BEAUTY OF KRAKOW AT NIGHT

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BEAUTY OF KRAKOW AT NIGHT

BEAUTY OF KRAKOW AT NIGHT, the first 12 global World Heritage sites were announced by UNESCO more than 40 years ago. Poland’s second-largest city, Krakow, was one of the 12. The riches generated in the 15th and 16th centuries was used to pay for a large portion of the architecture you will see today in Krakow, which has a long history. The Nazi persecution of Jews during World War II is a terrible chapter in Krakow’s history. If anyone does forget the horrors of Krakow, adjacent Auschwitz will serve as a somber reminder.

 

As more and more people have the chance to travel, thanks partly to increased charter flight availability, Krakow is a city that has benefitted enormously. Tourists come to see the variety that Krakow offers. If you are interested in history and culture, architecture or a lively city, Krakow is for you. The ideas below are some ways you can fill your nights even if you have had a busy day. Some allow you to relax, others to stay active until the early hours.

20 THINGS TO DO IN KRAKOW AT NIGHT

what to do in krakow at night
Wawel Royal Castle night scene in Krakow, Poland.

1- ENJOY A CHOPIN CONCERT

Chopin is Poland’s most famous composer with his compositions designed for the piano, Chopin’s particular skill.

The famous composer spent most of his adult life in Paris, dying before his 40th birthday, yet he had made a real impact that remains to this day.

Frederic Francois Chopin is remembered every day, with a concert performed by young musicians regularly held in the hall bearing his name in Market Square.

The Gothic-style hall is a wonderful setting for a concert where the audience can listen to some of his music with words expressing his longing for his homeland.

Even if you are not a classical music fan, you will enjoy listening to the music of one of the world’s great composers in the country where he was born.

2- DINE AS YOU WATCH A FOLK SHOW

Folk song and dance are an integral part of Polish culture and this show performs local as well as other regional music.

Colourful shows are well worth attending, and you can even join in the dancing, although you will not be in the traditional clothing worn by the performers.

Before you have the chance to take the floor, you will enjoy dinner with a glass of cherry vodka.

Wine and beer flow during the evening the setting for this popular show is impressive: a lake just outside the city.

4- TASTE POLISH VODKA

Poland is famous for its vodka, regularly drunk as “shots” rather than as a longer drink with mixers.

Take a tour with an expert and discover more about this drink and its role in Polish history and culture.

It is Poland’s national drink and you will learn how it is distilled.

Locals eat snacks to accompany the “shots” and you can expect four different types of vodka during the night.

They are white vodka made with potatoes and grain, vodka flavoured with something like lemon or nuts being a second alternative.

Absinthe is a third, really strong at 70% proof, while the fourth is liqueur vodka.

5- GO ON A PUB CRAWL

One great way to get to know Krakow by night and make new friends is to go on a group tour of some of the popular pubs in the heart of the city.

Tours are a way to avoid lining up, especially to gain admission into nightclubs.

A photographer joins groups to record the evening and provide you with photographs of your enjoying yourself through the night.

Market Square and the streets leading off it are the obvious venue for a night out and this tour.

 

6- SOAK IN A THERMAL BATH

One of the best activities in Krakow at night is to soak in thermal waters.

In the case of the Chocholowska Baths, the waters come from deep in the earth with its nutrients, including sodium and sulphur, magnesium and calcium.

Each has health-giving properties. The temperature of the water is around 36C (97F).

The complex comprises eight pools, indoor and out, with the chance to join in activities such as basketball and volleyball.

The slide is fun and you can choose steam and dry saunas.

There is even a restaurant where you can dine after you leave the waters.

7- TOUR THE OLD TOWN

krakow square at night white carriages and horses
The old square in Krakow at night with charming horse-drawn carriages.

If you want a comfortable tour of the old town, join a guide in an electric-powered car.

There is an audio facility in eight languages, so no one will miss out on the information describing the landmarks you pass along the way.

The highlights include St. Mary’s Basilica and Wawel Castle.

Your tour begins and ends in the heart of Krakow, so the square’s many bars and restaurants are close at hand before or after your tour.

8- SEE KRAKOW FROM THE RIVER

things to do in krakow at night
Cruising the Vistula River past Wawel Castle in Krakow at night.

The Vistula River is a great place to get a different viewpoint of the old town.

Whether it is your first day in the city or you have already walked its streets, you will enjoy it.

Board a comfortable boat to cruise, and admire the landmarks after dark.

The Royal Palace, Wawel, dominates the skyline, and the audio commentary will tell you more about its history and the other landmarks you will pass.

If you want to look from the open deck, be sure you are suitably dressed for the expected temperature.

Among the places, you will see are the neighbourhoods of Saltwator and Kazimierz.

Dębnicki Bridge, the “Church on the Rock” and Manggha Museum of Japanese Art and Technology are all on your cruise route.

9- LEARN AN ANCIENT SKILL

You are unlikely to have thought about learning an ancient skill, throwing the axe, but in times gone by, tournaments were held to decide the most skilful thrower.

Before you begin in earnest, a coach will show you the technique that can lead you to throw an axe at a board and make it stick.

The coaching session is not much more than 10 minutes then you’re off and if you enjoy playing darts, you’ll enjoy throwing something bigger.

For your information, there is a national championship in axe throwing and although you are unlikely to reach that standard without much practice and experience, but you will enjoy yourself.

10- ENJOY THE FULL DINING EXPERIENCE

You will need to go on this tour hungry because not only is Polish cuisine filling, you are going to get five courses.

Dinner starts with Zurek soup, a base of cereals with flavours such as garlic, then followed by Poland’s famous dumpling dish, Pierogi, before Golabki, which comprises pork and cabbage together with potatoes.

Highland cheese follows, and finally, a typical Polish dessert.

