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Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Travel Tuesday: Visiting Kraków On A Budget

Dearest travel friends,

Visiting on budget the magical city of Krakow is not that hard as one would think, considering all the options that the city has. Almost every day of the week there is a museum with open doors, a museum that you can visit for free and enrichen your culture. Even if you are not the museum fan you can always do outdoor activities like the free walking tours that show you more at the price you choose to pay. The possibilities are unlimited! Generally Europe is way more cheaper than the other continents (to visit) - at least the part where Krakow resides. Krakow is one of the oldest cities in Poland and it is full of history. As you walk on its cobblestoned paths you can discover most of it for free.  The National Museums of Krakow has open days on Mondays and Sundays and there are plenty exhibitions to choose from - be careful, the temporary ones are payed even in the free days ;) 
Transportation: no need to rent a car nor come with your own. The public transport in Krakow - and Poland in general - is lovely! The trams have electronic displays and they come in time.  Same for the buses - in every business stop there is a schedule and the drivers stick to it like glue.  With public transport you can get anywhere! Download the Polish-English app called Jakdojade and it's gonna be your best friend - locations you via GPS all you need to do is put in where you wanna go and it will give you the best option of public transport  (even bus and tram combinations!). If you are here for the weekend or the week you can buy singular tickets or the weekend / weekly ones - no ID needed and you can buy them at any automat ;) 
What to visit: mainly all the things worth visiting are free and outdoor - except museums and synagogues (in the Jewish District) - so it's easy to keep the budget to a minimum.  Follow the Royal Route for the best sights. I also wholeheartedly recommend the Free Walking Tour Krakow  (yellow umbrellas) - start with the Old Town one and then do the Jewish District. Make sure to wear comfortable shoes as all beautiful places are within walking distance.  Plus you might get tired in the Old Town if you wear heels... it's all done in cobblestone. When it comes to museums check one that has free days - all National Museums of Krakow branches has an open door day. I highly recommend the Czartoryski Museum for mummies and parts of The Book of The Dead & the 19th Century Polish Art Museum on the 2nd floor of the Sukiennice (Cloth Hall) for amazing paintings that cover up full walls and have dozen upon dozen of characters painted upon them!
What/Where to eat: The Milk Bars (Mleczarnia) are a must! My favourite is the one on ulica Tomasza: Milk Bar Tomasza - it serves both traditional Polish dishes like pierogi but also the best English breakfast in town (and that has been agreed upon by the British expats living here ;) so it's vouched for!). The Milk Bars in Poland are cheap and have good food. The portions are more than decent. The downside is that these places are self service and always filled (most of the time.with students - cheap and good meals). You should definitely try the pierogi! I prefer the ones with meat, fried, from Babcia Malina - great price and great taste + very filling! Also the zapiekanka from PlacNowy in Kazimierz is a must - just ask the locals! It's the best place to eat it ;)
Accommodation: there are dozens of hostels in Krakow with great prices, especially if you book in advance! But the one I prefer when it comes to location vs setting (what's inside) vs price: Globtroter Guest House Krakow - rooms for 2 person up to 6-8 with kitchen included and bathroom. And it's in Plac Szcepanski, 3 min walk from the Main Market Square and right next door to the wonderful Charlotte - chleb i wino restaurant with typical French items. Do buy fresh bread and pastries there or try to find a place for breakfast (one of the best in Krakow!).

Are you planning on coming to Krakow soon? In need of tips and tricks, advices from a local expat living in this magical city for more than 5 years now? I'm here to help ;) just shout out!

Yours sincerly,
The Twisted Red LadyBug That Loves To Travel And Discover New Places