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30 Typical Things To Do In Krakow

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Dearest hearts,

Today I have a treat for you :) Challenged by an article I read from Alicja at Vagary Wanderlust Journey I figured out I should do a similar list like hers. A list in which I can present you "30 Typical Things To Do In Krakow" - 30 things that a local would do, 30 things that I do quite frequently... 30 things that you should try at least once ;) so here it goes:
1. Listen to the Hejnal - the guy playing the trumpet each hour, at the top of the St. Mary Church (Kosciol Mariacki). You can also wave to it, for good luck, but that's more of a tourist thing ;)

2. Get inside the St. Mary Church at listen to one catholic church ceremony. It's lovely to hear even if you won't understand a thing. You can also check out the painted stars on the ceiling, resembling the sky - that was painted by Jan Matejko (great Polish painter).

3. Have a seat in the Main Market Square are don't feed the pidgeons! That's only what tourists do. Locals hate them, so it's about time you learn the truth: they are flying rats delivering disease.
Cafe Szal view
4. Get to the first floor of Sukiennice for a short coffee break with a view for sore eyes. Cafe Szal does an awesome szarlotka (that's Polish for apple pie). Downside for smokers: no smoking on the terrace.

5. Get a Sunday afternoon lunch at the Pod Wawelem or Pod Sukiennice. This place is packed with locals on weekends, especially on Sundays when the specialty of the house is rosol (that's Polish for chicken broth - chicken soup).

6. Attempt to get a weekend breakfast at Charlotte on Plac Szcepanski. That's the hippest and the most trendy place to have breakfast on a weekend morning but also... the place does not take reservations... so you will end up waiting in a queue for a slight possibility to have some amazing homemade goodies. Worth the wait though ;)

7. Listen to the Gaudeamus Igitur and typical Polish song played by the clock inside the Collegium Maius courtyard. It plays at 11, 13, 15 o'clock each day. Not many know about it ;) it ain't like the Prague astronomy clock but still...
The Hot Choco from Nowa Prowincja
8. Enjoy the best hot chocolate in town - complete with the whipped cream option and sour cherry alcohol inside - at Nowa Prowincja. They also have decent hummus ;) and the place has an awesome vibe about it.

9. Retake the old Royal Route that the old princes, Kings and Queens used to take: from the Barbakan to the Florianska gate, forward to the Florianska street to the St. Mary Church, turning right on Grodzka and further on to one of the kind Wawel Castle. You can also take one of the horse & carriages from the Main Market Square ;) but that may cost you a bit.

10. Have a sweets break at Pijalnia Czekolady Wedel for something good. You can get it to go or you can serve it in the spot at Main Market Square or Galeria Krakowska. Polish chocolate for any sweet tooth ;)
Babcia Malina
11. Pierogi break - head towards one of the 2 Babcia Malina locations: either the one on Slawkowska or the one in front of the Juliusz Slowacki Theater. I recommend highly the ones with meat, fried ;)

12. Enjoy the singular architecture of the St. Peter and Paul's Church (Sw. Piotr I Pawla) on Grodzka. It's the only baroque church in Kraków and the front always reminds me of the Vatican. Let me know if you feel the same ;)

13. Enjoy a cafe americano or a lemonade while looking at the crowd and possibly at a wedding coming out of the St. Peter and Paul's, standing at the terrace of the Bona Kawa I Ksiaszka. It's a fine little bookshop with a unique cafe. Good WiFi signal as well.

14. Go visit the tombs of the "kings of old" - Wawel Cathedral tombs hold the Kings and Queens of Poland. Don't forget to bring some flowers ;)

15. Check out the biggest bell in Kraków and probably all Poland: Sigismund Bell.  It is said that if young maidens touch it, they will be lucky and find their other half very soon and get married ;) it takes 4 grown man to start moving it!
16. Enjoy the inner garden and courtyard of the Wawel Castle. When flowers are in bloom and the magnolia blossoms there is no place like it! Make sure to see it during April time as well ;)

17. Go feel the chakra inside the Wawel Castle corner or the courtyard. It is said that it is one of the 7 chakra points in the world that give that much energy. I mean... if you believe in stuff like that...

18. See "The Lady With The Ermine", Leonardo da Vinci's second most well known pairing after "Mona Lisa". Trust me, it's gonna be a better experience than the overcrowded Louvre. I personally think "The Lady With The Ermine" is much prettier ;) The painting is at the Wawel Castle for the time being.
The mummies at Czartoryski Museum
19. Visit the mummies (including one of a cat!) and read parts of The Book of Dead at the Czartoryski Museum. It's totally worth if you are into antiques.

20. Have a tour with the Kraków Water Tram - available only during the summer months though ;) but totally worth the ride. You can also take it to get to the Tyniec monastery ;)

21. Visit the Kładka Ojca Bernatka, the singular "pedestrian bridge" in Kraków, also known as the Love Locks Bridge :) it's worth a romantic walk especially during nighttime when it lights up - colorful!

22. Drop by and pay your respects at the Plac Bohaterow Ghetta (The Square of The Heroes of the Ghetto). Did you know that each chair there signifies 1000 people who were killed in Auschwitz & Plaszow? Pay your respects and don't sit on them!

23. Check out the amazing pieces of StreetArt in Kraków - most if them in the Old Town, Kazimierz and Podgorze. For sure you won't be able to pass by the floating pink pig on the Wisla river ;)

24. Make sure that during the weekend, in the evening,  you eat a sausage from the magical "communist blue van". They are yummy and a great treat when you're hangover. Location: Kazimierz old market.

25. Eat the zapiekanka in Plac Nowy - there is nothing like it! Dozen upon dozen of toppings and flavours for you to choose. The best one on town! Make sure you put it on the list!
26. Drop by Pub Stajnia to check out one of the locations that Schindlers List was shot. It's a must while visiting the Kazimierz region for the movie buffs.

27. Enjoy a summer sunset on one of Kraków's man made mounds. My favorite ones are Kopiec Krakus and Kopiec Kosciuszko. They are totally different but perfect places to have a picnic, a day out and relax.

28. Enjoy a walk on the Blonia,  the largest strip on land where locals love to have their regular running spree. There might be fairs in the summertime running there, so you might bump into a treat :) The place is best known for great Masses celebrated by the Pope John Paul II in 1979, 1983, 1987, 1997 and 2002. The Pope Benedict XVI also celebrated the Mass there during his journey to Poland in May 2006. The Catholic Church will host several events including mass at Błonia Park during the 2016 World Youth Day in July.
AntyCafe ready for Halloween
29. Try one of the local beers from one of the local breweries. We recommend CK Browar or getting to AntyCafe on Slawkowska and having some specialty beer. The ones with honey or plums are yummy!

30. Enjoy one of the smaller movie theaters and forget those Multiplex, Multikino, Cinema City huge spaces. Go local and enjoy a more intimate space, smaller and different from the rest you can choose from: Kino Ars, Kino Pod Baranami, Kino Agrafka, Kino Kijow... They show European selection of movies as well ;) in Kino Pod Baranami I was even able to see Romanian movies with Polish subs!

The list can surely go on, but try these for the beginning and let me know how they suited you. Let me know what you liked best and what you did not manage to do. I would love to hear your stories connected the the items on the list. Sharing is caring! #twistedredladybugrecommends you to have fun!

Yours sincerely,
The Twisted Red LadyBug that loves Kraków