THE BARBICAN - BARBAKAN
Built between 1498 - 1499 and financed by King Jan Olbracht, THE BARBICAN or BARBIKAN, was the most important element in the system of defense walls around the city of Krakow. It was once surrounded by a 6 metre deep and 26 metre wide moat. A fortified wall connected the Barbican with the Florianska Gate. The building survived the demolition of the city walls which started in 1806 under Emperor Franciszek II.
Today it is the largest and best preserved building of its kind in Europe.
Accessible for visits from April 15 to October 16 from 10:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Adult ticket 6 zl.
In Oswiecim I and Birkenau,...
In Oswiecim I and Birkenau, you'll have the opportunity to discern the prisoner's living quarters as they really were, the spooky underground cellars, gas chambers and conveyer belts along which corpses were transported to the furnaces. The admissions to the grounds are free. Today majority of prison blocks contains exhibitions portraying what happened here. A brochure available at the information desk is quite enough to get you round the grounds. Don't miss the 20mins documentary film presentation at the museum cinema. It is screened in different languages and the ticket costs only 2 zl. And get some autobiographies of the Oswiecim survivors as well if you're interested to learn about what's life like in the camp.
Now to get there, take a bus or train from the central train station in Krakow. A copy of their departure schedules can be picked up at the TIC in Rynek Glowny. A shuttle bus runs between Oswiecim I and Birkenau. I took a 12:30 train (9.50 zl) to arrive Oswiecim station about 14:00 and returned by bus (10 zl) so as to experience a little bit of the countryside peace.
Most definitely, you'll be approached by some locals who'd offer to bring you there by their own vehicle. But the price for the return trip can cost you 100 zl or more, negotiable.
Try one of the traditional soups when you are in Poland, they are really very very tasty:
Polish sour rye soup: (zurek) this one is my favorite and one of the culinary musts, a vegetable soup flavored with fermented bread with cooked white sausage, garlic and onions.
Sauerkraut soup (kapusniak) a typical polish winter soup based on sourkraut, ribs, mushrooms and onions.
Beetroot soup (barszcz) classic beetroot soup usually served with little dumplings filled with meat.
I find Polish culture really...
I find Polish culture really fascinating and want to learn more about it. Try to learn a few words of Polish when you are there, people seem to really appreciate it!
A website featuring basic polish vocabulary:
Thank you :: Dziekuje :: (Jinkuyeh)
Hello :: Dzien dobry :: dzhehn dobri
Football Madness in Krakow
The Polish are enthusiastic about football. The athmosphere in matches is great. Also the level of the game is quite good. Tickets are cheap. But nowadays you must have an identification card before you can buy tickets or enter the stadium. I went to see the game Cracovia-Korona. The Crarovia has been over the past few years the underdog in Krakow but since they got the new sponsor they are challenging the local rival Wisla. Cracovia were favourite in this match but thanks to their keeper they lost this game. The game was discontinued for a while because of a thick fog (see the photo). Anyway I really enjoyd the match although the weather was dreadful. How to get an identification card see the another tip.