The heat in Kraków was so intense, that coming from London, I completely did NOT expect it. Half the time I was decked out in shorts and still perspiring profusely - is this TMI for a start of a blog post? Anyway, apart from hanging out in the Main Square of Kraków, I explored other areas of Kraków during my time there.
Kraków is relatively small, and the hostel I stayed at was rather central and located super near to the train station. This made walking around the city incredibly easy, so I managed to see most of Kraków in the few days I was there.
Accommodation Info | Greg and Tom HostelAlthough the hostel was lovely, there weren't any curtains (or maybe there were just that no one bothered to draw them), this meant that every morning at about 4 or 5 the sun would have risen, they skies bright and blue, and my natural body clock would go off as I kept thinking it was already 7 or 8. This repeated itself almost every day.
+ Very near the train station
+ People in the hostel are SUPER friendly - Nice home-y environment
+ You could chill at the lounge and they'd give you free beer and POPCORN <3
- Communal Showers (some people might dislike but I thought it was totally fine, showers were clean, and decent. That's all that mattered to me)
- No lift!
In the name of embracing it, I was usually out of the door around 8 or 9 in the morning.
One morning, I was once again unable to go back to sleep. So I got out of bed, got ready and headed towards the Wawel Castle with the hope of avoiding the crowds.
Sadly, upon arriving at the castle, I saw HEAPS of tour groups, from older asians, to teenagers and even little kids sitting around waiting to get their tickets.
I walked one full round around the castle, into the lovely courtyard (free to enter but so crowded!), and decided not the queue to go into a castle. I mean, a castle is a castle is a castle... right? Thats what I told myself to ease my FOMO.
Instead, I hung around the garden just in front of the castle for a bit, looking at the lovely flowers and taking several pictures, before heading off to look for the Fire Breathing Dragon of an attraction - the Wawel Dragon. Sadly, I had to wait around for the dragon to breathe fire out of its mouth. It happens every 5 minutes, for just a couple of seconds, you totally have to be on standby for a photo!
After spending a couple of hours in the area of the Wawel castle and dragon, I headed off towards the Jewish Quarter to find some lunch and explore that region.
Kraków's Jewish Quarter is known to be pretty wild and happening at night, with pubs and bars popping out. However, it is surprisingly a lot less crowded in the day. The area seemed rather quiet when I was there although the shops and cafés were all opened.
What I liked most about the region is the eclectic shops. I love how they have graffiti on the shop front, over grown weeds as their entrance decoration, and all sorts of colourful walls.
I'm not much of a party-all-night, drink till you drop kind of person, so going on a pub crawl when I'm traveling alone is a NO - mostly because then I lose half a day of precious traveling time the next day!
To be honest i'd prefer going to the jewish quarter in the day, walk around the area, pop into a few cafés, and enjoy the peace and quiet of the place.
Whilst I was at the Jewish Quarter, I realised that I might have been a little underdressed - literally. Everyone was wearing jeans/long pants and 3/4 sleeved shirts, with the exception of other clueless tourists like me. I couldn't imagine wearing anything more covered than what I was without getting heat stroke, but I felt a little embarrassed for not covering up more skin.
Anyway, I was thankful that the Old Synagogue had no dress code, as it has been turned into a museum.
The synagogue was surprisingly so much cooler than the outside! The synagogue had such a lovely interior especially with those chandeliers. I never had the opportunity to learn about the jewish faith, I don't think I have met anyone who is a Jew, and so visiting the synagogue was a nice way to be introduced to the religion and its practices. They had so many displays, artefacts from the 18th and 19th century, it was a such nice way to spend the afternoon learning.
Eventually, I left the synagogue when my stomach started growling, and went to a nearby market to get myself a Zapiekarki! I wanted to try pierogi, but there were so many little polish kids outside this shop, I figured, it must be good! And it was! Except, it was HUGE. No wonder the kids were feeding the pigeons after taking every 2 bites of their zapiekarki!