Krakow, Poland was unlike anywhere else I have been. It had old world charm but it was dirty and by dirty, I don't mean trashy like NYC of Nola, I mean literally dirty, as in dirt and dust on pretty buildings. Also it was pretty cheap. We would eat fancy meals (couple glasses of wine, maybe an appetizer, dinner and dessert) from nice restaurants for 3o bucks a piece, even cheaper than Prague.
We saw the Old Town Square -- the largest in Europe, Wawel Castle, and the Jewish Getto. We also went to a Jewish museum and then of course Auschwitz (which I will talk about on a different day)
Here are some pictures of our adventures in Krakow. Wait scratch that, my computer won't cooperate so pictures will come another day.
quick facts about my trip to Krakow
- surprisingly, our best meal of the trip came from Krakow. I had duck with a cherry sauce, veggies and a potato dish, wine and apple strudle for dessert (best apple pie/cake/strudle i have ever had!)
-there was a cool store that had different flavor infused vodkas in big glass containers on a wall. You picked out a bottle and they filled it for you. It was a neat "happy" to bring back to my friends --- I brought that and a bottle of wine so we could all have a little one night, easy way to get a gift for several people.
-it rained a lot but it seemed appropriate since the president had died and the country was in mourning with candles and walks around the city and flowers.
-we ate a traditional Jewish meal in the jewish quarter and I tried polish dumplings one day for lunch
-Polish people were quite friendly, very welcoming of Americans unlike some europeans
Here's the deal. If you are going on one trip to Europe and want to see the highlights, I would not suggest Krakow. There are more important places to see in europe. If you want off the beaten path --but still a city so there is enough to see and do OR if you like to see WW2/holocaust sites, this city is for you. Also, if you are making your 3rd/4th european trip, you might want to add Krakow in. I enjoyed it. I like saying I have gone to Poland. I feel I have seen a part of Europe most haven't. I feel like Poland is authentic, not too touristy. I enjoy learning about WW2 history, so It was important for me to see Auschwitz. However I was surprised by the fact that Krakow was an enjoyable city, not just a pit stop on the way to the concentration camp. I actually liked our time there. But, as I go back to europe, I will likely not go back to Krakow. Unlike Paris, Florence, Prague, etc, it was a one time place.