Krakow Journals

Krakow In the Snow

A February 2005 trip to Krakow by AineUiG

Collegium Maius Photo, Krakow, Poland More Photos
Quote: A visit to Krakow in the winter, with young children and parents.

Krakow In the Snow

Overview

Collegium Maius Photo, Krakow, Poland
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The old town is full of shops and cafés (kawiarnia). The Wawel castle and cathedral are on a hill between the Vistula River and the old town. At the foot of Wawel, by the river, is the entrance to a cave with a fire-breathing dragon guarding it. He wasn't breathing fire when we were there: the snow must have gotten to him!Quick Tips: If staying in a hotel, take full advantage of the morning breakfast buffet. They usually allow you to order a cooked breakfast, and you can add breads, cakes, fruit, yogurt, cheese, and cold meats to that. It will keep you going until evening.Best Way To Get Around: Krakow is great to walk around. It can be problematic for wheelchairs or buggie...Read More
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The rooms were large and airy, and although located in the old town, not noisy. The breakfast buffet was fantastic, and the staff was friendly and accommodating.

The beds, although comfortable, had mattress protectors that overheated during the night. This woke many of us up, but we removed them the next day and that was the end of the problem. One of our travellers had to remove the mattress altogether since the bed proved to be too soft.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on March 11, 2005

Hotel Polski Pod Bialym Orlem
17, Pijarska Street
Krakow, Poland
(12) 422-1144

Chlopskie Jadlo

Restaurant

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This is Polish cuisine at its best. The portion sizes are so large that is impossible to eat both an appetizer and a main course, so it works out to be cheaper than the listed price range. When you arrive, you are seated and presented with Polish bread and two spreads. Clearly one was cream cheese with herbs, but we argued about what the second one was. One person in our party insisted that it was mashed potatoes with pork crackling, but it turned out to be LARD! Anyway, the non-vegetarians enjoyed it like it was butter. The soups are delicious, and the main courses are huge. A particular favourite (if you like cabbage) is golabki. The fish (I had carp) was fresh ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on March 11, 2005

Chlopskie Jadlo
Ulica Sw. Agnieszki, 1
Krakow, Poland 31-071
+48 (12) 421 8520

Pizzeria Cyklop

Restaurant | "Pizzeria Cyclops"

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You have to wait in line, but it is worth it.

Wood-fired ovens produce thin-crusted pizzas in minutes. One person in our group felt that the toppings were not generous enough, but no one else agreed.

Although it is a somewhat cramped dining space, the only real downside is that the bathroom is down the hall and you need to ask staff for a key. Toaleta is the word you need.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 11, 2005

Pizzeria Cyklop
Ulica Mikolajska, 16
Krakow, Poland 31-027
+48 12 421 6603

Wieliczka Salt Mine

Attraction

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One of the oldest salt mines in Europe, Wieliczka is for everyone except the claustrophobic!

The air is clean and dry, so if you have asthma or hay fever, the mine provides a break from pollution.

The tour takes you around some of the oldest parts of the mine. The miners have carved out some remarkable artwork, including an entire chapel.

Buses and trains leave from Krakow’s Glowny train station. There are limited tours in English in the winter, so check before you go at www.kopalnia.pl.

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on March 11, 2005

Wieliczka Salt Mine
10 Danilowicza Street
Krakow, Poland

Czartoryski Museum

Attraction

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This is worth visiting for Leonardo's Lady with an Ermine alone. It also contains many works of art, interior decoration, war booty, and arms and armour. There is something for everyone.

The exhibition of war booty, taken from the Ottoman Turks, was stolen during WWII and reacquired via legal action when it was put up for sale by auction at Sotheby's. One wonders whether Turkey could sue for its return! Other items taken from the Czartoryski family have yet to be located.

It is free on Sundays.

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on March 11, 2005

Czartoryski Museum
Ulica sw. Jana, 19
Krakow, Poland 31-017
+48 12 422 5566

Cloth Hall/Sukiennice

Attraction | "Sukiennice Cloth Hall Gallery"

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Downstairs you can get good quality Polish craft items, like slippers (czapki), dolls, crystal, amber jewellery, wooden boxes, painted wooden eggs, and paper art. It is free to go in, but usually you don't come out without having spent your money on something!

Upstairs is an art gallery with masterpieces of Polish romantic art. This is free on Sundays.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 11, 2005

Cloth Hall/Sukiennice
Main Market Square 3
Krakow, Poland 31-042
+48 12 422 1166

Wawel Hill, Castle and Cathedral

Attraction | "Wawel Hill"

Quote:
Wawel Hill is comprised of a cathedral, castle with different tours, restaurant and café, and the dragon's grotto. The restaurant is one of the most expensive in Krakow, but the café is a great resting place for feet tired out by stairs and tours. The castle tours are great for anyone who likes princesses and knights, or furniture, architecture, and interior decoration. A unique collection of heads (sculpted in wood, not chopped off!) is exhibited in the audience hall’s ceiling to remind the king that he is under scrutiny and to give him the benefit of different experiences. For kids, the grotto at the foot of the hill by the river is guarded by a fire-breathing dragon. But...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on March 11, 2005

Wawel Hill, Castle and Cathedral
Wawel 5
Kraków, Poland 31-001
(+48 12) 422 51 55

Collegium Maius

Attraction

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Although we narrowly missed getting flattened by a ton of melting snow falling from the roof, Collegium Maius was a high point of our visit.

The oldest university in Poland and one of the oldest in the world, the Jagiellonian's medieval Collegium Maius is a must-see for those interested in architecture and history.

We couldn't get into the auditorium on the day we visited, as opening hours are limited, but there is still plenty to see. The basement crypt has been transformed into a trendy student club and café, with medieval sculptures as decoration.

Open Monday to Friday 11am to 2:30pm, Saturday 11am to1:30pm, and free on Saturdays.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 11, 2005

Collegium Maius
Ulica Jagiellonska, 17
Krakow, Poland 31-010

Franciscan Church

Attraction

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The architecture of the Franciscan Church is Gothic, but the interior and stained-glass windows were designed by Stanislaw Wyspianski, Poland's master of Art Nouveau.

One of the characteristics of Polish religious architecture is eclecticism, but this church is truly unique.

It is a must-see for those who are interested in Art Nouveau or religious architecture.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 11, 2005

Franciscan Church
Pl. Wszystkich Swietych
Krakow, Poland

About the Writer

AineUiG

AineUiG
Rath Cairn, Ireland