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Krakow November 2013 - christmassy things to do -help please

Lancashire
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Krakow November 2013 - christmassy things to do -help please

Me and my husband are coming to Krakow 23rd-28th November. We've decided some of the things we want to do and see in the day - salt mines, Auschwitz-Birkenhau, schindler's museum, the zoo, lovers bridge, Christmas markets, the ice rink, river cruise, the waterpark, vanilla spa, Cloth Hall shopping centre. Are we missing anything major from that list - we want to get a balance of leisurely walking and relaxation, but also making sure we see things.

We really want to get that 'Christmassy' experience. Does anyone know of any tobogganing, skiing day trips, sleighride trips which run from Krakow? I can ski but my husband can't, but we'd really like a day playing around in the snow and maybe a beginners ski lesson for him. Is there anything that offers this as a day-trip from Krakow to Zacopane? And also, are these type of activities completely weather dependent and therefore not bookable in advance until it snows, or are there always some hilly/mountainous areas which are snow covered in November?

Also, where is the outdoor ice rink in Krakow?

Where is best to go to at night - we want some good, cheap-ish bars with live music/karaoke/entertainment - I'm 28, my husband is 33. Is the Stage any good? Are there any casual casino-type places just for a couple of hours of fun?

I'm a bit worried about how to find everything. Once you're there is everything well-signposted and withing walking distance, or will I need to be super-organised before we go? Where can we get a street and transport map from in Krakow? When we visited Prague they provided free ones in the airport, do they do this in Krakow.

Also, please can anyone recommend the best walking tour of Krakow, and if there is a bike tour available in November?

Any help for any of my questions would be greatly appreciated, thank you!

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Nowy Sacz, Poland
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1. Re: Krakow November 2013 - christmassy things to do -help please

A couple of things to think about. Wawel Hill is where you'll find the Royal Castle and Cathedral as well as the start (or finish) of the Royal Route leading you up through the oldest partof the city, thorugh the rynek and past some wonderful churches to the bastion, the north gate of the old city. It's all walkable - close to pedestrianised - and should not be missed.

The Schindler Factory is not a Schindler museum, it's the Museum of the Occupation so it covers all of the 1939-45 history inclding a modest exhibit on Schindler and the List, plus there's a modern art museum elsewhere in the Factory building.

Depending on your interests, we have some of Poland's top museums and galleries ih Krakow, including the National Air Museum and the main branch of the National Museum, plus Krakow's own Museum of Historty, which is housed n several historic buildings around the city. Being the old Royal Capital, the city also has some of the oldest unversity buildings in Europe, inclding some very famous rennaisance buildings.

Rather than schlep all the way to Zakopane (work on a minimum of 2.5 hours each way) try Ojcow National Park for horse drawn sleigh rides and snow, but check the webcams to see how the snowfall is in Zak - you;re still on the early side for snow acitivities to be in full swing in town, but you never know....

If it's snowed, go up in the balloon for a view over the snow-covered rooftops of Krakow.

Edited: 10 November 2013, 14:37
Nowy Sacz, Poland
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2. Re: Krakow November 2013 - christmassy things to do -help please

One other thought off the wall - whote water canoe slalom with a niec indoor pool, sauna and stuff out at Tyniec?

Krakowski Klub Kajakowy

Watersports (careful!) are popular in Poland and Kraków has some of the best whitewater kayaking facilities in Europe. One of them is run by the Cracow Kayak Club, on the Wisła, close to Tyniec.

Open 12:00 – 18:00, Sat, Sun 10:00 – 18:00.

Address: ul. Kolna 2 (Dębniki)

Phone: (+48) 12 259 35 40

The club offers a 320 metre course (width 12-14m, depth 1.45m) professional instruction and all the equipment you’ll need to have a crack at the river, after which you can take a shower and relax in the sauna.

Ośrodek Sportu i Rekreacji KOLNA

If you want to make a day of it, a jacuzzi, sauna and swimming pool is also available in the nearby sports and recreation complex (open year-round, 07:30-23:00).

Last entry to the pool is at 21:45 and the pool hall must be vacated by 22:45.

The sauna is open M-F 14:00 – 22:00, Sa-Su 10:00 – 22:00

The Gym is open all week 07:30 – 22:00

The Sports Hall is also open all week, from 07:30 – 23:00

Lancashire
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3. Re: Krakow November 2013 - christmassy things to do -help please

Thankyou, that info is really helpful. I'll have a look at all you mentioned.

Do you know when the Christmas markets are on? I've just read another post which said they don't start until the 29th (the day after we leave). I was really hoping it would be all Christmassy. Oh well, as long as mulled wine is easy to get hold of I'm happy.

I hope we get some snow, as I really fancy skiing/tobogganing/sleigh ride, especially if they do that sort of stuff at Ojcow national park.

Where is the ice rink in Kracow, and will this be there in November?

Thanks again for your help, you obviously know your stuff about Kracow :)

The water sports look fun and I'd definitely be interested if we were visiting in summer, but I'm thinking will it not be absolutely freezing doing that in winter??

Poland
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4. Re: Krakow November 2013 - christmassy things to do -help please

Snow in November is not that usual in Poland, you rather have to wait to the second half of December... Of course it's more possible in the mountains like Zakopane. We also usually don't start to celebrate Xmas before 30th November (which in Poland is called "Andrzejki"), in Wroclaw Christmas market starts on 22nd November but everyone says it's way too soon.

Nowy Sacz, Poland
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5. Re: Krakow November 2013 - christmassy things to do -help please

Don;t forget Krakow is actually south of all of mainland Britain

East Kilbride...
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6. Re: Krakow November 2013 - christmassy things to do -help please

We were in krakow last new year and the icerink was outside the big shopping mall but it wasn't very big.

There are free walking tours that leave the old town twice a day. The morning tour covers the old town and the afternoon one takes in the Jewish quarter. Google krakow free walking tours for more info.

Nowy Sacz, Poland
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7. Re: Krakow November 2013 - christmassy things to do -help please

Sharon is right - outdoor skating happens outside the Galeria Krakowska, once the temps go low enough to maintain the rink. There's another rink at MKS Cracovia, open intermittently when not in demand for games or training.

Lancashire
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8. Re: Krakow November 2013 - christmassy things to do -help please

Thankyou for the help everybody! The free walking tours sound like a plan, thankyou! How far away is Wroclaw?? I've never heard of it but may visit the Xmas markets there x

USA/Polska
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9. Re: Krakow November 2013 - christmassy things to do -help please

Unlike us in the west, the US for me, Poland celebrates from Christmas Eve to approx. Feb. 3. I'm sure the malls will be decorated but the Krakow Christmas Market will probably not be running at the time frame you are in Poland. Poland is changing, I don't think that celebrating to February is bad, especially since in the US the celebrating seems to end Dec. 26th! That said, I myself, who visits Poland usually every Dec. do wish that there would be more concerts, plays, etc. that would put you more in the spirit, especially since Poland boast the most Christmas Carols, and I might add, glorious, in the world. Still enjoy!

Poland
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10. Re: Krakow November 2013 - christmassy things to do -help please

sunshinegirl1985, it's 3.5 hours by bus from Krakow to Wroclaw so a bit too far for a day trip. It's a wonderful city.

Edited: 13 November 2013, 17:45