2012 Krakow Info Blog.
Contributors to the Krakow blog take full responsibility for their
following does not necessarily represent opinions of the
/2012-12-27/ New train schedule for
the city's central rail station,
introduced this December, is valid through March 2013
only rather than throughout the whole year. There are also many
trains that run temporarily.
National Museum at no cost for 31
/2012-12-14/ From December 27th through January 27th, 2013 the
National Museum in Krakow welcomes
visitors free of charge to all its exhibitions, permanent as well as
temporary. The complimentary admission is granted at every branch of
the museum, including such popular venues as Cloth Hall Gallery and
the Palace of Bishop Ciolek.
/2012-12-11/ A brand-new ski slope has opened almost on the
outskirts of Krakow, in the village of Podstolice, some twenty
kilometers by road from the city center. There are two easy adult
downhill runs and a very easy one for kids, each complete
with ski lifts, lights, and artificial snow.
There is also a snow park and a few other attractions. Plus usual
conveniences such as a restaurant, a shop, a ski service, etc.
New Year's anew.
/2012-12-10/ This December 31th New Year's open-air, free-for-all
concert on Krakow's central square will feature local bands and pop
acts. And laser show instead of fireworks.
Christmas market plus one.
/2012-12-01/ This year the regular Christmas market on Rynek Glowny
central square has got a rival Noel marketplace. The 'Advent Fair'
in front of Galeria Krakowska shopping mall, next to the Old Town
historic center, features an array of stalls selling the usual
seasonal goodies plus some specials.
Air quality updates.
/2012-11-20/ Air quality in Krakow becomes questionable when a
stable high-pressure weather system without winds and precipitation
continues in the city for a longer period. Notably in November and
in the winter months. Up-to-date Krakow information on the air
quality and pollution plus forecasts and warnings are published at
Unfortunately it's in Polish only. Some basic info in English is
Open day at Krakow museums.
/2012-11-12/ Twenty museums in Krakow has called next Sunday,
November 18th their open day. Besides free entry expect special
attractions as well as bigger crowds. Some popular exhibitions
require booking a ticket in advance although free of charge.
Christmas market mystery.
/2012-11-03/ Christmas market in
Krakow traditionally begins in the last days of November.
Unfortunately the organizers have traditionally forgotten to
announce the exact date early enough. No info available till now.
/2012-10-29/ Museum of Natural History at 9 Sw. Sebastiana street (Muzeum
Przyrodnicze) has reopened much changed again. No trace of aquarium
now. The famed corpse of the Ice-Age woolly rhino remains the crown
jewel and all live animals are gone. The main exhibition is focused
on fauna roaming the central Europe from the Middle Ages till now.
Expect another makeover next year.
Vintage jazz festival.
/2012-10-26/ Krakow All Souls jazz festival,
the country's oldest, takes place for the 57th time in the first
decade of November. It starts on November 2nd with two concerts to
end on November 10th. There will be 13 concerts in total plus the
traditional jazz Holy Mass on Monday, November 5th.
/2012-10-12/ Home Army Museum in Krakow,
Muzeum Armii Krajowej, has recently reopened after renovation. Its
innovative, multimedia-heavy exhibition is another ambitious attempt
to enliven the history of World War 2. A necessary follow-up to a
visit at Schindler's Factory.
/2012-10-11/ I know the stag night is once in a lifetime or maybe
two times or three... Yet please consider a ban on
bachelor parties in Krakow. Last Saturday a
stoned at 4 p.m.!) effectively ruined our otherwise
delightful time on the central square.
/2012-10-03/ Krakow Balice airport has launched its own taxi company
and granted it a monopoly at on its grounds, notably on the coveted
rank in front of the International Terminal. The good news is that
fares are uniform now. The bad one - it isn't cheap. A drive to the
Old Town historical center costs either 69 zloties (PLN)to its
western half or 89 zloty (eastern perimeter). Passengers may
pay with plastic. Cabbies speak English and possibly some other
Off-season reductions in fares to
/2012-09-27/ From September 26th, 2012 tickets for a shuttle train
Krakow Airport Balice and the city's central rail
station are significantly cheaper. One-way fare has been reduced by
21 percent from 19 PLN (the
Polish zloty) to 15 PLN now. While a return ticket, valid 30 days,
costs now 23 PLN, down from 29 PLN previously. Trumpeted as a
seasonal promotion the lower ticket prices may well stay in place
through the next year's summer because of disappointing number of
passengers in the 3rd quarter of this year.
