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The First Week – Exploring Krakow’s Historic Charm

Krakow’s Old Town Exploration My first week in Krakow was full of history, culture, and fun drunken nights. During the day, I wandered through the streets of the Old Town, starting with the Main Square. As the largest medieval town square in the northern hemisphere, surrounded by historic buildings this area of krakow is very busy, full of life. The beauty of the architecture and vibrancy of the square is something I haven’t seen in many other places.  One of my first stops was St. Mary’s Basilica, a stunning Gothic church with two towering spires. The basilica is steeped in history, including the legend of the brave trumpeter who saved the city from invasion by sounding the alarm. Today, firefighters honor this hero by playing the Hejnał mariacki every hour from the taller tower, a haunting melody that stops abruptly in memory of the trumpeter's fate. It’s a bit of a local concert, and I always find myself humming along, albeit off-key. Next, I ventured to Wawel Castle, perched on a hill overlooking the Vistula River. The castle is a symbol of Polish pride and history, and its grounds include the fire-breathing Wawel Dragon statue. Yep, you read that right – a dragon that breathes actual fire! And you don't have to worry about missing it. She or He shoots his or her  shot every few minutes. The view of the Vistula River from the castle is simply stunning, especially at sunset, when the sky turns into a canvas of orange and pink.   Krakow Cultural  Immersion My cultural immersion continued with visits to the Rynek Underground Museum, where I explored the medieval history buried beneath the square, and the Schindler’s Factory, a poignant reminder of Krakow’s wartime past, having just watched the movie there were many similarities to see but also some part that were how can I say misinterpreted. Both museums are well worth a look!    Local Cuisine Of course, no trip would be complete without getting stuck into the  local cuisine. I gorged myself on many traditional Polish dishes at various local restaurants, my favorite being Restauracja Cechowa located on Jagiellonska street very close to the main square! From pierogi (dumplings) to zapiekanka (Polish-style pizza). Each meal was a delicious adventure in itself. Bigos being my favorite! A hearty stew of meat, filling, manly and delicious. I'm not even going to get into the sheer variety of pierogi fillings, could dedicate an entire blog to them alone!    Redeeming Myself  Despite my busy days, I made it a point to join the Party Animals pub crawl every night. The energy of the crawl was infectious, and it was the perfect way to meet people and experience Krakow’s nightlife, each time making new friends to explore the city with. Each night was a new adventure, and I managed to stick to Polish vodka to avoid mixing my alcohol. This tactic, combined with my trusty hangover cure, allowed me to fully enjoy each night out. At Let’s Sing, I found my karaoke song and each night belted out "Make A Man Out Of You" from Mulan. I can NOT sing but as its a well known song with a catchy tune people seemed to enjoy it! The energy in the room was contagious, and we all danced and sang our hearts out. After an hour of karaoke, we moved on to my favorite clubs: La Bodega Del Ron, Prozak 2.0, and Four Music Club. Each club had its unique vibe.   Mistakes Made So far Adjusting to a new culture came with its own set of challenges. On my first visit to Żabka, a local convenience store, I mistakenly greeted an older lady with “Cześć” instead of “Dzień dobry” and didn’t address her as “Pani.” Her harsh look taught me a valuable lesson about Polish customs and respect for elders. Note to self: always use “Pan” or “Pani” for those older than you – unless you enjoy withering glares from Polish grandmothers. And mistake number two, probably a little bit more embarrassing: don’t get lured into any strip clubs in Krakow. They definitely aren’t on the level. There are a lot of promoters, and they tend to prey on drunk individuals like myself. I'll tell you the story in a later blog, don’t worry, but for now, I would rather keep my dignity.   Basic Polish Words Throughout my first week, I learned a few key phrases that helped me feel more like a local: Dzień dobry - Good morning Proszę - Please Dziękuję - Thank you Przepraszam - Sorry   Hangover Cure Balancing my daytime explorations with nightly pub crawls was no easy feat, but I developed a somewhat  foolproof hangover cure. First drink a liter of water right before before bed. Second you must get at least six hours of sleep. Third run for 30-minutes when you wake up.. This routine helped me stay energized and ready for new adventures each day. The morning run, in particular, became my secret weapon, exactly what you need to flush out of alcohol from the night before.    Anticipation for What’s Next With my first week behind me, I looked forward to the days ahead. My plans to explore Krakow, immerse myself in its culture, and continue experiencing its vibrant nightlife filled me with anticipation. Stay tuned for Blog 3, where I continue my adventures in Krakow, delve deeper into its history, and of course i'll find new and exciting ways to continue the party while for sure avoiding those pesky strip clubs!

