Karkow, Poland is fast becoming one of the most popular destinations in Europe for a cheap weekend or short term escape. Eastern Europe has long been recognised as the much cheaper side of Europe to holiday in with countries such as Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia and Poland being the most popular.
Much of the attraction to these countries is, of course, the budget travel-friendly options they provide visitors. Travel necessities such as flights, accommodation, food, drinks, attractions and tours are all usually offered at a highly reduced rate compared to many popular countries in Western Europe such as Barcelona and Paris for example.
When it comes to Poland and indeed the city of Krakow though there is much more than just a budget holiday on offer. This is a city that has so much to share and stories to tell. Almost everyone knows of the horrors that occurred during the reign of Hitler and unfortunately, Krakow featured heavily throughout this dark period of world history. As much as a tragedy it certainly was, its also the reason why Krakow is now one of the most visited destinations in Europe. Today with the assistance of Brodie, a Travel Blogger in Australia who runs the website Aussieinwanderlust, we are going to look at what you should know before visiting Krakow and also the essential things you should add to your travel itinerary.
Before visiting Krakow, Poland
The first thing any tourist visiting Krakow should be aware of is the rich history it possesses. It was briefly mentioned above but the city of Krakow was an important area in the Hitler leadership era in Europe and as such, I think it is of great importance and also respectful to understand the events that unfolded during this period of time.
A lot of the “tourist sites” are centred around this as well so it makes sense it that regard also. The loss of unnecessary life, while Hitler was leader, is almost hard to comprehend and if you don’t have a level of understanding of his then when visiting destinations such as Auschwitz Concentration Camp it can be overwhelming and confronting. I suggest that you read up and get a general understanding of the events that occurred throughout Germany, Poland and other European countries throughout this period before visiting.
Visa Requirements for Visiting Krakow
Krakow Poland is, in fact, part of what is known across Europe as the Schengen Agreement. This is an arrangement agreed upon by many of the countries across the European continent that enables visitors to travel freely between them all for a period of up to 90 days without any issues. Countries such as Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the United States, much of South America and Asia are all entitled to enter into the countries included in the Schengen Agreement without organising a visa prior to entry.
As with most travel locations you will just need to ensure that your passport is valid for a minimum of 3 months after you are leaving the EU.
For your information, the countries that are included in the Schengen Agreement are as follows:
Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.
Things to do in Krakow, Poland
As mentioned above there are many activities on offer in Krakow and many come with a budget sized price tag as well. When first arriving to Krakow I suggest joining one of the FREE walking tours on offer by local companies. These are always a great way to begin to discover a new area for the first time, you will gain some local suggestions and tips from the guide doing the tour, visit many important locations in the city, hear some local history and find out areas that might be best to avoid for safety reasons.
Other areas to attempt to visit in Krakow include Wawel Castle and Cathedral, St. Mary’s Basilica, Schindler’s Museum, Salt Mine and of course, the Auschwitz Concentration Camp is a location that shouldn’t be missed. For a complete list of activities to visit in Krakow I suggest using this full list as a guide.
You Must Also Read
Krakow is also a haven for food lovers as well with many of the local dishes available in the city unique to the area. Brodie at Aussieinwanderlust is not only a budget travel expert but also a food lover and he has put together a list of the best food and drinks in Krakow. If you enjoy trying local dishes when you travel it is a great source of information.
Enjoy your cheap and exciting trip to Krakow and discover the beautiful architecture, rich history and some delicious food while your there.