Krakow Tourist Information Offices
There are a clutch of municipal Tourist Information Centres around the city as well as one at the airport. These provide a range of services including assistance with accommodation. They have the usual freebie leaflets and maps as well as for sale guidebooks.
All staff speak at least English and are more than willing to assist with local advice including public transport information.
As well as the municipal offices there are other places marked as "Tourist Information" but these are privately run and will be more interested in selling you tours and other services.
The Krakow-Info website has a list of locations and contact numbers.
One of my long-time favorites in Krakow is the Jama Michalika coffeehouse in the Old Town. I went there for the first time in the early 1980´s, after returning from a camping trip to Bieszczady mountains. We had been on the road for 16 hours, with train delays and interrupted bus schedules, looking rather run-down after two weeks in literary wilderness (Bieszady are gaining tourist popularity, but back then, the camp ground were very VERY basic...) and stumbled with all our backpacks, tents etc into the foyer of this 19th century cafe full of plush and art deco. The doorman kept contenance and just put our heap of luggage discreetly behind a curtain. We were free to celebrate our return to civilization.... Jama Michalika used to be a meeting point for artists from all over Poland and many of the payed the art-loving patron with their works instead of money. The place is wonderfully old-fashioned, and the service reminds of the old Socialist days. which means you should bring along time and patience. The coffee isn´t the best you get in Krakow, it´s even rather meager, but the atmosphere can´t be beaten. The cafe is easy to spot on ul. Florianska.
I have found it very funny, but I saw many people having trouble with it (well, including myself ) Very often, on toilets doors you will find just symbols. So remember - circle is lady, and triangle is men !
Also, especially in Cracow public toilets, you will find a maintanance lady asking you for donation. So always cary some change with you if you dont want to struggle.
Easter in Krakow - part 2 and last :-)
Easter Monday is a public holiday in Poland, customarily devoted to amusement and socializing. Krakow’s chief venue remains the centuries-old EMAUS FAIR. Universal Poland’s tradition is "SMINGUS-DYNGUS", i.e. splashing water over one another on the Easter Monday; teenagers do it in the streets with zest and by bucketful. At the same time you may come across the "smigusnicy" masqueraders. Krakow’s Easter Monday’s Emaus fair has drawn since the Middle Ages joyful crowds to the Zwierzyniec area by the 800-year-old convent of St. Norbert's Premonstratensian order. The fair stems from the ancient celebration of the All Souls Day, moved later to November 2 in the church calendar. And not so long ago during the fiesta innumerable stands and stalls sold clay bells against evil spirits, magical wooden hatchets, and toy birds representing souls. Now they trade mostly in homely sweets and junk toys. Yet the Emaus fair remained for Krakow dwellers the family Easter outing of choice, mostly beloved by children. And teenagers find it perfect for drenching each other with water, which is Poland’s favorite Easter Monday sport.
On Tuesday after Easter another Krakow centuries-old fair, REKAWKA, takes place by the church of St. Benedict’s atop the Lasota Hill south of the city center, near the ancient Mound of Krak, one the city’s mysterious prehistoric earthworks. The fiesta probably has roots in pagan rites in honor of the dead celebrated here in the Dark Ages. Its feature used to be scattering coins and sweets that boys fought over. There were also bonfires and various contests, from fencing to pole climbing. After WW II yearly Rekawka fairs have attracted mostly children with simple amusements and cheap sweets and toys overflowing stalls. There are efforts recently to reinvent and enliven the fiesta.
Profusion of social gatherings around Easter, from formal banquets to wild parties, with the common theme of egg-sharing and well-wishing is relatively new feature of KRAKOW'S EASTER FESTIVAL.
Warning! Lots of steps ahead!
1) The mine consists of 3 levels and you have to walk down 400 steps to access the galleries, chambers and lakes of the mine. You will be pleased to know that you catch a lift back up to the top at the end of the tour!
2) I didn't particualrly find the mine cold but some people did. Just in case you are warm blooded, take a lightweight jumper or jacket that you can put on, should it be too cool for you.
3) Being a mine, sometimes the roof level is not consistent. Generally, I did not have any problems as long as I kept an eye out for low doors ( I am 6'3" - 1.9mtr - tall). My wife, at 5'8", had no problems at all.
4) As far as I am aware, there were no toilets within the mine that were accessable during the tour. There are toilets in the lounge area at the end but the tour lasts for approx 2 hours, so make sure that you do everything that you have to do in the main building above ground, before entering into the mine.