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My Krakow Adventure Begins

Introduction Who knew a $10 Ryanair ticket could lead to the adventure of a lifetime? As soon as I clicked 'purchase,' my mind was already racing with thoughts of pierogi, medieval castles, and nightlife! Little did I know, Krakow would soon become more than just a destination – it would undoubtedly steal my heart.   Planning Phase The moment I confirmed my ticket, excitement and anticipation flooded my mind. I immediately began googling and planning my trip. My search quickly led me to the Krakow Party Animals’ pub crawl. The promise of Krakow’s famous nightlife and the chance to meet and party with fellow travelers made it an instant must-do on my itinerary. I also needed a place to stay, so I booked a room at Let’s Rock Hostel. Its central location and reputation for a friendly atmosphere made it the perfect base for my adventures. Plus, it had a communal kitchen, free Wi-Fi, and organized events, which I knew would be perfect for meeting new people and immersing myself in the local culture.   Initial Impressions As my plane touched down at John Paul II Krakow-Balice International Airport, I felt a surge of excitement. Stepping out of the airport, I was greeted by the cool, crisp air and the sight of lush greenery surrounding the city. The Uber ride into town only cost me 8 euros! But I did quickly find out Polish drivers care little for speed regulations, so be prepared for that. Arriving at Let’s Rock Hostel, I was immediately charmed by the cobblestone streets and historic architecture. The hostel was buzzing with energy, and I knew right away that I had made the right choice. After checking in, I took a moment to relax in the common area, where I met many like-minded travelers.   Accommodation Let’s Rock Hostel quickly felt like home. The staff were incredibly welcoming, and the other guests were friendly and eager to share their own travel stories. My room was cozy, with just the right amount of space to unpack and settle in. The hostel’s amenities, including a communal kitchen and free Wi-Fi, made it easy to connect with others and plan my days.   Expectations With a full month ahead of me, my itinerary was packed. I wanted to explore every corner of Krakow, starting with the historical landmarks like Wawel Castle, St. Mary’s Basilica, and the Schindler’s Factory. I was also eager to dive into the local culture, with visits to the Rynek Underground Museum and sampling traditional Polish dishes at local restaurants. But tonight, my adventure truly began with the Krakow Party Animals’ pub crawl. I had read all the amazing reviews about it, and I couldn’t wait to experience the city’s nightlife for myself.   The First Night Out As the evening approached, I made my way to the meeting point for the pub crawl but found out it actually started at my hostel! What luck! The group was a mix of travelers from all over the world, some from inside the hostel and some from outside, each with their own stories and reasons for being in Krakow. The guides were lively and welcoming, albeit a little crazy – the awesome kind of crazy if you get me – definitely setting the tone for the night ahead. Our first stop offered an hour of unlimited drinks. And when I say unlimited, I mean unlimited! The atmosphere was electric, with everyone quickly becoming fast friends. I started at the beer pong table and met my soon-to-be best mate, Thomas, who had previously told me he was also rather good at beer pong! So we put our joint skills to the test, winning game after game while also getting drunker and drunker. Drinking beer while simultaneously drinking whiskey and gin – I think I even had a bit of vodka – got me far too excited! We then went downstairs to Let’s Sing! A karaoke bar which would later become one of my favorite places! We were told we would be in the bar for an hour, so if we wanted to sing, we better go put our songs on the list. While waiting, we all danced to the songs sung by other guests, some great and some really not so great but all equally entertaining. By this point, however, the mixing of all the different alcohols and the fact that I was not an avid drinker decided my fate. My fate was not set to finish this pub crawl.   Reflection My first night in Krakow set the tone for an unforgettable journey. The Krakow Party Animals pub crawl was more than just a tour, it was pure fun and enjoyment. Even though I didn’t finish the tour, I had more fun than I’ve had in years and I realized I had barely scratched the surface of what Krakow had to offer. In reflection, I won’t mix my alcohol and I’ll pace myself, hopefully resulting in a complete pub crawl the next time I join. Because no doubt there will be a next one!   Anticipation for What’s Next With my first night out a success “haha”, I looked forward to the days ahead. My plans to explore Krakow’s historic charm, immerse myself in its culture, and continue experiencing its vibrant nightlife filled me with anticipation. Stay tuned for Blog 2, where I dive into Krakow’s historic charm, visit iconic landmarks, and continue my nightlife adventures with Krakow Party Animals – maybe getting to finish it this time!  

