It’s only been two measly months, but we’re back again with another fully updated print edition of the best damn guide to Kraków on the market (lucky you, poor us). This issue’s main feature – a carefully constructed walking tour of Kazimierz, the former Jewish district (p.6) – is the culmination of our year-long effort to improve the user experience of our guide with detailed maps in each Sightseeing section, and explicit tourist trails that direct you towards the city’s most essential sites. We feel quite confident that within these pages we’ve included everything you could possibly ever need or want to know about Kraków – plus an additional 100-odd pages of extraneous info on top of that (we’re masochists) – so take this opportunity to unwind, unplug, disconnect, decelerate and actually feel like you’re on holiday. This glossy, compact, high-speed guide works offline, so the only reason to take your phone out should be for snapping selfies at all the sublime places it’s helping you discover (or just ask someone to take your photo for god sakes, they’ll do a better job, and stop pouting – stop it). For those of you conditioned to stay connected, use the hashtag #polandinyourpocket, find out what’s happening via fb.com/krakowinyourpocket, and leave us comments about the places you visited at iyp.me/krakow. But more than anything, support our efforts by reading this guide and having a great time in Kraków.
Our cover this edition features Ulica Kanonicza, part of our Old Town Walking Tour. Shout out to Przemek Czaja at fb.com/ MadeinKrakow for providing this issue’s cover image.
New reviews in this issue
Another effort from Kraków’s top Asian eateries, Tao and Zen, this one halfway down the left side of the Błonia, making it a fine option for those stationed in Salwator. We’re fans of the food here and this is basically the same great menu as their sister restaurant, sans the teppanyaki: delicious pad thai, huge portions of tempura, Thai satay, dim sum and all the fresh sushi you can imagine, plus plum wine and sake.
This casual and cleverly branded pizza joint on bustling ul. Szewska is all about personalising your pie. In refreshing contrast to all other pizza places we’ve been to in PL, at Pizzatopia you can finally get the exact toppings you want with their ‘Build Your Own’ option for a flat 24zł – no limit on ingredients, and no price hikes based on what you choose. The menu also includes a few of their own creations, fresh salads, craft beers, and their own sodas.
Food trucks have found their way to Nowa Huta, and it’s about time for this huge residential district which is generally regarded as a food desert. Stationed next to the Nowa Huta Cultural Centre you’ll find Belgian fries, huge painted bus which operates as a shop full of fresh produce and natural food products, burgers, plus more on weekends and during special events. A perfect option if you’re checking out the Beksiński Gallery.
There’s a comfortable familiarity to Boccanera, which slides in neatly alongside its outstanding sister establishments La Grande Mamma, Fiorentina and Bianca (to name only a few) at the top of Kraków’s hierarchy of Italian restaurants. We’ve grown happily accustomed to the warm, multi-textured interior of wood, tile and brick, the open kitchen, and the well-trained staff and attentive service.
Located in the corner of the vast Tytano complex (with their own exterior entrance), the subtly surreal and organic touches of Enklawa’s interior do indeed manage to make it feel like it exists within its own world, thus living up to the name (Enclave). The food is essentially Polish, but gone contemporary with natural ingredients and clearly marked gluten-free options.
With an expert chef, imported Spanish products and fresh seafood flown in from Venice, this tiny restaurant in Podgórze has the distinction of being Kraków’s only Basque eatery. The menu offers Spanish wines and an exotic range of tapas and tiny entrees: cold cuts and cheese plates, olives, octopus, fried shrimp (amazing), fried ham croquettes (delicious).
Basically, you have to really appreciate the beer to want to be here, and you should; there’s literally a piwo for every palette, from Peated Ris to Pils to Whiskey Rye Double Brown Porter. Tucked back in a courtyard in the no-mans-land between the Old Town and Kazimierz, the location might not seem great, but it makes a perfect pit stop if you’re on a pub crawl. Bottoms up, Bro.
When will the bubble burst on Kraków’s current craft beer obsession? Soon we reckon, but probably not here. Kufle i Widelce (Steins & Forks) is careful to go the extra mile on all fronts with elaborate, original graphics on the walls, some quite exotic brews on their 8 taps, and special emphasis on their food – most of which includes beer as a key ingredient.
The brainchild of well-travelled Polish artists MaxLove and Karolina Hakuza Dreamkeeper, the Artophrenics Gallery is the young couple’s vision of a less sterile and more social space for art where you can engage directly with the artists, get to know them and not only see their work, but see them work. Located on the first floor of bustling ul. Szewska (itself a living exhibit of human dynamics), Artophrenics serves as a gallery and shop.
This brand-new family attraction inside Kraków’s former main train station should appeal to history buffs, tech heads and LEGO maniacs. Learn the history of Poland throughout the centuries with these 10 interactive exhibits made from over 1 million LEGO blocks.
This parrot aviary on the market square offers the chance to meet with, learn about and even feed upwards of 40 brightly coloured, beautiful birds from over 15 different species, including cockatoos, parakeets and macaws. The birds have free range of the place and quite enjoy landing on guests – protective clothing is provided (shit happens) for free.