Eastern Europe is deeply routed in history and Poland was no exception. Krakow was one of a kind. From experiencing the infamously delicious pierogi to submerging myself into the deep and dark history of the Auschwitz concentration camps, Krakow left me wishing I had more time. The hostel I stayed at was everything you could want out of a hostel. The reception was helpful and accommodating, the rooms were clean, and the location is directly across from the famous Jewish Quarter and just a short walk to the city center.
My first day in Krakow was spent taking a tour of the Auschwitz concentration camps. Nothing, I mean nothing, can prepare for the deep sadness and overwhelming feeling that rushes over you while touring these camps. It is impossible to put into words. It is a feeling and experience that is forever engrained in my brain. Bringing everything we have been taught to a very physical reality is unparalleled to any other experience I have ever had in my life. Everyone should experience it. Once returning from the camps (it is essentially an all day tour) my travel partner and I headed into city center for dinner and drinks. Every meal for us consisted of pierogi, which are Polish dumplings. This is what was initially suggested to us, and we couldn’t get enough! The main square of Krakow is so fun and lively! One of the most memorable moments I had in Poland.
Day two in Krakow was equally as incredible as day one. Our mission for the day was to witness the fire-breathing dragon (it’s a statue and not a real one, unfortunately) that is at the bottom of Wawel Hill. Along with this, we wanted to visit Wawel Castle and Wawel Cathedral where there is said to be dragon bones at the entrance. All was impressive! The architecture is stunning and we managed to get a peak of the dragon bones! Along with the rest of the day we experienced the indoor market in the city square where we bought some beautiful amber jewelry and later explored the Jewish Quarter where we found many cute, eclectic bars to relax in and enjoy a few drinks.
All in all, Krakow left me wanting more. It was such a beautiful city with history seeping through every pore. Being from America, a country that is so new compared the rest of the world, it is a truly enriching experience being immersed in such an incredible culture. I will be back sooner rather than later.