and residents wrote about
Krakow in 2008.
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/2008-12-27/ Looking forward to Leona Lewis performance on the
central square. I’ve heard that the New Year’s party in Krakow is
the biggest one or almost in Europe.
/2008-12-22/ I was shopping at the
Christmas market in Krakow on the main square. There was an
open-air cafeteria with hot meals so we decided to have an al fresco
lunch. Chewing on my fried sausage I observed a couple of hobos who
circled around the tables. At one point one of them, a woman in her
fifties, poked her finger into the plate of my neighbor at the table
next to mine. And next she snatched the plate full of food barely
touched by its rightful owner when he left it in disgust. It looked
like premeditated attack on the food. Also, I noticed more bums
hanging around. So you’d better watch out when eating out in crowded
Krakow's Christmas market on the central
Rynek Glowny square.
Happy 2009 in Krakow
/2008-12-17/ Last year I tried to book a hotel
room in the city for the New Year in October but it appeared
that all were sold out. This year good hotels
in Krakow are available on the New Year in mid December! Wow, I
will celebrate the start of 2009 in Krakow! I hope it won’t be too
/2008-12-14/ New opera house is good news for lovers of
opera in Krakow. Fingers crossed, there will be more than just
two opera nights per week as now. And it will be easier to get
tickets. On the other hand I will miss the old-fashioned air of the
gilded interior of the Slowackiego Theater where opera classics have
fitted so well.
Redouble the Spirit of Christmas
/2008-12-07/ Parents beware! In Poland kids are entitled to two
visits of Santa Claus every year, first on December 6 and next on
Christmas Eve. True, some purists maintain that he bothers only on
the 6th of December because it’s actually St. Nicholas’ Day, whereas
gifts found under your Christmas tree are delivered by an angel.
City of Christmas
/2008-12-01/ I’m bound for Krakow to spend
in the city with my girlfriend. I’ve heard it boasts to be the world
capital of white Christmas. So we’ll see.
Shopping for Amber
/2008-11-26/ We took a city break in Krakow last weekend, visiting
synagogues of Kazimierz and the Wawel
Castle. When we walked to the Market Square
/Rynek Glowny central square – editors/, I noticed that there
are many shops selling amber in Krakow. We
didn’t have much time but anyway I bought a necklace of pretty large
beads, almost the size of an egg. We want to come back soon and do
/2008-11-16/ I am with my husband who is
disabled in Krakow. We called the salt
museum to plan a visit tomorrow' hearing they adapted to
wheelchairs. The woman in charge told me we could take only tours on
08:00 or 18:00 hours and that in addition to the costs we have to
pay around 290! zloties for the guide, the
cost of a guide to a group of 35 people, although we are a couple
only. We were very much displeased with it and I think it is rather
taking an advantage of the disabled tourist.
Krakow Is a Bargain
/2008-11-12/ At present Krakow and
are cheaper almost by half for foreign visitors (and investors too).
Since the last summer the Polish money,
zloty, has depreciated significantly against practically all major
currencies such as euro, the American dollar, the British pound, the
Swiss franc, and the Japanese yen. For instance, one US dollar is
now worth 2.9 Polish zloties compared to just two zloties as
recently as last August.
Wealth of Polish Music
/2008-10-25/ This year’s 4th Festival of
Polish Music in Krakow takes place from November 9 through
November 16 and features outstanding performers of classical music,
from early to contemporary. Its concert program
– there are one or two concerts every day – includes works by Polish
composers of the world’s renown such as Krzysztof Penderecki and
Henryk Mikolaj Gorecki as well as their less known compatriots. The
festival proves that the Polish music can boast many gems besides
Chopin’s piano pieces.
/2008-10-18/ There are so many tours of Krakow
to choose from that a weekend break isn’t enough to see all
interesting sites. And while visiting the city it would be a waste
to miss a day trip from Krakow to one of the
exceptional tourist destinations in the region. The most popular are
the Wieliczka Salt Mine, Tatra Mountains National Park, and
/2008-10-14/ This year Krakow’s property
market is seemingly tottering. Prices of flats,
galloping over the previous years, have stayed largely arrested
since January by stagnant trade or they have even gone slightly
down. Despite a weakened demand for real estate
in Krakow both developers and potential sellers remained mostly
averse to significant reductions, hoping to ride out the rough time.
At the same time likely buyers look for bargains in anticipation of
falling property prices as an expected abundant supply of new
apartments coincides with economic downturn.
Real estate agents urge to buy property
in Krakow now because prices are set to go up steeply again
sooner or later. On the other hand experts advise investors in the
city’s property market to sell real estate
holdings whenever they want to realize their profits right away.
