I don't mean this literally (although it can happen ;)) but rather that for some reason I always find myself confused as to which way up Krakow is. Perhaps it's because different maps orientate the city North to South, othertimes the other way up - well, that's my excuse anyway.
However no matter how lost you get in the side streets there are two points of reference - the Rynek Glowny and the Planty. All roads inwards will eventually bring you into the main square, whilst all roads outwards bring you onto the Planty, the gardens which fully encircle the old city centre. Once you find yourself in the shaded walkways of the gardens it's just a matter of wandering round (clockwise or anti, it's up to you) and eventually you'll find yourself somewhere recognisable.
It's a little bit more difficult in Kazmierz though (especially after a night out in the bars) but eventually you'll find either the main road, ul Josef Dietla, or the river!
Favorite thing: I have put links to Google Map in my tips to make it easier to find the objects mentioned, when possible to get the right position. The links are marked in italics. Unfortunately Google Map isn't very precise and too often points to other buildings than the wanted one.
Bob Taxi -
First class service and loads of local knowledge from start to finish. We arranged an airport pick-up and tour to Auschwitz-Birkenau with Bob's Taxi by email before going to Krakow. He was quick to reply and offered great prices. His driver,was waiting for us at the airport with a name sign and Bob was at the hotel on Thursday morning bang on time. On the way to Auschwitz he showed us a DVD about Auschwitz (quite depressing but informative) and also made a pit-stop so we could use a toilet and get refreshments (you may need tissues for Auschwitz). He arranged everything once there waited for us (2 1/2 hours) and then took us for the second part of the tour at Birkenau. He is a very knowledgable guy with lots of extra info about the area and history. We were that impressed with Bob's service we arranged our transfer back to the airport on Saturday. Again he was punctual and got us there safely. We will definitely use Bob when next in the brilliant and beautiful city of Krakow. A very professional, funny and friendly person.
Read more: http://members.virtualtourist.com/m/p/m/21e7a4/#ixzz1rZUwtR6V
While visiting St. Peter and St. Paul's Church, we noticed another set of bell towers adjacent, turns out that they have a wall in common with St. Andrew's Church.. We did not have time to visit, but I did look it up on the internet so you would at least have some information, this is what I found at
St. Andrew's Church dates from the 11th century and is the finest example of Romanesque architecture in Kraków. Local residents took refuge within the strong walls of St. Andrew's during the Tartar raids. The simple, white Romanesque exterior with two round towers has a humble, gentle beauty. The interior, on the other hand, was given a Baroque makeover in the 18th century and jars the senses. The furnishings include a fanciful pulpit resembling a boat.
Names: Kosciól swietego Andrzeja; St. Andrew's Church
Type of site: Parish church
Faith: Roman Catholic
Dates: 11th century
Architecture: Romanesque with Baroque interior
Location: Grodzka 56
Favorite thing: St.Peter & St.Paul Church was not in our guide book as an "attraction", but it turned into an attraction for us as we wandered the streets of Krakow. We just happened to walk by as we saw children dressed in white, looking like moving snow in the summer. It was not a holiday that we knew about so we asked some of the people there and they explained to us that the kids in white had just had communion. So it WAS a holiday for them.
What I found on the internet about the park was "The Planty ring, consisting of about 30 gardens, encircles the central Old Town historic district. It replaced Krakow’s city walls in the 1820s."
But more importantly it is a beautiful green area surrounding the old town of Krakow and makes for an exceptional area to enjoy a nice day of sunshine. We often, during our stay in Krakow, took the long way around so we could walk in the park, instead of taking the more direct paved streets in the middle of town.
There we found various things, the statue of Copernicus, university buildings adjoing the park and fountains in green areas. Great for relaxing after a hectic day of "touristing".
Matt got all the VTers wandering the streets of Krakow during the VT Euromeet 2010 to gather in the central square for a LIVE WEBCAM shoot. My daughter Tal watched us on her computer back home in Israel and then called, she was thrilled.
The photos show:
1) The group photo.
2) What the group photo looks like behind Hansi's video camera.
3) Matt with holding his Polish flag and megaphone.
4) VTers jumping for Jumping Norman.
5) Matt and Chiara trying to answer a simple question from a passing tourist...
WHY IN THE WORLD WERE YOU ALL JUMPING AND WHAT IS VT??
Good luck guys !!! ^O^
As a note, this was I do believe the FIRST time that I, as part of the VT group, became a tourist "attraction". We had literally dozens of tourists passing by and taking OUR PHOTO....
Matt chose the Harris Piano Bar for our first clubbing night. It was an excellent choice and I do think that everyone enjoyed the food, beer AND company of course.
In the photos you can see -
Hansi and Chiara.