While you may not drink vodka with your dinner at home, you do here with a speciality shot.

The added benefit of this evening is an English-speaking guide who will give you plenty of information about the city, its culture and its cuisine.

11- LEARN ABOUT HOME COOKING

One of the real pleasures of travel is sampling the local cuisine.

Even better, there is usually a chance to join and cookery class in large towns and cities and that applies in Krakow.

The experience usually begins by going to a local market to buy the produce needed for the dishes.

Pierogi is a type of Polish dumpling, a hearty local staple that is especially tasty during cold winters.

Expert instruction helps you with the preparations, and you eat what you have prepared after cooking.

12- DINE IN THE MARKET SQUARE

krakow girls at night square reddit
The Main Square in Krakow at night is seen from Cloth Hall’s arches.

Market Square, and the streets leading off it, is the most popular district in Krakow and one of the reasons at night time is the quality of its restaurants.

You can choose from traditional Polish cuisine to French, Italian, and even Indian.

Most open long hours, serving lunch and alcohol from late morning to nighttime with the square lit up and heating on if required.

In the winter, the hearty Polish soups are a favourite, while in the summer, something lighter may be preferable.

Spending a few hours at night in Krakow’s Market Square is wonderful, whatever the season, so expect a great evening.

13- GO ON A FOOD TOUR OF KAZIMIERZ

krakow city at night
The Old Synagogue Kazimierz in Krako at night.

Kazimierz is a trendy neighbourhood in Krakow, a place once just known as the Jewish quarter, which suffered such misery in the Second World War.

The Nazis forced many Jews out to a ghetto over the river.

Today, Kazimierz has boutiques, galleries, bars and restaurants.

In Szeroka Street, you will see the 16th Century Old Synagogue, with the Remuh Cemetery close by, where the wall comprises broken tombstones from those sad days.

You can enjoy a night in what was such a sad place sampling a range of traditional Polish food and drink.

14- HEAR ABOUT KRAKOW’S GHOSTLY LEGENDS

things to do at night in krakow
Old town main market square panorama in Krakow at night.

Every old city has its legends, and Krakow has plenty of those.

You can walk the streets with a guide who will talk about days gone by, which is certain to include the dragon.

It lived in a cave below Wawel Castle on the banks of the Vistula.

To appease the dragon, sheep were regularly put out for its food.

Finally, the sons of the King devised a plan to give it poison disguised within its food, so it met its end.

There’s no suggestion that the dragon reappears as a ghost, but along your walk, you will hear about some victims that do.

15- PRAY AT ST. MARY’S BASILICA

krakow safe at night church against night sky
St. Mary’s Church with two towers illuminated at night in Krakow.

The lovely Gothic church is in one corner of Market Square.

The foundations were laid in the 13th Century but its completion took several decades.

It stands impressively at 80 metres (262 feet), one of several landmarks in the square.

The stunning interior has a wooden altarpiece and several stunning murals.

A trumpet signals from one of its two towers every hour of the day and night.

There have been copies of the basilica built elsewhere, including one in Chicago.

Visitors are welcome to enter and perhaps pray in this functional church that continues to serve its community.

16- BE ENTERTAINED AT JULIUSZ STOWACKI THEATRE

This 19th Century theatre originally followed the design of some existing European theatres and took the name of a famous Polish poet in 1909.

It closed during the Second World War but has been extended to four stages.

The premiere of “Our God’s Brother”, the story of the Polish Pope, John Paul II, has been its most famous production.

Today, a regular production schedule remains, and you should check what is on at the theatre before your visit.

Even if you do not fancy the performance, you should visit the theatre to admire the building.

17- HEAD TO CINEMA CITY

If you fancy a night relaxing and watching a film, Cinema City is the place for you.

It is a 20-screen complex showing many current top international films.

It can show a film in different formats, including its original language, sub-titled or dubbed, even 3D.

There are VIP rooms with food and drinks as well.

Its current schedule is on its website and the films soon to appear.

You can plan in advance or make a last-minute decision if the weather is poor.

18- SPEND A NIGHT CLUBBING

krakow bridge at night
Krakow night scene by the river.

Krakow has some good nightclubs and you have plenty of choice in the heart of the Old Town.

Head to places like Choice or Frantic after dinner in the Main Square and enjoy music and dancing until the middle of the night, say 3 am.

Wherever you go, there will be room to dance, while at Frantic, there is a long list of famous guest DJs who help to create a great atmosphere.

Other clubs may specialise in different music genres, such as Latino, while special theme nights are a speciality of others.

Whatever your age or taste, you can find something to enjoy if you are looking for a real late night.

19- TAKE THE CHALLENGE OF KART RACING

You can get collected from your hotel by an English-speaking driver and dropped back there later the same night, but it is down to you.

You are the one taking the wheel when you go kart racing.

There is a professional track and you will be racing with others on a track that twists and turns.

Overtaking is possible because the track is wide, however.

The typical entrance fee gives you three races, each lasting eight minutes. Karting is quite a contrast from sightseeing, a Krakow nighttime adrenalin rush.

The experience lasts 90 minutes, so there is time for a quiet drink afterwards.

20- PLAY THE GAME

bridge at night in krakow
Shopping arcade in the centre of Krakow at night.

A fun way to see the major landmarks in the centre of Krakow is to take part in a puzzle, a game where you will get clues to solve that then leads you to the next place.

Solve a puzzle on your smartphone and you can play offline, so you don’t need the internet.

You can play as singles, in pairs or in small groups, setting up competitions with friends and family.

There is no time limit, although you may want to time yourself to get a good time.

See if you can finish in an hour, perhaps?

The game is educational, revealing to you the history of many landmarks you will see in Rynek Glowny (Market Square), the biggest medieval square in Europe.

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