Friday, April 6, 2018

Europe (2017): 3D2N in Krakow, Poland


After experiencing more than 8 hours in the overnight sleeper train from Prague, the train finally arrived in Krakow Glowny, the Central Train Station in Krakow. The first thing I done right after I came out from the train station is directly look for the hostel I booked beforehand. One thing I love about Krakow is the train station and the old town are located just side by side, without have to travel far away. 

2017 Europe Krakow Glowny

THE HOSTEL I STAYED IN KRAKOW
One World Hostel is where I stayed when I was in Krakow for 2 days. Location wise, it's exceptionally strategic as the train station and old town are just few distance away. As it was still early morning by the time I check-in, my bed wasn't ready yet but the kind and helpful hostel receptionist allowed me to take a bath - imagine I didn't bath for more than a day. And the best part, the hostel serves free breakfast for all the in-house guests. 

2017 Europe Krakow One World Hostel

Date Stayed: 17 September to 19 September 2017 (2 nights)
Room Rate: RM55.00 per night for a bed in 8-mixed dormitory room (Booked via Agoda)

On my first day in Krakow, practically I didn't do nothing much cause I need to do my laundry. Unfortunately this hostel doesn't have any dryer and plus, there is no space for me to dry my clothes even after using the washing machine. Therefore, the hostel receptionist suggested me to go to Frania Cafe, where I can eat, drink and surf the net while waiting for the laundry to be complete. 

2017 Europe Krakow Laundry Cafe

In case you are wondering, Poland is not using Euro currency and it has its own national currency - Polish zloty. The advise I got from he hostel receptionist is to change in the mall, which is not far away from the hostel in order to get a better rate. For €100 = PLN 423.50 by the time I changed. I spent like almost 3 hours in the cafe and right after I done, I went back to the hostel. It was raining heavily too and therefore, I decided to spend my first day in Krawow by venturing around the mall instead. 

2017 Europe Krakow Galeria Krakowska

Rise and shine! The thing I'm looking forward on the second day in Krakow is the hostel free breakfast. It might look simple and basic, but for me, I am grateful for the breakfast I had cause each and every meal in Europe is relatively pricey. While having breakfast, I met a new friend - a Taiwanese lady who is currently living and working in Hawaii. We chatted plenty of things as both of us share the same passion - travelling and we're even discussing where our next upcoming trips. 

PLACES TO GO & SEE IN KRAKOW
Here are few popular sights and attractions I managed to cover when in Krakow:

1) Main Square - Situated in Old Town, it is the largest medieval market square in Europe and it's surrounded by historic townhouses and churches. The center of the square is dominated by Cloth Hall with Adam Mickiewicz Monument standing right in front. Rising above the square are the Gothic towers of St. Mary's Basilica and free standing Town Hall Tower behind. Here, you can find plenty of restaurants and cafes and if you are hunting for gifts and souvenirs, this is the place you should go.

2017 Europe Krakow 01 Cloth Hall (Sukiennice)
Cloth Hall (Sukiennice) with Adam Mickiewicz Monument standing right in front

2017 Europe Krakow 02 Main Market Square
Dozens of stalls selling lacework, wood carvings, jewellery, cloth handicrafts and all sorts of Polish souvenirs and trinkets for a reasonable price in Cloth Hall. It opens year-round from 9am to 8pm

2017 Europe Krakow 03 St. Mary's Basilica
Gothic towers of St. Mary's Basilica

2017 Europe Krakow Obwarzanek
Obwarzanki krakowskie, a bagel-like pretzel-like is one of Krakow's staple street food. 

Getting To Main Square:
Less than 10 minutes walk from Krakow Glowny.

2) Saints Peter and Paul Church - Initially it's not part of my list to visit this but I was fond of its picturesque street - Kanonicza. Saints Peter and Paul church is the first structure in Krakow designed entirely in the Baroque style and it's the biggest of the historic churches of Krakow in terms of seating capacity. 

2017 Europe Krakow 04 Saints Peter and Paul Church
Known best for the statues of the 12 disciples lining the fence at the front

2017 Europe Krakow


2017 Europe Krakow 07 Kanonicza
Kanonicza - Krakow's arguably most scenic street 

3) Wawel Hill - South of the Old Town, this prominent mount is crowned with a castle containing a cathedral, both of which are enduring symbols of Poland. The main highlights here are Wawel Castle, Wawel Cathedral and Dragon's Den but for someone like me who don't have any interest in history, I just wandering around. 

2017 Europe Krakow 05-1 Wawel Cathedral

2017 Europe Krakow 05 Wawel Cathedral

2017 Europe Krakow 05 Fire Breathing Dragon
Fire-spitting bronze dragon at the bottom of Wawel Hill

4) Kazimierz - Once a former Jewish quarter, today it has becomes Krakow's most exciting district - a bustling, bohemian neighbourhood packed with historical sites, atmospheric cafes and art galleries.

2017 Europe Krakow 06 Krakow Kazimierz The Former Jewish District

2017 Europe Krakow 06-1 Krakow Kazimierz The Former Jewish District

2017 Europe Krakow 06-2 Krakow Kazimierz The Former Jewish District

GET AROUND KRAKOW
Most of the attractions are within easy walking distance of one another, depending on your level of fitness. If you aren't fit enough, don't worry as Krakow is covered by an extensive network of public transportation consisting of bus and tram system which runs from 5am to 11pm. It's best to download Jakdojade apps for route directions as I found Google maps wasn't helpful enough. 

2017 Europe Krakow Tram

Remember to purchase tickets from the handy ticket machines or kiosks at major stops, on-board most trams and buses, or from the driver immediately on boarding in case there is no ticket machine. Note that the ticket machines at stops take bills and bank cards, but most of those on board trams and buses take coins only, so always ready with small change. 

2017 Europe Krakow Tram Ticket

The cheapest fare at a cost of PLN 2.80 for 20 minutes journey and you are allow to change between the tram or bus lines within the allotted time. Most importantly, punch or stamp your ticket immediately in the validation machine. This is because the inspectors regularly travel on the lines handling out costly fines to those without valid tickets and are notoriously unsympathetic especially towards the tourists. When you being caught, the fines are significant high (PLN 150 and above) and a hassle.

TOTAL DAMAGES IN KRAKOW
Here are the breakdown of the expenses I spent for 3 days 2 nights in Krakow:
PARTICULARS
AMOUNT
PLN
RM
Accommodation
One World Hostel – 2 nights

Transportation
Trams – 3 rides

Food & Beverages

Others
Souvenirs – magnets, postcards, stamps
Laundry  

91.20


8.40

90.23


95.92
21.00

110


10

109


116
25

TOTAL
370
Exchange rate: €100 (RM512) = PLN423.50 on average 

Is 3D2N sufficient enough to visit Krakow? Absolutely no! How I wish I could stay longer in this charming and colourful city - ideally to stay 4D3N at least, if not due to time constraint. There are plenty of things to explore and sightseeing in this Poland's second largest city apparently, such as a day trip to Auschwitz Concentration Camp and Wieliczka Salt Mine.

2017 Europe Krakow Footprint
Goodbye Krakow! Next, Warsaw!

Previous Posts on my 2017 Solo Trip to Europe

4 comments:

  1. The breakfast offered by hostel quite many choices, not bad.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Ah Kraków! Understated but charming

    ReplyDelete
  3. The quaint streets and beautiful buildings are great. I must remember to look for free breakfast meals at the hotels in Europe.

    ReplyDelete

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