I owe other TA members the courtesy of writing even a short trip report as I have relied very much on theirs to make my own trips successful.
My husband and I had an enjoyable trip to Krakow two weeks ago. Upon arrival at Krakow's International airport, we located and used an ATM machine just as soon as we exited the baggage claim area (between Arrivals and Departures). The bus service to the shuttle train was not operating, so we used the shuttle bus directly outside the arrivals area (7 PLN/pp) to take us to city center. We were dropped off very near the train station and Galleria and it was a fun walk to our hotel in the Old Town with many shops, restaurants, cafes along the way. The square was buzzing with many tourists and street performers and was so alive and the flower stands added so much color. We couldn't be more thankful for 4 days of great weather as the weather predicted rain days leading to our trip. Our hotel was situated steps to the main square and really made our stay very convenient and more fun.
On one of the days we took a trip to Auschwitz-Birkenau and the Salt Mines. In order to maximize our time, we enlisted Krakow Tours for their service and that proved to be a smart move. We were picked up from our hotel, driven to the camps and had more than enough time for our visits and then shuttled to Salt Mines to complete the excursion and were dropped back off at our hotel.
On another day, we took the train going to Czestochowa to visit the Black Madonna at Jasna Gora and attended mass there. We bought the tickets (22 PLN/pp) at Krakow Glowny train station the night before (together with train tickets to Warsaw) and the two hour ride was easy and uneventful. Upon arrival at Czestochowa Osobowa train station, we took a cab (11 PN) to Jasna Gora (as suggested by many) so we can make it there in time for the unveiling. This is a pilgrimage site and did find so many people on the Saturday we were there. On the return trip to Krakow we wanted to get there while it was still bright, so we decided to take the bus at bus station next to train station. It was also a two hour drive, a very nice ride in a comfortable bus that took us to the smaller towns.
The rest of the days we spent walking the old town, visiting different attractions, churches, Wawel cathedral,royal crypt and staterooms ( I think State Apartments would have been better), and straying off to Kazimierz. There was a flea market in the morning so the surroundings was very alive.
We tried the Milk Bar on Grodska which had a good soup on a cold nite. For a sampling of Polish cuisine we ate at W Starej Kuchnia (very close to the National Theater) but was not too impressed and made a not too good a choice of having Italian food one night.
Krakow is very charming, unassuming, easy to navigate and with warm and helfpul people. We will return someday. Many thanks to TA members for all your contributions!