Poland | Day 5: Exploring Krakow

Our last day in Poland we had kept aside to fully explore Krakow. Krakow isn’t a big city and our flights home weren’t until almost 10pm, so we had no problem seeing most of the sights in one day.

We begun our trip by walking up to and along the Vistula River, and our first stop was the TripAdviser #74 thing to see in Krakow, the Polnischer Walk of Fame. It’s #74 for a reason. It was kind of terrible and it had the oddest selection of people – mostly famous Polish people but also Celina Dion and Benedict Cumberbatch.

Looking up from this spot you find yourself right at the foot of Wawel Royal Castle and Wawel Cathedral. It’s only a five-minute walk up to the top of the hill that they’re both perched on, although in the rising 27C it felt like five hours.

You can wander around within the walls for free which is great, but there are admission fees for going inside both. We didn’t feel the need to go inside, so instead we spent half an hour soaking up the sun, the views and the architecture. It was truly glorious.

Next up was a walk around the Old Town. We didn’t have a grand plan other than we wanted to see the Old Town Square during the day, and wonder down some of the many side streets. I’ll let the pictures do the talking, but long story short, it’s all amazing.

We saw a lot of churches as we walked around too, all of them free to go in but required covering shoulders. One of the churches we visited, the Church of St Bernard of Siena, was one of the most over the top churches I have ever visited. Dripping with gold doesn’t really do it justice. We also saw the Church of Saints Peter and Paul, and the Church of St Anny, and the Church of Saints John the Baptist and John the Evangelist.

By this point it was lunch time and we were both tired, hot and sweaty. Naturally, we took this opportunity to have a liquid lunch and drink raspberry beer in an adorable cafe called Cafe Camelot, just off of the main square. It has two courtyards (one hidden at the back), and inside it’s full of different rooms, all very quirky and adorable. I would really recommend it.

After “lunch” we felt like we had seen most of the city centre, and reminiscing about how great cycling around Warsaw was, we decided to rent some bikes. We picked bikes up from Bike Rental Krk, a sweet bike hire shop just metres from the Old Town Square.

The staff were really lovely and we actually got bikes that were right for our height – Naomi may have been given a children’s bike. The rental only ended up costing us around £5 each and we had the bikes for several hours, so a cheap way to get about the city.

We had heard about Kosciuszko Mound, well we’d seen it on Instagram because we are millennials, and decided to cycle there as it’s outside of the city and a bit far to go by foot.

It took about 20 minutes to cycle to the mound, and most of it was on dedicated cycle paths and through parks. The hill the mount sits on is quite the uphill trek, so after attempting to first cycle up and then push the bikes up, we eventually decided to abandon them and continue on foot. To get to the top of the hill it was about a 15 minute walk, and then another five to the top of the mound.

Kosciuszko Mound does charge admission, although at less than £3 each it was hardly anything. Once you’re at the top the views over Krakow and the nearby countryside are amazing. It was the perfect thing to do to wrap up our last day in Poland. We tried to celebrate by eating some chocolate that we’d brought up with us, sadly however Naomi’s had melted so much in the heat that we had serious concerns it would be considered a liquid by airport security.

After we cycled back we still had a few hours to kill before leaving for the airport. Realising we hadn’t eaten properly since breakfast we sat back in the main square and had an extremely leisurely three hour lunch.

Having wiled away much of the late afternoon people watching and eating, we walked back to our hotel to get our bags. Instead of getting a bus to the airport we decided to order a taxi. It only costs about £10 from the city to the airport, and the ride is 20-30 minutes depending on where you’re coming from.

As we hopped in our taxi, airport bound, I took one last look back at our lovely hotel. It was in this moment that I saw the rooftop bar. I don’t know if I mentioned this in my earlier blogs, but the main reason Naomi and I booked this hotel was because of how fabulous the rooftop bar looked. In the end, we got so swept up in Krakow that we totally forgot about it and never went. So yeah, great work us.

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