Despite being in Europe for a long time, I realised that I never made it to Poland. I figured it was one of those countries I would eventually have some reason to go. A few weeks back that reason arrived as I was speaking at Poland DevDays held in Krakow.
The wonderful organisers put us speakers up in a very nice hotel called Hotel Unicus. Everything was very comfortable in the rooms and the breakfast stylish. It was located just off the main street and convenient walking distance to the old town square.
My original plan was to stay the weekend, but because I had been travelling for the past six weeks, I decided it would be better to fly in just for the conference and have the rest of the weekend back in London. My options included RyanAir from Dublin, or a hellish triple stop via London, Berlin before finally arriving back in Krakow that I think ended up being an 11 hour journey. I wasn’t particularly thrilled by RyanAir and I avoid flying them wherever possible. This trip didn’t really change my mind either.
I did have a couple of hours to walk around town before the speaker’s dinner, held the day before the conference. The old town is very traditional with lots of interesting buildings. The town is circled by a giant circular park, the remnants of an old city wall that surrounded the town.
I did manage to find a very traditional Polish restaurant for a light, late lunch. They had a lunch special that included some sort of vegetable soup and perogis.
Although perogis are typically pork based, I somehow ended up with vegetarian ones with onion and cabbage inside. Surprisingly tasty even though they look rather bland looking.
In the heart of the city centre is a large church and a giant square filled with stalls and dotted with restaurants and cafes. I would have liked to have spent more time there but only had enough time to walk around. I did notice that tourism seemed to be booming with so many different people successfully selling rides on little tour trams or trollies around town.
I didn’t really have any problems getting around with English, although I was warned by the conference organisers to never arrange a taxi without agreeing a fare, or pay the “tourist rate” for fares.
I’d certainly like to get back to Krakow for a short weekend break. It is still reasonably cheap and the town seems to be bustling with activity.