Christmas in Krakow
Lara and Terry were last in Krakow in 2006 on a trip around Central and Eastern Europe and they loved it so much that they were thrilled to return there for Grantourismo. One of Lara's favourite European cities, Krakow is rich in history, with splendid architecture and lovely squares, and a largely pedestrianised centre that’s a delight to stroll. During their time in Poland, the Grantourismo couple kept things fairly traditional: sipping gluhwein at Krakow’s Christmas markets, taking in midnight mass on Christmas Eve and watching folk music in Zakopane. Read all Lara and Terry's posts on their trip to Poland
Krakow and a short escape to Zakopane
Lara and Terry spent two weeks in Krakow over Christmas in a charming and cosy apartment
with a nicely decorated natural Christmas tree. If the apartment wasn’t wonderful enough, the location, just a few minutes walk to the walls of Krakow’s Old Town, a five-minute hike up the hill to Wawel Castle, and less than a ten-minute stroll to the main square was superb, especially as Krakow is a city made for walking
. You definitely don’t need to use a hop-on hop-off sightseeing bus, just grab a map and wander. After strolling Krakow's historic centre many times, Lara and Terry decided to get out of the old town and head off to the ‘new’ town, a district called Nowa Huta or ‘New Steel Mill’. So, they signed up for a Communism Deluxe Tour
on the Viator site, offered by Crazy Guides where they experienced a slightly different side of the city.
Over the last year, as part of their quest to get beneath the skin of the places, Lara and Terry have been exploring the best ways to discover places. In Krakow they decided to do something rather different: they hired a local guide, but instead of doing the generic ‘Introduction to Krakow’ walk that every guide in the town does, they gave the guide this brief: ‘show me your Krakow’
. The experiment turned out to be a real success!
When they settled on Krakow as one of the destinations for Grantourismo, Lara and Terry knew they had to sneak away for a couple of days to one of their favourite winter destinations: Zakopane, a resort located near the Slovak border and with the highest elevation in Poland. While many travellers say you should never go back (and risk spoiling the first memories), Zakopane is so close to Krakow that there was no way they couldn’t return to Krakow without slipping back in time to Zakopane
. And even though snowboarding was a big attraction for returning for Terry, the exuberant live folk music
, highlander culture, and hearty food were also major draws.
Polish food is a rustic, hearty, comfort food, especially in winter, so, as always, the Grantourismo team also focused a bit on food and drink, from learning how to make pierogi
and trying out some local restaurants
to learning all about the local homemade liqueurs
. All in all, their trip to Poland gave Lara and Terry a better insight into the local customs, the traditional food as well as Krakow's communist history.
- Lara and Terry's 'HomeAway from home
' in Krakow was a bright, spacious two-bedroom apartment, situated in a typical Polish townhouse dating back to the 19th century and perfectly positioned only minutes from the historic Jewish Quarter, the Castle District and the city’s central square. Furnished with a mixture of contemporary and classical styles, the apartment retains some original features such as parquet floors, high ceilings and chandeliers.
The property is available to rent on HomeAway.co.uk (Property 87002). Read Lara and Terry's full review of the property in Krakow
Next stop ... Germany, stay tuned!
HomeAway.co.uk currently lists over 140 properties in Poland, including more than 20 in Krakow. See all properties in Poland See all properties in Krakow See all properties in Zakopane