When people think of travelling to Europe, countries such as Spain and France immediately come to mind. Poland is definitely one of Europe’s hidden gems – check out these top 5 reasons to visit Krakow and make sure you’re not missing out on one of the best kept travel secrets.
Why Visit Kraków?
Krakow is one of the most beautiful cities in Poland. Located in the south of the country, Krakow is home to breathtaking architecture, rich history, and amazing food and drink. Moreover, the city has amazing infrastructure, allowing you to easily commute to neighbouring cities.
1. The Architecture
Krakow is one of the most beautiful destinations I have ever visited. I could spend days wandering around the city, taking in the gorgeous architecture and attractions.
Rynek Glowny Square
Perhaps most famous is Rynek Glowny Square, which is the largest market square in Europe. You could spend an entire day (or two!) exploring the shops, cafes, and architectural gems hidden within the buildings. You can even take a horse carriage ride around the square!
Krakow is home to some of the most beautiful churches. One of the most breathtaking is the Basilica of the Virgin Mary, which is situated on the main square. You have the option to go inside and worship without fee, or pay to tour the cathedral. There are numerous other churches dotted around, such as the Saints Peter and Paul Church.
2. The Food & Drink
Polish food and drink is obviously going to be high on my list! Krakow is definitely a city that favours the relaxed cafe lifestyle, with hip coffee houses and traditional Polish ones nestled in and around the city. Whilst staying in Krakow, I ate at several gorgeous restaurants, such as the No.7 Restaurant.
The Polish dumplings, otherwise known as Pierogi, are one of my favourite dishes in the world. Traditionally, these have a potato and cheese filling, and are served with fried onions and soured cream. You can find these gems almost anywhere in Krakow – I definitely recommend you try them!
I would definitely travel back to Poland just for the vodka, as Poland is home to some of the smoothest. It was in Krakow that I picked up the hazelnut vodka used in my hazelnut espresso martinis! Moreover, the affordability of the country means that you can pick up a decent amount for a fraction of the price over here. If you venture further out the city to neighbouring towns, the price only becomes cheaper!
3. Experience The History
Poland is a country full of rich history, and the city of Krakow does not disappoint. On almost every corner, there is the possibility to educate yourself on the long and diverse history of Krakow.
Wawel Castle is the top historical attraction in the centre of the city. This palace was home to the Kings of Poland. This beautiful castle is located on the banks of the Vistula River, which makes for some spectacular views and breathtaking photographs.
Just outside of Krakow lies Auschwitz, the infamous concentration camp from the horrors of World War Two. You can take a day trip to pay your respects to the 1.1 million people who lost their lives there, of whom 90% were Jews. I would highly recommend anyone going to Krakow to visit Auschwitz-Birkenau and educate yourself of the atrocities committed against innocent people.
4. The Value for Money
Krakow is not a budget destination, but you can get a lot of value for money. A meal on a gorgeous restaurant situated directly on the square set us back around £20 each. For a traditional Polish meal, it cost around £15 each for two courses with wine.
5. The Location
The city of Krakow is located in the midst of beautiful surroundings and countless attractions. Furthermore, the city is remarkably accessible with its own airport and large train station, allowing you to easily visit neighboring towns and cities – such as Lviv.
Have these 5 reasons to visit Krakow convinced you yet? Let me know in the comments. To see more photos of my trip to Krakow, check out my Instagram!