Not So Good
/2008-10-08/ I’ve heard there are many good
hotels in Krakow. Unfortunately I had bad luck to book a
terrible one. To start with, they boasted a central location while
actually the hotel was situated at 29 Listopada street far away from
the Old City. The call themselves
‘premium’ whereas they are rather substandard in my opinion. Flashy
online presence often masks a disappointing service in real life.
Off Hollywood /
/2008-10-02/ Krakow’s Off Camera festival
of independent cinema takes place in early
October and provides a feast for the eyes of any lover of indie
movies from experimental video to the Sundance stuff. This year the
world’s twelve top indie films compete for the main award of 100,000
euro accompanied by 350 screenings of 120 pictures. The latter
include both new productions and classics by Andy Warhol, Steve
Buscemi, and Dan Sallitt. The festival organizers also take care of
the ears through auxiliary musical events
featuring alternative artists.
/2008-09-19/ I’m coming for the Wisla Krakow
football match with Tottenham, the second lag of the UEFA cup.
We hope there will be no fights whatsoever with supporters of the
Krakow club. I also expect a great show. The first match in London
last Thursday was a closely fought game full of suspense.
Sleep in Peace
/2008-09-06/ Quiet backpacker lodgings
looks like a contradiction in terms. Still I was able to find a cozy
hostel in Krakow in the peak period this
summer. Clean and fairly well equipped place, no bunk bedrooms, is
run by a middle-age couple in the newer part of the Old Town close
to the bus station. On my many travels I’ve learned that it’s always
possible to find a centrally located yet peaceful bed and breakfast
when you really want one.
/2008-09-04/ We were looking for traces of the
Krakow Jewish ghetto that the Nazis had set up in
Podgorze district. Hardly anything has survived but walking
around in the area was an interesting experience. This part of the
city is very different from the Old Town
majority tourists know. Memorial to the ghetto victims on the
square, metal chairs, is rather curious.
/2008-08-28/ National Museum in Krakow
exhibits an interesting show of the late 20th-century art. Works of
Eric Fischl and collages by Andy Warhol are particularly
/2008-08-20/ I cannot live without taking a dip every day or two so
I wanted to find a decent swimming pool in
Krakow. I tried all four open-air public facilities but they
were packed beyond belief. At the same time it looked like all
indoor swimming baths in the city stayed closed for summer.
Flea Markets of
/2008-07-24/ A daily flea market next to Plac Nowy square in
Kazimierz district is a modest affair employing several vendors.
More sellers appear on weekends at a flea market around Hala Targowa
shopping center at Grzegorzecka street. Once or twice a year a
local collectors club organizes a major flea market called Targi
Staroci, i.e. antiques fair, on a square in the
Old Town which event gathers many vendors from Krakow and other
/2008-07-22/ Smoking in Krakow is a tricky
matter. One can smoke even in the best
restaurants but the police may fine you for smoking in the
street near a bus stop.
From Purcell to
/2008-07-14/ Lovers of classical music
should visit Krakow in the second half of
August and in mid September when two time-tested festivals take
place. First, a festival called ‘Music in Old
Krakow ‘, August 15 to August 31, offers older music – from
Purcell to Bartok – performed in the city’s ancient
churches and other historical buildings.
Conversely, later on the Sacrum-Profanum
Festival, stretching over the third week of September with
industrial sites often serving as the venues for concerts, is
devoted to fairly contemporary music. This year it’s the output of
the German modern composers. Interestingly enough, the festival
culminates in the series of three concerts
by Germany’s legend of techno rock, the Kraftwerk band.
/2008-07-05/ When I asked my local friend about
Krakow attractions for a schoolboy he told me about a science
garden opposite the M1 shopping mall. I
took my nine-year-old son there and he was truly thrilled at the
experience. He greatly enjoyed ingeniously crafted and entertaining
experiments that demonstrated the basic laws of physics. They are
real fun and zero classroom routine.
/2008-06-09/ Be warned the hypermarkets in Krakow
don’t provide customers with shopping bags. Today I was surprised
doing shopping in what I believe was a Carrefour in the
shopping mall next to the train station. At the cash desk there
were no plastic or paper shopping bags! When I made a fuss the
cashier girl offered me rather small shopping bags of thin plastic
for 0.60 zloty a piece. I had no choice but to purchase three and
one disintegrated almost immediately under the weight of two bottles
of mineral water!
Good Krakow Job
/2008-05-29/ Your Krakow
Info web site contains so much useful information. Keep up the
Too Much Noise
/2008-05-21/ Yesterday doing widow shopping in the mall next to the
central train station. I left it pretty soon because of noise. This
Krakow shopping mall is probably the noisiest such place I ever
Museums for Free
at the Night
/2008-05-18/ Last Friday night we visited six
museums in Krakow with a single ticket – in the form of a bogus
coin – for as little as one zloty, an
equivalent of 0.35 euro. Plus there were some extra attractions such
as concerts of music. As it turned out, all
Krakow museums are available for next to nothing one night in May
every year. Unfortunately, it isn’t possible to see them all, as
many as they are, on a single night because they close at one a.m.