Ande and Birgit.
Hansi and Martin.
Larry and Mark.
Martin, Chiara and Zohara.
Fondest memory: Meeting VT friends for the FIRST TIME and of course renewing other friendships made over the years here on VT.
Ande and I have been writing for YEARS, but had never met and she is even nicer than I had believed, now we BOTH plan to visit one another in our respective countries.
Also met up with Chiara and her husband Alex and what a wonderful couple they are. We had the opportunity to share a few hours with them wandering the streets of Krakow.
And introducing Zohara to Hansi and lovely Lori was a blast.
Just too many fantastic people all in one place to mention EVERYONE, just to say that each and EVERY ONE of them IS fantastic for so many reasons.
This memorial commemorates the 21,768 Polish victims of the Katyn massacre in 1940 by the Soviet secret police NKVD in April-May 1940. It was an attempt to kill all members of the Polish Officer Corps and doctors, professors, lawmakers, police officers, other public servants, gendarmes, landowners, saboteurs, factory owners, lawyers, officials and priests. After the Russian invasion of 1939 all were arrested for allegedly being "intelligence agents".
In 1943 after the German invasion the mass graves were discovered in the Katyn Forest, 20 kilometres West of Smolensk, Russia. As a result the Polish government in exile stopped the diplomatic relations with the Russian government.
The Soviet Union continued to deny responsibility for the massacre until 1990, when it officially acknowledged and condemned the act.
The diplomatic relation with the Russians stayed difficult, especial after the 2010 plane crash near Smolensk, that killed the Polish president Lech Kaczynski and many Polish officials.
There are a number of webcams at Kraków like:
Rynek Glówny-1, Central market square.
Rynek Glówny-2, Central market square.
pl. Wszystkich Swiêtych
The Krakow Local Tourist Office or the Tourist Information Center is located at:
pl. Wszystkich Swietych 2
Daily: 9AM - 5PM or 7PM (high season)
Rynek Glówny webcam
Kraków start page
Kraków Tourist Card
Toilets are well placed around the City centre with the international sign WC shown on most city maps. After doing one's business one must leave one zloty (women) 50 gr or one PLN depending on one's need (men) Most of the toilets are well maintained by the the ladies guarding them. Most eateries/pubs provide toilets for their patrons and will rarely challenge those in need....
Fondest memory: Friendly people, lots of reasonably priced eateries, modern shops its all there.
You can't really pin this down. VTers were all over the place, losing one another, squeaks of joy when we spotted one of the crowd, battling with the word blind language, trying new foods and meeting new people, where are we, who the hell, what are we supposed to be doing, has anyone got a map, where is my hotel, what time are we meeting, do you know what time the train to Lviv is, how do you say thank you in Polish, did you give Mattcrazy a throat lozenge, how do I buy batteries in polish, can you please order me some chicken.... it went on and on.
One thing I did not expect were the mosquitos. Present all over the city and ready to bite you once the sun had gone down. No malaria as far as I know but those itchy lil bastids made their presence felt. If I go back, I will bring DEET insect repellent.
Fondest memory: I had never wanted to visit Poland. For me, Poland meant Polar, so cold that my joints would freeze over. I would be word blind, no real recognision or pronunciation of words. I was pleasantly surprised. The Poles have a deep and genuine affection for Brits. Something, I believe, that was due to our Tommies rushing in to defend them in World War II. I certainly found that Polish people really liked me when I said I was English.
This is a really *young* town in that the general population are young people and students. The girls are astoundingly attractive and the young men pleasant and polite to old ladies like me. If I ever got into difficulties with language or direction, they were quick to rush to my help.
I found Polish people to be amazing workers. If they had a job to do, they got stuck in and did it, no matter how heavy or difficult it was. Would that our people in Scotland did the same instead of asking for handouts. I deeply admire the Poles.
On our travels by car around the country I was amazed and gratified at the big and elegant houses that people lived in. Some parts are rural in that they have horses and work the land, but for the most part the houses seemed to be impressive and beautiful and I saw no great poverty.
pl. Wszystkich Swiêtych is a mix of everyday's Kraków city life and a flow of tourists.
The popular tram line #4 has its downtown stop here, the government buildings are at the square and so is the local tourist office.
Finding your way at Kraków is easy. There are many maps and sign all over downtown.
The Main Kraków attractions are:
-Royal castle on the Wawel hill
-Central Market square or Rynek Glówny with the Cloth Hall (Sukiennice)
-St. Mary's church
-Jewish quarter or the Kazimierz suburb
-St. Florian's Gate and the Barbican
Trips to attractions out of town:
-Schindler factory (South across the river)
-Wieliczka Salt Mine
-Auschwitz at Oswiecim
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