My mum asked me earlier this year if I fancied a bit of a girly city break somewhere, to which of course, my answer was yes! And so we decided to visit the beautiful city of Poland that is Krakow. I have always been a bit of a city lover. New York is my favourite city in the world. Obviously I haven’t been to ALL the cities in the world, but I have been to a lot. And New York wins every time. However, Krakow has definitely made it in at a very close second.
I was blown away by what the city had to offer and how undeniably beautiful it is.
We stayed at the Kosmopolita Hotel in which we got the bed and breakfast option. It wasn’t anything extravagant, but it was inviting, clean and simple, and it did the job. Somewhere to put your head down at night, somewhere to grab some breakfast in the morning and store your belongings safely during the day while you’re out adventuring. It was relatively cheap as well, approximately £140 for the weekend (3 nights) for 2 people.
The below is a view from our bedroom first thing in the morning.
We ventured into the Old Town, where we actually spent quite a lot of time. I loved it there, as did my mum. Old Town has so much to offer. As an architectural technologist, I really appreciated just how beautiful the buildings in Old Town (and Krakow as a whole) really are. They really are loved and cherished… how buildings like that should be! I think St Mary’s Basilica was probably my favorite building in the Town. Such a prominent building with a lot of presence in the 10-acre Main Market Square! Every hour, on the hour, a man will come out to one of the top windows and play the trumpet to mark the hour, instead of ringing the bell. We also got the chance to go inside; however, you are not allowed to take any photos. But if you ever get the chance to go to Krakow, I would definitely recommend going inside the Basilica, even just for a couple of minutes. It’s absolutely breath-taking! The stained glass windows are beautiful, as are the painted ceilings, and the simply amazing architectural detailing inside the building. Definitely one to remember!
The below photos are of the Main Market Square just showing the beauty of the architecture and the hustle and bustle of Old Town.
We also visited Wawel Royal Castle. Another beautiful building and the grounds were also sensational. A lot going on around the castle; it was a beautiful sunny day when we visited and there were a lot of people around but you didn’t feel like you were being rushed to walk around. You got the chance to take it all in and take plenty of photos as you can see below.
I absolutely fell in love with the below building while we were on the castle grounds. I love the brickwork and the way the ivy trails up the building. The sash windows. It’s just such a simple but beautiful building.
And of course, we went to visit the German Auschwitz Concentration Camps in Oswiecim. Unfortunately for us, the weather was miserable that day… it poured down. However, we got a guided tour around the camps and were able to see the history, what had happened, and gain a broader understanding of what actually happened and the scale of the masses of people that were killed at the camps. It’s only as you walk around the camps that you really comprehend the size of them. You try so hard to understand how these people must have felt, but there is just no comprehending it. It truly is horrifying and something that I think will stay with me for a very long time.
One of the things that the tour guide said to us, that will definitely stay with me forever was:
“There are only a handful of the survivors left from Auschwitz, but you have come here, and now you are witnesses to what happened here!”
We also went on a trip around the Old Town on a horse and carriage on our last night. My mum had been going on and on about this since we got there, so whilst we had some money to spare, we gave it a go. It was such an amazing ride, getting the chance to see the town lit up at night and have a lovely ride around in one of the beautiful carriages. My mum was in her element.
I would absolutely recommend a trip to Krakow. I have been to a lot of places around the world including a lot of the States, Cuba, Australia, Singapore, Paris, Dominican Republic, and many more. But Krakow is definitely one of my favourite places to have visited, and I think it’s even better because I wasn’t expecting to love it as much as I did. It was one of those places that was on my “To visit before I die list” so it was just to scratch it off the list; and instead, I fell completely and utterly in love with it. I would definitely go back, probably several times. And if none of that has sold it to you, maybe the below picture of Old Town at night including the Basilica and the horse and carriages all lit up will do it