KS Cracovia Krakow is the oldest sports club in Poland. It was established in 1906 and won the first Polish football championships in 1921. Cracovia promoted to the first football league in 2004 after 20 years in lower leagues. The club has a strong hostility towards Wisla Krakow.
It is tradition that Cracovia's first and second team play a friendly match at midday of New Year's day. I attended this match on New Year's Day 2005 in the Cracovia Stadium which has a capacity of 9000. About 5000 attended the New Year's match which ended with 7:4.
The Cracovia Stadium is situated in the Nowy Swiat district of Krakow.
You can`t buy tickets to football matches or even enter the Cracovia football stadium without identification cards. These cards are free. You can get the identification cards at Cracovia headquarters. For identification card you need also a photo. The headquarters are open from Monday to Friday 9-17. Because I arrived to Krakow late Friday night and I was therefore unable to get the identification card in normal way I contacted the Cracovia club beforehand. I sent the photo and all the information needed to the club before and they prepared the card for me. I picked it up from the club shop (on the same building than headquarters) at Saturday. The shop is open from Monday to Friday 9-18.30 and from Saturday to Sunday 10-15. Tickets you can buy either from the shop or at the stadium gates (only in cash). The Cracovia headquarters was hard to find so better use a taxi.
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.
Kraków is said to be the football capital of Poland and Wisla Kraków is one of the oldest Polish football clubs (1906, with the oldest- Cracovia since 1905) and currently is clearly the best.
Out of 9 State Championships 4 have been won after the year 2000 and it's 3 out of 3 in the last years, plus- first thus far in the league with 55 games not lost at home- best result in Europe as far as I remember! Not to mention the fact that Wisla was second in the league 11 times, won the Polish Cup 4 times and played in the finals another 5 times, 1 Supercup and 1 League Cup.
Successes in Europe aren't as numerous as the national, but just form the recent history victories over AC Parma (2002, 5:3 on aggregate), Schalke 04 (2002, 5:2 on agg.), barely lost games with Lazio (2002 4:5 on agg.), honorable loss to Barcelona (2001 3:5 on agg.) dramatic win against Real Saragossa (2000 6:5 on agg.) and a few more.
If you're looking for stars- don't expect those known worldwide, but in our scale Wisla has many stars. If you're determined enough you may try and go to an open training to see them playing, get an autograph or a photo. These are usually around 10 AM on weekdays at the stadium's training pitch.
Equipment: As Wisla's unofficial name is White Star you may bring something with this theme, but also anything red-white-blue will do. Learning a few basic chants is also welcome, some are simple even for someone who had no contact with Polish
Cracovia is the oldest football club in Poland (dating back to 1905) and one of the most distinguished as well: 5x Polish Champions says it all...
Here the club and it's supporters are most well known as PASY (the Stripes) or Craxa (Polish phonetic for Crash) and as far as fans are concerned- have a rather notorious opinion.
No successes in Europe YET, but is known to many because it was always the favourite club of John Paul II who even used to play here (not proffessionally though). Recently after years of third league level the club has recovered thanks to the new sponsor and advanced two leagues in two years- quite impressive way almost to the top as it is already among top clubs in Poland.
Games have rather big attendance in Polish scale, but recently their stadium capacity decreased due to safety problems. Now it's harder to get in, but you shouldn't regret when you do!
Equipment: The clubs symbols are red-white stripes so bringing anything with this theme is a good idea!- not a US flag though as it has also white stars on blue background and White Star is the alternative for Wisla Krakow- the most antagonistic team here :)
Personally I haven't been to a derby game here, but no matter in which part of the city you are- you can always feel it. On that day the air is heavy, police is out in numbers and the thought among the people is "Who will it be?". Last time it was 0:0 :)- but still the game was very exciting...
For tickets on that particular game you would have to stand in long lines, but if you got it- you can really feel satisfied :).
