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Live a little is a travel and lifestyle blog which aims to inspire and inform readers about the wonderful places and festivals around this world and make them live a little more.
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Zakopane, Poland
Currently in: Athens, Greece
Next trip: Tbilisi, Georgia

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A weekend in Krakow

The best way to explore Krakow is on foot. Make sure you book a place to stay nearby so you don't lose any time in transportation.  
Krakow's historic Old Town (Stare Miasto) is the main area to explore. In the medieval times it was surrounded by a wall which afterwards it was demolished and was created a park, the Planty which now surrounds Old Town.

So here is the best things to see in Krakow in a weekend.

1. Walk around The Rynek (
Market Square) and buy some amber

In the center of the square you will find the Cloth Hall (Sukiennice) built in the 14th century which was the first shopping mall of the world! 
Go inside this huge building and you will find an amazing craft market. Enjoy the cozy atmosphere and the variety of jewelry, souvenirs and art creations. Under this area you will find Rynek Underground Museum, opened in 2010, which is showing the history of the Cloth Hall and the 19th Century Polish Art Gallery. 

On  the other side of the Square, we find the tall Town Hall Tower resting there since 14th century. From March till December visitors can ascend it to have a look at the Market Square from top!

We visited Krakow during Christmas, so in Market Square there was a big Christmas Market with food, hot wine and music. During summer, the square is a full of people who enjoy the good weather, watch people passing by while sipping their coffee.

2. Visit the Jewish Quarter
Definitely the most trendsetting and vibrant place is Jewish Quarter! 
Kazimierz, located in the south of Old Town, was once the center of Jewish Life in Krakow before being destroyed during World War II. After the fall of communism, the neighborhood has transformed into what we see today. 

The neighborhood attracts many tourists as it is full of cafes, bars, restaurants and art galleries and of course Synagogues and Jewish cemeteries. It was actually my first time to enter a Synagogue in this area! There is no better place than Kazimiers to discover the Jewish culture and enjoy a great nightife.

For festival lovers: every summer since 1998 takes place the Jewish Culture Festival in Kazimierz’s streets and all the area becomes a party, not only entertaining the guests but also educating them about Jewish culture and history.

3. Eat at Hamsa restaurant

For a full Jewish experience, try Jewish food! The best restaurant to do so is Hamsa Restaurant, with Israeli cuisine, atmosphere and decoration. 
It was my first time eating in a Jewish restaurant. The food is really delicious, they have many varieties of hummus, which I love, -we tried them all- plus they have kosher that I haven't tried before. So many new things for me! We drunk amazing hot wine with spices and hot beer. You eat while listening to Israeli contemporary music. 
The staff is young and friendly. In general, it is not cheap, but you get great food, in a great place! Ι totally recommend a visit!

4. Shop at Galeria Krakowska
If you arrived at Krakow Main Station Glowy, then you definitely discovered the amazing Galleria Krakowska as you have to pass through it to get out to the city. In its 60,000 sqm and its 3 floors, you will find great shops from international brands to polish labels.
Spend an afternoon there and in case you visit Krakow during winter (our story) then it can easily be your shelter from cold!
Opening hours: 09:00 - 22:00, Sundays 10:00 - 21:00.

5. Drink like a local at Tap House

With more than 20 different types of beers, from flavored to spicy, fruity to bitter, whatever you may imagine this beer place offers it! And the best part: they all come from Polish Breweries! The atmosphere is not something amazing since there is plain decoration and white tables but if you don't care about it then I totally recommend it for a special night out for a special beer crawl! 

6. Visit Auschwitz-Birkenau

As painful as it may be, if you find yourself in Krakow you should dedicate a morning to go and see Auschwitz. It is shocking but amazing to see the recent history and all the atrcoties and pain those people went through. We should not forget but commemorate.

The best way to visit Auschwitz is to join an organised trip, like Cracow City Tours or Cracow Tours to ensure everything will be perfect. Those guys pick you up from your hotel, provide you with a ticket, an english speaking tour guide and a leader. 
In case you want to organise it by yourself, then buses and trains depart from Krakow Glowy (the main train and bus station) and make a stop at Auschwitz Museum. The journey takes about 1hr 40mins and costs 12 PLN by bus (3 EUR) and 8.50 PLN by train (2 EUR). However, if you also want to visit Birkenau, the biggest camp, then you should take the local bus number 24-29 from Auschwitz I to take you there. It is just 3 km away. It is a bit complicated. I suggest going for the organised trip.

7. Join the free walking tours of the city

There are plenty walking tours offered from local people and there's no better way to learn the history of Krakow! The tour guides are very well informed and reply to all the questions you may have for the city! They are offered for free but if you would like to tip the guides in the end, you are more than welcome! 

Where to stay:
Definitely in Fresh Αpartments. The best accommodation in Krakow providing huge luminous apartments in the heart of old city in very reasonable prices. Apartments can host from 2-6 people. For full details check here.

Traveldiary #5 Krakow

Do strange things with fun people

(Athens, 22.1.2016)
 "Life is like a balloon. If you never let yourself go, you will never know how far you can rise"

Images from Morskie Oko lake

Morskie Oko is the largest and most beautiful lake surrounded by the highest peaks of Polish Tatra Mountains. It is a 30 minute drive from Zakopane, a village located in the south borders of Poland with Slovakia. 

Its uniqueness and beauty is and will be a constant source of inspiration. It has become very popular the last years and attracts many tourists so you should plan your visit as early as 7 o'clock in the morning. Wear your best shoes as you will have to walk for 2,5 hours to get there (and 2,5 hours back) and let the greatness of nature reveal in front of your eyes!
H Morskie Oko αποτελεί τη μεγαλύτερη και πιο όμορφη λίμνη που περιβάλλεται από τις υψηλότερες κορυφές της πολωνικής οροσειράς Tatra. Είναι μόλις 30 λεπτά από το Ζακοπάνε με μεταφορικό μέσο, ένα χωριό που βρίσκεται στα νότια σύνορα της Πολωνίας με τη Σλοβακία.

Η μοναδικότητα και η ομορφιά της, είναι μια συνεχής πηγή έμπνευσης. Είναι αρκετά δημοφιλής προορισμός και προσελκύει πολλούς τουρίστες, έτσι θα πρέπει να οργανώσετε την επίσκεψή σας το συντομότερο, ξεκινώντας στις 7:00 το πρωί. 
Φορέστε τα άνετα παπούτσια σας, καθώς θα πρέπει να περπατήσετε για περίπου 2,5 ώρες για να φτάσετε εκεί (και 2,5 ώρες πίσω) και αφήστε το μεγαλείο της φύσης αποκαλυφθεί μπροστά στα μάτια σας!

Parfois bag (sold out, similar here)

Traveldiary #4 Morskie Oko