I need to catch up on my travel diary posts so I’ve decided to start with my recent trip to Kraków. This was a really special holiday as I was visiting my home country and close family for the first time in years, after moving to the UK at a young age. Aside from a super short break in Wrocław in 2013, I hadn’t actually been back properly since we left, so those two weeks catching up with family and old childhood places were quite emotional!
We started with a couple of days in Kraków doing all of the touristy things like exploring, getting lost, shopping for souvenirs, getting lost some more and, of course, sampling local cuisine.
Kraków is known for its café culture and I made sure to read up about the best places to try for locals. Bon Jour Café, just opposite our apartment on ul. Piłsudskiego, had the loveliest coffee; the cappuccino is light and delicate with the consistency of a creamy latté. For breakfast, we tried a bakery near the main square. Everyone who knows me knows my love for bakeries and this one did not disappoint! The creamy cheese danish caught my eye instantly and it was love at first sight.
After breakfast, we explored the main square, coming across a lovely covered market in the centre selling lots of Polish gems, including traditional Kraków-ian costumes. There is nothing I love more than a market full of trinkets! The souvenir shops were equally as good, and a little more high-end.
In the centre of Rynek Główny, Polish for ‘main square’, is the beautiful church, Kościół Mariacki. It’s free to go in but if you want to see things up close you can pay 5 złoty (£1) for a child ticket or 10 złoty for an adult one. It’s definitely worth it so that you can admire the beautiful interior of the church without being behind a barrier. And it’s clear to see that the money goes towards keeping the church in tip-top shape! It’s really beautiful inside with intricate décor and lots of history.
All of that walking around and exploring can get tiring very quickly! Café number two of the day – or ‘numer dwa’ in Polish – was the perfect off-the-beaten-track stop for a smoothie. There were so many flavours to choose from at Frankie’s and they are all made with fresh fruit on the spot. The garden at the back was a tranquil escape from the bustle of the main square, despite being only steps from the touristy centre.
When looking for this café, we discovered a quieter corner of Kraków. The restaurant in the fourth photo looked so inviting for an early evening dinner.
We originally planned to go to Wieliczka, the famous salt mines, but unfortunately all of the tickets were sold out until August. But I’m glad we were able to spend our first full day exploring this lovely city. In the evening, we saw the Polish translation of Mayday in the theatre to finish off. Can’t wait to write about day two!