We had a recent trip away to Krakow, as you might have seen in a few of the posts that I have shared. But we had such a good time, that not only have I shared the food that we ate, but the things that we did. If you are are thinking about going, or wondering why you should go, then you sound a little like me. I thought it was a bit of a random destination and didn’t really know what to expect. It kept ranking on ‘top European city’ lists, so I knew we’d have a good time.
So I just thought I would share a few of the reasons why I think a trip to Krakow needs to be on the cards, and why you should take the trip over to Poland.
Value for Money / Good Exchange Rate
I wasn’t aware that Poland had its own currency until we started planning the trip; I just presumed that they use Euros. The good news is that the Polish Zloty still has a good exchange rate compared to the pound, which is way better than the Euro at the moment. So it made things like food really affordable and even cheap. A main meal at a restaurant was the equivalent of about £5, if that. We rented an Airbnb for our trip, and that was a luxury modern apartment, but it was only around £40 a night, in a great location too. So if you are looking for a place that can be done quite cheaply, then Krakow (or Poland in general), is the one.
I love UK architecture and pretty buildings. But I think there is something really special about architecture in Eastern Europe. If you have ever been to somewhere like Prague, then you will know what I am talking about. Krakow has some amazing looking buildings, especially in the main square. And compared to other parts of Poland, it isn’t filled with concrete retro buildings.
The history and things that have happened in the city (and country of Poland) is really rich. Krakow had some prominence in the second World War, with Auschwitz being close by. There is a large Jewish quarter as part of the city too, and there is a lot of history around it and you can learn all about what happened there. The Schindler’s Museum is another place to learn all about what happened in the city, especially in the Jewish quarter.
If you’re anything like me you might think that Polish food is quite bland; a lot of meat and potatoes, which is never a good thing when you’re a vegetarian. But I couldn’t have been more wrong! There are some amazing Polish restaurants and the food was really delicious. If you’re after something a little different, then there is a lot of typical Israeli food in the Jewish quarter, which was amazing too. So you have plenty of choice, and it all tasted good to me!
Well, I say good weather as we went in summer. In winter, of course, there is the chance of snow, and quite a lot of it. But in summer it gets hotter than it does here in the UK, which is great if you are wanting to walk around the city, chill in the park, and take it all in.
No wonder why the architecture of Poland is so unique. Historical events had a strong influence on this. And many buildings were built during the Second World War. Actually, architecture is a fantastic thing. It’s not just buildings. It embodies the culture of the people and its past.
And also, architecture can point to time problems. For example, we care a lot about our carbon footprint now. And this is reflected in the architecture of cities: https://portella.com/blog/how-does-architecture-impact-society/.