Things to do in Krakow, Poland

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Things to do in Krakow, Poland

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Joined 2014-10-02

Hi,
I would like to visit Krakow on November any recommendtion?? Tours company to visit Auschwitz and Salt Mine?

Regards

     
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Don’t bother with a tour to get to Auschwitz; the public bus is regular and stops right outside. The guidebook I had said that we’d have to work out where to get off and walk a little way, but things have changed and the bus was set up for tourists with English signs and convenient drop off, pick up and there’s a bus for the short journey between Auschitz and Birkenau. If I recall entry is free, but you can buy an audio guide or buy a cheap guidebook which is very informative. Auschitz has a lot more information, but the sheer scale of Birkenau is horrifically moving.

We also got the public bus to the Salt Mines, which was again a straightforward and convenient service. But you have to buy a tour of the mines, which entailed a bit of a queue for tickets and a wait for the tour as it was very busy. If I recall we decided that a tour from town with a tour bus wasn’t much more expensive and would have saved waiting around.

If you’re looking for somewhere friendly and sociable to stay, then you can’t go far wrong with Greg & Tom Hostel. It’s really close to the train station (There’s convenient train service from the airport and the bus station is just behind this too). They have different social nights most evenings and good communal areas. We visited as a couple and enjoyed their apartment up the street. There’s a supermarket nearby as well as a food market and you’re only a short walk from the old town.

I highly recommend you try the local dish, Perogi (like ravioli). This makes a great budget meal and the best place we found to try it is a quirky cafe… Zapiecek. Polskie Pierogarnie at Sławkowska 32
31-015 Kraków.

     
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Thank you for quick reply.
I`m interesting to book some a private transfer to get there. I found http://www.krakowdiscovery.com and http://www.krakowtrip.co.uk company. They organize a group tours and price is acceptable from me.

I would like to visit Wawel castle, Kazimierz district and Jewish getto.

Thank you for recommendation dumplings i would like to try grin I heard something about mushroom soup, tomato soup and stuffed cabbage with meat.

     
Avatar for mapsandmoxie
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Joined 2014-10-25

Krakòw is fantastic! Easily one of my (many) favourite cities.  I’ll second the previous post - you can easily do Auschwitz and the Salt Mines from the city itself, without needing to book a private transfer or tour group. 

Auschwitz is not free, and unless you’re there before 10 am, you will have to join a tour - but it is not too expensive and completely worth it as you get a lot of information.  It was one of the most emotionally challenging days I’ve yet to experience while on the road. 

I don’t know that hostel, but there are a number of good hostels in Krakòw that are cheap and easy to get to.

Pierogis are definitely a must! There are several good local cafeteria style shops that your hostel can probably recommend to you if you ask.  You should also be sure to try kompot!

The free walking tours (tip based) will take you to the jewish district and give you quite a bit of information about the city and are worth joining.  Wawel castle can be walked to, easily, and I would recommend visiting Schindler’s factory if you’re interested in history, but to skip the Pharmacy.  If you do the walking tours first, ask for a map and talk to the guides as they will often be able to provide local tips on places to check out and the maps often give you discounts on places outside the main square which has a lot of over-priced restaurants.  There is a pub in Kazmiriez (sp?) that is fashioned like an apothecary and quite interesting as well. it’s the nightlife district if you’re looking for it. 

Hope that helps.

     
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Many thank`s for info.

     
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mapsandmoxie - 25 October 2014 12:58 PM

...Auschwitz is not free, and unless you’re there before 10 am, you will have to join a tour…

I was intrigued by this as I recall not being charged and definitely didn’t use a tour, so I wondered if things had changed since I was there (in 2008 I think).  Having looked at their website I’ve realised that we were fortunate to be visiting Krakow and Auschwitz in November. As you describe “The entry to the Auschwitz I site will be exclusively on a guided, group basis from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. during the period from April 1 to October 31, 2014”, but from November to March “Admission to the grounds of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial is free of charge. The fees are charged for engaging a guide.”

For more info you can find it at http://en.auschwitz.org/z/

I’m sure you receive a lot of information on a tour, but we found it very moving to take our time and see areas while they were quieter rather than being dragged round at a pace (with a bunch of people who many seemed to show no respect for the sensitivity of the place; messing around and ignoring the ‘no photography’ rules).

     
Avatar for Vicky
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I went in 2010 and had a guide. One of my ‘fellow tourists’ started kicking off at him and challenging him about Israel and what Jewish people were doing over there, and didn’t he feel guilty… and that they were the worst and deserved it… it was awful and awkward. Totally not the place. The guide was not expecting that one – he dealt with it well though.

     
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I was at Auschwitz in Jan so didn’t have to go with a tour, was worth seeing and needs a full day

My parents have recently been and visited schindlers factory

Whilst I was there i did a day trip to the Tatras and spent the day skiing organised by the small but awesome hostel i stayed at (ARS hostel)

     
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Didn’t realize it was season-specific, guess I should’ve double-checked the site, sorry. 

I was happy to have done the tour (and I very rarely do tours), but my group was very respectful which I’m sure makes a big difference, and you can go back and spend as much time as you’d like exploring after the tour was complete.  It takes 3 hours for the tour alone, and it didn’t feel too rushed to me. 

I’m going to second the High Tatras.  I hiked to the top of Mt. Krivan which was close to Strebse Pleso on the Slovakia side (it overlooks both the polish and slovakian mountains), and it was one of the highlights of my travels to date.  I would kill to hit those slopes in the winter.  Heard they’re just as good from Zakopane which is quite close to Krakow.

     
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I’m back from Poland week ago and it was very good time for us. I used krakowdiscovery.com to go to Auschwitz camp. Slawek owner was my driver also a guide in Krakow. He told us a lot of hisory about Krakow. I high recommend this company. Krakow is a lovely city cool smile