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Friday, 8 February 2019

Top 14 Things To Do In Krakow For Valentine's (For Couples)

Dearest sweethearts,

It's obvious February is here and Valentine's day is closing in on us. It's being shouted upon us on the radio, on the TV, on the internet. Valentine's, like Halloween, is a very commercial holiday, a celebration made for consumerist behaviour, at least to my humble opinion. It's a fashionable celebration as well, and people live to show off of their love. I feel lately that it's more of what I can do and buy in order to put on the social media and show off... maybe it escapes me why love should be "shared on a wall" rather than savoured personally, privately, with the one you love. Some people feel the need to show things but maybe I am old fashioned... I like things private. I like long walks hand it hand, I love going together for a dinner and a movie, I live for love in 2. Don't you? 
Well... considering that Valentine's day is knocking on our door, I thought I might make a small guide for Kraków. A list of "Top 14 Things To Do In Krakow For Valentine's day (for couples):
English Breakfast option at Bunkier Sztuki Cafe, Krakow
1. Start the day with a Romantic Breakfast in 2 at one of the lovely, cozy and intimate cafe's in the Old Town. If you're into French cuisine you can try Charlotte in Plac Szcepanski (careful, it's always quite crowded and they don't take reservations). If you wish to have a nice view of the Planty (the green park belt around the Old Town) I cannot recommend Bunkier Sztuki Cafe highly enough - the Eggs Benedict are to die for!
Some love locks from Kladka Bernatka Bridge, Krakow
2. Love locks on Kladka Bernatka Bridge - you can't miss the only pedestrian crossing between Kazimierz and Podgorska. Everyone knows the lovely bridge with the suspended sculptures, that lights up during night time. It's quite a popular place to take photos of couples... why?! It's obvious, it's a "Love Lock Bridge". Why not write your own story there and put a distinctive lock? Don't forget to throw the key in the Wisla river, once you lock it!
The first time I saw the coloured stairs was during a #FreeWalkingTourKrakow on StreetArt in Krakow - you can see me down in the first row :) 
3. Colourful stairs in the Podgorze district - once you get to the other side of the bridge, in Podgorze, it would be wrong to miss the sight of the "Colorful Stairs". Each stair is coloured in a different colour, each of them has a different quote you can discover. The stairs are on the Tatrzanska street, between the streets and the square Lasota Andrzej Potebni.
4. This one you need to do a bit before the 14th, Valentine's Day, but this one is particularly for the fit couples out there: Krakowski Bieg Walentynkowy - Krakow's Valentine's Run - the 4th edition. It will take place on the 10th of February 2019, in the Jordana Park (close to the National Museum). All you need is RUN! (Forset, RUN!). The event is addressed to lovers but not only. You can run in couple or by yourself and race against your other half ;) The track is shaped as a heart ❤ around the Blonia and it's a 5 km run. Easy-peasy! Break and sweat and then celebrate together your achievement ;)
The diploma and my own Obwarzanek, after the workshop at Museum of Obwarzanek in Krakow 
5. Learn how to do a traditional cuisine masterpiece together: create your own Obwarzanek from scratch! I know! It's not exactly amazing cuisine but you do get to work with your own hands and create your very own traditional Krakowian "pretzel". You'll get to learn about the history behind it and you will get at the end a diploma: you will be a small specialist on that ;) The course is run by the Museum of Obwarzanek and its a lot of fun for couples and kids alike.
During the Pottery Workshop at Manufaktura Porcelany 
6. Recreate the "Ghost" scene with Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore at a pottery workshop - Manufaktura Porcelany (located in the Podgorze district) organises workshops for single and multiple users. They do have special sessions for couples. Liliana does the workshops and she is fun to be around and you can get an instant connection with her. Of course there is a lot of manual work and you will get dirty but you will have great fun as well and you won't feel time passing by!
7. Couple photo shoot in Old Town and/or Jewish Quarter - Krakow is such a lovely, photogenic city, no matter the season. A lot of couples fly in from the UK to take photos here on their wedding, not to mention spending the bachelor/Bachelorette party in this never-asleep city. You get ladies from UK in short skirts and high-heels throughout the winter and Scots in Kilts and white socks only... I have no clue how they don't get frostbite! Anyway, I love photography and I tell you: get a photo shoot in Krakow. You won't forget it! Ask me anything about it - I have a list of my favourite local photographers ;)
