Osteuropa & Russland
Lower Silesia (Wroclaw)
Upper Silesia (Katowice)
Western Pomerania (Stettin)
Little Poland (Krakow)
Great Poland (Poznan)
Crucis Sanctae (Kielce)
Schönau am Katzbach
An interesting city, more than in any other place I've been to are eastern and western European influences exactly in balance here. Particularly peculiar are the one truly tall skyscraper of the city (a greyish brown monster that was donated to the country by Soviet dictator Stalin out of gratitude for Poland's resistance against his Austro-German colleague Hitler), and the "Old City" of
, which actually isn't old at all. It was built after WW II, when the centre of the city had been destroyed almost entirely, and it was decided that constructing an exact copy of the city centre as it was before the war, rather than getting creative and designing something new, was the most honourable thing to do. The result is an "Old City" with a highly surreal atmosphere. It's fake, but then again, it's not. The reconstruction was VERY well done, but when you look carefully, you miss the wear & tear, the colouring of moss and other tiny growths that you will invariably find on buildings that…
… Visit Krakow in December and you will miss the tourists and get to see the real city. It is beautiful, most days were clear, and you can walk or take the tram everywhere if you are close to Rynek Glowny. Go see the Zoo (outside of town), hike -- there are maps of hiking trails available at any tourist center, go to Wawel Castle and the Krakow National Museum (they have a Rembrandt and a da Vinci as well as tons of other amazing art), and get to know the tiny little shops. If you try to learn any Polish at all -- prosze, dzienkuje, dobranoc, etc. -- people will help you and won't treat you any differently than the locals (for the most part =) ). I cannot recommend Krakow and Poland itself more highly.
You will never forget your trip to
… Krakow is incredible. The nightlife is magnificent, the people are really nice, and incredibly remains relatively cheap.
… I did visit Krakow in December and I was freezing. However, even so it was a very nice experience. Covered by snow, Krakow looks very beautiful and classy. Wawel Castle was free when I visited there (maybe because it was near Christmas?). The best experience in December is the Christmas Market at Rynek Glowny (Main Market Square). The stands (that are in the shape of wine barrels) sell quite nice mulled wine.
… Krakow is a wonderful and magical city, especially at night in the summer. Food is cheap, fresh, and good quality, and people are friendly (except for bank staff). For a solid evening meal, check out Me Kong restaurant just off the north side of the main square.
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