Possibly the biggest curse of budget air travel is the stag parties that descend on Eastern European cities in search of cheap booze. However, scratch beneath the surface of any of the destinations that have fallen victim to the budget ‘vomit comets’ – you’ll find culture and a weekend break that is truly unique to this part of the world. Perhaps one of the most exciting destinations is the Polish city of Krakow.
With amazing architecture and an exciting feel about the place, what does this city offer beyond the attraction of stag parties? The answer is a huge amount of culture and a fascinating history that until recently saw people living in a very different world to the one we’re used to today. Anyone wishing for an interesting weekend away will not be disappointed, and it would seem that the city of Krakow has set its sights firmly beyond stag parties and drunken weekends.
Kazimierz is the Jewish quarter of the town and is steeped in interesting recent history. This fascinating past creates an atmosphere unlike any other part of the city. Over the past five or so years, Kazimierz has developed into a hub for the fashionable and trendy, with a plethora of cafes and bars to sit in a while the days away. At times it feels more like a part of Paris rather than Krakow, and if you fancy a relaxing drink in great surroundings then this is the place for you!
The Old Town
Perhaps the most popular area with tourists, wandering the old town’s narrow streets and ending up in the square is something that you can’t miss out on. Once upon a time this beautiful district was lined with a great wall, and now features some lovely gardens in its place. Although the old town has seen much change, it still holds on to its character. Walking through the streets you’ll find some of the city’s best landmarks nestled amongst a mix of trendy boutiques cafes and bars.
For something truly fascinating, it would be wrong to visit Krakow and not visit the Nowa Huta district. Built as a ‘communist dream’ around the large steel works, a tour of the area takes you back to the days when communism ruled this part of Europe. If you’re into learning about communism and recent European history, a visit to Nowa Huta is a must. It really is amazing to learn about the effect this had on the people living in Krakow.
Whilst not yet on the map like other European cities such as London and Paris, Krakow offers something much more unique for people looking for a cultured weekend away. It would be a real shame if cities like Krakow only become known for stag parties, because they have so much more to offer; sometimes a lot more than the more popular destinations in western Europe.
If you haven’t been then we’d highly recommend a visit – you won’t be disappointed!