National Museum for free.
/2012-09-26/ Visitors over sixty may see all ten branches of the
National Museum in Krakow free of charge on this weekend, September
29th and September 30th. This applies to permanent exhibitions only.
Royal Castle for free.
/2012-09-15/ Polish culture minister has promised free admission to
Krakow's Wawel Royal Castle throughout November. Under a new
government program visitors will be able to see the leading museums
in Poland at no cost every November
from this year on. For starters
four places have been selected. Apart from the Wawel Castle the rest
are Warsaw attractions - Royal Castle, Lazienki Palace, and Wilanow
Back to backups.
/2012-09-04/ The locals are back from summer vacations, which plus
high season for road works in Krakow adds up to ubiquitous tailbacks
and traffic jams.
Nightlife in Krakow
/2012-08-24/ If you're looking to explore the best
bars and nightlife in Krakow then try out the bars in the Old Town- there's a
plethora of traditional Polish bars mixed with modern watering holes. It's also
close to the Kazimierz district where you can have a few sophisticated drinks in
a relaxed atmosphere. If you're looking for something more lively then the best
place to head might be the Old Town square, a Mecca of Polish party-goers and
cheerful tourists. To stay busy in the daytime I can recommend a trip to Wawel
Castle or an explore round the statuesque Gothic churches. Whether you're
looking to stay busy day or night, Krakow has plenty of options.
/2012-08-22/ Popular approach road to Krakow from the south has been
closed due to punctured overpass. Drivers need to detour via a
parallel expressway. Being one of them don't forget to leave the
motorway at the very first exit with "Lagiewniki" sign over it
rather than continue ahead as suggested by a signpost for "Krakow -
Village skills galore.
/2012-08-10/ The 35th International Fair of Folk Art takes place on
the Krakow central square, Rynek Glowny, from August 17th through
August 26th. About 400 village craftsmen and artists - sculptors,
painters, potters, blacksmiths, embroiderers, weavers, etc. - will
show their skills and sell their handicrafts. Accompanying open-air
performances will feature a total of 120-plus bands and ensembles.
No shopping on August 15th.
/2012-08-09/ August 15th is a major public holiday in Poland. So
expect all shops closed on that day. Everything else of interest to
tourists, i.e. sights, museums, restaurants, entertainment,
nightspots, etc. - will stay open and as bustling as ever.
Beware, in Krakow some don't accept
sex life on the street.
/2012-08-07/ A couple of foreigners who made love in public on the
street in central Krakow were fined today 100 PLN each. She a German
visitor and he an American ignored passersby when they had sex on
Mikolajska street in the Old Town historic center full of tourists
day and night. A local citizen took offence at their act and brought
the municipal police to the scene. Neither the German nor the
American protested the 100-zloty fine for sex in the open.
Good food found.
/2012-08-06/ Really good restaurants in
Krakow. Better food here than average in Germany, honestly.
Maia from Hamburg
Free adult animations after sunset.
/2012-07-25/ Free open-air screenings of animated films are to take
place on Maly Rynek square, just one block east from the central
Rynek Glowny square, this Thursday, Friday, and weekend. Movies for
kids are scheduled for Friday, between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. Animations
for the grown-ups to be shown on four consecutive evenings, usually
at 9:30 p.m.
English conversation meetings in
/2012-07-23/ English Language Conversation meetings every Wednesday,
6 to 8 pm, on the second floor at ul. Sienna 5 (i.e. two floors
above the ground floor at 5 Sienna Street, the street beside Empik
on the main market square in the center of Krakow). The purpose of
the meetings is to meet people from different cultures and practice
speaking English. There are more than 30 people almost every time -
some foreigners, some students, some local people. The only
requirement is to participate and speak English. English Language
Club has met year-round every Wednesday except Christmas Day since
2007. It's almost free (2 zl) and there is tea.
/2012-07-19/ I saw many pigeons in Krakow. I know that most people
think those birds are so cute... But can we be sure that they don't
disseminate germs? Are they inoculated or something?
