I once heard many years ago when I was very young (I’m still not sure if I dreamt it up or it’s actually true) that my Grandfather on my mother’s side had some Polish in him. For this reason (along with all of the inevitable Pinterest pictures that flooded my feed) I have always wanted to visit Poland. Krakow was included in a tour that I had decided join around Eastern Europe and I couldn’t be more excited to visit this city that in my head I was clearly destined to visit.
Krakow is (to me) another one of those fairytale places that are so far from my old reality in Brisbane, Australia that it almost didn’t seem real. Intricate churches complete with pretzel stand- The Church of The Virgin Mary is a must see, with incredible gold plated statues and ceilings.
And of course there was a castle.
There couldn’t possibly be an Eastern European city without a grand castle.
Wawel Castle of course makes the perfect back drop for a little yoga pose.
Wandering around the grounds we even stumbled onto my overgrown thrown.
The main market square in November, December and early January included one of the most unique Christmas trees I saw over the holiday (and I saw A LOT).
Where there is a Christmas tree, there are Christmas markets. I have to give props to Krakow, their Christmas market stalls were some of the more diverse markets we went to on our trip. Instead of every second market having the exact same thing (hey, I’m not complaining.. I’m a lover of anything Christmassy, even if I’ve seen it 2 stalls earlier!) there were markets focussing on woodwork, steel welding and fabrics along with the usual mulled wine and crepe stalls (YUM).
Living my Polish fairytale fantasy, we took a horse drawn carriage to the Jewish Quarter.
Which was both dreamy, and loud and S l o w.
As my sister (and travel partner in this escape) is a vegetarian, and we’re both mildly obsessed with hummus, we squealed out to our driver to stop our carriage and let us off immediately as we rode past a large sign that said ‘HAMSA HUMMUS AND HAPPINESS’.
And happiness it certainly was. This restaurant is located just outside of the Jewish Quarter and within walking distance (or a carriage ride!) from the main town square. If you are vegetarian, vegan or just love hummus (guilty) look up this place if you are headed to Krakow. It was so good that we still haven’t found anything that quite surpasses it – even in London!
Krakow also has some quite cool grungy bars and clubs and has an organised pub crawl that meets in the town square. Beware of the inevitable number of shots you will do due to the insanely long lines waiting for the bar.
However annoying waiting in a line is, on our trip the Polish locals were some of the loveliest people we met. One Polish guy called us a taxi, waited for the taxi with us and made sure the driver didn’t rip us off, then sent us on our merry way with literally nothing in it for him. Thank you to that kind Polish stranger if you are ever to stumble on to this page!