Krakow & Poland

This page is in both english unionjack and italian version. You will find info about Krakow, Warsaw, Gdansk, Poznan and Wroclaw

Questa pagina ha anche una versione italiana italy  Ci trovi info su Cracovia, Varsavia, Danzica, Poznan e Wroclaw (Breslavia)

General information about Poland

vodka-Climate in Poland is oceanic in the north and west and becomes gradually warmer and continental towards the south and east. Summers are generally warm, winters are rather cold.

-Moving around Poland can be very cheap. Hitchhike is very possible and common, also blablacar is working well. If you don’t feel like sharing a car with someone else, then Polskibus is the best option. Good prices available from this company with many polish destination (and some international: Prague, Bratislava…)

-Go Local! Eat very cheap in one of the many ‘bistro’ spread all over the main cities, they have very convenient prices and quality of food is more than decent. If you want an original polish experience than find a Milk bars (bar mleczny ), it attracts students and senior citizens, because of the low prices (soup and the main course together may cost as little as 10.00 zł). Menu is only in polish, go easy and choose Pierogi. Even if you can afford more expensive meals, milk bars are interesting because they offer somewhat a view of recent past life in Poland. Drink polish vodka, here is where the original vodka was born. There are Wodka bars where for a cheap price (4 Zloty-1Euro) you  can enjoy a pleasant atmosphere, drinking and eating small appetizers.

Open-air festivals during summertime:

OPEN’ER FESTIVAL (Festival, Electro, Rock, Alternative) Gdynia, Poland July
Sonisphere Festival Poland – Warsaw July
Woodstock Festival Poland – Kostrzyn
Off festival and Tauron Nowa Muzyka Festival – Katowice July and August

Polish people are very proud of both their nation and former pope Karol Wojtyla. Showing a bit of knowledge of the local language, history and habits will dramatically increase the opportunity to make a good friend among locals


krakowsquareKrakow is one of the most popular tourist destination in Poland and one of the most in central-east Europe, its historic centre belongs to the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites. You will fall in love with Krakow, a lively city, full of character, suitable for both a cultural visit and an active nightlife.

italy Cracovia è la destinazione turistica più popolare in Polonia ed Europa centro-orientale, il suo centro storico fa parte della lista UNESCO del Patrimonio dell’Umanità. E’ facile innamorarsi di Cracovia, una città vivace, piena di carattere, adatta sia per una visita culturale sia per una vita notturna attiva.
Act like a local!

zapiekankaOld town is wonderful and romantic but is a tourist traps too, I’d rather suggest to visit 2 authentic districts: Kazimierz and its vibrant and intense nightlife for an authentic good time and Podgorze, on the southern side of the river Wisla, with its concept stores and cheap bar and restaurants.

– Local and cheap food: after a long drinking night try there also the most popular street foods in Krakow, zapiekanka, a large open-faced baguette with baked toppings (traditionally cheese and mushrooms) and a lot of condiments like ketchup or garlic sauce). If you visit Poland and Krakow you shouldn’t miss a lunch at Milk bars (bar mleczny ). It attracts many students and elderly citizens, because of the low prices (soup and the main course together may cost as little as 10.00 zł) but nowadays is getting popular among tourists too.  
– Drink polish vodka, here is where the original vodka was born. There are several Wodka bars where for a cheap price you  can enjoy a pleasant atmosphere, drinking and eating small appetizers. Wodka bars are the polish version of spanish tapas bars 🙂 
– Watch a football game. There are two city clubs in Krakow, Cracovia Kraków  and Wisła Kraków, both have recently finished new stadiums located on two sides of Błonia park. There are ticket discounts for women, school kids and students aged under 26. However, do not display any team colors, jerseys as their fans hate each other and you don’t want to get involved in a trouble, do you? More info can be found here

– BIO and Organic food?Every saturday morning (8-13) and wednesday noon (14-18) there is a BIO market, only with local products, in Podgorze, not far from the centre.

