I’ve been home now for all of 12 hours and I couldn’t wait to get this post written. There is already a hotel review which you can find here and this blog is going to be part 1 of my Krakow guide! I was toying with the idea of doing one big one and then a separate food one but instead i’m going to mention throughout where we stopped to eat and places that you NEED to visit but other than that, Krakow has so much choice you really will find you own favourites.
Our first day was a travel day, we arrived at the hotel just gone 6pm and didn't feel up to much. We found our dinner for the night in the local supermarket and set off soon after to explore our local area. We soon found ourselves at The Vistula River which was lit up in shades of pink and purple by the Bernatek Footbridge. A quick stroll across and we were greeted with artistic acrobatic sculptures separating the bridge, one side for pedestrians and the other for cyclists.
We took a different route back and came across our pudding for the evening, an ice-cream parlour called GoodLood. I believe there are a few of these scattered around the city but it was the only place I bought ice cream for the entire holiday and I had it more than once - DEFINITELY recommend! The chosen flavour of the night for me was, 1 scoop of salted caramel topped with 1 scoop of raspberry ripple. Ice creams in hand we ate and walked our way back to the hotel, bellies full and content ready for our first full day exploring tomorrow.
After a slow morning and enjoying breakfast in the hotel we decided that our first full day would be spent exploring all that we could of Krakow on foot. We decided to tackle the city with a systematic approach heading left to Wawel Castle, then up to the market square followed by the Jewish Quarter.
Our first stop was 5 minutes away from our hotel, a tiny coffee stop called Miłe Czasy (which according to google translates to, Nice Times). I had spotted this little gem on our evening stroll and wanted to check it out. Honestly it is tiny but it is so so so aesthetically pleasing, it's amazing what you can do in such as small space. Coffee in hand and 101 snaps later I quickly found myself doing this route every morning.
Along our route to Wawel Castle we stopped to enter one of the first Catholic Churches of our trip locally called, Kościół Rzymskokatolicki Pw. Bożego Ciała. If you’re not blown away by its architecture then there is something wrong. The wow factor really hit when you were inside and I don’t feel like the photo does it justice.
More steps and snaps later we soon noticed we were nearing Wawel Castle, you really can’t miss it. It’s located on a hill, which i’m sure technically classes as a work out when you’re walking up, and takes a short while to walk around with all the stopping in admiration of the architecture. Ryan and I strolled around courtyards and gardens taking it all in although you can get tickets to go inside some of the main areas but we didn’t feel the need.
Our next stop was to the main market square. We took a route through a garden which connected up with other gardens leading you to wherever you wanted to go, so you have the best of both, you can either walk downs side streets which might have been more direct or take a more leisurely stroll still through a beautiful setting.
Once in the square, which is also the largest market square in Europe, you cannot miss the sight of St. Mary's Basilica. I really wanted to go in but it was closed for renovation during our stay which also meant we couldn’t do the underground tour which was disappointing but gives us more of an excuse to come back sooner.
Lunch was spent in a window seat within the Hard Rock cafe which we’ve eaten at before in Amsterdam and it didn’t disappoint. Although a little unadventurous it was what we needed after all the walking and I enjoyed our hour of people watching and photo taking.
Up next was the side streets of the market where we found Kraków Wax Museum which I had seen mixed reviews on TripAdvisor about. I don’t mean any disrespect to the owners but they must know why people go in and it’s for a good laugh. From the moment we entered we were in fits of laughter the figures are bad which what makes it so good. Definitely worth the money although reviews might say otherwise.
At this point we’d walked down many more streets and our feet decided it was enough - we detoured back to the hotel via Miłe Czasy where I picked up a smoothie to energise me and we rested for a couple of hours before heading back out.
After our lunch at Hard Rock we were still full and neither of us wanted another meal but through the powers of Instagram I had discovered Mr Pancake/Pizza Boyz cafe just off the main square. After our walk their we were definitely ready for food and we each ordered pancakes, one savoury and one sweet and they where the dream!
Back at the hotel we unwound from our first full day with a drink. I tried a Polish Martini which is basically like drinking an apple pie and Ryan enjoyed a beer.
A perfect ending to our proper first day.