Although Warsaw is the capital city of Poland, I heard so many great things about Krakow that I was really curious about this city. And it is indeed a great city for a city trip! The old town is compact, making it possible to see all the highlights in a (long) weekend. And Krakow is a heaven for vegetarian/vegan travelers! Normally I can find it quite difficult to eat healthy whilst away, but Krakow makes it easy for you! I’ve listed my favorite food spots (and, why not, some activities) in Krakow below.
From the airport you can take the train to the central train station of Krakow (Krakow Glowny). You can buy your ticket on the platform or on board of the train. We stayed in Hotel Atrium, it was located perfectly between the train station and the gate to the old town. It had good value for money and, very important for a foodie, a decent breakfast.
Stare Miasto – Old Town
If you would like to go out for breakfast you should go to Charlotte, in the old town, where they serve breakfast all day. You can find this bakery meets wine bar in the North-Western part of Old Town, near the main square. They’ve got breakfast baskets where you’ll get a big jar of jelly, a variety of cold and warm sandwiches and Croque Monsieurs (French grilled cheese sandwiches). You can also get a croissant or a pastry on the go.
Krakow has a spacious market square in the middle of Old Town. Here you’ll find Basilica Maria and a nice underground museum beneath Cloth Hall (the old cloth market that is still used with stalls selling their goods. The square is surrounded by restaurants and bars but, as always on main squares, the prices tend to be higher without the quality necessarily increasing. Although we had a good chicken burger at the Bonerowska Restaurant.
From the market it’s a nice walk through a shopping street to Wawel Castle. It’s a nice building to just walk around and admire from the outside. If you feel like it, you can also buy tickets to several parts of the castle. Please keep in mind that many are closed on Mondays. Along the way you’ll find plenty of bakeries and tea rooms where you can satisfy your sweet tooth.
One of my favorites is Lajkonik where they have healthy, vegetarian, rye bread sandwiches as well as delicious sweets like this black forest cake. If you don’t want to tempt yourself, you can also have a vegan burger for lunch at Krowarzywa.
A great dinner option in the Old Town is Camelot Café. This pink walled, multiple room café serves great Italian food and a variety of cakes for dessert. I have to admit that the interior is a bit girly with chandeliers, candles, angel statues and flowers. But your man will enjoy their risotto, so that makes up for it. As in most Krakow restaurants, you’ll find plenty vegetarian options on the menu.
Around Old Town
Before World War II there were about 3 million Jews in Poland, afterwards there were only 100.000 left. It would be a shame if you would neglect this history if you visit Poland. Especially when you’re in Krakow with many things remembering the war. You can visit the concentration camp Auschwitz for example. Now of course, this won’t be a fun outing. I was really touched and emotional by my visit. But I’m still very happy that I went. Hopefully the world will learn from its past.
South of the Vistula river you can find the factory of Oskar Schindler, known from Spielberg’s movie Schindler’s List. The factory now houses a museum, explaining the history of Krakow during WWII and how this factory saved the lives of thousand Jews. It’s beautifully done, interactive and impressive at the same time. Many nice bars and restaurants have opened in that area lately. One of them is Industrial. With its industrial look, it’s a great bar for a drink after your visit to Schindlers Factory.
Kazimierz, or the Jewish quarter, houses many Jewish restaurants. Hamsa is definitely my favorite. While they’re spreading the word of hummus and happiness (‘make hummus, not war’) you can enjoy delicious Israeli mezze like hummus, falafel and labneh. You can fill this ‘hand’ platter with mezzes of your choice. It’s great as a starter, so try to leave some room for a main dish like their cauliflower couscous with kebab. Again, like many places in Krakow, there aremany options for vegetarians and vegans in this restaurant.
Kazimierz is also a great neighborhood to go for a drink in the evening. For example at Klub Alchemia. A cozy bar with multiple smaller rooms, filled with a young and slightly alternative crowd. If you don’t mind the cigarette smoke, this is a great bar for an after dinner drink.
I think you’ll have a great time in Krakow. Feel free to let me know if you have any questions or if you’ve visited one of my tips!