8. Valentine's Day Concert at the Krakow Philarmonic - set on Friday, February 15th, at 7:30 pm - some send anonymous love notes, some buy roses, others go for a Romantic film out + dinner and a walk... why not get out of the ordinary and take your better half out to a celebration of Valentine's Day at the Krakow Philarmonic? You can hear Constantin Hartwig, winner of the German Music Competition in Bonn and the Aeolus International Competition for Wind Instruments in Dusseldorf. The concert will close with the wonderful piece by George Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue.
9. This one is the free version of the point above ;) On the 14th February, at the Florianka Recital Hall (on ulica Basztowa 8), at 6:00 pm, you can hear music of Baroque composers from France, Germany and England (including Francois Couperin and Georg Philipp Telemann). The admission is free and the name in Polish is: Koncert Katedry Muzyki Dawnej - ul. Sereno Fenn'a 15, Aula Florianka).
Ulica Kanonicza, the oldest in Krakow, with a view of the Wawel Castle and Cathedral
10. Walk along the Royal Route in a carriage drawn by horses - you can take a carriage from the Old Town Main Market Square (the corner with St. Mary's Basilica - kosciol Mariacki - and Florianska street). The prices are fixed but sometimes you can negotiate them ;) they can take you (in the light of the sunset) through the Royal Route: The Barbakan - Saint Florian's Gate - Florianska street - Main Square - Grodza... up to the Wawel Castle. Enjoy the views cuddled up under a blanket. There are carriages with roofs, so don't worry about the rain or any potential snow.
11. Have a hot cup of chocolate to warm yourselves up :) - you can either go the posh version and take her to Pijalnia Czekolady Wedel in the Main Market Square and be served with traditional handmade chocolate (Polish recipe) or go to the best choco place in town IMHO and get to Bracka at Nowa Prowincja. The place is always very crowded and extremely rustic, the locals love it! This place has an artistic soul :) Nowa Prowincja is a self-service place, so pick a place and then leave your lady and get the drinks. I highly recommend the hot chocolate with sour cherry liquor and whipped cream - it's a local specialty.
No matter the season, it's always a wonderful view :)
12. Enjoy a beautiful view of the Main Market Square of Krakow at the Cafe Szal, on the 1st floor of Sukiennice (Cloth Hall) - You may have heard the story of the name of the place from me before - Cafe Szal gets its name after a painting located on the 2nd floor of the Sukienicce (the 19th century Polish Art Museum). I love this place late spring and early autumn, when it's not crowded. There is a perfect view of half of the Main Market Square: Saint Mary's Basilica, the Adam Mickiewicz statue, St. Adalbert Church (oldest church in Krakow)... everything between Florianska and Grodzka. You can stay there to hear the Bugle call - they play it at every hour from the tallest tower of St. Mary's.
Photo of the inner courtyard, Wawel Castle, Krakow
13. For the spiritual seekers out there, I recommend a lovely walk to the Wawel Castle,  in order to discover one of the most powerful Chakras in the world. You need to get into the Castles inner court and, as you enter, to your left, get to the corner. Its hard to miss, as you will see the wall darker than the rest - people can't help touching in, in order to feel the energies flowing. This chakra’s center is said to be beneath St. Gereon’s chapel, an 11th-century structure wedged between the Krakow Royal Castle and the cathedral. So... if you're both into New Age... have it a go!
14. It's Valentine's Day... a movie is in order ;) I suggest a runner for the Oscars, a movie that is highly praised and it has many merits. I have already seen it a couple of times and I would watch it again and again. It's Polish, it's exceptionally good, it's filmed black & white and it's extremely old-school: Cold War (Zimna Wojna). What is it about?! A passionate love story between two people of different backgrounds and temperaments, who are fatally mismatched and yet fatefully condemned to each other. Set against the background of the Cold War in the 1950s in Poland, Berlin, Yugoslavia and Paris, the film depicts an impossible love story in impossible times. Where to see it: Kino Pod Baranami in the Main Market Square, on the 14th of February, at 13:45 or 15:00. Don't miss it! 

SPECIAL BONUS:
Lovers dictionary as per Varia School
How to confess love in a rather...Polish way: 
Kocham Cię – I love you
Jesteś Śliczna/y – You are beautiful
Jesteś całym moim światem – You are my whole world
Gotujesz lepiej niż moja mama – You cook better than my mom
Jesteś przystojny jak Marcin Dorociński (polski odpowiednik Brada Pitta :)) – You are as handsome as Marcin Dorociński (Polish version of Brad Pitt)

Yours sincerely,
The Twisted Red LadyBug That Loves Krakow
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