get complete information about the tours, time and place of the meeting. And this place is a meeting place for the beginning of tours. You can choose the tour of the Jewish Quarter or the tour around Downtown. It all depends on how much time you have and how much desire you have to learn more about this wonderful city.
5. Food. If you are a lover to eat, then Krakow will be for you like a gastronomic paradise. If you are a lover of sitting on a diet, you will be tempted to try anything from the Polish cuisine, because it is delicious. Polish cuisine is very similar to Ukrainian, so if you’ve tried Ukrainian dishes and were enjoying of taste, then I am confident that also the Polish food you enjoy. Incidentally, in Krakow is a lot of stylistic restaurants.
I do not remember the name of the restaurant, but one time I had dinner in the Jewish quarter in one restaurant, which was dark and the walls were covered with various objects, preserved since the Second World War. It was a little scary, but still it was an interesting experience. By the way, with the Second World War Krakow binds very much, but about it I’ll explain next time.
6. Prices. Prices in Krakow quite acceptable in comparison with the rest of Europe, but still at a European level. By the way, despite the fact that Poland is in the European Union, they still use their own currency, called the Polish zloty.
7. Weather. The weather is rainy in Krakow. I was there in early June and luckily caught some sun, I would even say hot days. But mostly there is rains. Of course, not so rainy like in Braunau am Inn, there may be pouring rain without stop for a month, but…
8. Nature. Nature in Krakow is gorgeous. A lot of greenery and flowers. The air is clean and fresh. Especially if you happen to be a bit outside the city center, in the timber portion, you will get a lot of fun enjoying the nature.
9. Poles. Very hospitable and friendly people. They are pleased to prompt you the way, they will tell you where you can buy something and etc. So if suddenly you experience any difficulties in Krakow, please feel free to ask locals, they will help you.
10. During the visit attractions of Krakow, you will need to pay for entrance. I do not remember a single point at which I would be able to visit for free. Prices range from a small to the normal. It all depends on what you choose to visit. But in general, the prices are quite reasonable. And in the Wawel Castle, one of the most famous landmarks, they have a system in which you choose which parts of the castle you wish to visit and in according to that they will tell you the final price. In general, there is all for the tourists with any wallet size.
Well, it’s ten most important things that is interesting to know before you go to Krakow.
In the next article, I’ll explain to you: What to do in Krakow.
If you have any questions, please write them in the comments, I’ll be happy to answer them.