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Polish Drinking Games to Elevate Your Night Out in Krakow!

When exploring Krakow's vibrant nightlife, adding a touch of local culture can truly elevate your evening. Polish drinking games (Polish pronunciation: Polskie gry picia) offer a fun and interactive way to connect with new friends and enhance your night out. Personally, when I travel to a new country, I often dive into the party scene and occasionally miss out on the cultural side. So here are some traditional games to help you enjoy both culture and party simultaneously! 1. Czółko (Forehead) (Polish pronunciation: Chool-ko) Czółko, also known as "Forehead," is a simple yet hilarious icebreaker for your Krakow adventure. Each player writes a famous person or character on a sticky note and places it on the forehead of the person to their right. Through yes-or-no questions, players guess their identity. Incorrect guesses result in a drink, making it both challenging and entertaining. 2. Jedzie Pociąg z Daleka (The Train is Coming) (Polish pronunciation: Yed-zie Po-tsyong z Da-leh-ka) This lively game combines singing and drinking, a favorite in Krakow's nightlife. Participants form a circle and sing "Jedzie Pociąg z Daleka" while mimicking train movements. The song pauses randomly, and the leader selects a player to drink, ensuring a merry atmosphere throughout. 3. Koci Łapki (Cat Paws) (Polish pronunciation: Kot-si Wap-ki) Koci Łapki tests reflexes and coordination, adding excitement to your night out. Sitting in a circle, players cross hands in a pattern and tap the table sequentially. Mistakes or hesitations result in a drink, keeping everyone engaged and agile.         4. Picie na Komendy (Drink on Command) (Polish pronunciation: Pee-tsie nah Ko-men-de) Here’s one of my favorites! Much like Simon says. Follow commands in this game exactly or face extra drinks. First, you designate a commander to issue orders like "raise your glass" or "drink," challenging participants as the pace intensifies. Perfect for a lively night and sure to keep the party going! 5. Ciepło-Zimno (Hot-Cold) (Polish pronunciation: Tsyep-wo Zim-no) Hide and seek gets a drinking twist with Ciepło-Zimno. One player hides an object while others search based on "ciepło" (warm) and "zimno" (cold) clues. The finder selects someone to drink, adding a thrilling element to the party scene. Bringing It All Together Incorporate these traditional Polish drinking games into your night out for unforgettable memories. Whether you're a local or a visitor, these games foster friendship and laughter, enhancing your experience. Ready for a night of fun and culture? Join our pub crawl and make your Krakow adventure truly unforgettable! Click here!

