So I recently got back from a long weekend in Kraków with 3 friends (one of which you may recognise as being on my trip to Prague last year!) and I thought I’d share my thoughts with you all!
Firstly, I’d like to make a small disclaimer that this is my personal opinion and everyone’s travel experiences vary due to a manner of variables – e.g the people you meet, the weather, the places you go, the accommodation you have, any mistakes made on the trip etc. The reason I’m including this disclaimer is that I read a similar post (here) on Nomadic Matt’s blog and was saddened that people felt the need to post semi-abusive comments telling Matt that he was wrong/uncultured/an absolute idiot. Surely the reason we all travel and write travel blogs to share our experiences and views, good or bad?
Anyway, on with the post! There’s a lot of hype surrounding Krakow at the moment. Solo travellers I’ve met have raved about it, many people I know at home have been there for weekend breaks and everyone loves it. So as you can imagine, I was excited to finally be going to the holy grail that is Kraków!
Firstly, let’s start with the good. Kraków is an undeniably pretty city. It’s hard not to appreciate the beautiful colourful central/Eastern-European style buildings, plenty of beautiful churches/cathedrals, a huge castle and beautiful old town.
Let’s also not forget the rich culture and historical side of the city. To add to this, day trips to both Wieliczka Salt Mine and Auschwitz are easily do-able (my two favourite activities of the entire trip!).
But I still don’t think I entirely clicked with the city. There are some cities that I fall in love with immediately and can’t stop thinking about months after my return – Budapest and Ljubljana I’m looking at you! Kraków didn’t have this same affect on me.
Don’t get me wrong, I had a great time and I’m glad I’ve finally ticked both Kraków and Auschwitz off of my bucket list but it doesn’t top my list of European cities (and boy I’ve seen a lot of them!).
I’m wandering whether this is because there is SO much hype. When everyone tells you that you’re going to love a place and how great it is, are you almost setting yourself up for disappointment? I’ve definitely found that some of my greatest trips have been to small towns/cities that don’t have much of a tourist reputation. When you don’t have any expectations, is it easier to be impressed?
Otherwise, I lost a close family member suddenly a few days before flying to Poland, I was feeling stressed at work and have a professional exam looming, so was I in the right mood for it?
In summary, if someone asked me to return to Kraków, I would (apart from the fact I’m currently working full time and have vowed to not use my very limited leave time from work to re-visit the same places when there’s so much more of the world to see!). And I’d love to go with someone who has a real passion for the city, I want to see what they see.
I’d love to hear about your experiences in Kraków. Was I just in a bad place at the time and couldn’t engage with my surroundings properly or have other people felt the same way? Alternatively, I’d love to hear if you’ve ever thought somewhere was slightly too over-hyped?
Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post and all thoughts are my own.
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