-Need some relax? Walk around the Planty, the park that surrounds the entire Old Town, sunbath on the banks of the Vistula river

italy Comportati come uno del posto

krakowsquare-Il centro storico è meraviglioso e romantico, ma è una trappola per turisti. Visita il quartiere Kazimierz e la sua vivace vita notturna. Dopo una notte a bere prova lo snack più popolare di Cracovia, lo zapiekanka, una grande fetta di baguette con diversi condimenti (tradizionale: formaggio e funghi). Prova a mangiare in uno dei bar mleczny
– Bevi la vodka polacca. Ci sono Wodka bar, dove ad un prezzo basso è possibile godere di una piacevole atmosfera retro’, bere (a circa 1Euro) e mangiare piccoli antipasti.
– Guarda una partita di calcio. Ci sono due club della città di Cracovia, Cracovia Kraków e Wisła Kraków, entrambi hanno da poco finito i nuovi stadi situati su due lati del parco 
Błonia. Ci sono sconti per le donne e gli studenti di età inferiore ai 26. Tuttavia non indossate i colori della squadra, i loro fans si odiano, è un derby vero!

– I polacchi sono molto orgogliosi della loro nazione e dell’ex papa Karol Wojtyla. Mostra un pò di conoscenza della lingua locale, sulla storia e le abitudini locali, aumenterà notevolmente la possibilità di avere un buon amico


11295674_10207084874304566_1305022730150406559_nCheap lunch in very pleasent atmosphere? Try Bistro Sezony and Bistroteka, this one with a nice summer garden/terrace, both in Podgorze district, just after the Wisla river. 
If you want to try original Polish cuisine‘grandma’ style for outstandingly good-value prices (a big lunch for one person for about 8PLN) then find aBar Mleczny (a milk bar – a kind of cafeteria very prevalent in Communist times so called because it serves no alcohol). You can find one on the right side of Ul. Grodzka (if you are going from Rynek Glowny). They offer classic Polish food such as ‘pierogi‘. This is like going back to a recent past too, due to its basic furnishing. Menu is only in polish, an English-Polish dictionary is recommended when ordering, there is no table service, but once you try it…you go back

The currency exchange points (Kantor in polish) at the railway station usually operates at rip-off spreads. AVOID at all costs, unless you are in a big hurry or selling PLN. Actually the best rates (with less that 1% margin) can usually be found in several exchange offices that are located outside of tourist areas. In the centre I have found a good office exchange in Ul. Slawkowska (few meters far from the main square).

DSCN9036Krakow sightseeing can be enjoyed by walking around and admire this beautiful city. It’s also possible to rent a bicycle. Kraków has a reasonably priced system of public municipal bikes (1 hour – 4 zł, a weekly fee – 15 zł). In 2012 the system’s name changed to Roweres. Before using the bikes you need to register in the system and pay some small initial fee. 

From airport Bus #292 and Bus #208 run to the city centre about once per hour (ride takes around 40 minutes). If you need to get to the Central Train Station, get off at the stop Dworzec Główny Wschód. This bus stop is 100 meters from the railway station. Ticket from Balice Airport to the city center costs 3.40 zł (or 1.70 zł for ISIC/EURO 26 holders). Make sure you buy the “agglomeration ticket”, this type of ticket is valid in two zones. If you need help or information, ask someone young, most young Polish people speak communicative English and are very helpful and happy to help.

DSCN9110-To visit the city either walk or use the public transportation, in this case, buy the tickets!!!!! Controls are very frequents and there are no excuses if you don’t have a ticket. You can buy tickets in many trams and bus inside and with bankomat/credit card

-Try a local vodka in a Wodka bars. The best is called Zakaski i wodka, just in the main square of Kazimierz district. It has an unique ‘vintage’ atmosphere , prices are cheap (4 zloty – 1 Euro, for a shot of vodka or a small beer) and should accompany your drink with a typical small appetizer served in this kind of bars.

-Where to sleep?

Let’s Rock hostel breakfast included in the price. It’s friendly and has a perfect location, in the very centre of Krakow, few steps from the main square and not far from Kazimierz, the former Jewish District which is now the centre of bohemian nightlife in Krakow. Beds are big and comfortable; Mundo hostel


auswAuschwitz is a must to see, and you can visit this historical site also by not joining the organized tours.Get a train from the main railway station to Oswiecin (polish name for the town Auschwitz). It takes 90 minutes to arrive and it costs only 9,5 zloty. From the Oswiecin station there are minibus or, even better, you can walk to the site. It’s only 1km far (20 minutes walking), go outside the station, take the street on the right, bedide the station and the first on the left, then walk straight until the sign of the Auschwitz museum. Entrance is free after 3 p.m.