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Summer in Krakow – 5 Fun Activities for 2024

Summer in Krakow – 5 Fun Activities for 2024 As well as some great bars, clubs and nightlife, if you’re planning a trip to Krakow this summer, be sure to try out these fun activities. The city is full of lush outdoor places to explore, hang out, and soak up the vibrant, multicultural atmosphere of Krakow. Explore the city on a bike, on a boat, or on foot, wander around the city parks, or relax by a lakeside beach. Whatever you choose to do, we’re sure you’ll love your trip.  Take a look at our five favourite summer activities below.    Evening River Cruise With warmer and longer evenings, why not hop onto a river boat for a relaxing sightseeing cruise, where you can enjoy the sunset, and see all Krakow’s iconic landmarks from a different point of view. You’ll drift past Wawel Royal Castle, Father Bernatek’s Bridge, and more. Views will include the Old Town, and atmospheric lights, as you listen to a fascinating commentary from one of the local tour guides. This is a great thing to do on the last night of your trip, as you reflect on your highlights.  City Bike Tour There are so many ways to sight see in Krakow – walking tours, open top buses – but one of our favourites is the bike tour. There are loads of cycling tour operators around the city, ranging from hour-long guided tours, to longer ones with various stopping points. You’ll be following a professional guide, so you can just focus on enjoying the views, without worrying about finding your way through a new place. You’ll admire stunning architecture, while your guide shares some interesting facts about the past and present of the city.  The Ring Park  One of Krakow’s most iconic public parks known as the Planty, is a large belt of green space of over 20 hectares. It’s shaded by large, old trees, and is full of fountains, flower beds, and benches. It’s a great place to enjoy a picnic with friends, or to enjoy nature while unwinding after a wild night. In the summer, it’s full of people playing outdoor games and enjoying the atmosphere.  Lakeside Beaches  Krakow is dotted with small lakes and reservoirs that have fresh water that’s safe to swim in. In the northern part of the city, the lakesides are well developed, and full of food vans, and the chance to hire a little sailboat or kayak. Krakow’s lakeside beaches are buzzing in the summertime, and some of them even have sand! The areas are well maintained and kept clean.  Wolski Forest This stunning protective woodland space is great if you fancy a spot of adventure. With plenty of hills to climb, and around 35km of hiking trails, there are cycle paths, a hillside mansion, and even an old monastery. If you want to clear your head after a wild night out, or get a change of scene without leaving the city, this woodland is accessible by car, bus or bike.   Experience the best nightlife Krakow has to offer with our amazing pub crawl, where you will be taken on an epic tour of the city’s best bars and clubs. Click here to find out more, and book your spot. 

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New Year’s Day in Krakow - Best Brunches for Hangovers

