Weekend in Kraków

One word: Pierogi. I tried pierogi for the first time in Kraków and was quickly obsessed with the filled dumplings. Food was the highlight of my visit! There was even a fair with food vendors right by Main Square. While I wasn’t too impressed with the attractions, I did enjoy exploring Kraków Old Town and seeing architecture from different centuries in one spot. I would absolutely visit Kraków again if I’m in the area.

Day One

Przystanek Pierogarnia

When you’re in Poland, you have to eat pierogi! Przystanek Pierogarnia is known for having delicious pierogi at an affordable price. My boyfriend and I ordered the Pork Pierogi, Mixed Pierogi, Hunger Anger (Spicy Pork Stew) Gnocchi, and Homemade Apple Pie. All this food was only $12! We took the food to-go but there are a few tables outside for dining. I really liked the pierogi! My favorite pierogi fillings were pork and bacon/potatoes. The stew was good as well and made for a great combination with the dumplings.

Fun fact: The Polish word pierogi is plural. Has anyone else been guilty of saying “pierogies” like me? Oops.

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Free Walkative! Tour – Old Town Krakow 

I love free walking tours because it’s the best way to learn about the history of a new city. We joined Walkative! for their Old Town Krakow tour. The tour lasts around 2.5 hours and it’s free (but tips are highly suggested). We started at St. Florian Gate and ended at Wawel Castle. The tour took us to places I would’ve definitely missed on my own: Collegium Maius, Juliusz Słowacki Theatre, and Wawel Dragon. The Wawel Dragon breathes fire! Our guide was Jacob and he was funny in a sarcastic way which was entertaining. He was very knowledgeable about the city’s history and even told stories at the most random spots.

TIP: Don’t go on the 4pm walking tour. By the time we arrived at Wawel Royal Castle, it was closed so we couldn’t tour the grounds.

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Pierogarnia Krakowiacy

This was my favorite spot for pierogi! Unlike Przystanek Pierogarnia, this spot had more unique fillings. We ordered the Duck and Apple Pierogi and Mushrooms, Cheese, and Egg Pierogi. It came with a garlic sauce that overpowered the duck but was great with the mushrooms. I loved this place so much that I came here twice during our trip!

Street Fair

While walking around Main Square, we came across a fair with food and craft vendors. When there’s an opportunity to both eat and shop, I just can’t resist! They even had chimney cake (trdelník)! I’ve been craving trdelník since my trip to Budapest last year. We also tried Bread with Lard, Sausage, and Onions, Fried Pierogi, and Potato Pancake. The food was delicious and part of the fair fun!

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Day Two

Starka

This restaurant is rated #9 on TripAdvisor with a 4.6 rating on Google. The reviews mentioned that this restaurant gets quite busy so we made sure to get there right when it opened at 12pm on a Saturday. To our surprise, the restaurant was empty and we were seated immediately. I got the Russian Pierogis and Tender Duck Breast. The pierogi had too much seasoning for my taste. The food was good but not worth the higher price.

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Jewish Quarter

We wandered around Jewish Quarter on our own and we realized that without the proper research, we had no idea what we were looking at. I would recommend taking the Walkative! Jewish Krakow tour.

Wawel Castle

TIP: Make sure to arrive early to purchase tickets because for conservation reasons, there is a daily limit of tickets available. When we arrived at 2pm, the Royal Private Apartments and Crowned Treasury exhibitions were unavailable. There are many exhibitions to choose from and each exhibition has a separate entrance fee.

We bought tickets to the State Rooms exhibition and took the 40 minute audio guide tour (20 PLN for audio guides). The audio guide made my visit more interesting because I was able to learn about the history of and items in each room. I do wish there was a feature to switch to the next room when I was bored with the current one. The castle, both exterior and interior, is rather unimpressive, especially compared with other European castles. Fact: many rooms were actually reconstructed in the 20th century. My favorite was the Envoys’ Room – the ceiling has 30 wooden heads and there’s an interesting story behind the woman with her mouth covered. Otherwise, the visit was pretty forgettable.

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Wawel Cathedral 

Wawel Cathedral is free to enter, though you can buy tickets to enter additional areas. There was a lot of people during our visit so we took a quick walk around to admire the beautiful details.

Kraków Cloth Hall

It’s a long hall filled with stands selling souvenirs. It’s one stand filled with amber jewelry after another. I bought my lapel pin here!

St. Mary’s Basilica

We could only admire St. Mary’s Basilica from the outside because during our visit, it was closed for renovation. With that said, it’s still a must see in Main Square. And make sure to witness the St. Mary’s Trumpet Call – a trumpeter plays a traditional, five-note Polish anthem in each of the 4 directions on the hour. Make sure to wave to the trumpeter after he’s done!

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Bonarka City Center

My boyfriend’s suitcase broke during our trip so we went to TK Maxx for another one. It also gave us the opportunity to shop at this nearby mall!

Departure Day

Starbucks

I usually don’t list Starbucks in my travel diaries because its universal and I go too often when I travel. I wanted to list it this time around because Starbucks in Kraków serve Liège Waffles! YUM.

Milkbar Tomasza

This spot is known for serving classic breakfast all day. My boyfriend wanted a break from Polish food, but I couldn’t get enough pierogi! I ordered the Cottage Cheese and Potato Pierogi. Of all the places we went to, this was the worst spot for pierogi. The filling was grainy, mushy, and watery – everything I never knew I didn’t want in a dumpling.

Overall Thoughts

Top Tourist Spots: Main Square

For Next Time: Wieliczka Salt Mines

Must Eat Restaurant: Pierogarnia Krakowiacy

The Other Necessities

Airbnb

We stayed in this airbnb in Kraków Old Town, just a block away from the Main Square. The location was perfect! The airbnb was clean and had all the amenities we needed for our stay.

Transportation

Because our Airbnb was in Old Town, we were close to all the tourist attractions. We mainly walked from place to place. And when we felt lazy, we just took an Uber.

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