– Join the free walking tour, is the best way to discover the city, learn a bit of its history, monuments and most important habits and useful practical information. They provide four FREE walking TOURs in three of Polish cities.Two tours in Krakow: Krakow Old Town FREE walking TOUR – everyday at 11:00 am, meeting point in front of St Mary’s church and
Jewish Krakow FREE walking TOUR; one in Warsaw: Warsaw Old Town FREE walking TOUR – everyday at 12:00 pm, meeting point under Sigismund’s Column and one in Wroclaw:

 Wroclaw Old Town FREE walking TOUR – every Saturday at 11:00 am, meeting point Aleksander Fredro’s statue in the Main Market Square

-Krakow has an active Couchsurfing group, if you are a member of CS I suggest to join the local group to get informed of any meeting and party

Consigli di budgeteurotrip

milk-Se volete provare la cucina polacca, in stile ‘fatto dalla nonna’, buona e conveniente (un pranzo abbondante, per circa 8PLN-2 Euro) prova un Bar Mleczny (un ‘latte bar’ letteralmente, una sorta di self-service molto diffuso in epoca comunista, così chiamato perché non serve alcool). È possibile trovarne uno sul lato destro della via  Ul. Grodzka (se si sta andando dalla piazza principale, Rynek Glowny). Offrono cibo classico polacco come ‘pierogi‘. E’ come fare un salto nel passato recente, grazie all’ambiente e l’arredo. Il menu è solo in polacco, un dizionario è consigliato, non c’è servizio al tavolo, ma una volta che lo provi … ci ritorni
-Dall’aeroporto prendete i bus numero 292 e 208, vanno al centro della città, circa una volta ogni ora (Il tragitto dura circa 40 minuti). Se avete bisogno di raggiungere la stazione ferroviaria centrale, scendere alla fermata Dworzec Główny Wschod. La fermata del bus si trova a circa 100 metri dall’ingresso della stazione ferroviaria centrale. Biglietto dall’aeroporto al centro città costa 3,40 zł ( 1,70 zł per titolari carte ISIC / EURO 26). Assicurati di acquistare il “biglietto agglomerato”, questo tipo di biglietto è valido in due zone. Se avete bisogno di aiuto o di informazioni, prova a chiedere a qualcuno giovane, i polacchi parlano inglese e sono molto disponibili e felici di aiutarvi.
-Krakow può essere goduta a piedi, ammira questa bellissima città con molti angoli suggestivi. Cracovia ha un sistema di noleggio biciclette pubbliche, a prezzi ragionevoli (1 ora – 4 zł, una settimana – 15 zł). Ci sono 15 stazioni (per lo più attorno al centro di Cracovia), ma la rete dovrebbe crescere, non è necessario riportare la bici alla stessa stazione dove l’hai presa.
wodkabar-Bevi vodka locale in un bar Wodka. L’atmosfera è ‘retro’, i prezzi sono economici e puoi accompagnare il tuo drink con un antipasto tipico
-I cambio valuta (Kantor, in polacco) presso la stazione ferroviaria sono da evitare a tutti i costi, a meno che non si sia in gran fretta. In realtà la tariffa migliore (con meno di 1% di margine) di solito può essere trovata in molti uffici di cambio che si trovano al di fuori delle zone turistiche. La via migliore, per il cambio valuta, si trova vicino alla piazza del mercato, Ul. Slawkowska

-Partecipa al tour gratuito a piedi, il free walking tour, è il modo migliore per scoprire la città, imparare un pò della sua storia, i monumenti e le abitudini più importanti e utili informazioni pratiche. Essi forniscono quattro visite guidate gratuite a piedi. A Cracovia: Cracovia Old Town Tour, a piedi gratuito (tutti i giorni alle ore 11.00, punto di incontro di fronte alla chiesa di Santa Maria) e Cacrovia Ebraica. A Varsavia: Varsavia Old Town Tour, a piedi e gratuito (utti i giorni alle ore 12.00, punto di incontro in Colonna di Sigismondo). A Wroclaw: Wroclaw Old Town Tour a piedi GRATIS (ogni Sabato alle ore 11.00, la statua punto di incontro Aleksander Fredro nella Piazza del Mercato)
-Assaggia uno zapiekanka. Consiste in una grande fetta di pane con con crema di funghi e formaggio. I migliori sono nel quartiere Kazimierz
-Hai bisogno di un pò di relax? Passeggia intorno al Planty, il parco che circonda l’intero centro storico, o prendi il sole sulle rive del fiume Vistol