After a night of epic partying on New Year’s Eve, known in Poland as Sylwester, you might be feeling rough on New Year’s Day morning. Great news is, Krakow is full of cafes, breakfast bars and bakeries serving up slap-up breakfasts that will jump-start you into feeling like yourself again. Milkbars For a hearty breakfast on a budget, Krakow is famous for its abundance of milk bars, or Bar Mleczny, serving up wholesome and filling food. These cafeteria-style places offer eggs and omlettes, baked goods, and of course, milk. Here are some of our favourites: Bar Mleczny Centralny – First opened in the 1950s, this is one of the city’s most authentic milk bars. If you’re looking for something quick and filling, grab a table and join the queue!  Bar Mleczny ‘Poludniowy – Located on the market square, this milk bar will give you a great meal for only a couple of euros. You can enjoy omlettes and minced meat cutlets, as well as good coffee and milk.  Bar Targowy – open from 8am every morning, Bar Tagowy has a cosy feel, and welcoming staff. Serving plenty of Pierogi dumplings in lots of varieties, with plenty of coffee, this is the place to be for a great breakfast or brunch.    Breakfast Bars A cooked breakfast and a steaming cup of coffee is just the thing to settle the stomach after a night out you may or may not remember! Krakow is full of quirky cafes with menus you’ll want to come back to again and again. Take a look at some of our favourites below. Gossip Café – With a cosy atmosphere and a great buzz, Gossip café provides plates of home-made omlettes in lots of variations, fry-ups, and pastries made in-house. Here, you’ll find fry-ups with all the trimmings, as well as some traditional Polish favourites that the locals will recommend.  NapNap Café – This is the place to be for one of the best breakfasts in Krakow. If you’re feeling adventurous, sample breakfasts from a wide range of cuisines, from Middle Eastern Shakshuka and Mexican Huevos Rancheros, to French toast and bagel sandwiches. Whatever your taste, you’ll find something you and your hangover will love! Brunch Restaurants  Wesola Café – With specialty coffee, and home-made food, Wesola is a small place with a warm atmosphere. The staff here have been developing their barista skills for years, and are here to help you get your New Year’s Day off to a cheerful start.  Kolanko No.6 – With a quirky and eclectic feel, Kolanko serves up nourishing international and European cuisine. If you’ve slept in and are looking for an early lunch, they serve up well-filled sandwiches, omlettes, and other delights.  Dynia – Offering a takeaway and delivery option, Dynia brings a healthy and nourishing take on traditional local breakfast and brunch cuisine. If you fancy eating in the restaurant, it has a simple and homely vibe. Looking for a fun way to party on New Year’s Eve? Experience Sylwester in Krakow, on one of our legendary bar crawls that will definitely earn you a slap-up brunch. Everything you need to know, including our online booking page can be found right here. 

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Halloween in Krakow – The Best Spooky Activities

With centuries of spooky history and a reputation for throwing amazing parties, Krakow is the place to be this Halloween. The old town is full of haunting secrets and chilling stories, which you can discover on one of the ghostly night-time walking tours around the city. Themed bars and clubs will be offering a variety of drinks and playing banger after banger – so come in your scariest outfit and prepare to party!  Halloween Pubs & Clubs Tawerna Wilczy Dol (Wolf’s Lair) - Halloween brings an extra dimension of scary fun to this hidden gem. It’s themed around The Witcher, making it perfect for fans of the famous Netflix series. Serving up delicious beers, spirits and cocktails, this legendary pub is a must-visit for Halloween.  Café Szafe – every Halloween, or Dziadoween, Café Szafe hosts an unmissable costume party. Decorated with grinning Jack-o-lanterns, this bar serves up plenty of drinks, and is free to get in. There are even face paints and an award for the best costume. Will yours make the grade? Club Nights - All over Krakow, clubs host themed Halloween parties that will have you dancing into the early hours. When it comes to costumes at popular venues like Shakers and Prozak 2.0, anything goes! With plenty of drinks and talented local DJs, you won’t want to leave the dance floor.  Spooky Old Town Tours Discover the dark side of Krakow on a spine-chilling nighttime tour of the city’s old town, which is steeped in history. With knowledgeable tour guides, you’ll hear ghost stories, serial killer legends, and tales of haunted happenings in some of the town’s alleyways and old buildings. Check out some of our favourites… Creepy Krakow Tour This is a 2-hour walking tour of the city, that starts after the sun goes down. Your tour guide will lead you to some of the most fascinating parts of the town, while sharing stories based on real life. The dimly lit streets will reveal things that will make you see the town in a different light.  Krakow by Night Join your tour guide on a journey through the dark side of the city. Walk past the city’s eerily lit gothic buildings as you hear old urban legends, ghost stories, and more.  Krakow Horror House  The Krakow Horror House is not for the faint hearted! It’s a place that will make you scream, and jump out of your skin, while taking part in thrilling activities that will give you goosebumps. If travelling with a group of friends, this is a great way to spend an afternoon before heading out on the town in the evening.  Experience the best of Krakow’s Halloween nightlife and book your place on our legendary pub crawl. Get VIP entrance to the best clubs, one hour of unlimited drinks, and a scary magician! It’s not to be missed, so book in advance to avoid disappointment.  Click here to book your spot today.

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