RELAXING IN KRAKOW: Narrow streets and cool bars

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Krakow is perfect for a relaxing break. The city centre is relatively small, so you can see loads just by wandering around.

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DAY 1

We started our first day in Krakow visiting the Barbican and the city walls, located at the entrance of the Old Town.

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It was a beautiful sunny day, perfect for walking around. The Old Town of Krakow has a great Market Square (the largest medieval market square of Europe), with lots of shops and cafes.

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We stopped for lunch at Green Day – yes, they have a veggie restaurant called Green Day!! A meal for two and drink cost £5.50.

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We continued along the narrow streets all the way to Wawel Castle – but we saved that for the next day.

Not far from the Old Town we stumbled upon Frania Cafe, a bar which is also a launderette and it was pretty cool.

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Heading back to the Old Town we found a few more nice bars, so we stopped for a beer at the Beer Gallery, a Belgian bar near the market square.

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DAY 2

One of the best things in Krakow is that there is a park which goes all around the city walls. This is a great place for a walk, so on our second day in the city we made our way through the park to get to Castle Hill.

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This is a great place to visit – you can see the many areas of Wawel Castle, visit the Cathedral and you also get great views over the river.

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After leaving the castle, we went to the Jewish Quarter, an amazing neighbourhood full of history which is now home to lots of cool shops are cafes.

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Wolnica Square is the perfect place for a little break, so we stopped for lunch at Cafe Mlynek.

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We found lots of cool independent shops in Jozefa Street. The Jewish Quarter is also great for drinks, so we stopped at Bill Hickman (amazing décor), Propaganda (perfect soundtrack) and Strefa Piwa (they have the best beer map painted on the wall) – all really great places.

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This was the end of our Poland adventure! Check out this post for tips on how to organise your trip.

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A SUNNY DAY IN WARSAW: Cold beer and vegan food

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Warsaw was great – I didn’t really know what to expect, but it’s a beautiful city with a relaxed atmosphere and lots of cool places for eating and drinking. What else do you need?

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We started our day in Warsaw at the Science and Culture Palace, which hosts lots of museums and other cultural hubs. You can go up this impressive building to get nice views over the city (tickets at 20 zloti per person).

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After taking in the view, we started walking towards the Old Town. We stopped for a quick drink at Aioli, a nice place for a cocktail on a sunny day (drinks looked amazing but were a bit watery). We then made our way to Novy Swiat (the Royal Way), a busy thoroughfare full of bars and restaurants.

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For lunch we stopped at Vege Bistro, a little vegan cafe that served delicious pirogi (traditional Polish dumplings). A meal for two cost 53 zloti (around £9).

The Royal Way leads to the Old Town, which was completely rebuilt after the second World War – about 85% of Warsaw was destroyed then. This is a beautiful area to wander around for a few hours, stopping to lounge in the sun at one of the many cafes.

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We found a great Belgian bar just off the Old Town. The Elephant Pub has a great selection of Belgian beers and is very nicely decorated. Perfect to recharge for a little bit.

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Our last stop of the day was Poznanska Street, which is full of cool bars and restaurants. We had pizzas at Vegan Pizza before heading back to the hotel.

What a nice day!

HOW TO DO IT:

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  • Go: We flew Wizzair, as they tend to have the cheapest options for Eastern Europe. The flight takes around 2h so it’s easy to go after work.
  • Money: Poland is really cheap. A beer costs less than £2, and you get a meal for about £5. Things are really good quality, so it’s the perfect place to indulge.
  • Stay: We stay at Mercure Grand Warsawa which was by far the best Mercure I’ve ever stayed at. We only paid £35 per night – bargain!
  • Food: Polish food is not traditionally veggie, but there are lots of veggie places around. We took recommendations from Happy Cow and were really spoilt for choice.
  • Train to Krakow: We took the express train to Krakow, which takes about 2h30. Tickets cots £7, and that even includes a free beverage! (shame on you, National Rail!) The train was great and the trip very enjoyable. You can spend the time gazing at the countryside outside or having a cold beer at the bar.

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