Kraków

SEE

Remah Cemetery

Remah Cemetery

Kazimierz- A historical Jewish district that since 1993, with the filming of Spielberg's Schindler's List, has experienced a growth in Jewish population and Jewish themed restaurants, shops, bookstores etc.  I would recommend you just spend the day walking around the area enjoying the positive bohemian vibe and Jewish culture. One of the highlights for me while discovering Kazimierz was the Remah Cemetery.  Established in 1535 and later destroyed by the Nazis it has now undergone a series of post-war restorations. I learned about the placement of rocks on tombstones here, and found this explanation-"Unlike flowers, rocks are permanent, so they remain on the grave as a memento forever, and symbolize that you will never forget the deceased."  What a wonderful way to honor your loved ones.

Museum of Pharmacy

Museum of Pharmacy

Museum of Pharmacy- A comprehensive selection of historical tools, jars, wine barrels, herbs, animal parts and medical instruments used by apothecaries of the past. What I love most about this type of exhibit is how unique every single object they used was at this time.

 

Rynek Underground- An archaeological site of Medieval market stalls and more right beneath the current Cloth Hall of Kraków. It's a fascinating museum with a look into what life was like during this time with plenty of artifacts.  My favorite story is that the people of this time believed in vampires and took great precautions to avoid them; including decapitating a person, and buyring them with their hands bound if they displayed "strange" vampire-like attributes, like a unibrow or pronounced incisors.  I guess I can get behind that.

 

EAT

Przypiecek Pierogi- This is a cute 24 hour pierogi restaurant with many different fillings to choose from, and they are all hand-made. The place was bustling with locals (that's how you know it's good), and tourists alike.  I opted for a traditional Pierogi ruskie and some Pierogi with deer for fun.  Both were delicious.

Ambasada Sledzia- This is where you go for pickled herring and vodka.  It's cheap and it's fantastic!

Pod Baranem- For a fancy night out I 100% recommend this restaurant.  The service is impeccable, the atmosphere is romantic, and the food is traditional and delectable.  An evening spent here is an unforgettable night.  

Cheder

Cheder

Cheder- A relaxing café and cultural center; the perfect place to stop for a break when walking around Kazimierz. I had fantastic hummus and one of the most delicious mint-lemonades I've ever tasted.  I enjoyed the environment so much that I stayed a little longer writing my postcards, and finished with some light and flavorful Kosher red wine.

Oscypek

Oscypek

Stary Kleparz- The oldest continuously operating market in Kraków.  I bought this smoked cheese, Oscypek, because it had these great designs in it.  I wasn't really sure how it was going to taste. An old woman was selling it while sitting in her little chair and enjoying her lunch.  I had to have it!  It cost very little, and it was so rich in flavor, and made a perfect treat on my next train ride.

 

 

 

 

 

 

DRINK

Massolit- If you only have time for one café in Kraków let it be this one.  It's set in a pleasing historic house with a curated English-language bookstore to add to the charm. The man that runs it is a delight, and I could spend every afternoon here and be happy.

 

 

Mleczarnia

Mleczarnia

Mleczarnia- A magical café/bar that has an indoor area with old-fashioned photographs, and quaint tables and chairs. Outside a lovely garden area across the street. The service is friendly and the atmosphere is so perfect that I visited this place twice.

Piwnica pod Baranami- A literary cabaret created in 1956 that is still open, and manages to transport you to a really interesting time for artists in Poland.  It's an inspiring venue. Extra: There is also a classic arthouse above this venue, Kino Pod Baranami, showing great movies and some in English.

Piwnica pod Baranami

Piwnica pod Baranami

Bunkier Café- I came here because you can drink beer from a tank, Tyskie, which is supposedly one of the freshest ways to drink beer.  I enjoyed my beer.  The café is set in the middle of a park in an open area, so you can watch the people passing by.

 

 

STAY

I stayed in an amazing apartment, and it seems like there are many cool old apartments with great design available in the city.

EXTRA

Read Ferdydurke, a book set in Poland by, Polish author, Gombrowicz.  I bought it at Massolit Books and it is one of the most unique styles of writing I've read in a long time.