The Royal Capital City of Kraków

Having been influenced by the Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque architecture Kraków is place worth visiting. This city is filled with much great history stretching a lot further than what many people know this place for; the very horrifying time when Nazi Germany occupied Kraków in the WWII and operated the KL Auschwitz in Oświęcim. Subscribe: Click on Newsletter (here) and enter your email address.

KRAKÓW. Somehow so far I have been visiting all second largest cities in a country, and so is Kraków in Poland. It’s origins is in the 7th century and is located in the South of Poland on the Vistula River.

With 800’000 it’s charming old town is a place to see, but generally speaking most European Old Towns are quite similar
+ restaurants, cafes and very cheap
+ rich in history, closeness of attractions and since it’s very touristy – English isn’t a problem
– many tourists

Recommendations:
I did everything on foot. It’s easy to navigate through the city using the old town as a reference.

The Kraków old town and Wieliczka and Bochia Royal Salt Mines are listed as UNESCO sites since 1978, Auschwitz Birkenau listed since 1979.


Where is this place?


How did I get here?

The best option coming from Košice was by Flixbus (oh yes again). The travel time was 4,5 hours (19EUR) .
+ WIFI; perfect to write these kind of blog posts, to book accommodation and to get ready for the upcoming destination, clean
+ even saw SNOW driving through the Carpathian Mountains

Recommendations:
Flixbus is a very easy way to get around Europe. Recommended.


What did I do here?

There are super many tourists here, surprisingly many British (and many of them quite intoxicated) so the old town was very full, a a visit to Auschwitz was filled with buses, I didn’t get any tickets to the Wieliczka nor the Bochnia salt mines, nor to the Schindler’s Enamel Factory (most known for in the movie of Schindlers List); it was a rainy day and what else better to do than activities indoors – good thing was for my budget.

I met up with Elsie from Singapore and could enjoy some Laksa at Nago Sushi, and met Angelika from Poland and Kaltra from Albania and had a fantastic time. Thanks for making my trip an experience to remember!

Recommendations:
a. Visit the Hevre Bar in the jewish quaters
b. Even though I have not been there go to the Wieliczka (bigger) or Bochnia (smaller) salt mines. Actually last year when visiting Bogota, Colombia I went into a similar salt mine with a cathedral in it and they mentioned to me that there are only 3 in the world: One in Colombia and two in Poland. And these are the two others. Great experience. Go there – just book tickets in advance and you can take the bus/train there instead of a tour.


Auschwitz – Birkenau in Oświęcim

Uninmaginable things happend here:
In the years 1940-1945, the nazis deported at least 1’300’000 people to Auschwitz:
1’000’000 Jews, 140’000-150’000 Poles, 23’000 Roma/Gypsies, 15’000 Soviet Prisoners of War, 25’000 Prisons of other etchnic groups

1’100’000 of these people died in Auschwitz (90% were jews) and most were murdered in gas chambers, tortured or experimented on.

Walking down the roads of the concentration camp and the museum gave me complete chills: feeling the horrors of those days, the gruesome acts carried out there and the size of the concentration and extermination camps. There were many more of them of over 40, however this the biggest. To show you a glimpse of the size of it the below video shows it:


Where did I stay?

I stayed at Dizzy Daisy Downtown Hostel in the north of the old town.
+ Quiet area, better than the southern part
+ Pricing, free laundry service
– guests are rather dirty and leaving a mess around
– noise levels of the guests waking me up in the very early mornings every day (dorm rooms)

Recommendation:
The reviews look amazing, but if you’re more into really clean places then I would recommend spending a few dollars more in getting something where not all the ‘cheapskates’ are.

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