Poland is a country I’ve wanted to visit for quite some time, I was supposed to be here in 2020, so it’s nice to finally be seeing it. Krakow was a great starting point; it’s a beautiful city with a lot of history. Some of it isn’t so nice (Auschwitz), but immensely important. If you have a chance and are in the right mindset for it, I highly recommend seeing Auschwitz.
The old town surrounds a big square with The Cloth Hall at the very center, a gorgeous church (St. Mary’s Basilica), historic buildings, and great architecture. From the square, you’ll find streets pointing out in all directions with lots of shops, museums, and restaurants. Around 8 pm in certain parts, you’ll get a lot of offers to go checkout clubs too. I didn’t stop to inquire and didn’t understand what most were saying, but I think these are both the typical nightlife spots for drinks, dancing, and music. I did however hear the words “gentlemen’s club” mentioned from a few solicitors; FYI. Circling around all of this is a path/park that I understand is largely where the old village walls stood. Some small parts and gates are still standing, and there’s a beautifully preserved Barbican on the north end. South of the center is a hill where you’ll find the castle and east of that is Kazimierz, Krakow’s historic Jewish quarter. Kazimierz is a cool place to walk around, a bit of a trendy scene, and has plenty of places to stop for a drink and/or food.
Overall the city isn’t extremely big and it’s easy to get around. I do hope they simplify the transit system though, particularly the mobile application, it’s basically unusable for foreigners at this point; just my personal opinion of course.
This was a 14-night stay…
- Accommodation – $735.38* (additional information below)
- Getting around locally – $0 I walked a lot. FYI, they seem to have a good public transportation system, but the app (iMKA) is horrible! Hopefully, they’re working out issues, but you can still get tickets from machines.
- Living expenses – $317.62 (groceries and eating out)
- Activities – $53.36 (Auschwitz Birkenau Museum Guided Tour from Krakow with seekrakow 175PLN)
- Mobile phone/data – $34.82 (I use Google Fi which provides service in most countries. If you’re interested, and U.S. based, you can use this paid link to sign up which will give me a referral fee at no extra cost to you)
- Medical insurance = $32.25 (I’m using SafetyWing, rates are determined by age, and mine is slightly above the base. If you’re interested there is a paid link/banner on the right side of the page)
Total $1,173.43 / 14 nights = $83.82 per
*Hotel cost info
- I stayed at the W Sercu Krakowa Aparthotel which turned out to be a great find IMO. I booked a standard room through Booking.com (***using Rakuten) as I was on the train on my way into town. The location is great for accessing the city center and is a short walk from the train station. The standard room is actually a full studio apartment with a small kitchen that included all the basic needs; plates, glasses, cutlery, pots, pans, dishwashing soap, a small refrigerator, etc. The room had nice décor and was very comfortable. The staff was also very nice and helpful. I used a link they sent upon booking for my tour to Auschwitz which was very convenient, and I felt a fair price for being picked up a half block from the hotel with a very simple online booking process.
Transportation to and from varies too much, so I’ve left it out along with most incidental/one-time personal costs. But for those interested, this trip included a direct train ride from Praha hl.n. (Prague main station) to Kraków Glowny (Main Station) on České dráhy (Czech Railways) for $40.22. An interesting part of this is that searches on Google and Trainline didn’t find this route. Unfortunately, there is no one place I’ve found for all available transportation options. Both Google and Trainline only found options with transfers and in the case of Trainline, one part of the route was on a bus. I used the České dráhy iPhone app which made things very easy and no printing of a ticket was needed. All other standard day to day expenses are included to give an idea of how much basic living costs in the area are. Groceries will sometimes include basic personal care items (i.e. toothpaste, deodorant, etc.).
*** I try to use Rakuten whenever it’s an option; why not take the money. It works as a browser add-on, and there is also an app. Note from their site “Stores pay us a commission for sending our members to their websites, and we share it with you. It’s that simple!” If you haven’t signed up yet, and are interested, please consider using this referral link to help support me, and get a signup bonus. I use it regularly and recommend it, but take a look for yourself to decide if it’s right for you. When you sign up using the link, use it spending $, we each get $! The $ varies which I’ve recently seen at $40 and $30. They state “Offer may be modified or canceled anytime.” Payments are made by PayPal or you can have a check sent to you.
**** At time of writing – 4,05 PLN = 1 USD
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