-Dove dormire?Let’s Rock hostel e’ un bell’ostello per giovani, a pochi passi dalla stupenda piazza centrale, colazione inclusa nel prezzo;  Mundo hostel è tra la città vecchia ed il quartiere Kazimierz, perfetto per divertirti e visitare la città.


 – Krakow Film Festival. One of the oldest film events dedicated to documentary, animated and short fiction films in  Europe. In a week over 200 films are shown in around six cinemas (10 screens) around the city and in an open air one next to Wawel castle. May
 – Off Camera. International Festival of Independent Cinema. April
 – Etiuda&Anima. International film festival built around animations and short films. November
 – ArtBoom Festival. Street art. June
 – Photomonth .One month long photography exhibitions around the city. May
 – Coke Live Festival. Typical summer open-air music fest. August
– Unsound. World renowned experimental music and art event. October
– Sacrum Profanum. Music fest with taking place in churches, museums and factories. September
– Wianki St. John’s Night (Midsummer) celebration. Concerts and fireworks show next to Wawel castle. June
– Christmas Market. From the end of November to the end of December on Main Market Square.
– Krakowskie Noce (Krakow Nights). Five nights (one in each month from May to September): Night of Museums (free museums), Night of Theaters (free theaters), Night of Jazz (free jazz concerts), Cracovia Sacra Night (free concerts of church music) and Night of Poetry (free poetic evenings).
Outside Krakow:
OPEN’ER FESTIVAL (Festival, Electro, Rock, Alternative) Gdynia, Poland July
Sonisphere Festival Poland – Warsaw July
Woodstock Festival Poland – Kostrzyn
Off festival and Tauron Nowa Muzyka Festival – Katowice July and August

How to get here? What to see? What to eat and drink? Where to sleep? For any other practical information about Krakow, Poland and Warsaw, click here.



warsawWarsaw is the capital of Poland and its biggest city. Warsaw city centre is the heart of the city. It has a dramatic history, as it was completely destroyed by the Nazis during World War II, the city managed to lift itself from the ashes. Today, almost every building in Warsaw dates to the postwar era. Warsawians managed to rebuild the old centre so fast that has been included in the Unesco heritages list.

The best way to discover this beautiful part of the city is to walk. There are nice view points, to the Vistula river.

The Old town offers events, street artist performances, bars and caffee. Explore old district called Praga to get more shady (but safe) insight into old Warsaw. Find charming art cafes and galleries hidden around Ząbkowska, Targowa, Wileńska, 11 listopada, Inżynierska streets. In night, there are lot of vibrating clubs on these streets.

Moving in Poland is convenient. There are 3 possible ways, and all of them are affordable for budget travellers.


Hitchhiking is very common in the country, polish, among europeans, are one of the best hitchhikes. More info can be found on this page.

I choose to use blablacar. It saved me some time, as the journey to my next destination was quiet long. From Krakow to Warsaw I paid 35 zloty, less than 10 Euro.

Nightlife in Warsaw is intense and lively. In my personal experience I enjoyed more than in Krakow. Maybe because in Warsaw I have someone who showed me good places where to hang out.

Clubs, pubs and bars  are plentiful in Warsaw and are a very popular way to spend nearly every night out.  In the very centre there are good bars, walk through the gateway at Nowy Świat 22. You’ll find a few small buildings with bars and a local crowd, ready to hit the night. A beer is around 10zloty, good vodka has a similar price.

tatankaSleeping at Tatamka hostel is a good and cheap option. The hostel offer an incredible free of charge laundry service, with a washing machine (and drier machine) available to all guests.

This hostel has a ‘hotel’ policy, you have to leave your keys at the reception when you go out, however it has a 24hrs service.

