Karkow is the second largest and one of the oldest cities in Poland.
My first impression as soon I stepped on the Polish ground, was that everything there was very clean.
For example, you can barely see any cigarettes thrown onto the sidewalks, squares and the streets.
When somebody as a tourist see how Polish people always use the ashtrays to throw their cigarettes, and they never throw any garbage down, it’s quite natural to follow their example.
I liked very much this part of their culture.
In general Polish people are very neat.
As I understood they like cleanliness in general, they all seemed freshly bathed, and fragrant as I passed by them on the streets.
Of course I already knew that Polish people are neat, because I had a lot of Polish coworkers in the past.
Especially when I worked as a housekeeping manager in several hotels in Amsterdam, the people from Poland were our best cleaners (room attendants) among the others.
The entire city and the sidewalks were extremely neat, public and the private gardens as well.
I was truly amazed, because I am coming from very dirty Amsterdam, where the most of the tourists behave as an animals and they throw things around all the time even though we have so many garbage bins everywhere.
From the other side, even though the city of Krakow attract around 10,050,000 tourists each year and the city’s population is over 760,000, everything was perfectly neat, clean and shiny.
My boyfriend and me visited this city recently, as soon as we came back from the Florida, United States.
My boyfriend was about to attend a convention in Krakow, regarding his job.
Of course I was very happy to join him, when he asked me, since I have never visited Poland before.
For the first time in our life we decided to book an apartment instead of hotel.
We were kind of short of money, because we just came from our vacations. Also I am currently jobless. I will describe in one of my next blog posts how I lost my precious job, thanks to my beautiful vacations. It is very difficult for me to write about it yet, because I am still going through the grieving stage of loss and disappointment.
Anyhow, hotels were to expensive for us at the moment, so we chose an apartment.
After all it was the best choice ever. The apartment was at the greatest location and the price was great as well.
The building was new. The furniture also new and everything was very clean in and out.
We booked the apartment through the Booking.com website. The name of the company that rents them is Palace Apartments.
We also booked the transfer from the airport to the apartment through the Viator. If you wish to do the same please press the link on the word Viator. It is wise to do it this way, in order to avoid unpleasant situations and confusion in the unknown city.
If you like the pictures and you wish to book the very same apartment, please press the link on the name of the apartment or on the Booking.com word (blue letters). The link will take you directly on this property, so you can check the price, photos, reviews and availability.
Apartment had one nice and big bathroom, with walk in shower, nice kitchen with all utensils for cooking and serving meals. Wash machine, with iron and iron board. Big and comfortable bed, closet and dining table with four chairs.
Plus one relaxation bed- chair. There was also a balcony with a nice view, table and one chair.
The complex of the buildings had fence, and one guard was always walking around.
The gardens were very beautiful and neat.
The garden door and the building entrance were always locked, and you can only have an access with the key or the pass code.
The apartment had safety door.
It was located 20 minutes walking distance from the main square.
We could use the city transport, because the tram and bus station was just 50 meters from our apartment, but we decided to walk, so we could explore more of the city and to take some photos on our way to the center.
We saw a lot of parks, nice historic buildings and botanical garden on our way. We turned left through the street Ulica Mogilska and later on by the street Ulica Mikołaja Kopernika, that will take you directly to the city center and main square Rynek Główny in Polish. Ulica means street in Polish language so you will see this word on all street signs, if not entire word than just shorten version Ul.
In the city center there are few nice squares, we visited the small one and the big one.
They were adorable and surrounded with stunning historical buildings. The old city center is called Stare Miasto in Polish language.
At the big main square there were flower market and a lot of carriages, with beautiful horses.
All carriages were white, and the horses were wearing some decorative belts, everything looked unreal and I felt like I was time traveling at some point.
The coachman’s were mainly beautiful women, nicely dressed, with some decorated hats on their heads.
The Cloth hall was a nice building on the main square with a lot shopping stalls, and all kinds of colorful products that attract tourists.
Despite the rain the square was very busy. A lot of tourists were scrolling around.
At the square and around there were a lot of cafes, bars and restaurants.
Really a lot of choices, some of them even had live music performers.
But they were all very busy.
Be prepared to wait a lot to place and to get the order. On the end you have to call for the bill, and wait for the bill, and wait again for the change.
So be prepared to wait a lot in general here wherever you sit.
We did not have any knowledge regarding the historical sites of the center.
We were just strolling randomly.
At some point we saw the city castle, but it was already late in the evening, we were tired from walking and we did not climb up.
I liked this city a lot. It is very beautiful and worth visiting.
We spend only a few hours in the city center, so we did not see much.
Therefore I can not give you any information regarding the museums and historical buildings.
For the next day, we booked through the Viator organized bus tour to the Auschwitz and Birkenau former German Nazi concentration camps, and to the oldest Salt Mine Wieliczka.
I am going to describe the tour in my following blog posts.
It was one whole day tour, but I will describe each destination separately, in order to reduce the size of the posts and to be more specific.
Please don’t forget to try the Mulled wine (with aromatic herbs), while in Poland. It is their popular beverage.
Stay tuned to find out about the rest of our good and bad adventures in Poland.