Last December I took my teenage niece to Krakow. For under £100 we had three nights in a clean, warm, twin room with our own bathroom. Even breakfast was included; it was pretty basic but who cared? We were surrounded by cheap and wonderful eateries and fun bars. Our hostel (better than hotels for meeting other young people) overlooked Rynek Główny, Europe’s largest medieval town square, with its massive underground museum (advance booking recommended) and a lovely Xmas market. Between us we bought loads of interesting presents: parents, boyfriend, grandparents, toddlers, school friends. There was some rubbishy tat, but not much, and Kay still had change from her Saturday job money. And on one day we went to Auschwitz. The tour was very informative and, of course, harrowing. It certainly put the commercial pressures of Christmas into perspective and, as Kay put it: “Made me so grateful to be born when I was, into the life I have.”
Prefect place to stay on a tight budget. We spent four nights in August. Very good location at Plac Nowy, center of Krakow's Kazimierz. Friendly atmosphere, clean basic rooms, plenty of showers and toilets. Lot of hot water. Kitchen well equipped, breakfast rather basic but very tasty. Staff, specially Karolina very helpful, she gave us very good tips where to eat or what to see. Location is perfect for exploring Krakow, not too commercial area plenty of cheap places to eat. We recommend for all.
For the best zapiekanka (called the Polish pizza - half a baguette, covered with cheese and any number of variety of toppings) visit this place in the fascinating and historic old Jewish quarter of Krakow (Kazimierz). Set in the middle of the square, the queues will tell you that you have chosen well and the cheap delicious take away, will keep you filled and satisfied for a long time.
+48 12 429 37 54
Plac Nowy 4, Krakow
Google map: bit.ly/hPgPuJ
Located on the edge of Krakow, at the last stop on the tramline is a nest of hyper malls and rampant development. In the middle of this sits the lone surviving building from the once massive Solvay Soda Ash Complex which employed at its peak 3,000 men and their families.
"Solvay" has a complex and fascinating history (Pope John Paul II worked there during World War II to avoid deportation) but stands today as a forgotten monument and symbol of the transformations that have occurred in Poland over the last 20 years. Solvay has quietly become the defacto community center of the area - and a dedicated space for creative and artistic production.
Conceived and curated by Halfslant, NOWA SODA: Solvay Transformed is a month long artist in residency which challenges four international artists to create a site-responsive installation while bearing witness to the past and present of the building. Four artists have each developed proposals that address not just the history of the building, but the living community that uses the space every day.
Last stop on tram number 8 heading towards Borek Fałęcki
We stayed in Hostel Cracow, a charming £13 per night per person hostel in the centre of Krakow. Situated on the stunning Market Square and surrounded by beautiful traditional buildings, the views from the rooms are sublime. Included in this purse friendly price is breakfast, unlimited tea and coffee throughout the day, internet use and lockers (for which the hostel supply padlocks and keys).
The hostel has a comfortable, homely feel, it is bright and airy and spotlessly clean. Reception is manned on a 24 hour basis, the staff are extremely friendly, so don't hesitate to ask them the best places to eat and most interesting places to visit.
Something about Hostel Cracow seems to appeal to everyone; backpackers, elderly couples and families. An absolute gem of a hostel!
Cracow Hostel, The Main Market Square 18, 31-008 Krakow.
Great place to stay when you're going to party and do some sightseeing. We stayed in an apartment in the main market square - not so big but very cosy place with kitchenette and nice bathroom. The flat was located just off Rynek Glowny which is great for the price. What is more in the same building there is good restaurant and it's surrounded by clubs.
I think it's the best location for weekend trip to Krakow.
phone +48 606941483
I have been to Krakow twice, both times staying in an apartment in Main Market Square. In my opinion this is the best location to go sightseeing and clubbing from.
I liked the place a lot. Good towels in the big bathroom were a nice find.
I also liked the modern furniture and there was free wifi internet access.
Bursa Jagiellonska is a hostel, located in Podgorze, one of the central districts of Krakow. Beds for backpackers and tourist groups are only available in the summer (from the beginning of July until the end of September).
The rooms are clean, plain and comfortable. The hostel is one of the few in Krakow that offers single, private rooms. Bursa Jagiellonska has its own laundry machines, free internet access in each room and computers in the common area. The reception is nice and helpful as well.
I stayed in one of the apartments of this company and found it to be pretty good value. The apartment was inexpensive and on an attractive street in the city centre.
Overall my experience with them was throughly enjoyable and I had a good laugh with the staff at their office when I went to pay, who were friendly and courteous.
