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I am planning a 8 days trip in Krakow in April and I would like to know what can I do/ see during this time?
Is it worthed to stay such a long time in the city? or should I do/ see some other locations close to Krakow?
Can you recommend me a cosy place to stay, some local restaurants to eat some good food.
May I suggest you to spend a couple of days in Tyniec, 12 kilometers away from Krakow, along the Vistula river ? There is a stunning millenium-old abbey, providing accommodation. Today, reborn from its ruins, it is open to guests wishing to experience age-old Benedictine traditions for themselves.
The Tyniec Abbey is a fascinating building to visit as such! The monastery is the oldest one (still in use) in Poland. Due to its strategic position, it played a role in important pages of the Polish history, involving the first kings of the country fighting against their rivals, the invading Tatars and ... Pope John-Paul II. Not to mention that the abbey was turned into a well defended fortress during the 18th century!
Several friends of mine stayed in the guest house of the abbey (now renovated to welcome a broad public) and they were quite happy with their heritage experience. They underlined the extraordinary atmosphere (and peace) of the abbey, the fantastic view on the river, the warm welcome and the rich museum. More information: http://www.intohistory.com/tyniec-abbey-guest-house/
Let us know!
Krakow is amazing, I was an exchange student there a few years ago. You can stay close to the main square Rynek Główny or in Kazimierz, the jewish district, it's a short walk from the main square. In Krakow the best thing to do is explore all the amazing cafes and bars, they are completely unique in style and decor and sometimes very well hidden! I promise you when you just stroll around the main square in Kazimierz, you're going to want to stop in all of them. Order a hot chocolate, it's more like melted pure chocolate, eat pierogis, have a terrific polish beer.
Auschwitz-Birkenau is a full day trip and I highly recommend it. You can do it independently by taking a bus or a train from Krakow to Oswiecim or choose a tour (any tourist office would offer them). Another day trip I can recommend is the Wielicka salt mine, an organised tour would have direct transportation to the mine and back.
If you like museums there is a small contemporary art museum with changing exhibitions (http://bunkier.art.pl/?lang=en) that I liked.
You could also rent bikes and bike to the artificial lake http://www.inyourpocket.com/krakow/Zakrzowek_50421v it's a very cool place to bring your own food and maybe even take a swim.
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We visited Krakow a few years ago, and loved it! The Rynek Główny(Main Market Square) in old town Krakow is huge. I wished we had more time to just hang out in the square. There are restaurants, artists, music, and vendors. It was so much fun. We also visited in April and they had their Easter market open during this time. The exchange rate was phenomenal (and probably still is), so we felt like we were living like kings. Save time to just sit and enjoy.
We did plan a day trip tour to Memorial and Museum Auschwitz-Birkenau, which was truly sobering and unforgettable. There are salt mines to tour, but we didn't have time. Visit the Wawel Royal Castle in Krakow. If you are a classical music fan, be sure to take in a Chopin Concert.
As for food, we tried many different restaurants and stands. We especially enjoyed the local food like Pierogi. I would try to stay in a hotel near the Main Market Square if possible. Many hotels have wonderful Polish breakfasts included with your stay.
There was a 16th century The Cloth Hall in the middle of the Main Market Square that sold lots of souvenirs. Notably, there was a lot of amber jewelry. Also, the Easter Market sold colorful "Easter Palms" and wooden painted Easter eggs that we bought for souvenirs.
There was also an "international pillow fight day" in Krakow in April when we were there. The Main Market Square was filled with down after the pillow fight. You can see videos of this online.
My main advice is to leave lots of time to sit in the square, enjoy a drink, some food, and a chance to soak up this amazing part of Europe. Have a great time!
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