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Tips from a first time visitor!!

Stafford, United...
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Tips from a first time visitor!!

Just back from Krakow, had an amazing time with not a single problem partially because of the helpful advice I received from this forum so thought I'd add a few thoughts that might help other first time visitors.

1. Don't be scared of the train. It's slow, but well worth the effort, as trains are punctual, generally quiet during the day and very very cheap. The nice ladies in the ticket office did their best to understand our appalling pronounciation!!!! and we got every where we needed to with no fuss. We used the train both from and to the airport, to Osweicim (for Auschwitz) and had a day trip to Tarnow. Prices were approx 9.5 zl ( £2) each way on the Osweicim train, 12zl/ £3 e/w on the airport train and 16.5 zl e/w on th Tarnow train. Both the Tarnow and Osweicim trains were 1.5 hrs long or more so really good value.

2.Trams. I can't state enough how important it is to validate the ticket. We got checked by the ticket inspectors twice, on our way from the station/old town on the 10 tram, and on our way to the station/old town, again on the 10 tram. Inspectors got on just behind us and looked like ordinary passengers. The tram starts moving and they whip out an id and scanner. If I'm honest they looked almost disappointed when they found we not only had a ticket, but had validated it correctly!!!!

3. Walk. It's amazing just how far you will walk so wear comfy shoes, nothing is too far but the miles soon add up.

4. Try and get out of the touristy areas if possible. We went to a Saturday morning flea market at Plac Targowy and it really did show us another side to Poland, no tourists, just local Poles trying to sell a few measly wares. Very interesting though: inyourpocket.com/poland/krakow/shopping/mark…

5. Get used to seeing drunks, alot. To be honest we found this aspect of Krakow very depressing. Many of the benches in the Planty were occupied by drunks either sleeping off the effects of too much to drink or just drinking. They don't bother you, but it's sad to see. We also got approached by a very drunk local at 6.30 in the morning while waiting for the tram, and saw a man so drunk that he had dropped and smashed his bottle of whatever. He was so drunk that he was unable to stand back up . despite trying, having fallen down. Again, this was 9 am in the morning. We also saw alot of alcoholics sitting outside the 24 hr beer shop at the market on the Sunday morning. I must stress none of these men were problematic in any way, but it's not something we are used to seeing and I was saddened by it. It also slighty worried my daughter.

Hopefully my tips are helpful to somebody. All in all we had a fantastic time and would recommend Krakow to anyone as a really interesting, friendly and good value destination.

Edited: 29 August 2013, 13:21
dallas tx.
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1. Re: Tips from a first time visitor!!

good info....the weather is nice....even the drunkards want to be outside....they spend time enough in their miserable accomadations during the cold weather....and the planty is so nice

Burnley, United...
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2. Re: Tips from a first time visitor!!

Must admit , being regularly approached by drunks asking for money as we sat outside Singer bar on our 1st evening was something we could have done without (as was the egg lobbed at us from a passing car) but apart from that we enjoyed our first time in Krakow.

Edited: 30 August 2013, 22:58
Cheshire
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3. Re: Tips from a first time visitor!!

Good tips, especially no.2 :)

Newcastle upon...
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4. Re: Tips from a first time visitor!!

We too have just been for a first time visit to Krakow. Like you say the airport train is really good and if you buy a return ticket from the conductor for 20 zlotys it lasts for 30 days and saves 4 zlotys. We used the 7 tram from near the station to get to the Schindler factory and the ghetto area. If you buy 2 tickets you can keep one for your return journey and save having to find a machine. Just remember to validate the ticket when you get on the tram.

Would recommend a tram trip out to Nowa Huta to see the communist era new town. (Number 4 tram from the near the station on a 40 minute ticket). Very interesting and a good little museum and a bit different, although quite a bit of walking around.

Newcastle upon...
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5. Re: Tips from a first time visitor!!

Also the market at Rynek Kleparski (north of the old town) was great for fruit and veg, groceries and a bit of real life as a change from touristy things. The market at Plac Nowy in the Kazimierz area is also good with a mix of stalls.

Nottingham, United...
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6. Re: Tips from a first time visitor!!

Thank you for these tips , we are off there on sun for 4 nights. It's great to hear what others have to say about it so thanks once again

Leigh x

Newcastle upon...
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7. Re: Tips from a first time visitor!!

Have a great time - we found it a really easy city to walk around and very inexpensive.

Phoenix, Arizona
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8. Re: Tips from a first time visitor!!

Thank you for this helpful post. I am visiting Krakow the first week of October. Can't wait.

Dublin,Ireland
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9. Re: Tips from a first time visitor!!

Thank you for posting this report.We are going the last week of October.Can anyone tell me what the weather is usually like at that time?Thanks,el.

Saint Paul
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10. Re: Tips from a first time visitor!!

Nice posting, and thanks for your input.

The tips regarding ticket validation on the trams needs to be heeded, especially by my fellow citizens of the US. A lot of them are not used to riding public transit in a new land. Ticket validation is common throughout much of Europe, and it's not rocket science.

it's been 4 years since our visit. We never saw the problem with drunks as you did. Casey, is this more recent?

We totally enjoyed our visit to KRK, and hopefully will be able to return sometime soon.

Thanks