Christmastime in Krakow is fascinating and certainly an experience. For a small city that is relatively unknown among common tourist destinations, Krakow offers a plethora of activities for everyone at Christmas. A place that is steeped in history and culture, Krakow is full of places and things to explore and it is the type of city that one could spend all their time exploring, as it is destination that holds mystery and magical charm. So here are our Top 5 things to do and see whilst visiting Krakow.
1) Visit Jazz Club u Muniaka
Krakow is renowned for its many Jazz Clubs, playing various types of jazz from classic big band, to the avant-garde styles of Charlie Parker, to soft ballads of Chet Baker. Of all the jazz clubs to visit in Krakow, the ‘Jazz Club u Muniaka’ should be the top of the list. Located in an old underground cellar, bare brick walls and deep crimson lighting welcome you and help to create a unique atmosphere. A fully stocked cocktail bar is offset in one of the small mysterious alcoves offering an assortment of concoctions. However the main attraction is the various professional jazz musicians, who have come from all over Europe, that play each night from around 8pm and perform sets of various genres of jazz music. Jazz Club u Muniaka is a must for any traveller to Krakow and will provide an unforgettable experience.
2) Explore the Jewish Quarter
Located just to the south of the Old Town next to the Vistula River, the old Jewish Quarter is a maze of small backstreets with many different boutique shops, galleries, restaurants and bars. Mleczarnia is a fantastic small bar that is lit up by candlelight and the walls are decorated with various pictures of people from the former Jewish Quarter. The old Jewish Quarter, also known as Kazmierz, has a range of interesting architecture that demonstrates the diversity of its history, with quaint medieval buildings, to more industrial structures that are covered in amazing street art. The best place to see the street art is definitely the Bosak Building within Kazmierz, which has various pieces of art painted onto one large wall. There are such a variety of attractions within the former Jewish Quarter and a trip to Krakow is not complete without visiting it.
3) Dine at Pod Nosem
There are many restaurants in Krakow, and it is certainly a city of culinary talent. However, one restaurant that stood out from the rest was Pod Nosem. Found at the bottom of Krakow’s castle, Pod Nosem is making its way to the top. A Michelin Guide restaurant already, Pod Nosem is currently being assessed for being Michelin Starred and it is easy to see why when you see the menu alongside its sophisticated interior. The menu is four courses, although you can opt for just two or three course and its menu is traditional polish cuisine with a contemporary twist. The menu is changed every month, but to give you a taste of the types of dishes available, the meal that I had consisted of Beef Tartar with a Quails egg and Siberian Sturgeon Caviar to start. The main was Venison with pearl barley and chestnuts and to finish I had a white chocolate cheesecake. Without doubt words cannot do the food at Pod Nosem justice, it is simply amazing and it would be worth visiting Krakow just to eat here!
4) Feel festive in the Christmas Market
Krakow’s Christmas Market is impressive to say the least. Located in the Old Town market square, it fills up one side of the large space and there is a real diversity of stalls available there with some selling artesian crafts, to others selling local produce and food. However one thing that stands out is the quality of the products being sold whether it be clothing, food or art. Furthermore, the festive lights that are put up around the square add to the already magical environment that the Christmas market creates.
5) Discover the Wawel Royal Castle
The Wawel Royal Castle found just to the south of the Old Town is spectacular and should definitely be visited. Built on an outcrop of rock, the castle offers jaw-dropping views over Krakow itself but also the surrounding countryside. Within the castle complex are vast stately buildings and also the impressive Wawel Cathedral that contains the tombs of past monarchs of Poland and also the tomb of classical music composer Chopin. The castle, in a way epitomises the range of history and culture that is on show within Krakow and demonstrates how fascinating the city is.
Photos from Pod Nosem are courtesy of their: website:https://www.kanonicza22.com/en/restaurant