Have you been to Poland yet? Full of history, culture and gorgeous architecture, it is an emerging European destination soon to be on everyone’s travel list. Diana and Agnieszka, our local photographers in Warsaw and Kraków, let you in on their top local secrets for the best things to eat, see and do in their fabled cities.
Diana in Warsaw
Agnieszka in Kraków
Eat – Warsaw
- Barka Wynurzenie – Enjoy a drink on the river in this floating bar.
- ĆMA by Mateusz Gessler – Open 24/7 with top-level food and DJ-spun music.
- Tel Aviv – Vegan Israeli street food. So good.
- Zielnik – Small and elegant with a family-run feel. Make reservations – they book quickly!
- Nocny Market – Market stalls and food trucks come together in this eclectic modern market setting.
- Bazar Kocha – Fresh and tasty in a post-industrial interior.
- Prasowy – Milk bars were once a communist worker’s staple; they have since re-emerged as a trendy dining option.
- MiTo – Avant-garde café, bookshop and art gallery.
- Kieliszki na Próżnej – Modern Polish with extensive wine list.
- Elixir by Dom Wódki – Vodka bar meets stylish eaterie.
Flytographer: Diana in Warsaw
Eat – Kraków
- Portobello – The best Italian restaurant in Kraków! They import every little product from Sicily and then cook it in a special way. The owners go to Italy a couple times a year to discover new meals and bring them to their clients. They also have the best coffee, especially affogato!
- Gruba Buła – The best burgers in the city.
- Forum Przestrzenie – A favourite of the young crowd for its live music and chic industrial feel, this trendy eatery also has great views of Wawel Castle and the Vistula river.
- Pino Garden – It has great food, very tasty, in an open garden space.
- Bunkier Café – Great breakfasts in the middle of Planty Gardens.
- Charlotte – Come here for brunch. It’s special because of their bakery in basement, and they have homemade chocolate and jam which you can add to your delicious croissant.
See – Warsaw
- After the devastation of WWII razed the city to the ground, the area of Old Town was carefully rebuilt to authentic perfection. Now a UNESCO-Heritage site, Warsaw’s architectural and cultural beauty is forever preserved for its citizens and visitors.
- Spend a day lost in romance and art at the opulent Wilanów Palace, with gardens, ponds, an extensive painting collection and lavish architecture.
- Visit the Holy Cross Church and pay homage to Chopin. Though the great composer’s body lies in Paris, his heart is buried in Warsaw, and the story around it is fascinating.
- Once run-down and ignored, the Praga district on the other side of the river is turning into an up-and-coming hotspot. With lots of industrial grit and authenticity, it’s a good antidote to the crowds and colour of Old Town. See it now before it becomes too fashionable.
- Warsaw looks good from on high. For best views of the city, ascend to the 30th floor of The Palace of Culture and Science, or if you prefer your view accompanied by a trendy cocktail, book a table at Panorama Sky Bar at the Marriot.
Flytographer: Diana in Warsaw
See – Kraków
- The stunning interior of St. Mary’s Basilica will be a highlight of your visit.
- Browse the shops and cafés at the Kraków Cloth Hall at the heart of Old Town’s Market Square.
- Venture south of Old Town to wander the narrow and historic streets of the Jewish quarter of Kazimierz.
- The elegant Wawel is the city’s pride and joy. You cannot visit Kraków without experiencing this magnificent estate containing castle and cathedral.
- Capture views of the city from one of Kraków’s legendary mounds. Flytographer Agnieszka’s favourite is Krak’s Mound, especially during sunrise.
- History buffs will relish in the exhibition at Oskar Schindler’s Factory, a museum dedicated to telling the story of Nazi occupation in Kraków.
Do – Warsaw
- Poster art in Poland is world-renowned for its artistic visionary and creative freedom. Pick up your favourite graphic at the Polish Poster Gallery at the University of Warsaw library.
- After the death of Stalin, the city attempted to brighten up with neon signs to add to more “glamour” to the streets. Modernist artists of the day produced fantastic creations throughout the Cold War, which are now housed in the Neon Museum.
- To better understand the climate of WWII and the extent of Nazi wrath unleashed on the city and its residents after the Warsaw Uprising of 1944, visit the Warsaw Rising Museum.
- In spite of all odds against her, Marie Curie became one of the world’s most important and accomplished scientists. A museum dedicated to the life of this trailblazing pioneer exhibits artifacts at the home where she was born.
- For quirky and original Polish fashion, homewares, and novelties, stop by Pan tu nie stał.
- A perfect day out will include strolling the magnificent gardens of Łazienki Park, complete with palaces, galleries, theatres and concerts.
Photo by Diana in Warsaw
Do – Kraków
- Experience the Vistula River on a boat tour, or command your own ship with a kayak rental, which also gives you the freedom to go for a swim anytime you so desire! If you prefer to stay on dry ground, an evening walk along the river bank is a relaxing end to the day.
- Sign up for a chocolate-making workshop at Krakowska Manufaktura Czekolady, one of the city’s most beloved chocolate factories, or immediately satisfy your sweet tooth with any of the tempting goodies ready to go.
- Vodka is the national drink of Poland, and making a night of it at an authentic vodka bar is part of your duty as a visitor to the country! Try the flight at Wódka Café Bar before settling down with your favourite.
- Go underground to experience the tradition and history of the Wieliczka Salt Mine, one of the biggest tourist attractions in Poland.
- Nowa Huta was the Utopian dream community of the post-war socialists, and although it was never fully completed, it stands today as a fascinating monument to communist urban planning.
- Near Kraków is Auschwitz-Birkenau, the biggest and most notorious Nazi concentration camp. A visit to the site is a tough but important reminder of this sad history and our place in it today.