We ended up staying in Krakow for 5 days in total. Krakow was the furthest north we would be travelling to on this trip before we start to head back down south. We found a good place to stay 5 km from the centre where we paid a small amount of money for electric hook up, water fill and the use of a bathroom, its a caravan and motorhome sales, repairs and storage business and a great cheap place to stay for visiting Krakow. We wanted to catch up with all of our editing and work and just chill out for a few days too as travelling all the time can be tiring, so this was a good opportunity to recharge not just the vans batteries but our own! It was quite nice to have all of our lights on and the unlimited power for a change.
It was a great cycle ride from our little camping spot into the centre of Krakow. The cycle path takes you right along the riverside all the way in and as you get closer to the city it becomes a beautiful promenade. As we arrived in the city, we were immediately greeted by the impressive Warwel Castle that dominates the riverfront right in the centre of Krakow. We crossed the river to take a closer look and cycled past a big bronze fire breathing dragon which stands at the mouth of an underground tunnel leading from somewhere in the castle grounds. After entering through a really impressive gate into the grounds it opened up into a hugh square with the main attraction being the stunning cathedral which is a mismatch of different architectural styles completed over the century’s. There are lots of other wealthy looking buildings and sections inside the grounds, with lovely gardens and walkways to wonder around.
We continued onto the old town and the main square which is the biggest medieval square in the world at 200m by 200m. The square is definitely a sight to behold, similar to Wroclaw and surrounded by an array of beautiful coloured buildings, a stunning cathedral and the impressive town hall tower. The centrepiece of the square is the market, a beautifully structured arched building with ornate details throughout. Inside this covered market are lots of stools, side by side selling all the usual tourist souvenirs, all very colourful and a pleasure to browse around.
We chased the pigeons around the square and got entertained by the street performers, we then heard the trumpet player in the tower, who plays a short tune every hour before stopping abruptly in memory of the original player who was famously shot from the tower all those years ago. The horse and carts are very well dressed in Cinderella style outfits proudly awaiting their customers in a row running the length of the square. The whole place is very impressive and a great place just to sit and people watch for a while too.
Everyone in the city seems to be eating pretzels from the street vendors, a salty bread snack, so we tried one of these before exploring the city further beyond the amazing medieval square. There are a number of pretty streets leading from the square, one with a stunning archway and a gate at the end leading to remnants of the city walls, and beyond, a quaint little circular castle. There really is so much to see and easily possible to spend a day enjoying the old town and surrounds.
We briefly explored the Jewish quarter which had been left to fall into disrepute over the years but now has a retro, shabby chic vibe with numerous bars, restaurants, shops and small galleries. we came across a small rustic square and had a drink in one of the old bars and had a snack from one of the small takeaway eateries which stand outside a small old market building in the centre of the pretty square. A little more people watching whilst we enjoyed a beer before heading back along the riverside to the van.
The following day we left Krakow and started heading towards Zakopane nation park, our final destination in Poland. we made a slight detour on the way south to a lake we found on Park4Night app and ended up spending 2 nights there, chilling out and enjoying beautiful sunset views over the lake after our busy few days in the City.
Coordinates to the lakeside location; (49.447701 20.268999)