August Festival of Classical Music.
/2012-07-15/ Music in Old Krakow festival
has been the city's cultural climax of the second half of August for
the last 37 years. Also in 2012 the festival starts on August 15 and
ends on August 31. Daily concerts - and two a day on August 26 and
August 27 - feature accomplished artists and ensembles, both Polish
and foreign, performing classical music from early to contemporary.
Heat tide to go out.
/2012-07-07/ Weather forecasters foretell the end of the heat wave
in a couple of days. Temperatures in Krakow well above 30 degrees
Celsius over the last fortnight have made folks sweating heavily,
somewhat emptied streets around noon, and boosted sales of ice-cream
and soft drinks. The city fathers parked a water-wagon with free
drinking water on the central square, banned horses from it between
noon and 3 p.m., and turned a blind eye to tourists and children
bathing in fountains. Fire engines have been improvising cool street
showers. It is to change soon and from the next Wednesday on we
expect the day highs in Krakow to keep to the pleasant range between
20 and 25 degrees Celsius.
Festival of Polish Music.
/2012-06-27/ 8th Festival of Polish Music in
Krakow is scheduled for next month. Its program consists of
concerts of classical music by Polish composers, from Renaissance to
contemporary, featuring Poland's accomplished soloists, orchestras,
choirs, and ensembles. At least one festival event takes place on
every day from July 13th to July 21st.
Jewish Festival of Krakow.
/2012-06-20/ This year's 22nd Festival of
Jewish Culture in Krakow spans nine days as it starts on Friday,
June 29 with a lecture about 'Caring for Memorials and Teaching the
Holocaust' at 4 p.m. and ends on Sunday, July 8th with a
concert-cum-screening of a 1921 silent movie at 10 p.m. A torrent of
events in between includes at least two concerts every day, series
of workshops (singing, dancing, art, cooking, and Yemenite jewelry),
numerous lectures and public debates, tours of Jewish sites in
Krakow, and five exhibitions. The venues are concentrated in the
compact area of the historic Jewish quarter of Kazimierz.
Preferences vs. circumstances.
/2012-06-12/ Really hard to book decent lodgings now in the city.
It's the football championship I guess. Finally we've settled for a
rental apartment in Krakow though
personally I decidedly prefer staying in a hotel to self-catering.
A shortened rail tracks to Wieliczka
/2012-06-07/ This June visitors to the
Wieliczka Salt Mine should bear in mind that the last train stop
there is Wieliczka-Park instead of the usual Wieliczka-Rynek. The
line has been shortened to please Italy's national soccer team who
made a Wieliczka hotel their base during the
UEFA European football championship in
2012. The Italians maintain that trains running past their
lodgings would pose a security risk. Sure, noise is dangerous for
your sleep. Anyway, trains will stop short of the central Wieliczka
as long as the Italian footballers stay in the game.
More for a train to Krakow Airport.
/2012-05-30/ Expect more expensive fares for a shuttle train linking
Krakow Airport and the city's central rail
station from this June on. A one-way ticket is to cost 19 PLN (the
Polish zloty) and a return ticket, valid 30 days, will be 29 PLN.
Seeing is believing.
/2012-05-21/ I've enjoyed your videos of Krakow.
We thought about coming to your city this summer or early autumn.
Now I'm positive we should visit the place. Have already
booked the hotel.
Two brand-new hotels.
/2012-05-15/ International hotel chain Accor has just opened twin
down-market establishments in Krakow. The two are situated side by
side behind Galleria Krakowska shopping mall and next to railway
tracks on the approach to the city's main train station. The less
cheap one has been branded Ibis Krakow Stare Miasto and its one-star
sibling - Ibis Budget Krakow Stare Miasto. Their rates aren't that
Wow, long weekend again...
/2012-05-14/ All branches of the National
Museum in Krakow close for Corpus Christi feast on Thursday,
June 7th. Also expect all shops closed except convenience stores
attached to filling stations. Other places keep holiday hours.
