Took taxi radio9191 from the airport to Hotel Classic for 57 zloty. The driver was young and spoke perfect english. Hotel Classic is in a great location in Old Town (Stare Miasto). Rooms are nice size but bed is small. Bathroom is nice with a new shower tube. Breakfast was egggs, bread, meats, salads, etc. A nice start to the day. Recption desk was very helpful. The first night I ate at Cherubim. Take a right out of the hotel and continue for about 5 blocks. The restaraunt is on the left. The meal was great...sirloin steak in mushroom sauce with grilled potatoes and the service was excellent. The next day I took two walking tours with cool tours. Meet at the small church (St Adalberts) in the square. The 1000 tour is to the Jewish quarter (Kasmierz) and the ghetto (Podgorze). A very interesting tour but a lot of walking. You end up in Podgorze at Schindler's factory. Take tram 13 back to the square. Buy your ticket at one of the kiosks under ground. There is a toilet (WC) faciltiy under ground as well. The second tour starts at 1400 and follows the royal road from the square to Wawel Castle. The admission fees to the castle or other attractions are not included in the cool tour ticket price (40 zloty). The tour continues around old town and ends at the Florianska St gate and barbican. The next day I took a tour to Aushwitz and Birkenau. Exit old town through the Florianska St gate, continue past the barbican and the trams/road towards the statue. On the right is a tour office and you can buy a ticket for 80 zloty. Be careful, Cracow tours has a bus stop right next door and they charge 120 Zloty. The tour starts with a movie during the 90 minute bus ride to Aushwitz #1. Aushwitz was a little different than I expected. The barbed wire fences and guard shacks were expected but the block houses were two story brick buildings. The camp is very small area. Not really what I expected. I had read about the rooms of human hair and suitcases so I was ready for that experience but I wasn't ready to see the room full of children's shoes. You spend about 90 minutes weaving your way through other tour groups. Next you take the bus to Aushwitz #2 (Birkenau). Birkenau is more like the camps I envisioned. It's huge. As far as the eye can see from the guard tower. The buildings are old horse stables that they used to house the people. It rained the day I went, which seemed appropriate. You spend about 60 minutes at Birkenau and then you head back to Krakow. The last day I went to the salt mines. Take the mini bus to the mine for 5 zloty round trip. The entrance fee to the mine is 61 zloty. Most tour companies charge 120 zloty so you save almost half. The mini buses run from the right side Starowislna St across the street from the tram stop. They have signs on the dashboard. I didn't know what to expect from the salt mine but it was very interesting. The tour starts with a descent of 380 steps. The tour weaves through different chambers containing scultures, chapels, and even a functioning church with an amazing scuplture of the Last Supper. The tour lasts 2 hours and the lift out of the mine is a claustrophobic minute. They pack you into the lift like sardines. Catch the minibus at the same location it dropped you off. As far as pubs, I loved Nic Nowegos. It was right around the corner from Hotel Classic. Strongbow for 10 zloty served by very cute bartenders. They also showed sports on a big screen TV. The owner (young guy in glasses) was very nice. He is there every night making sure things run smooth. As far as restaraunts, Florianska on Florianska St was great. I had the wild boar stroganoff and zurek soup. Both were superb. Another good restaraunt serving Polis cuisine was right across the street from the hotel on the corner. I can't remember the exact name but I think it was Zlaty. The deer roast was amazing. As far as snacks, try one of the bagels from the street vendors. They cost about 1.2 zloty. Another snack or a meal for some people is zapiekanka. It's an open faced sandwich on what seems to be french bread. They start with mushrooms and cheese and then you can add toppings. The best zapiekanka are in Kasmierz at the half-moon shaped kiosk in the square. After the snack, head across the street to the Alchemia Bar for a beer (piwo). Krakow was a great experience and I would love to go back.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Hotel Classic - a newly constructed three-star hotel, conveniently placed and with a convivial ambience. Situated in the old centre of Cracow near the central square and the ancient Sukiennice ( Cloth Hall), our hotel provides a traditional Cracow Renaissance atmosphere for our guests within the green ring which now surrounds the inner city area ... more less
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