- Culture, history, and food. An incredible yet short journey in one of my favorite cities!
- Extremely inexpensive, good for families, friends, and solo backpackers. There is something for everyone here!
- Cooking class is a must!
- Woodpecker Hostel
- One of my favorite hostels! It is very small but nearly everyone was travelling solo. There are plenty of people who want to explore history and plenty who want to go out to the bars.
- Lots of hostel activities. GREAT location
- Dorothy’s Kitchen
- Traditional polish food – everything is delicious
- 24 hour pierogi place. It is a must!!
- House of Beer
- A good beer bar + bar food + good environment
- Milkbar Tomasza
- Pierogi Cooking Class
- Learn polish and get ingredients from local farmers market. Make pierogis and have desserts at local chef’s apt.
- Jewish District
- Salt Mines (didn’t do personally but heard good things)
- Allow a full day. Emotionally taxing yet very important to visit. Refer to Day 4 for tips/advice on travel.
- Clocktower Museum in downtown historical district
- You only need cash if you want to buy the delicious pretzels that are sold on the street. Otherwise, card is accepted everywhere.
Day 1: Flew into the airport and took a public bus to my hostel. The public transportation is very cheap and reliable in the city. I recommend using it exclusively. Once I arrived in the city I mingled with my dorm mates and we went to Dorothy’s Kitchen for dinner + drinks. An excellent place in the Jewish district. The walk from the hostel to the Jewish District is beautiful as you make your way through the city center. For dinner I recommend the goulash and potato pancakes.
Day 2: My favorite day in Poland! I woke up early and headed to the north side of town where I met my cooking instructor for my Pierogi cooking class. Me along with one other tourist signed up for a half day cooking experience. First, our instructor provided us a grocery list with everything we needed to make Pierogis. She helped us pronounce the ingredients in Polish and how to say “please” and “thank you”. We shopped for our food in the local market which is very popular! It’s a huge area with locals selling what they have made – an authentic, local experience. In addition to getting ingredients for lunch, we bought multiple traditional desserts, too! We then walked over to our chef’s apartment where we seamlessly were taught how to make Pierogis. We tried local beer, talked about life in Poland, and ate delicious Pierogis. Afterwards our instructor gave us the recipe and recommended other places to see in the city. Truly a wonderful experience. After the class I toured around the Jewish District and browsed through the flea markets. I slowly made my way to the city center and toured the old clocktower which was very neat. The top of the museum overlooks the city center and the view were stunning. I additionally visited the Pharmacy museum – interesting, but not as spectacular as other alchemy museums in Europe. That night I had drinks and dinner with hostel mates and went to House of Beer which was a fun way to end the night.
Day 3: In traditional Polish fashion I had Pierogis for breakfast from Przypiecek which were incredible ( I went here many times over the course of a few days). I spent the day just exploring the historical district and shopping through the markets. It was a casual time but rather relaxing. I also ended up leading a Pierogi cooking class at the hostel I stayed at. It was a very busy and fun day!
Day 4: I woke up very early and headed to the bus station to go to Aushwitz. My biggest advice is to book transportation there and back, preferably the train (you can buy tickets on the train). I made the mistake of booking a private coach to Aushwitz and then not booking a ride home. I ended up having to walk along the highway until I found a train station after visiting Aushwitz. I do not recommend this method. Anyway, my other advice is to buy tickets in advance and buy an early time. You have to go with a tour guide and if for some odd reason you don’t have to, you really need to book an in-person tour. It is a full day of very mentally exhausting information, however it was important that I visited, and the journey is easiest with a tour guide. I don’t need to elaborate on my experience, but I highly recommend that you visit if you are able.
Day 5: I spent my last few hours in Krakow touring St. Mary’s Basilica (worth it, my favorite church in Europe) and walked through the markets and Jewish District one more time. Again, took the bus back to the airport for a seamless transit ride.
#cookingclass #pierogi #authenticfood #history #hostel #solo