Last year me and my husband had a ski trip to Morzine booked, unfortunately the beast from the east put paid to that and the whole trip was cancelled. Luckily for us we got most of the money back and promised ourselves a city break the following year.
So fast forward to Easter this year and after a search on the website Voyage Privè we found the perfect trip. Krakow, 3 nights 4 days b&b with flights from our local airport all for the princely sum of £440, no brainier, it was booked before I could say City break……
So on the 1st June off we popped to the airport and after a relatively stress free check in and the obligatory beer we boarded our Ryanair flight to Krakow. On the subject of Ryanair I’m sure at the end of every year they take all the seats out of the cabin, shuffle them all up a couple of inches and create space for another 6 rows, I swear my nose was nearly touching the seat in front, and before you ask, no my nose isn’t that big but the space was tight to say the least……!
Two hours later we landed and a smooth transition through security and we were in a taxi to our hotel.
We stayed at the Artery Hotel by Avena, it had obviously just been renovated, you could virtually smell the paint. Not in a negative way you understand, it was absolutely spotless, very modern but still had its original charm. I would have been interested to see what the walls would have had to say because as you may know Krakow had a very interesting history.
After freshening up we ventured out for dinner, Krakow main Square was about a 20 minute walk away. We chose a quite contemporary, rustic restaurant and straight away ordered two big beers. After studying the menu for a while and not being that familiar with polish cuisine we opted for a sharing plate for two. Half way though I swear we were getting meat sweats, 2 polish sausage, one chicken escalope, sautéed potatoes a potato rosti and the largest knuckle of pork.
It was delicious but we couldn’t do it justice. For all of that plus four beers we paid £24…….. Now that’s good value.
After visiting a few more bars and happening upon a live music bar we decided to have the one we came for we called it a night, we had a busy sightseeing ahead.
Breakfast was a the usual continental, cereal, bread, cold meat, cheese etc, perfectly adequate to keep us going till lunch.
Then the walking started, we were blessed with glorious weather, high 20’s which made the city even more beautiful.
We first visited the castle and walked all around the grounds, and had a quick pit stop for a coffee then wandered in to the Jewish Quarter which was streets full of character, and cafes, bars and restaurants, we were looking for a particular restaurant that had been recommended to us so we could book for the night after. By mid day it was blistering hot so a cold beverage was in order. Another couple of hours wandering and soaking up the atmosphere lead us back to the main Square, back for a shower and change then back out for dinner. We opted for a restaurant just off the main Square, Pod Zloytm Karpiem. The service food and wine was amazing but a bit dearer at about £28….
After dinner, a night cap and then time to hit the hay. Another busy day planned, Auchwitz…….
I didn’t really want to go to Auchwitz, I know what went on there as does everyone and I didn’t feel I needed to be reminded but my husband was adamant, so off we went, an hour and ten minutes on a coach and we arrived. I’m not going to say too much about it and certainly not going to post any photos, you can see those online, but suffice to say, the whole day was a very emotional, humbling experience and one which I will never forget. To see what those poor souls had to go through and the inhumanity to man is something that will never leave me! Emotional and very tiring day, a beer and nap in that order was next and time collect my thoughts.
Next dinner, fittingly we chose a restaurant that had been recommended to us in the Jewish Quarter, but first we had to find it again!! BIG mistake not to take a taxi as we ended up no where near where we wanted to be! I had no data so couldn’t use google maps and my husband had left his phone at the hotel. So after flagging down a taxi we eventually got to our destination, I now know Krakow inside out……. ha ha.
On first appearance the restaurant looked quite dingy but on the contrary with original drawings on the walls, I assume from local artists back in the day the vibe was very cool. So, let’s talk food. Absolutely amazing, a beautiful bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon accompanied our meal.
Again all this was around £25, unbelievable value for the quality of food and service in gorgeous authentic surroundings.
Needless to say we were both pretty tired after the 7 hour trip to Auchwitz so off to bed for us after dinner.
On our final day we spent the day wandering, stopping for coffee, shopping and lunching, our flight was at 7 so we left the hotel at around 5.
In summery Krakow is an amazing place and if anyone gets the chance to go, go, you will not be disappointed. The currency is still the zloty, but euro’s are also accepted. Be warned though, public toilets only take zloty’s and we only had a cash conversion card which was accepted everywhere but meant we had little change so unless using a bar or restaurant toilet it could be an issue if you have no change. This was the most minor issue in what was the most fantastic weekend. City breaks can be amazing but expensive, this was amazing and incredibly good value. Krakow took a big piece of my heart that I will never forget. Loved it……..!
See you all soon.