1. Krakowska Manufaktura Czekolady
The most famous and loved by locals Chocolate Manufacturer and cafe, located in the city center. They make all kind of chocolate delicacies: cookies, cakes, white, milky or dark hot liquid chocolate, pralines etc, following original and traditional recipes from the whole region Galicia. You can not only try their sweets there, but you can take it home. Buy handmade chocolate bars or figures, perfect gifts for friends and family, and watch chocolate masters working right in front of you. Krakowska Manufaktura Czekolady organizes workshops, where you can learn all about manufacturing chocolate and make it yourself.
2. Zakrzówek and Skałki Twardowskiego
A little lake in an old quarry, surrounded by beautiful calcareous rocks, in Ruczaj district, about twenty minutes away from the city center. Favorite summer spot for all students and residents. For picnics, swimming, climbing and… diving! There are some real treasures hidden at the bottom of the lake: a small plane from the sixties, an old car, a bus, even an office desk with a computer. The water is very clean, so everything is clearly visible. The lake is 15 to 30 meters deep. You can easily rent diving or climbing equipment and go explore!
3. Plac Izaaka
A food truck stop, hidden between winding streets of the Jewish quarter, and very popular among locals. Six food trucks serve sweet and savory meals, from thai ice cream in Frozen Rolls, Polish chimney cake in Tredelnik, to healthy acai bowls and smoothies in Acai Bar, fried fish in “Zacna Ryba Milordzie”, Mexican cuisine in “Compadre”, all kind of grilled meat in “Walenty Kania” truck, or vegan wraps in “Vege To Tu”. It is a good place to lay down in a hammock and try delicious food in nice scenery.
4. Kraków Haunted House
One of the most known urban legends in Kraków is the one about the haunted house on Kosocicka street. It was built on an old cemetery by two brothers, but it was never finished because one of them killed the other and shortly after that killed himself too. There were a lot of people trying to finish and sell the house, but they all failed. Now the place is full of creepy graffitis like “There will be more victims!” There is also an abandoned cemetery chapel, right next to the house.
5. Zalew Bagry
A little lake with the only sandy beach in Kraków. Perfect spot for a barbeque party, swimming, kayaking, sailing, and surfing, only thirty minutes away from the center. You can rent all equipment you need, eat fresh fish in a nearby restaurant, take a walk at the promenade, play volleyball or observe the birds. The place is not very crowded, even in the summer, because you won’t find it in any ordinary tourist guide.
6. Krak’s Mound
There are not many good viewpoints in Kraków, but if you would like to watch the sunset and the city skyline, take a walk on Krak’s Mound in Podgórze district. It is only sixteen meters high, but the view is really stunning. Legends say that the mound is a grave of the founder of Kraków and it used to be a place of cult. Now it is the best spot to take a break from a busy city life.
7. Flea Market on Hala Targowa
There is no place where you can find any information about this event, but it’s definitely worth visiting. The biggest flea market in the city takes place at an outdoor market hall in Grzegórzki district, every Sunday, from 7 am to 6 pm. If you are a fan of vintage treasures you will find many original pieces of furniture, old books, and magazines, WWII memorabilia, old-school clothing, board games and cameras, antiques, coins, lamps and paintings at affordable and negotiable prices. You can also try “kumpir” – a baked potato dish filled with meat, veggies, and sauces, served only in that place.
8. TYTANO Dolne Młyny
This place is only one year old but was already named the most “trendy” in Kraków. Unfortunately, it is not very well know by those who visit the city. A collective of small local bars, restaurants, concept stores, art and photography studios, founded in post industrial area in the city center. “Weźże Krafta” – more than thirty different kinds of craft beers, “Bonjour Cava” – cafe with the best desserts, “Veganic” – restaurant serving vegan and vegetarian meals, Mane tapas bar, Kondrat winery, Forum Mody – store with handmade clothes and accessories, and many more places.
9. Liban Quarry
An abandoned quarry from 1873, in Podgórze district. The place is really nostalgic and full of history marks because it used to be a work camp. In 1993 Steven Spielberg used this place to set up a scenography for “The Schindler’s List”. They built thirty-four barracks and eleven watchtowers. Some of them are still there. It is a good place for a walk for all history and movie passionates. It is a completely different, nostalgic and mysterious world, only twenty minutes away from the city center.
10. Kino Agrafka
The youngest but the coziest alternative cinema with only 109 seats, where you can watch many independent European movies. Moreover, the cinema is hundred percent popcorn free, so you can focus on the movie without getting disturbed. You won’t find there any big Hollywood productions and stupid comedies, but they often organize cameral cultural events and discussions with directors and actors. The schedule changes weekly and tickets are very cheap (about 15 PLN = 3,52€). Kino Agrafka was named the best cinema in Poland.
11. Okrąglak – Plac Nowy
A historical market hall in the heart of the Jewish quarter, famous mostly because of “zapiekanki”, Polish local fast food. Zapiekanka is an open-face sandwich, traditionally made of long white bread roll with mushrooms and melted cheese. Now you can try many new flavors, with different ingredients and sauces, made in about ten little food stands. The best places recommended by locals are: Bar na Maxa, Bar Oko and Bar u Endziora. Be ready for standing in a queue as this place is always busy!
12. Muzeum PRL
A very unconventional museum in Nowa Huta district, that will take you back to times of pro-communist People’s Republic of Poland and give you the real experience of the socialist system and show you the difficulty of average life back then. Empty shelves in stores, smuggling dollars from western countries, food tickets instead of money. You will also have a chance to see the example of a typical Polish flat in communist-era. Their newest attraction is a tour through nuclear bunkers of Nowa Huta – places that even Poles didn’t know about.
Updated: July 30, 2017
Photo credit: Foter.com