Travel Diary: Krakow
This is part of my travel diary series. Travel Diary: Krakow, explores my day in this beautiful city in Poland.
I was supposed to spend another four days in Prague and whilst I had no complaints about that, something was telling me I had to go to Krakow. And so, a few days beforehand myself and some friends decided to book an overnight train to the city. I was a bit apprehensive about spending two nights on an overnight train not only do trains give me motion sickness, I also had a cold (which would later turn into a chest infection after this trip), but alas I booked it and it was one of the best decisions I made.
Our train arrived in Krakow at 7:30am, it was a cold day. After having some dilemmas with luggage storage we ventured out in search of food to fill our empty stomachs. We followed the signs from the train station to the Old Town where we were bound to find a restaurant. Right in the middle of the main square we found a place which had a big English breakfast.
My first impression of Krakow was its beauty. The old town square was remarkable, smaller than most yet there was a church, restaurants, a fountain, markets, statues and department stores. I also noticed they were very fond of their hometown hero St Pope John Paul II.
After breakfast and multiple coffee’s we embarked on sightseeing Krakow. This started at the markets in the Krakow cloth hall. The stalls consisted of all things touristy and the stall holders were unbelievably friendly.
We ventured towards Wawel Castle with plenty of stops on the way. Most importantly the churches – the Church of Peter and Paul was a highlight. Although I did not go into Wawel castle itself I did see the cathedral which of course was amazing and ventured around the grounds, sitting down for a hot chocolate on the way.
Schindler’s factory was our next point of call. Within the factory itself is museum about Nazi occupation in Krakow. This was sombre and confronting, the city itself faced great heartache and it is only an hour’s drive away from the most infamous camp – Auschwitz. We spent about two and a half hours at the museum, mostly watching a movie consisting of interviews of those who Schindler saved.
Food was needed after the museum and we headed to the Jewish Quarter in the Kazimierz district. I had the most amazing potato dumplings, a necessity in Eastern Europe. The quarter itself was incredibly fascinating and they proudly announced the fact that during filming of Schindler’s List many of the actors and director Stephen Spielberg frequented the area.
Our evening in Krakow was pretty much spent soaking up the city, it was slow as we wandered around shops, restaurants and other various things. A great way to spend our last hours in the wonderful city that is Krakow.