Equipment: Of course "club colours" would be recommended... and the TICKET :)
Cracovia Football Club est. 1906 (5 times Champion of Poland) was always the big rival of Wisla Krakow. I can say that citizens of Krakow were divided into fans of Wisla (1st team in Dec. 2004) and fans of Cracovia (5th team). And sometimes some of them even fight on the streets hmm... :-(
Now Cracovia is 5th the best Polish football team and has many fans.
The Krakow's tradition (a very good tradition) is the match between old rivals CRACOVIA and WISLA at midday (12.00 am) on... New Year's Day each year in Cracovia Stadium close to Cracovia Hotel (approx. 20-25 min. on foot from the Main Market), the players often seems to be amused especially when they play on the snow haha.
I advice going to a game in Krakow. Football game of course. The reputation of Eastern-European supporters is... well negative to say the least. Which doesn't mean it's dangerous to go to a game. But exciting- definatelly. The club which should offer you the most is of course the national champion- Wisla Krakow. For someone from Western Europe it's not too expensive (tickets at about 10-20€ for UEFA Cup games- getting a ticket for a normal league or Polish Cup game is almost impossible), but the price will be adequate to the conditions :). The stadium is well renovated, but still with no roof (only over 1000 seats) and only about 10,000 capacity. But the atmosphere is great... (at the end of 2006 should be rebuilt to 22,000 or even 30,000, all with roof... :P). I advice the more expensive seats- there's more space (even when "full-house") and you can admire the shows prepared by fans on the cheaper side... /like this next to the text/
General thought: Polish supporting has changed lately and became more civilised, which is a good sign... but some small incidents still happen, fortunatelly once in a bluemoon here after/before Wisla games. If this won't satisfy your extreme apetite, you may still go to a game of Cracovia... in a Wisla shawl :P (or to a Wisla game in a Cracovia shawl:))
/this equals suicide to those who don't know:P/
This photo comes from the largest fansite: www.wislakrakow.com (by Mati), where you can find loads of galleries (my advice watch those made against strong opponents, like Legia Warszawa, Lech Poznan, Groclin Grodzisk, Amica Wronki and most of all Cracovia). It was made during the recent Krakow derby (first one in 8 years) between two most antagonistic teams in Poland (in Krakow even artists and officials are divided to Wisla and Cracovia) and the conflict, called by locals The Holy War, is ongoing for 98 years now. The site is also in English.
Equipment: For Wisla:
Tickets would be nice :)
This round there were no one-time tickets as it was all for the season-ticket holders, but from spring there should be some. To get a ticket go to the fanshop "Wislacki Swiat" next top the stadium some two- three days before the game. Get your ticket and a one time ID (or a permanent one if you got a photo and occasion to go to other games) which is OBLIGATORY. Any other gadgets like shawls, flags, jerseys and so on are also there (and in most souvenir shops in the centre, but in the shop they're even two times cheaper). that would be all. but my advice- don't wear those all over the city, better put on just before the stadium as you may fin "unkindness" from the Cracovia fans.
no idea, I support Wisla :P
The most popular football club is Wisla (pronaunced Viswa) Krakow - the champion of Poland 2000/2001, vice-champion 2001/2002 and the best team in Polish league now (12 matches won, 2 drawn, 2 lost till December 2002).
On 10th Dec. 2002 after one of the best matches they won German team SHALKE04 (first team of German league now) 4-1 in Germany and qualified to 1/4 finals of European UEFA Cup competition.
Wisla defeated Italian outfit Parma AC and Glentoran Belfast (Northern Ireland) in the earlier rounds of the competition.
Next big UEFA matches in spring 2003 :-).
Their stadion is located just north of Krakow's Blonia - the biggest European meadow - matches are usually on Sat or Sun. Ticket for 1st Polish legaue matches cost 4-8 US$. For European cups matches more (about 12 US$).
The most popular sport discipline in Krakow is soccer (European football). You can see many mainly young (but not only) people playing football in numerous football fields across the city - mainly by schools.