Also, there are huge crowds at the most popular exhibitions.
/2008-05-12/ I don’t understand why I need to buy another bus ticket
for my suitcase – actually one ticket for every piece of luggage
bigger than a purse – in addition to the regular fare in Krakow.
/2008-05-10/ I’ve found out that the latest edition of the Michelin
red guide, Main Cities of Europe 2008, mentions sixteen
restaurants in Krakow. Namely Ancora at 3 Dominikanska street,
C.K. Dezerter at 6 Bracka, Copernicus at 16 Kanonicza, Culd-de-Sac
at 4 Na Grodku, Cyrano de Bergerac at 26 Slawkowska, Del Papa at 6
Sw. Tomasza, Farina at 16 Sw. Marka, La Fontaine at 1 Slawkowska,
Leonardo at 20 Szpitalna, Miod Malina at 40 Grodzka, Pod Roza at 14
Florianska, Szara at 6 Rynek Glowny, Szara Kazimierz at 39 Szeroka,
Tesoro del Mar at 6 Jozefa, Wierzynek at 15 Rynek Glowny, and Wentzl
at 19 Rynek Glowny. It’s a pity so many good
restaurants in Krakow have been left out. Sure, Krakow is just
one of 41 cities in 20 European countries featured in the Michelin
Left Luggage at
/2008-04-14/ I was said there are no left luggage facilities at the
Krakow airport so I’d need to take my bags with me to the
central train station. Not exactly. I’ve
found luggage lockers situated outside the airport’s terminal, on
the sidewalk opposite the car park.
/2008-04-02/ I’ve found a fine place near the
Krakow royal castle. There is a cafe-bookshop
halfway Kanonicza street, at a nice
piazza opening to a splendid baroque church.
It’s fairly roomy with bookshelves supplied well enough to satisfy
almost everybody’s appetite for reading and quiet enough to have a
rest over a cup of coffee.
/2008-03-10/ I’m guilty of talking my friends into visiting
Schindler’s Factory. I wanted so much to see the place immortalized
in Steven Spielberg’s movie ‘Schndler’s List’! I watched the picture
several times in recent years, always deeply moved. No wonder being
eventually in the city I insisted on a jaunt to Schindler’s Factory
at the expense other attractions of Krakow.
My friends gave in at last. Because the site seemed nowhere near any
bus or tram stop we took a taxi. It was
total waste of time and money! The factory
is just a boring building in the midst of a vast industrial
wasteland of similar dirty plants. I had heard that there had been a
small museum but the site was off limits to visitors due to
extensive renovation works evidently under way. A young man, who was
passing by, told us the factory underwent refurbishment and it would
open as a museum in a few years.
Less Crowded Sky
/2008-02-26/ Hello Mickey. The air connection
with Budapest isn’t the only one missing in the Krakow airport’s
timetable. There are noticeably fewer flights
to and from Krakow and fewer destinations than last year. I’ve
learned that one major local carrier, SkyEurope, abandoned its all
links with Krakow. Hopefully it’ll be
better with the arrival of high tourist season.
No Fly Fright
/2008-02-25/ I’d like to travel to Krakow
again from Budapest on my May visit to eastern Europe (the Czech
Republic plus Hungary and Poland). I’m
surprised that no carrier flies any longer to the
Krakow airport from Budapest as they used to a year ago. Now I
have to make hard choice – should I take a six-hour
train journey or should I skip Krakow altogether this time
The Best Museums
/2008-02-17/ I don’t agree with your ranking of
on the best of Krakow web page. In my opinion
The Royal Castle beats The Czartoryskis Museum. And I wonder why
Archdiocesan Museum is missing among the top ten.
/2008-02-10/ Crisscrossing the city on business – to take advantage
of Krakow’s buoyant real estate market I
was doing viewings of various properties
looking for three-bedroom flats – I couldn’t
rely on public transport so traveled a
lot by taxi. I noticed that fares varied widely from ride to ride
despite similar distance. Once on return from remote part of the
city I was charged almost twice the original fare I had paid to get
there. I’ve learned that each taxi driver in
has his own fares and you should ask in advance how much it’ll be
(fleets probably charge less).
/2008-01-07/ Krakow has turned out to be so nice city that we have
overstayed New Year’s Day without much remorse. Also, with holiday
visitors gone and the tourist season at its low ebb, we have been
able to keep our Krakow hotel room at a
reduced rate. Most we enjoy the ancient
of the old town and the fact that Christmas is still on all around
in the city – decorations, glittering trees, carols,
nativity scenes, etc. On evenings we indulge in a
spree, shame on us!, as shopping centers in
Krakow stay open till 10 p.m., even on weekends, and massive
winter sales have just started.
See entries to the Krakow blog in 2007