See Leonardo da Vinci's famed picture in
/2012-05-11/ At long last da Vinci's Krakow beauty, Lady with an
Ermine, can be admired again. Tomorrow, Saturday May 12th, 2012 the
show of the Renaissance masterpiece starts in the
Castle of Wawel. Opening hours are the same as the castle's main
tour of the second-floor Royal chambers called State Rooms - from
9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays
while on weekends they are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Brace yourself for long
queuing as only twenty visitors are let at a time. A separate ticket
for the exhibition of da Vinci's painting (and practically nothing
else) costs ten zloty, an equivalent of about two euro at the
current exchange rate. But they say one may also see the portrait by
Leonardo at the end of the tour of the royal tour of State Rooms for
/2012-04-24/ Note that both Tuesday, May 1st and Thursday, May 3rd
are public holidays in Poland and
Krakow, Poland is no
exception. Expect all shops and shopping centers closed. Ditto
banks, government and other offices, workshops, etc. Most of the
rest - including restaurants and many tourist spots and cultural
events - should be alive.
Lady with an Ermine to Reside in the
/2012-04-21/ From May the famous Krakow painting by
Leonardo da Vinci, Lady with an Ermine, will
be exhibited on the second floor in the western wing of the
Wawel Royal Castle in Krakow. The exact
dates hasn't been announced. The Renaissance masterpiece is to stay
at the castle till the conclusion of the renovation of the
Czartoryski Museum on the opposite end of
Krakow's Old Town central district, expected sometime in 2013.
New Public Transport Fares
/2012-04-16/ There are new, slightly raised rates in place on public
transport in Krakow. Now a one-way ticket for a bus or a tram costs
3.2 zloties (PLN) within the city limits. When you need to change
buses or trams on the way there is a 30-minutes ticket available
also for 3.2 PLN or a 60-minutes one for four zloties.
/2012-04-11/ Beautiful city, Krakow. Central square liked most.
National Museum’s Holiday Hours
/2012-04-05/ This Easter all branches of the
National Museum in Krakow stay closed on Sunday, April 9 but
will be open on Monday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. except Stanislaw
Wyspianski Museum. They also close for May Day. On the Constitution
Day, May 3rd their opening hours are 10 a.m. till 2 p.m. Stanislaw
Wyspianski Museum is to remain closed for renovation till September
/2012-04-03/ From April 1 through October 31 individual tourists may
visit the Auschwitz proper before 10 a.m.
or after 3 p.m. Between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. only groups with a
licensed guide are allowed in. Yet individual tourists can join
guided tours at stated hours or form a group of twenty of more and
employ one of the guides available on the site. Nearby Birkenau
concentration camp a.k.a. Auschwitz II is accessible to individual
visitors anytime as long as it’s the opening hours.
/2012-03-30/ Expect all tourist spots closed on Easter Sunday, April
8th. Many close also for the Monday, April 9th. Shops will also stay
closed for those two holiday days. If you will need to purchase
foodstuffs, toiletries, etc. practically your only recourse will be
gas stations and their stores, open nonstop. Selected pharmacies
will sell medicines. Restaurants, cafes, coffee houses etc. will
mostly keep hours as any Sunday or Monday.
/2012-03-27/ Krakow Easter market takes place on the Rynek Glowny central
square till April 9th.
New Flight Schedule
/2012-03-19/ The management of the Krakow
airport has announced at last its timetable of air connections
for summer 2012. Actually, it covers the coming months from
mid-March through October. The new timetable promises more
destinations and more frequent flights. Krakow Info publishes the
schedule on two separate webpages. One of them is devoted to
outbound services, i.e. it shows flights from
Krakow. Another features flights to
Krakow Michelin Stars, an Update
/2012-03-14/ Michelin guide scouts have updated a bit the list of
restaurants in Krakow referred to in the
latest ‘Main Cities of Europe’ yearly edition for 2012. Three
eateries are out, three new are in. Most regrettably no Krakow place
has been awarded any Michelin star ever to date. Currently only
three restaurants – i.e. Copernicus, Trzy Rybki, and Wentzl –
rejoice in three pairs of cutlery printed next to their names. The
fortunate seven which can boast two spoons and two forks each are
Ancora, Cyrano de Bergerac, Jarema, Pod Baranem, Resto Illuminati,
Szara, and Unicus. The remaining seven Krakow restaurants mentioned
in this year’s Michelin guide are Del Papa, Farina, Kawaleria, La
Campana, Miod i Malina, Trufla, and Wesele.
