Recommended days: 3 days
We were really unlucky in the sense that our time in Krakow coincided with the storm in Europe. So we were besieged by strong winds and heavy snow (yes, even snow, in April!) and didn’t really get to sightsee much.
I would recommend 3 days, not because there are a lot of things to do or see in Krakow but because the museums/attractions close at 4pm. Thus, even if you were to start in the morning, there wouldn’t be enough time to cover both the Old Town as well as the Jewish Quarter Kazimierz.
As we only had 2 days in Krakow (excluding Auschwitz), it was a bit of a bummer because by the time we got to the Jewish quarter, everything was closed and we just saw synagogues everywhere but didn’t know the meaning or the significance behind it. The cemetery closes at 4pm as well. The free Jewish walking tour would be good because there are barely any signposts so a guide is really needed to explain the sights.
The Old Town is really pretty, and in my opinion, has more to see as compared to Warsaw because there are not only churches, but castles as well as towers. I liked the food market just right outside of the Cloth Hall, where there were many shops selling traditional Polish food like dumplings, sausages, cena (cheese) as well as various knick knacks and souvenirs!
Wawel Castle was really pretty as well (perhaps aided by the fact that there was brilliant weather for the 2 hours that we were there), and you’ll spend quite a long time there because there’s just so much to see! Inside the castle, there is the cathedral, which is pretty worth going to.
I stayed at Greg & Tom Hostel, which was good because it just opposite the shopping mall (where the train and bus station is located at). However, to get to Old Town, you would have to walk for about 10-15 minutes. But it was amazing because you get free breakfast and free dinner!! And the food was actually decent, and could fill you up. So I thought it was value for money, especially for poor, broke students like us. There was also free alcohol as well as pub-crawls everyday yay!
If you know me, you would know that I love serendipitous moments and on our way to Auschwitz, I actually met 2 of my friends on the very same bus! Like what are the odds of meeting someone you know on the bus? They were on exchange from Netherlands, and it was purely by coincidence that we happened to be at the same place, at the same time and it was really lovely catching up, and walking around Auschwitz together before heading for dinner.
We had a really nice (read: cheap and good) dinner at Coco, near the Old Town and the Cloth Hall. It was SO much value for money – everyone should go there! They have a pretty extensive menu, pork, chicken, duck and beef where you can pick a side – potatoes/fries/rice. On top of that, you get a soup of the day and a salad!! And guess how much was it for?? Only 14 zlotys, at first we couldn’t believe our eyes, that’s like 4 euros, for a 3-course meal. The food was really good too! It would have to be my most satisfying meal in Poland 🙂
** This picture does not do the food justice!
The rest of the food I ate in Krakow was pretty meh, and not really worth mentioning.
I have to say though; the shopping is soo cheap! Especially for beauty products, they were having such massive discounts; I had to double check. I bought Nuxe’s Huile Prodigeuse (50ml) for like $17 SGD? In Singapore, it’s definitely way more expensive. At the counter, I saw that Bioderma’s eye cream was going on sale for $5, I was like wtf, even if I’m too lazy to use eye cream most of the time, $5 eye cream?? No way I’m passing that up.
I also bought a pretty nude lipstick from Essence for about $4! Would have bought more if we had more time hehe #whereallmymoneygoesto