The medieval wonderful Krakow Poland or Cracovie Pologne!

I heard about Krakow from a group of travelers once, and almost made it, but decided  elsewhere. Too bad ,but that is the art of travel, never enough time. You never know where you will be next, and after over 40 years of doing so and 79 countries, visiting one more is always an exciting moment indeed. The food was great with a wonderful quality/price ratio to envy.

This was the case of Krakow, Poland or Cracovie, Pologne, this past mid May 2017.  I was there for a short 4 days but enough to make it one destination to dream of come back to it. Krakow is nice, more on the tourist sites here:

http://www.krakow.pl/english/visit_krakow/2601,glowna.html

http://visitkrakow.com/

http://www.krakow-info.com/information.htm

http://www.staypoland.com/about_krakow.htm

My stay consisted of arriving at Krakow airport and taken a taxi to the Sheraton Grand Hotel.

http://www.krakowairport.pl/en/

http://www.sheratongrandkrakow.com/

While there had time off to see the main areas of the city in the old town. Krakow is compact and very nice indeed in the center.

The main thing is not to missed the Wawel castle, which I did as the tour would have taken too long for my time and on a first visit wanted to touch as many places as possible to better understand the city and hopefully be back for in depth look later on with the family. The castle is wonderful bordering the Vistula river or wisla. Again, plan to see it, the major place to see here. More on the castle here: http://www.wawel.krakow.pl/en/

In the Saint Mary Madeleine square where the existence dates from 1257 ; see the imposing façade of the Church of St Peter and Saint Paul as well as the statue of abbot Piotr Skarga the principal representative of the counter reformation in Poland, writer and preacher in the court of king Sigismond III Vasa ; Piotr Skarga is resting in the Church. The Church itself was built between 1597 and 1619 in baroque style, and it has the 12 apostles statues outside dating from the 18C.

There are many wonderful historical Churches and Monasteries  in and around Krakow, the renown town of Pope John Paul II (Saint John Paul II since 2014);such as the Wawel Cathedral, Corpus Christi, St Mary’s Basilica ,and many to name here. It certainly will take you more than 4 days to see them all ::)

The Wawel Cathedral and the museum of John Paul II are another must to see here time permitting. The museum info is here : http://www.museums.krakow.travel/en/muzea/id,243,title,the-cathedral-museum.html

and the Cathedral site is here: http://www.katedra-wawelska.pl/en/

The Cloth Hall (Sukiennice) is another must see right in the main Grand square or Rynek Glowny. wonderful line up of paintings and gorgeous architecture again for more time on it. More here: http://mnk.pl/branch/gallery-of-the-19th-century-polish-art-the-sukiennice-the-cloth-hall

There are wonderful horse drawn carriages in the city center with beautiful mounts and decorated , a nice ride in the city to make up time for it. Much more info here in English: http://guide-krakow.com/krakow-from-the-horse-drawn-carriage/

the bustle and hustle of Mariacki Square is wonderful with great ambiance, there were demonstrations of all kinds very peaceful and colorful even in the rain when I was there.

The St Mary’s Basilica is another gem to visit while in the city. Goes back to 1222 and many historical moments of the city took place here ; more here: http://www.krakow.pl/english/instcbi/36882,inst,12407,1241,instcbi.html

You can take a look at St Andrew’s Church, from the 11C with Romanesque architecture, Baroque interior of the 17C.  More here: http://www.krakow.pl/english/instcbi/18303,inst,12708,1381,instcbi.html

There is a wonderful Town Hall Tower in the middle of Rynek Glowny or Grand Square. 70 meters high tower leaning 55 cm due to strong winds in a 1703 Storm. Built of stone and brick at end of 13C with the first mechanical clock done in 1524. A wonderful unique site ;more here: http://www.krakow-info.com/tower.htm

The Holy Trinity Church and Monastery is another nice place to visit and it looks good surrounded by quaint streets of great ambiance. More here: http://www.krakow.pl/english/6293,artykul,church_of_the_holy_trinity_and_dominican_monastery_.html

Of course food and drinks are my main points in any city and did have time to try some such as:*

The Biala Roza Restaurant; this is a traditional Polish restaurant of great renown in the city and the food was fantastic. Smoked pork  fatback, Duck breast, and Strawberries macaroons with red wine from the Loire of France! sublime. A must for a nice dinner for two or even the whole family. More here:  http://www.restauracjabialaroza.pl/en/restauracja/

Then, for lunch I went for the classic international of Hard Rock Café in the Grand square corner with Market(Mariacki)  Square ,where the classic rock posters and paintings couple with a great burger and huge jar of beer was the setting for longer walks in the city lol! Hickory Barbecue Bacon Cheeseburger, and the local Polish beer of  Zywiec. More here: http://www.hardrock.com/cafes/krakow/

I did try the Sheraton hotel Taras terrace top floor city view place and the Olive Restaurant that are good on a rainy day in the hotel as I was; the grilled Polish beef tenderloins are good deal and more great well this time try the Valpolicella Italian red wine ,not bad… More here: http://www.theolive.sheraton.pl/en

the top roof terrace is here: http://www.taras-loungebar.pl/en

This was great at the top and wonderful views . To top it off, another night went to a delightful wonderful friendly place I will be back; this is the Pod Nosem restaurant.  This is at the ground floor of the hotel  Kanonicza 22. It is an old vault cellar with a twisted stair to dine above,and then you can come down to the cellar below ,where there is a glass floor you can see it from your table. At the cellar there are goodies to drink of the best of Poland; again will be back .  Here I had the  Lamb Chump with young cabbage and potato puree, the local dessert Pavlova with Strawberries and Tokaj Szamorodni, and coffee expresso., all wash down with Polish red wine cannot recall the name…. More here: http://www.kanonicza22.com/en/restauracja-3

In all a wonderful introduction to a new city in Europe and one that will be remembered for a long time. Enjoy Krakow or Cracovie in Poland or Pologne. Cheers

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