Dear IFERA friends,
get ready for what awaits you at our upcoming conference. Next to preparing for interesting workshops and presentations, it will soon be time to take out the foldable paper maps, look confused while you try to find your way to the next hot spot in town, and greet locals in the few words of Polish you picked up upon arrival. Let’s embrace our inner tourists! As we will soon meet in the enchanting city of Krakow, we want to share with you some suggestions to make sure that you will have the best conference experience. In this article you will find some useful information for your upcoming trip:
Discovering the Charms of Krakow: 10 things to do, if your busy conference schedule allows
Known for its rich history, vibrant culture, and captivating architecture, Krakow offers a plethora of experiences that will leave you spellbound. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, a lover of art and culture, or a foodie seeking culinary delights, this captivating city has something for everyone. Here are our ten hand-picked activities to ensure an unforgettable visit to Krakow.
- Explore the Historic Old Town:
Begin your journey by immersing yourself in the UNESCO-listed Old Town. Stroll through the magnificent Main Market Square, Europe’s largest medieval square, and marvel at the stunning architecture of St. Mary’s Basilica. Wander the labyrinthine streets, and don’t miss the iconic Cloth Hall, which houses numerous boutiques and souvenir shops.
- Discover the Royal Wawel Castle:
A visit to Krakow is incomplete without exploring the majestic Wawel Castle. This historic fortress stands proudly on a hill overlooking the Vistula River. Explore its royal chambers, admire the exquisite art collection, and don’t forget to descend into the mysterious Wawel Dragon’s Den for a legendary encounter.
- Pay Respect at Auschwitz-Birkenau:
While not an easy visit, a trip to Auschwitz-Birkenau is a poignant reminder of the atrocities of the past. This former Nazi concentration and extermination camp offers guided tours that provide valuable insights into one of the darkest periods in human history, ensuring remembrance and respect for the victims.
- Wander the Kazimierz District:
The Jewish Quarter or Kazimierz District is located south of the medieval Old Town, bordered by the popular student district of Podgórze across the Vistula River and the Wawel Castle hill. With a rich history and a bohemian vibe, Kazimierz is a favorite haunt of locals, boasting an abundance of quirky cafes and local beer basements. The area offers a fascinating blend of old and new, where the scars of Kraków’s darker past meet a vibrant center of coffee, cuisine, and jazz.
- Ascend the Tower of St. Mary’s Basilica:
Climbing the tower of St. Mary’s Basilica is a thrilling experience that rewards you with breathtaking panoramic views of the city. Be sure to catch the hourly bugle call, a centuries-old tradition that resonates across Krakow, and learn about its fascinating history.
- Explore the Underground World of Wieliczka Salt Mine:
Just outside the city, the Wieliczka Salt Mine awaits with its awe-inspiring subterranean wonders. Embark on a guided tour and marvel at the intricate salt-carved chambers, underground lakes, and even a breathtaking chapel made entirely of salt. It’s an unforgettable journey into a fascinating underground world.
- Indulge in Polish Cuisine:
Krakow’s culinary scene is a haven for food lovers. Treat yourself to traditional Polish dishes such as pierogi (dumplings), bigos (hunter’s stew), and placki ziemniaczane (potato pancakes). Don’t forget to sample Krakow’s famous obwarzanek, a chewy circular bread sold by street vendors.
- Visit the Schindler Factory Museum:
Step back in time at the Schindler Factory Museum, housed in the former enamelware factory of Oskar Schindler. This captivating museum tells the story of Krakow during World War II, highlighting Schindler’s courageous efforts to save his Jewish workers. It’s a thought-provoking and moving experience.
- Enjoy a River Cruise:
Tired of walking? Take a relaxing cruise along the Vistula River and soak up the scenic beauty of Krakow from a different perspective. Cruise options range from short sightseeing trips to romantic dinner cruises, offering a delightful way to unwind and admire the city’s stunning skyline.
- Experience the Night
Krakow’s nightlife can be quite dynamic, so be sure to check for any events, festivals, or themed parties happening during your visit. With its diverse options, Krakow guarantees an exciting and unforgettable nightlife experience for every taste and preference.
If you are looking for more suggestions this video will provide you with a very vibrant and concrete perspective on how to experience the city.
To conclude, here you can find some basic vocabulary words and phrases in Polish:
Hello – Cześć (informal) / Dzień dobry (formal)
Thank you – Dziękuję
Yes – Tak
No – Nie
Please – Proszę
Excuse me – Przepraszam
Goodbye – Do widzenia
How are you? – Jak się masz? (informal) / Jak się pan/pani ma? (formal)
I don’t understand – Nie rozumiem
Sorry – Przepraszam
To get an idea of how to pronounce these and other useful phrases, follow this link.
Looking forward to see you soon in Krakow!
IFERA R&D Team