After a great week in Prague, it was time to move on to a country I have always wanted to go to (largely because of the food!): Poland. We boarded another great night train headed for Krakow, in the southwest of Poland. Although Warsaw is the capital, Krakow is known for being the cultural center of the country, and we certainly found that!
When the Nazis came into Poland in WWII, Krakow became the headquarters for their government in Poland. It became a showpiece, and was largely spared by war, where Warsaw was leveled. As a result, it is a city filled with beautiful architecture and a very compact and delightful old center.
Although we did not heed this advice completely ourselves, Krakow has really great budget options for activities and food that make it a great budgeteer travel destination. The city is full of "Milk Bars", low cost cafeteria style restaurants, and several of the museums have free days. With a little work, it would be easy to go super low budget and have a great time.
Here were our favorite sights and activities in Krakow:
|Schindler's Holocaust Museum|
- Chopin concert: My favorite composer is Frederik Chopin, and what a treat to find out that he's Polish and that its super easy to find a plethora of concerts to hear his music in Krakow. We chose a concert in a historic building on the Main Square and had a great evening, as the youngest listeners in the room by at least 30 years (other than the fantastic 24 year old pianist!).
|Sipping mulled wine on the Square|
- Contemporary Art Museum: Next to Schindler's Holocaust Museum is the Museum of Contemporary Art, located in another of Schindler's factory buildings. We're not big contemporary art fans, and much of the art here is super weird, but visit on their free day to get another dose of culture. We were hoping for more art addressing the history of the Nazis and then Soviets in Poland, but it was not to be. I recommend the museum if you're a big contemporary art lover, or if you go on Tuesdays, when its free.
- Bona Cafe and Bookstore: our favorite square-side cafe in Krakow, in the shadow of two beautiful churches, in the ambiance of classical music buskers, with delicious cappuccinos at great prices. The perfect spot for a sunny afternoon!
|Enjoying a cappuccino at Bona Cafe|
Final Costs for Poland: $841 for 8 days (average per day: $105)
Accommodations: $51 per night (in a beautiful apartment)
Transit: $4 per day
Food: $33 per day
Other: $18 per day
For more photos of our week in Krakow, see our Flickr set: