The first think you need is to be able to IDENTIFY a toilet. You will see triangle and circles. Triangles for Men and Circles for the Ladies. Now you need to be able to find one – AND – manage to get there. And the worse part? You may have to pay. Many public toilets have attendants and you have to pay. Even bars and restaurants sometimes charge! My photo asking for money was taken inside a cheap bar. It may only be 1 or 2 Zloty, but why pay?
The other issue is access. Across the Old Town many toilets are in restaurants and bars that can only be accessed by able bodied people down cellar steps. The issue is made worse because you have to climb back up as well. Put a charge on top of that and it’s a real insult.
Keep a few Zloty coins with you just in case. You can always give them to the street performers. In bars/restaurants where there is no attendant don’t bother leaving any coins. If there are any coins, grab them and give them to the street performers. Men, you already know some other sneaky alternatives. If desperate just ask nicely or urgently for the toilet. People are nice and will let you. You can sort it out later. Please note: the word ‘toilet’ is not a rude word in Europe. You can write down ‘WC’ which would also be understood or a triangle/circle symbol.
*Always pack ‘wet-wipes’ so you never have to worry if they have paper.
Most of the good, clean and free toilets are in any large hotel lobby. I recommend you use them. McDonalds is always available, but I find they are usually nasty because of all the other tourists looking for non-pay toilets. Good restaurants are usually large enough for you to sneak into. If challenged make hand gestures like washing your hands. You could also order a beer and then use the toilets. Then you have a nice beer waiting upon your return to the table!
I have included a link on how to find the few disabled toilets in Krakow below. Even some of the luxury hotels have toilets up stairs with no lift.
DISABLED TOILETS IN KRAKOW
About toilets ;)
First thing about toilets in Krakow - most of them are toilets you have to pay at least 1 zloty. For me this price is still quite big, sometimes, lets say, in bus station, it is 2 zloty, the same as botle of beer in Lithuania :)
At Wawel castle there is toilets too - but quite strange thing - near the doors to toilet is written "Pay as you think is Ok". I had some smaller coins and payed about 0,7 zloty, but girl havent took them and said to pay 1 or more than 1 zloty. So...why when it is so not correct writing near doors?
Another way about toilets - in some places in Poland and Krakow the signs of "man" and "woman" toilets is different than usually. So, dont confuse yourself.
Unique Suggestions: "Problems" solving - 1) free toilets is inside bars, restaurants; 2) Pay girl 1 zloty or more :); 3.) dont confuse about different toilet signs "man", "woman" or go to toilets where signs looks usual to you.
This is the entrance to Auschwitz 1 (the first field once you arrive) for more information about how to arrive look in my Oswiecim tips page
After a large avenue amidst wire fences you will find in your left hand a building where there is some information about the camp and all that stuff full of tourist, students, sionist people not much polite, that is really crowded. Thats the place to book a guide, but dont spend your money because is really intuitive , just buy a tiny guide book with barracks information.
Once you get out walk ahead and you will enjoy the sight of barracks and high wire fences ..its quite impressive
AUSCHWITZ TIPS 4
Among two barracks there is the execution wall....listening guides we knew that sometimes before get out to the yard nazis killed prisoners in the previous room ...so it was just a game, just shoot the target!!
I tried to do something different, everybody looks the wall as the pic, I walked to the wall and turnaround and i tried to feel as someone who left just a seconds of life...bufffff its so scary its so weird and feelings are so intenses ...much more than a normal sight of the wall...believe me!!!
AUSCHWITZ TIPS 2
This is the famous letters in the entrance of Auschwitz 1st...everybody get crazy shooting pics here and the railway track, wire fences, lol
once cross this door you are into and start the tour around the barracks fit out to behold some scary or better weird and masochisitic stuff for some people...
AUSCHWITZ TIPS 3
Into the barrack.. most of them has a lot of pics former prisoners and beneath it when they got in and when they "got out"... mostly of them hold just for 3 or 4 months..i just saw one or two that stayed there for more than a year ! wow!!
Each barrack contains some stuff.. ones plates and pots, hair, suitcases, everything you can see there inside
I wasnt so affected for that maybe because i knew beforehand what was expecting there but some schoolgirls got out crying and dropping tears..well thats a point ..
Otherhand we found the jewish with their typical habits and im going to say it...really bad-mannered persons...its just an impression but they believe the owners jostling people, me my friends, while they walk on the streets or in the barrack entrances or stopping in fron of notice board while you was reading and doing it impossible to keep on reading.... 75 people clad in black coming all togehter... what are u gonna do, just bad mannered
AUSCHWITZ 2nd camp TIPS
This is the 2nd and scaryest Auschwitz camp...its a huge and flatter plane surrounded by trees at the end and a railway track that cross all it. Every few meters was a barrack so you can imagine how many of it could fill the area!!