/2012-03-12/ What’s with you ?! I’ve tried to find out about
dining out in Krakow but the city
apparently doesn’t have any steakhouses. Don’t you eat steaks over
Online Shopping for the Royal Castle
/2012-03-06/ Museum of the Wawel Royal Castle in Krakow has launched
its online shop at www.wawel.krakow.pl/sklep It sells the museum’s
publications, a few souvenirs, DVDs and CDs with concerts of
classical music recorded at the castle, and one board game.
/2012-03-01/ This year’s Easter Misteria
Paschalia festival of classical music takes place in Krakow from
the 2nd of April through the 9th of April so it spans the entire
Holy Week including Easter Sunday and Monday. Its program consists
of one evening concert on every single day and features noted
European performers such as Italy’s soprano Roberta Invernizzi with
Europa Galante ensemble, France’s Les Musiciens du Louvre Grenoble
orchestra, and Spain’s Hesperion XXI ensemble. The music is suitable
for the occasion and includes Baroque masterpieces from Bach to
Handel to Vivaldi as well as some recently uncovered treasures.
Fatty Goes Happy
/2012-02-15/ In Poland tomorrow is Fatty Thursday, i.e. the last
Thursday before Lent, which means everybody devours donuts. It’s one
of the strongest traditions in Krakow.
/2012-02-11/ Italy’s squad for the Euro
2012 football championship
will be based in Wieliczka near Krakow, a town better known for its
ancient salt mine. Italian footballers are to stay in Turowka hotel
and practice on the turf of Krakow’s Cracovia stadium. Also two
other key squads, England and the Netherlands, have decided to be
based in Krakow.
Keep Your Plastic Safe
/2012-02-06/ Watch out for bank card skimmers when withdrawing cash
from ATMs in Krakow. Evidently the crime is back in the city and you
may pay dearly for being careless. So at least obstruct view of your
fingers dialing PIN to make sure no spying camera can see it. Also,
possibly avoid cash machines situated in deserted places. Generally
ATMs inside banks are considered safer, ditto those installed in
busy shopping centers and other places permeated with intrusive
security. And look for machines with a semi-spherical slot for the
plastic which hamper attempts to mount a card skimmer.
/2012-02-03/ Tennis player? See our new web page about
playing tennis in Krakow at
The ultimate chill-out
/2012-02-02/ A frost wave hits Krakow with day’s highs as low as
fifteen degrees Celsius below freezing and night’s lows going down
beneath minus 20 C this week. Long-term forecasts predict the
weather conditions to continue till February 10.
/2012-01-21/ Fresh from Krakow. I think it’s special that
that there is still Christmas on in the city in the third
week of January. Decorations, trees, even concerts of carols
here and there. Maybe little weird but fine with me.
/2012-01-19/ Looking for a gym in the city? We’ve launched a
brand-new webpage devoted to fitness in Krakow.
It contains general information about available facilities and
details such as rates, equipment, classes, etc.
Lost in a Restaurant
/2012-01-14/ I believe I’ve forgotten my camera at one of
restaurants in Krakow. Unfortunately I cannot locate the place.
It was somewhere in the old town, a block or two from the square.
They serve Italian food and the room has a glass ceiling (I mean it
literally so you see the sky). I think I left the camera hanging on
the backrest of my chair. Can you help?
Contact Amarone restaurant at 14 Florianska street. - Editors.
Less Festive Than Usual
/2012-01-10/ Krakow’s city council had to slash this year’s outlays
and the budget cuts are set to affect also a number of festivals
planned for 2012. Their organizers usually rely on municipal
financing, more or less, so some may be cancelled, some downsized,
some will escape unscathed. Rough-and-tumble is in full swing and
it’s impossible now to predict the outcome.
/2012-01-07/ Looking for a good dentist in
Krakow. I’ve heard they are good value for money. Can you
recommend one speaking English or Spanish?
Year on the Cheap
/2012-01-02/ Visited the city for the New Year’s celebration but
have overstayed a couple of days, swayed in part by cheap January
rates in our hotel in Krakow. I’ve found
you can be pretty frugal here.