Visit Krakow & the Old Town – Part 1

Visit Krakow & the Old Town – Part 1

Our last trip was a short while ago in October. At that time we spent a terrific couple of weeks travelling in Northern and Southern Ireland, and if you missed that post you can check it out here.

This series of posts follows our recent trip to Krakow in Poland and has plenty of links to the various places we visited.

There seems little point me re-writing and repeating much of what is already available online, so what this series of posts does is provide a little information on where we went supported by plenty of pictures from our visit.

So whether or not you have been to Krakow or it’s on your destination list, a scan through the picture galleries might just be of interest.

Heading for Poland

Although I had been to Poland a couple of times before it had been when I was on motorcycling trips and when travelling on my own.

I had previously stayed in Zielona Gora and  Bielsko-Biała some 250 and 300 miles away from Krakow respectively.  Motorcycling trips on my own are a very different sort of trip than one like this with my wife, they really are more about the journey than the destination.  If hats the sort of thing that floats your boat head over to the motorbike blog to read about that trip (and plenty of others across Europe and the UK).

Why Krakow

One of the reasons we decided to head for Krakow was that we were keen to visit Oswiecim or as the town is better known by the German name of Auschwitz.

We felt a visit there would sort of complete or add to some previous experiences,  that have included visiting Berlin and the Holocaust Memorial and the court house in Nuremburg  in 2020.

Prior to that we had visited the Jewish Museum in Vienna, the Resistance Museum in Amsterdam and the concentration camp at Dachau

Any one of those visits provides an insight into what extreme acts of brutality, disregard, disrespect and utter horror of humans are capable of and none of us should ever forget that.

But aside from the visit to Auschwitz, Krakow has plenty going for it and it’s is a pretty accessible sort of a place to get to with a flight time of around 2 hours and 40 minutes or so. In particular it is well known for its UNESCO listed Old Town area.

We had found a decent deal with Jet 2 and booked a hotel just about 100m metres or so from the main square – Rynek Glowny.

The fight was routine and ran perfectly to time, and to be fair it was a journey helped along by first class service from the Jet 2 staff and time spent chatting with a really decent young man called Reece who sat next to us on the flight out and who was travelling with a group from the Oldham Youth Council.

Heading into Krakow

Once we had collected our luggage we took the short train ride into the city from the John Paul II International Airport – a journey of only 20 minutes or so and on a train that ran perfectly to time.

Once off the train at Krakow Glowny we made out way to our hotel on foot. Had we walked by the most direct route it would have been about 1km but it was probably about double that by the time we had made our way there.

Picture gallery 1

Clicking on any of the images below will open a photo gallery that can be clicked or scrolled through. These pictures are from the trip out and the walk to our accommodation.

Getting our bearings

After checking in at the hotel we headed off out almost straight away and certainly before we unpacked.

We had a wander around the square, grabbed a bite to eat from a side street takeaway and then headed for a couple of beers at the Hard Rock Cafe in Rynek Glowny

Day two – visit to Schindlers Factory

We had decided that we would visit Oskar Schindlers factory, the most direct route was less than two miles, but as were in no rush we ambled our way there, generally enjoying the sights and sounds of the Old Town before leaving the town walls behind us and heading towards the Vistula River and onto the old factory.

There seems little point me rewriting in detail about the factory given there is so much information readily available online – this link will take you to the official web site of the factory, and this link to the Wikipedia entry.

I would say that it’s definitely worth visiting – and probably best to aim to get there early in the day if at all possible …it gets busy.

We enjoyed our walk, which included looking at the empty chairs memorial in the Jewish Ghetto, a drink and a bite to eat in a quirky cafe there and then a decent evening meal later on in the Old Town. All in all it had been a decent first day.

Picture gallery 2

Clicking on any of the images below will open a photo gallery that can be clicked or scrolled through.

In Part 2

Part 2 has more pictures from wandering around the Old Town as well as infomration and pictures from our visit to the incredible Wielicza Salt Mines –  check out Part 2 here


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