Stories from Krakow





Krakow: How Did We End Up Here?

How did we end up in Krakow, Poland, you ask? A very good question indeed! As we planned our Summer 2024 holiday, we knew we’d be heading east to explore countries long on our bucket list, with a deadline to be in northern Greece by July 1st. The decision at hand: where to begin our Eastern European adventure?

One day, AP casually asked, “What’s the furthest east we can fly out of Bordeaux on a budget airline?” A quick search later, we found ourselves staring at Ryanair tickets to Krakow for €50 each, including luggage. “Bargain!” we exclaimed. “Let’s go to Poland!” With apartments in great locations at good prices, our starting point was set—Krakow it would be.

Our flight touched down around 7 PM at the sleek and modern John Paul II International Airport—a stark contrast to the old and tired airport we left behind in Bordeaux (and, honestly, most French airports). A quick taxi ride later, we arrived at our apartment in the Kazimierz district, the historic Jewish quarter of the city. This beautiful area, rich in history with its ancient buildings and cobblestone streets, also boasts a vibrant café, bar, and food scene.

We had a week in Krakow, and being the shamelessly lazy tourists we are, we spent the first couple of days lounging at local cafes, sipping excellent coffee, and indulging in authentic Chinese and Vietnamese cuisine—something we sorely miss in France. 

By day three, after a fantastic Chinese lunch, we finally ventured into the main square and market hall in the old town. Picture-perfect and bustling with people, it was quintessential Eastern Europe. But after one look at the crowds, we quickly circled the square, dodged the touts, snapped a few pics, and scurried back to our quiet corner of Krakow.

Another day, we strolled along the Vistula River to the castle and church complex, once the home of Polish royalty. Though beautiful, the place was swarming with school kids on excursions, their hi-vis jackets snaking through the complex. Overwhelmed by the crowd, we opted for a shady spot and a drink instead.

We also loved exploring the small produce markets across the town, where local farmers sell fresh goods, and the numerous food truck areas offering all kinds of delicious treats.

Krakow surprised us. We’re not sure what we expected, but what we found was a beautiful, sophisticated city with excellent food, friendly people, and easy navigation. We loved our time in Krakow and will definitely return—only next time, for much longer.

Next stop: Banska Bystrica, Slovakia!