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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My parents went to Warsaw a couple months ago and took a few days to visit Krakow as they really wanted to visit both the city and Auschwitz, but from what they said, they were pretty dissapointed with them both. They said they were both really beautiful cities, but that there wasn’t too much to do after a few days in each. They’re off to Gdansk tomorrow, so I’ll see if that’s any better haha!
I guess some citites you just don’t click with – we visited Marrakech a couple years ago and while my parents absolutely loved it there, we actually couldn’t wait to get home. It was such a shame because we’d heard so many good things about it, and while it was nice, it just wasn’t really ‘us’.
xo April | April Everyday
Great to hear your views! I definitely agree, I think I was in Kraków for a little bit too long, you really don’t need to spend long there! I’ve heard good things about Gdansk, I hope they have a great time!
Ooo that’s surprising, I’ve never known anyone to not like Marrakech! I’ve never been so I can’t comment. But everyone definitely has their own styles, what works for you might not be someone else’s cup of tea, thank you for reading and commenting 🙂 x
[…] glad to have ticked Auschwitz off of my ultimate bucket list! Read my first thoughts on the city here – more blog posts will be coming in the upcoming […]
[…] Another city break done, another list of top things to do list! Kraków is a great city to visit for a few days, but do also read my recent post about whether it lives up to the hype – you can read that here. […]
To be honest, I completely agree with you. My boyfriend and I went there on our backpacking trip last year. He had been before with family so they all really hyped it up when they got back. So naturally, I was really eager to get there but I don’t think I ‘clicked with the city’ either. Yes it was very beautiful and good to experience but I didn’t fall in love with it either. Nice post, very honest 🙂
Daniela | wanderinginthenow.blogspot.co.uk