Locals love the Polish ‘złota jesień,’ or ‘Indian summer’ as we know it in English. Though it may officially be autumn now, this week we’re taking you to some of our favorite late-summer spots in Krakow, many of which will also supply you with some pretty amazing views. After a busy summer filled with festivals and tourist crowds, this is the best time of year to grab those last few warm days and make the most of them. With the crowds diminishing, and the closing dates for many of these places looming, we present to you our favorite places to go on a warm sunny day. Enjoy them while you can. To view the video that accompanies this post go here.
Beer Gardens and Rooftop Terraces
Although Mleczarnia is open all year round, the beer garden is its best feature, and the best beer garden in Krakow by far. Sit among the greenery and enjoy a cold-one with friends in the Kazimierz district. And if you look to your left, you may recognize your surroundings as a film set from one of Steven Spielberg’s movies!
The courtyard garden at Trufla is one of the most romantic in the Old Town, and as such, it comes a local following (you’d be clever to call ahead and make reservations for a table). Come for the food, but definitely don’t forget to enjoy a cocktail.
Zielone Tarasy goes mostly unnoticed by tourists, as it’s located on the roof of the Herbewo buildingacross from Nowy Kleparz. Well-known by locals, this is a great place to just come for a coffee, cocktail or beer; or make the most of their lunch specials and menu of cheap, healthy eats (lots of vegan and gluten-free dishes to choose from). Hit the highest terrace for bean bag lounging with some of the best views of the city center and Old Town, or grab a table on the lower terrace full of potted plants for more of the same.
Once an abandoned hotel (for more abandoned urban sites in Krakow, go here), Forum Przestrzenie has become one of the hippest spots in town. To be honest, you may not feel cool enough to be there without getting an asymmetrical haircut, a few tattoos and prescription-free glasses first, but go find out. With a huge gravel courtyard, complete with beach chairs, sofas, and bean-bags, its the perfect place to meet with friends for a drink, and the food is really underrated. Clear views of the Vistula River, Wawel Castle, andSkałka await you. If you are on the other side of the Vistula, at Wawel you can see Forum from there, just look for the giant billboard advertisements across the way, and look down!
Fabryka is one of Krakow’s most interesting spaces at the moment, and is also set to be torn down (for high-rises of course) in the near future, so get there and get there quick. With events galore, outdoor and indoor spaces, its a fun place to be on any warm day, but especially if you are in town this weekend (Sept 25-27 2015) because it will be the last Foodstock of the season; as well as, an all weekend long Beer Festival!
Outdoor Spaces Around the City
8. The Planty
Often compared to New York’s Central Park, the Planty encircles the entire Old Town and provides a great place for people-watching, strolling with your favorite person, bike riding, or general relaxing. Filled with gardens, fountains, and monuments, when the weather is warm it’s the perfect place to explore all of what Krakow has to offer.
9. 10. 11. Zalew Bagry, Zakrzowek, Kryspinow…
Although many tourists don’t know about these places, they are very popular among the locals in summer. If you catch yourself in Krakow on a warm or sunny day, all of these bodies of water have something to offer. Kryspinow, and the Bagry offer great swimming spots and sun-bathing beaches. While Zakrzowekquarry and park offers breath-taking views and to the brave, cliff-jumping. But in general this is a enter if you dare, swim at your own risk kind of spot. So please be careful, and for legal purposes, we must say we do not recommend going swimming here, or jumping off anything, but a walk around the park is fun in itself. In the late-summer it’s perfect for hiking; with spectacular views of the city from the quarry rim, you may even catch a rock-climber or two, and you will definitely see some landscapes typical of the Jurassic highlands, all within the city.
12. Krakus Mound
We always recommend a trip to any of the mounds in Krakow, but what makes Krakus Mound specifically great for late-summer is the vast areas surrounding the actual mound. So grab a blanket, and some food, and get down to Krakus Mound for some of the best views of the city, with enough room for the entireJagellonian University to meet for a picnic! Oh and don’t forget to read about the legend before you go, so you’ll know whose grave you’re standing on.
Whether you want to walk, run, bike, or rollerblade, the boulevards along the Vistula have a lane for you. Plus there are plenty of places to sit and relax, catch some sun, and enjoy the surroundings of Wawel Castleand Skałka, (and sometimes random horses). If you are feeling up to it, there is a bike path that will take you directly to Tyniec Abbey, a wonderful activity for a sunny day.
14. 15. The Blonia and Park Jordana
Ask any kid in Krakow what his/her favorite park is and 9 times out of 10 they’ll say Park Jordana. Its vast, filled with fun things for kids to do, including a small lake for remote control boats and kids in big blow-up balls, playgrounds, and a skate park; not to mention the vast array of history here with statues of every important Pole you can think of, plus Wojtek the bear. Just next door, the Blonia is a huge open space, it’s actually where Pope John Paul II gave mass to over 2 million people, and also host to events like the Krakow Live Festival. So grab a towel, and take a spot on the grass, or put on some roller-blades, and take off on the path that surrounds the entire field. Perfect for running, biking, skate-boarding, or any sports-related activity.