For an extra 5zloty – a bit more than 1 Euro, you can have a rich breakfast in the morning.

Location is very good, at walking distance from both old town and the core of nightlife, Nowy Świat street. Rooms and bathroom are kept clean. A nice backyard garden is available for guests.

For a cheap lunch I can suggest to try, at least once a milk bars (Polish: bar mlecznybary mleczne). They were originally created in the sixties to serve cheap meals based on milk products. After the fall of communism, most of them closed down but some survived and still bear the climate from the old days. Almost everything inside looks, feels and smells like in the 1980s. Menu is only in local languagge, so if you don’t want to risk anything, order pierogi (anyway young local will be always happy to help out).


Warsaw Film Festival (Warszawski Festiwal Filmowy)Warsaw Summer Jazz DaysWarsaw Autumn (Warszawska Jesień)Old-Polish Music Festival (Festiwal Muzyki Staropolskiej)Garden Theaters Contest (Konkurs Teatrów Ogródkowych)
Noc Muzeów (Long Night of Museums), Noc Muzeów is a fun night that sees thousands of people turn out to spend the night wandering around Varsovian museums and galleries for free. It’s a great opportunity to wander around with your date of friends, as many people do, and grab an ice cream cone from one of the many cafes that stay open late. Most museums and galleries will stay open past midnight. Noc Muzeów usually occurs around mid-May


gdanskmainGdańsk with nearby Sopot and Gdynia are often referred as Tri-city (pl: Trójmiasto). They are connected by a good metro train system, run in the night hours too. Sopot is the most touristic city, among the tree, it has a beautiful wooden pier, longest in Europe.

Gdańsk is a beautiful city on the Baltic coast, with magnificent architecture. It’s also a popular summer destination for many Poles and international tourists.

As many polish destinations can be reached hitchhiking, as well as using blablacar. Good option is Polskibus from Warsaw, a 4 hours journey I paid around 10E – 50 zloty.

The centre of Gdansk is very compact and almost everything is accessible on foot.

What to see?

100_4563Long Street and Long Market. The Hall of the Main City.Artus Court. Neptune Fountain. statue of Neptune – patron of the city. Motława River banks and Długie Pobrzeże (Motława River bank). Impressive houses stand along the river bank. They can be nicely observed from the other bank of Motława.Golden Gate, Green Gate, Golden House. St. Mary’s Street
St. Mary’s Church. One of the largest Gothic churches in Europe and supposedly the largest brick church in the world. There is space for more than 20,000 people in the church

dinnerWhere to sleep?  Olive Hostel

The hostel is very nice, brand new, with confortable and large beds, has a lovely garden, ideal for dining and drinking in the pleasant summer evenings, daylight remained until 10 pm, and family atmosphere.

Ideally located for a relax time, in Gdansk Oliwa neighborhood, reachable by suburban metro, from Gdansk main station within 15 minutes. The hostel is close to the seaside, at 20 minutes walking distance. A polish supermarket, Biedronka, with good prices, mainly with local products, is also very close to the hostel.

The nearby beach is very nice, clean, with fine sand, the baltic sea is not one of my favorites, being used to the southern italian Ionian sea, but it wasn’t that cold as I expected. Restaurant, bars are available along the beautiful pedestrian and cicling path beside the beach. It goeas all the way from Gdansk to Gdynia.

gdanskmilkbarWhere to eat cheap?The best milk bars serving hearty Polish meals at affordable prices are:
Bar Neptun, (at the middle of ul. Długa (Long Street)). Kmar Bar Mleczny, ul. Pomorska 84 (a 10-minute walk from the Oliwa SKM train stop).

A polish friend or knowledge of the local languagge is important if you want to eat there, as they do not speak english. It is an old time canteen style, do not expect table service and such. However is a nice experience!

Hanging out?Try the pub Palupka. In the same street where this pub is located, there are other different bars and good people to socialize with.

