With the summer season in full swing, Kraków is at the peak of its powers, playfully inspiring people to miss planes and modify their travel plans on the whimsy of whether there’s time for just ‘one more drink.’ [In this town? Always.] But it’s more than just endless pubs and pretty faces in Poland’s ancient capital. Miraculously preserved and majestically restored, Kraków’s postcard racks can match those of any other European city, and in the two decades that we’ve been covering the city we’ve seen its museums and cultural offerings ascend to among the best on the continent.
As the city has developed, so have we. Never ones to rest on our laurels (we had them surgically removed when we took this job), this year we’ve been diligently working to improve the user experience of our guide with highly detailed in-section district maps to help our readers explore less-visited areas like Krzemionki (in Podgórze) and Nowa Huta. This issue’s feature – an explicit tourist itinerary of the most essential sites of the Old Town, with an accompanying full-page map – exemplifies our tireless efforts to improve our products and deliver the best content possible to our readers. Literally everything you could possibly need or want to know (plus an additional 100 pages of extraneous info on top of that) is within these pages, so take this opportunity to not only unwind, but unplug, disconnect and truly feel like you’re on vacation. Keep this trusty guide with you and you’ll really only need to use your smartphone for snapping selfies of all the sublime places it’s helping you discover. For those of you conditioned to stay connected at all times, it’s #polandinyourpocket, and fb.me/krakowinyourpocket for what’s happening while you’re in town. Or better yet, let us know your impressions by dropping some comments on our website. As ever, thanks for reading and enjoy Kraków.
Our collaboration with Przemek Czaja continues. On the cover: the St. Adalbert’s Church (Kościół Św. Wojciecha) from his photo project, Made in Kraków.
New reviews in this issue
Again proving that perfectly executing a simple concept is the straightest path to success, this noodle house offers hot and cold bowls of Udon with sides of tempura, kimchi, edamame and more (served from 12:00). Sticklers for authenticity and fresh ingredients, if you don’t know your way around this type of Asian cuisine, they’ll happily educate you, and the manager is basically a sake sommelier.
On the ground floor of the Lwowska 1 Aparthotel, Zielony Do Góry occupies a large, open locale lined with floor-to-ceiling windows and festooned with green plant fronds. Though it first scans as a strictly vegetarian resto, the onus here is more on healthy, perfectly balanced dishes made from locally-sourced ingredients (carefully annotated in the menu) and their own fresh-baked bread.
This straight-friendly gay bar just off the Planty basically serves whatever you’re in the mood for – upstairs is coffee, smoothies, and candy bar shakes, while downstairs is a classic drinking den fitted out with a rainbow lit-up bar, where you can imbibe colourful shots and cocktails. Swing by for regular theme parties, LGBT movie nights and other fun events.
Certainly the cosiest venue at Tytano, Mane bravely and successfully endeavours to make you forget where you are. Aided by a unique standalone factory building that’s actually taller than it is wide, this offshoot of the Old Town‘s veteran Cafe Manekin bucks the prevailing post-industrial austerity and achieves a synchronicity with itself by virtue of a similar layout to its sister venue with most of the seating upstairs, and even more sewing tables and wire mannequins.
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We cover Gdańsk (Sopot & Gdynia), Katowice, Kraków, Łódź, Poznań, Warsaw & Wrocław.