Unconventional Krakow – unexpected way to spend time in Krakow and its surroundings
You plan your visit to Krakow and the first thing you book is a tour to Auschwitz -Birkenau Museum, Salt Mine in Wieliczka, maybe some walking tours or Wawel Castle and you have planned half of your stay in Krakow. What to do with the rest of the time? Let us give you a bunch of tips!
Have you heard about Auschwitz -Birkenau Camp? Of course, you did! But do you know that during the II World War there was a concentration camp much closer, within the occupied city itself? It was called KL Plaszow and it was the one depicted in “Schindler’s List”. The camp was much smaller and did not preserve as well as Auschwitz did, but visit there is a good option for those who feel overwhelmed with monstrosities committed in Auschwitz. There is more room for thoughts because there are no crowds of tourists as the camp was less known. However, if you prefer to see Auschwitz, but you want to avoid big groups of people in the Museum and have a more personal connection with the guide, then we recommend the Auschwitz-Birkenau Sub-Camps tour, available only with us. Did you know that the Memorial today covers only a small percentage of the territory of the original camp, and many locations and buildings that were part of the camp complex now are forgotten and abandoned? For example, nearly 400 meters from the main entrance to the Museum today there was, and still remains, a building of the canteen for the SS guards from the camp, where Doctor Mengele himself ate his meals. During our tour, you can see all those locations that are accessible today. You can find out more by watching our short film about the Sub-Camps:
Did you enjoy the Kazimierz district on our Jewish Quarter – Kazimierz Guided Walking Tour and you don’t really want to leave it? Visit nearby Podgorze as well, you can walk there through Kładka Bernatka bridge for the pedestrians, with beautiful sculptures depicting acrobats. With the Vistula river in the background, it is the perfect place to take memorable pictures. It is also a good option for history buffs, as the ghetto area was located there and you can find all the important locations just by searching for special plates marking significant buildings.
Tired with the city walks or history tours and you want to breathe deeply outside of the city for a while? Depending on how much time you have we can present a few different options. If you have the whole day at your disposal, consider a tour to the Tatra mountains and Zakopane, during which you will be able to admire not only breathtaking landscapes but also taste original local cuisine. For half of a day choose polish smallest National Park Ojcow. With its beautiful limestone rock formations, overwhelming greenery and 19th century houses, it is an extremely picturesque place to spend time. You can nearly be under the impression that you have moved to the previous century. In case you have only few hours left in a day you can choose a walk through Vistula boulevards or Wolski forest, where you can find many attractions to choose from such us: a zoo, that has been operating since 1929; Castle in Przegorzały, erected by the Germans during World War II; the hermitage and the church of the Camaldolese monks as well as Piłsudski Mound and nearby Kosciuszko Mound.
If you feel a little more adventurous you should drop to Nowa Huta, a district of Krakow erected mostly during the period of communism in Poland. Architecture and urban layout strongly distinguishes this part of the city from others. Visit in so called “bar mleczny” there is a must do! Those kind of establishments used to be very popular in communist Poland, you could buy there cheap simple meal, mainly vegetarian, as there wasn’t enough meat on the market at the time. Those bars still exist and are in some way a time capsule.
Hope our tips inspired you to enjoy Krakow in many different ways. Have fun!