Auschwitz, Stews and Cheap Backpacking – Krakow, Poland

Top Backpacking Destinations Ranking – 7/10

Many backpackers visit Krakow simply as a jumping off point to Auschwitz, but they find there is much more on offer in one of Poland’s oldest cities than just that. You will leave there with the sobering memories of a historical landmark, but also happy recollections of a beautiful city.

Krakow is another city that is a must for backpackers taking the interrail route around Europe. It is easily accessible and perfect if you are heading down from Riga or Czech Republic heading south through Eastern Europe. The trip to Auschwitz is the one that most head to the city for and it is certainly one i’d recommend to anyone. The history of the camp is incredible and really brings to heart the sufferings felt there and, whilst you’ll probably spend the whole day in stunned silence, it is certainly something that people should do when in the area.

But there’s more to Krakow than that. The city is up and coming and is quickly becoming a popular destination for people in Western Europe looking for a cheaper option to the likes of Paris or Barcelona. The Stare Miasto (old city) is one of the areas that draws most interest and rightly so, just a ten minute walk from the train station and home to Wawel castle, many beautiful churches and the main square. You could be forgiven for thinking you were in Paris in the square, surrounded by pretty little cafes, beautiful monuments and fancy shops. But it adds its own Polish flavour to the mix with people in traditional dress wandering around and the possibility of a hearty stew in any of the cafes.

Whilst it is becoming a more mainstream destination it is still very much a great spot for backpackers as it provides great value, plenty to do and has backpacker accomodation everywhere. It’s worth a visit on its own, so if you’re travelling around Eastern Europe then there’s no excuse for missing it out.

It’ll be interesting to hear what you think of Krakow; add you thoughts, agree or disagree and leave even more tips for other backpackers…

Here’s some ideas of other destinations to go backpacking in Europe

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