Summer is time for open-air music festivals. OPEN’ER FESTIVAL (Festival, Electro, Rock, Alternative) is a famous one. In Gdynia, July

helDay trip? Go to Hel! No, I’m not swearing, Hel is the name of a small village at the end of a strip of land a few kilometers from Gdansk, a narrow peninsula only few hundred metres wide, unique and evocative as a place

I went there by train, it is perfect for a day trip. From Gdansk to Gdynia, the third of the town, there you catch a regional (ICs costs too much and the journey takes only about ten minutes less), return ticket is less than 10 €. Visit the quiet beach where there is a focarium, stands for souvenirs, the marina, the port and the city centre, I liked the cosy houses, very typical in nordic architecture.

Do not miss the cathedral in Oliwa district, at short walking distance from the hostel, inside it has one of the biggest pipe organs in Poland and Europe. It is located in a nice quiet park.





2013-11-01 11.43.42Poznan was the first capital of Poland and seen by many as the birthplace of the Polish nation.

Today it is a diverse and vibrant town, it has a stunning central square (Stary Rinek) with historical pastel houses and the Ostrów Tumski (Cathedral Island), famed as the spot on which Poznan was founded, is a quiet island, with a permanent population consisting mostly of bishops, priests and monks.

Poznan can be reached via airplane, rail and bus from many european cities. Hitchhiking is very popoular in Poland, there are good chances to get a ride, as well as using blablacar. Good option is Polskibus it has good prices and connections among many polish destinations (and some international: Prague, Bratislava…)

If you want an hostel in very central location, brand new and clean, stay at Tey hostel

2013-11-03 13.34.56

Don’t waste your money! best places to eat are the ‘milk bar‘ (ask for bar mleczni) or small family run bistrò. Lunch (only, not open in the evening) for less than 2,5€ Try the local pierogi (kind of ravioli) and kopitka (potato dumpling). In one of the main street from the main square there are two small and old style lunch bistrò that I strongly suggest. Mostly local people go there, so don’t expect translated menu!!!

Have a drink at Pijalnia, one is in the main square, this polish style bar has polish vodka or beer for 4 zloty / 1 €


The Old-Town Jazz Concerts (Saturdays) and Cameral Concerts (Sundays) on the Town Hall stairs.
The Promenade Concerts – every summer Sunday in Wilson’s Park
Summer Town-Hall Concerts (every Wednesday evening in one of the Town Hall’s room)
Summer Cinema on the Malta Lake shore – from Wednesday to Saturday
The International Animated Films Festival, in mid-July.
The Festival of Good Taste – the feast of Greater-Poland cooking traditions, in mid-August on the Old market Square.
The days of Pyra-Land the feast of potato cooking the first weekend of September
The Bread Festival second weekend of September, the Old Market Square.
The Christmas Market „The Poznań Bethleyem” – stalls with souvenirs, with Christmas decorations, hot wine… All on the Old Market Square – three weeks before Christmas.



2013-11-05 10.26.33 Wroclaw

First thing to say about this beautiful polish city is how difficult might be the pronunciation of it…try with ‘vrotzlaf’ or breslavia if you are italian 🙂

Wroclaw is one of the biggest polish city (after Warsaw and Krakow), with a big student community, intense night-life and nice sightseeing to offer to tourists and travellers.

Search for mleczny bar (milk bar) for a cheap and proper local tasty lunch (some of them are: Bar Mewa, Bar Bazylia, Bar Mis), there are also nice canteen-style restaurants that offer buffet meals priced by weight (one in fron t of the university entrance).

Have a drink at Pijalnia, one is in the main square, this polish style bar has polish vodka or beer for 1 € 

2013-11-04 17.22.05 In a central location and for a comfortable night, stay at the friendly Friends hostel

Visit the astonishing central square, Rinek, one of the biggest in Europe, discover one of the symbols of the city, the dwarfts and the street-art (the city has a big connection with design and art), Other symbol of the city, the small islands (Ostrow Tumski) and bridges, for the amount of bridges it’s called ‘the venice of poland’ (I was told around 200???? but I didn’t see so many!!!!), the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist


Festival of Good Beer (Festiwal Dobrego Piwa) – takes place each year on the second weekend of May, it takes three days (Friday, Saturday, Sunday)

Nowe Horyzonty (New Horizons) – International Film Festival. Best Film Festival in Poland. Ten days of films, concerts and exhibitions. End of July

Dialog Festival – International Theatre Festival. October







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