The boss of the company is an English guy who I think is doing a good job of trying to establish Western standards and good value for money. Highly recommended
0048 12 633 2647
Great self-catering apartment to rent and very reasonable - only about £15 per person per night. Huge apartment, nice big bedrooms and bathroom. Good kitchen/dining space. The couple are lovely and super helpful plus will pick up from airport. Strongly recommend it. Plus it's away from the noisy main square but in the hip Jewish quarter near some great cafes and bars.
Off Placa Nowy, Jewish Quarter.
A lovely, old-fashioned restaurant, very near Wawel castle. Excellent traditional food, especially game, and friendly and attentive waiters with excellent English, who are happy to explain the food and what goes well with what. Prices are about mid-range for Krakow (i.e. very cheap by British standards).
About 12 of us got there at 9 pm on a Sunday, when they were about to close, and they effectively re-opened for us.
ul. sw. Gertrudy 21, 31-049 Krakow
tel. (48 12) 429 40 22
Situated along the walk from the Rynek Glowny to Wawel Hill the restaurant Balaton at ul Grodzka 37 provides excellent value Hungarian and Polish cuisine.
The surroundings are simple but pleasant, white walls, wooden chairs and benches, black and white photos on the wall and an array of hanging wooden fishes. The menu comprises a variety of soup - brought to your table in a metal dish suspended over an open flame from which you ladle it into your bowl – herrings, salmon and salami for starters followed by main courses of meat - including veal and wild boar goulash - poultry and fish dishes many incorporating potato cakes and dumplings. There is, however, only one vegetarian dish, potato cakes with mushroom sauce.
Service was understated but friendly and with a touch of flourish, for instance, when a main course of chicken Hungarian style was brought out sizzling from the kitchen and served ceremoniously from a platter onto the plate. As for the food itself it was great, tasty, filling, well cooked and well spiced. The main course of trout was perfectly cooked, crisp skin with melt in your mouth flesh underneath. Each main course also came with a side order of refreshing carrot, red and white cabbage salad.
And the price for two people for two courses, beer and vodka each – 99 zloty including a tip (approx. £17.00/$33.00). Excellent.
ul. Grodzka 37
Tel. (012) 422 04 69
We went for new year's eve and no surcharge, just the regular first class Mediterranean menu. Relaxed atmosphere and good location behind main square. It is, apparently, the best restaurant in Krakow at the moment. Not expensive.
Very friendly couple own this large two bedroom appartment, a 15 minute walk from main square.
They picked us up from the airport in two cars, fed us breakfast, and booked restaurants on our behalf.
They live upstairs. Works out for four at £15 per night including the above. Easy access to the centre and Kazimierz.
It is a very reasonably priced hotel in the centre of Kazimierz on ul Jozefa.
The rooms are clean, towels and sheets are changed daily and although we did not ask for a triple room (and we only paid for the double that we requested) the very friendly staff (who were pleasantly surprised and helpful at my attempts to speak Polish) and hearty breakfast made it a good choice. We also happened to discover one of our favourite bars in Krakow just 20 yards away!
ul Jozefa 30, Krakow
A 1930's themed Hostel on Mazowiecka just off Al. J Slowackiego. The double and dorm rooms are all named after classic actresses, the breakfast is simple, but free, as is the internet. Rooms are also simple, but the bathrooms are impeccable with free laundry facilities.
Not many rooms though, so it's advisable to book ahead in high-season.
Mazowiecka, a 10 minute walk north west of the old town.
This is a tiny restaurant, very intimate, serving the most superbly cooked and presented food at ridiculously low prices from a surprisingly wide menu. Service is very good too. The wine is very good and, unusually for some restaurants in the area, reasonably priced at around £8 a bottle (we paid £20 for house wine in a place along the same street.)
Ul Jozefa 14, Kazimierz, Krakow.
Bling Bling is a hostel in Krakow that we had the misfortune to book whilst in Warsaw. By the far the worst hostel I've ever stayed in - and there's been a few rough ones...The name might tempt you (a bit wacky, crazy) but don't be fooled. All I'll say is bed bugs and gloom. Right next door is a lovely, clean spacious hostel called Dizzy Daisy's. Go there for a good time in Krakow, but a MUST is the Jewish quarter. Very bohemian and friendly with a shocking history, but a truly beautiful place to spend an afternoon. Get away from the crowds.
Bling Bling: ul. Pędzichów 7;
Tel: 12 634 05 32
Dizzy Daisy’s: ul. Krakowska 7;
Tel: 12 292 22 11;
Nathan's Villa was one of the highlights of my voyage around Eastern Europe. Within walking distance of the sites, friendly staff, sociable and next door to a delicious Polish restaurant - it's easily the pick of Krakow's hostels.
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