The pic is taken from outside 50 meters away from the main entrance...the railway track crossed the entrance and prisoners got down into the camp and distribute or kill whatever nazis wanted it... in order to sex, age, and strength
AUSCHWITZ 2nd camp TIPS 2
the railway track guides you easily to the camp...a straight track runs till the end of the camp..really scary
Actually from the 1st to 2nd camp there is a bus for free or you can walk for 2km (just 10 minutes)
BE VERY CAREFULL and dont lose your path as we did (lol) cos you have to go up by the bridge and dont follow the railway track that turn left...just go up and follow the road
From the first camp you have to wal 500 meters right ..then cross the street and go up by that bridge over the tracks and follow it from 1.5 km and you can see the 2nd camp
AUSCHWITZ 2nd camp TIPS 4
Inside a Barrack..bunk beds on each side and theu have a stove in the middle with 2 chimney on each end
the barrack is 30m long and 10 wide made in wooden and looks pretty cold in winter with several cracks and holes where the cold gets in
Be careful at the train station
When I arrived in Krakow, I was approached by a local at the platform. He was offering a room close to the station. Unfortunately it turned into a grubby little shack that smelt horrible and was in disrepair. It was also a taxi ride from the station. In hindsight I should have refused but even with my friend with me, we felt cornered and unable to say no.
Unique Suggestions: Moral of the story: Be careful and don't take anyone's word as gospel (especially if their name is Teldor)
Fun Alternatives: Leave the station ASAP.
You'll find these guys around the city, or they'll find you actually... Common street hustlers looking for the rubes, so to speak. They will offer to take you anywhere you want to go, whether you'll actually get there may be another story. We had one offer to take us to the airport for 150 zl, a trip that actually costs about 8 zl for 2 people. I'll gve the guy credit, he was pretty funny, but I think, um...not.
Unique Suggestions: If you need a taxi, just go with a real, established company. If in doubt, ask your hotel to call one for you. the ones outside the KRK Baltice airport are pretty reliable, but buckle up, cause they drive like hell...whoohoo!
Fun Alternatives: Buses and trains are cheap and easy to find, and walking is free.
Cafe Ariel: decent food, fake atmosphere
During my first trip to Poland, I had the chance to meet many people involved in the revitilization of the Jewish quarter, Kazimierz. While most of the stores and restaurants that have opened in Kazimierz do a good job of capturing the Jewish past, I was soon warned about Ariel, one of the restaurants on the main street. If you're looking for a Disney-like Jewish experience, then Ariel is the place to go. Jewish figurines, menorahs, and other trinkets practically explode inside, making the atmosphere feel forced and phony. The food is decent, but the high prices reflect the restaurant's purpose: to cater to unsuspecting foreign tourists who are looking for a good Jewish experience.
Unique Suggestions: Eat there on a night when a Klezmer band is playing. Again, it's over-the-top, but the music is fun at least.
Fun Alternatives: Skip Ariel and go next door to Alef, which is much more realistic and authentic. The two restaurants, which at one time fought over the name Ariel, have long been at odds with each other.
COLD DRINKS - NOT SO FAST !
Many shops sell cold soft drinks across Krakow. They have the normal drink coolers like the one pictured here. They are filled in the normal way with top name brands that you recognise and the coolers keep them nice and cold. Just open the door and reach in a grab one.
Oops. The door will not open!
Yes, they are locked and you either have to have the staff switch a button or open it with a key and get it out for you. If you keep trying to open the door you may here someone starting to shout at you.
Find the person with the key/button/remote control. You have to learn to be slightly patient here, but yopu always get friendly service.
Fun Alternatives: There isn't one. Just be patient like I said before. They will be there in a second.Related to:
- Business Travel
- Family Travel
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
The Cloth Hall
Yes, I know that some people actually like this place! And yes, It does have attractive-looking bits and bobs.
Personally-speaking I think it is a waste of a stunning building located in the middle of the city's most valuable piece of real estate,
I assume the stall-holders pay hugely expensive rents and that's why everything is so expensive. There's plenty of little shops in the side streets where you can find these sort of souvenirs and also the proper market of Stary Kleparz (across the road from the Barbican). At these places you'll pay much less for exactly the same sort of stuff.Related to:
- Budget Travel
Going on day trips from Krakow
Touts at the central bus staion offering to take you to places like Auschwitz.
These guys will offer you a trip in a car and then to pick you up , but the price you will pay will be very very expensive .
Fun Alternatives: Just go inside the bus station and catch the bus to Oswiecim , it really isnt expensive at all, and you will probably find yourself on a bus full of travellers doing exactly the same.
The bus stops just down the road from the Camp and picks up from there at regular intervals , so it is really easy to do .
AND MUCH CHEAPER THAN A PRIVATE CARRelated to:
- Road Trip
- Historical Travel
- Museum Visits
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