Top Three: Krakow
Smaller than the main square, the Jewish Quarter is a local’s hangout and has the best bars, restaurants, and galleries. My favorite galleries were all on the same block and some of the best art in this city seeping creativity. MAKE SURE TO CHECK OUT GALERIA SXTUKI NAIWNEJ, SZALOM AND MNIEJWIECE. After walking around and shopping, stop in Eszeweria for a drink in the back garden or inside in a cozy dark corner. Barfly is another adorable bar and worth a visit.
While I don’t love touristy areas, thIS Castle is a must see. It’s a main tourist attraction in town but I loved it-especially the State Rooms. You have to purchase tickets separately for each area of the castle, and luckily we chose the State Rooms. Once in the castle, it wasn’t crowded at all, and I OBSESSED OVER the marble floors, architecture, tapestries, and art. Built over the course of 1000 years, the castle centers around an Italian style courtyard. is a must see for anyone who appreciates history and interior design.
Formerly a synagogue, this watering hole is the coolest place in Krakow in my humble opinion. The basement is a night club and the entry level is a large drinking establishment for the young and chic. For several decades, people were held captive here, wallpaper, etc (look up exact story). The top floor is another bar but less interesting in regards to décor.
INSIDER NOTE: The exchange rate for the US Dollar is favorable making Poland very affordable. For example, you can get a great sandwich for $4.50 and a decent glass of wine for under $3.
We stayed at Riverside Aparthotel, which we booked on Bookings.com. I’ve had horrible experiences with Booking in the past and prefer to not use the app; however, we got a fantastic deal. It was clean, full of simple IKEA furniture with a full kitchen, dining room table, sitting area and separate bedroom. It was delightful - and a 15 minute walk to the main square. Supposedly there are a bunch of nice AirBnbs, too! I suggest looking there for reasonable, centrally located lodging.
RE food... Traditional Polish cuisine consists of mostly meat and potatoes which tends to be heavy and rich. Try to make a reservation at C.K. Dezerter (ul.Bracka 6. Krakow, ckdezerter.pl). We couldn’t get a reservation but it was packed and won Michelin stars a few years in a row - I have a little FOMO.