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“Wonderful HIstory ~ Charming City”
Review of Krakow

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Delray Beach, Florida
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
2 helpful votes
“Wonderful HIstory ~ Charming City”
Reviewed October 9, 2010

What a wonderful city to visit. My partner and I stayed for 3 nights while traveling through Poland. The streets are charming with beautiful buildings lining them and parks in between. Such wonderful history!! All of the people we encountered were very nice and the restaurants were great. If you get a chance go to Pod Baranem located at ul. Gertrudy 21, it was superb!! We stayed at the Holiday Inn City Centre and it was perfectly located. We will definately be going back and I look forward to having another wonderful trip there.

Thank tlc3chic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Adelaide, Australia
1 review
1 helpful vote
“Krakowdiscovery.com took the strain while we took in the sights!”
Reviewed October 8, 2010

My partner and I recently enjoyed a short break in Krakow as part of a longer trip to Europe. We didn't know much about the city prior to our arrival beyond the information contained in our guide book. Having relatively little time to play with we narrowed down our itinerary to a few must-see local attractions: Auschwitz, the Polish Aviation Museum, Wieliczka Salt Mine, Zakopane, and the relatively new Schindler's Factory Museum in the Jewish Quarter.

Other travellers had told us we would need to hire a car as our plan was too ambitious to attempt on such a short timescale using public transport alone. Instead we decided to hire a driver from a local tour company called Krakowdiscovery.com. This kept us from the stress of driving and navigating through the sometimes non-intuitive road system, particularly within the old town where we would have had to park up on the pavement (not ideal as we were staying just off the Krakow market square). It also allowed us both to enjoy some of the rather fine polish lagers on offer during the trip (Tyskie, Żywiec, Okocim).

Our plan went better than expected. Krakowdiscovery.com are reasonably priced and their drivers - at least the two who drove us around during the course of our stay - were very helpful in pointing out the sights, helping us out at ticket offices and waiting patiently for us while we spent hours underground (salt mine) or disoriented within the immersive WWII experience at Schindler's Factory. They even told us where to get the best potato pancake and pork goulash in the area (a local classic), and again waited patiently while we sampled it for ourselves (I can confirm it was excellent!).

Taking the decision to use a tour company for transportation meant that we were able to make full use of the time we had and ensured that we were refreshed and able to enjoy each attraction to its fullest. Auschwitz is almost mandatory if you are visiting this part of the world and yet it was inevitably harrowing. The aviation museum seemed to hold a remarkably diverse collection, though I confess planes aren't of great interest to me personally. We paid for an excellent English speaking tour guide there who was obviously very enthusiastic and knowledgeable about aviation history. My partner appreciated his guidance and opinions much more but it's probably a boy thing.

The salt mine is astonishing; one of the original twelve UNESCO World Heritage Sites and with good reason. The English speaking tour we took lasted at least a couple of hours and led us through a mere 1% of all shafts and passages cut into the rock salt since the 13th century. Throughout we would encounter atria containing ornate, often themed, statue scenes and carvings of the salt created over the centuries by miners in their spare time. The pinnacle has to be the underground salt cathedral carved and polished around a vast (>50 m long) excavated cavity. It has to be seen to be believed!

Another highlight was the Schindler's Factory Museum, which is a walk-through experience where exhibits take the form of settings (rooms, trams, offices) recreated from a period starting when Poland reformed as a country at the end of WWI to both literal and abstract spaces representing WWII and beyond. We lost our grip with time and space as we became more and more intensely engaged. We eventually staggered out into the light after quite a few hours (I think!).

Zakopane was probably a slight disappointment. It took two hours to reach and would have been great had the mountain cable car system not been out of use due to high winds. Instead we took a funicular railway up to Droga Zubka Stanislawa from Na Gubalowke. The view of the Tatra mountains to the south was stunning from there but other than that the Droga Zubka Stanislawa seemed like a bit of a tourist trap. So we returned to Na Gubalowke and enjoyed shopping in the impressive street markets there. Though nice enough that day, I could imagine Zakopane would be twice the place (at least) once the ski season is in full swing. The Tatra mountains are supposedly a very cheap and also excellent skiing option.

Overall, we had a great time in and around Krakow. The city is a lovely, relatively undiscovered version of Prague, drenched as it is in history (it was preserved by the Nazis during WWII), and a thriving classical and jazz music culture. We managed to attend three intimate classical music concerts that were all of a very high standard (and one was free!). The market square is so large that, though never empty, it always seems relaxed. Other things we managed to cram in there were a trip to Wawel Castle and a walk around the Planty Park, and all of this in only five days! If you plan to visit Krakow, I would definitely recommend using an inexpensive tour company like Krakowdiscovery.com if you're tight for time. It took away our worry over travel logistics and meant we could fully appreciate Krakow's numerous wonders and charm.

1 Thank meganhide
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
East Midlands
2 reviews
Reviewed October 8, 2010

We used Krakowdiscovery.com for all our transport requirements on a recent family trip to Krakow in Southern Poland. Excellent service - airport transfers, trips to Auschwitz, Wieliczka (amazing Salt Mine!) Zakopane in the mountains to the south - punctual, informative, helpful throughout, full of in-depth local knowledge (very useful on the days we were on foot around the Old Town and nearby city suburbs - also recommend the recently upgraded interactive museum at the Schindler factory by the way) prices were competitive compared to hiring/driving for ourselves, and so much more convenient than trying to find somewhere to park anywhere near our B&B close to the Main Square. Furthermore Slawek and his team were pleasantly enthusiastic devotees of their own lovely City, which helped to make our time there even more enjoyable.

Thank paulwingedmessenger2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 4 Contributor
29 reviews
37 helpful votes
“Krakow long weekend.”
Reviewed October 7, 2010

Imagine Prague,10 years ago,this is what we have with Krakow,a diamond in the rough,terrific place to spend 4 or 5 days,lots to see and do,very reasonable food and drink prices and as yet not too many stag parties .The Krakovian people are a joy to meet and spend time with,may well go back in summer for another break.

Thank Omegasaints
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
6 helpful votes
“Cracow - with Protours and on foot”
Reviewed October 2, 2010

We visited Krakow for a long weekend and had a brilliant time.
Lots of walking to see the sights and sounds of the city.
We trawled the web for options of tours to see both Auschwitz Birkenau and Wieliczka Salt Mines. We decided upon Protours because their prices were better than most, had good review, a professional looking website and were very prompt and professional in their response to queries before booking.
We were not disappointed. I would highly recommend Protours Cracow!
We opted for the one day tour of both places and had a very memorable day (for good reasons)
Auschwitz is a very somber but very interesting place to visit and one that people should vist if possible, if visiting is not possible then people should learn about this place and the others like it.
The Salt mines (after Auschwitz) were excellent, thankfully more cheerful so it perked us up. Paul recommended a restaurant across from teh Salt mines which was delicious and not very expensive.
Whilst it is possible to save money visiting these sites under your own steam, it would definitly require two days if not with a guide.
Protours - professional, friendly, prompt, educated and helpful! Highly recommended.

1 Thank clint1006
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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