Travel

KRAKOW´S WARM WELCOME

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If you are stuck for a break with a difference that won´t cost you millions, then why not fly east to Poland to check out the beautiful city of Krakow and enjoy some wonderful Polish hospitality?

The advantage of living in the Costa Blanca area is that there are some many excellent flight connections to around Europe, and these are always being added to.

Poland´s “Jewel in the Crown” is only a three-hour flight, with plenty of services from Alicante-Elche and Valencia airports, and depending on when you travel, it could be as cheap as flying back to the British Isles, with the best deals being offered by Ryanair.   

For example, a one-week return flight for a week in early March to Krakow from Alicante-Elche came in at just 120 euros.

Krakow is the second-largest city in Poland, and there are so many things to do in the area, that you will have an extremely busy time of it if you are going for a week.

It also has not suffered from mass tourism and inflated prices that have hit Prague in the Czech Republic.

There are loads of cheap hotels and restaurants, with some amazing sights and the area is steeped in history.

Krakow dates back to the 7th century. And It has always been one of Poland’s most important cities and most important cultural and educational centres.

It became a UNESCO World Heritage site back in 1978, and is the biggest tourist magnet in the country, but has not been spoiled.

Krakow boasts the largest medieval market square in Europe, which was built in the 13th century, and is crammed with outdoor cafes, tourists, vendors, horse and carriages, and a crazy number of pigeons. Just sit back, enjoy a drink, and watch all the hustle and bustle.

St. Mary’s Basilica is part of the main square, and a visit inside is a must to check out some fantastic artwork and a beautiful altar.

It is also the home to a Polish tradition that has been broadcast live on Polish Radio at midday for many decades.

In fact, a bugler plays the hejnal (a bugle call) from windows of St. Mary’s Tower every hour, with the legend being that hundreds of years ago, as Mongol troops approached Krakow, a bugler sounded the alarm by playing the hejnal.

Midway through the tune, the bugler was hit by an arrow, which killed him and abruptly ended his rendition, but the city gates were closed and the city was saved.

Now, when the hejnal is played, it suddenly stops at this same point in the tune.

Also in the main square, or more accurately below it, is the Rynek(market) Underground Museum which is a mix of medieval history and state-of-the-art technology.

Touchscreens, video displays and digital reconstructions take you back to the middle ages in Krakow, as everybody continues to walk above your head in the main square!

Florianska Street is one of Krakow’s most famous streets, and is shops and restaurants, while at the top of the road is Florian’s Gate and the ancient medieval walls that line a portion of the old town.

Sitting atop a hill just south of the Old Town is Wawel Castle and Wawel Cathedral, whilst Krakow also has many memorials to the Jews that were deported by the Nazis during the World War Two.

The former enamel factory used by Oskar Schindler to employ Jewish people during the war before helping them to escape is now a museum, and a “must-do” on a Krakow visit is the 70-kilometre journey to the concentration camp site at Auschwitz.

If you´ve never been to Poland before, then Krakow will get you wanting to make many trips, helped by the friendliness of the local people and a simply wonderful atmosphere of a city that has beaten-off all past oppressors.

(Pictured above) Krakow Main Square

Florianska Street

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