Our Grantourismo team spent two weeks in Krakow over Christmas and stayed in a lovely apartment close to the Old Town, the Wawel Castle and the main square. During their time there, Lara and Terry kept things fairly traditional; they enjoyed gluhwein at Krakow’s Christmas markets, watched folk music and tried some great Polish traditional dishes.
Rafal Rataj, originary from Krakow, is the owner of the apartment in Krakow. He shares with us his recommendations on the best things to do in Krakow, as well as his reasons for renting out his apartment to travellers.
For more great tips and inspiration about things to do and see in Krakow, read all Lara and Terry's posts on Krakow
Why did you choose to buy a property in Krakow?
I originally come from Krakow and have a real attachment to the city. I chose to invest here so that I could be connected with the city even while living abroad.
When did you buy the property?
I bought this property in 2005. It was good value because at that time, Krakow was relatively undiscovered. I think the property market has changed a lot since then.
Why did you decide to make it into a holiday home / rent it out?
Renting it out to travellers seemed the perfect solution. It allows me to come back from time to time with my family and to keep my children linked to the Polish heritage. It's also great that I don't have to leave it standing empty.
On average, how many weeks do you rent out per year?
My apartment rents out throughout the year. In the colder months it tends to be for shorter stays whilst in the warmer months, people will often stay for a week.
Why should people come to visit Krakow?
Where to start?! The history, the culture, the café-scene, the nightlife, the jazz and classical concerts, the vibe of the city - big enough to hold your interest but small enough to explore on foot. I go back year after year and always find something new.
What are your top three tips for ‘living like a local’ in Krakow ?
Go to a milk-bar; these are cheap eateries where local Polish people eat. They are usually good value and very authentic.
Go to a classical concert in the evening in one of the churches in the city; the memory will stay with you long after your trip.
Go to Café Camelot , my favourite café in the city.
What is you favourite place in Krakow?
Despite its popularity, the main square at night is hard to beat - so beautiful and full of atmosphere and people at any time of the year.
What is your favourite local dish and the best place to enjoy it?
Zurkek soup at Café Camelot!
What’s the best thing for travellers to take home as a souvenir from Krakow?
Amber jewellery and memories.
How would you describe the local people in Krakow?
Helpful and friendly.