Krakow for Easter of 2018? Well, why not?
Easter is great time to travel, half of the world has a longer weekend and there are festivities and celebrations. Depending on your location, you’ll surely have many opportunities to not stay at home!
For the biggest Easter flare head to countries with strong Christian traditions. In my opinion, Poland is the best representative in Europe for that. That’s why Krakow became my Easter destination of 2014.
Getting to know a city outside its usual ‘behavior’ gives the trip some extra flavouring. Forget most of the cool cafés and restaurants you googled before setting off, as many of them will be closed. Come to Krakow to observe their traditions and to enjoy the real first celebrations of spring, to walk around till your legs hurt and simply just to absorb the atmosphere.
What to expect in Krakow during easter
The main square (Rynek Główny) in Krakow at Easter time is full of stalls with goodies as well as with delicious food, be it traditional Easter meals or just yummy street food.
The choices are endless – opt for Pierogy (dumplings), Kiełbasa (sausage) or grilled cheese, all incredibly yummy! Beer is sold in barrel-like stalls and features some nice Polish brands, like e.g. Tyskie.
Churches have masses at least twice per day and it’s quite something to watch a few minutes of that, even if you’re not a religious person yourself. We walked in on one by accident and couldn’t have been happier.
cafés open during easter in krakow (and a restaurant)
Life feels simple when you just wander around and pick a place to eat or chill by what’s opened. They’ve got their famous Pierogy here in almost every restaurant, so no need to be afraid you’d starve to death. Don’t laugh at me but I was initially a bit concerned since we confidently marched to the most famous Pierogy restaurant in Krakow, only to find it closed for Easter.
Many international chains or touristy cafés stay opened, you won’t miss your daily espresso then! Try Hard Rock Café with an awesome view of the Main Square, or Costa Coffee (formerly Coffee Heaven) that has nice chairs out (and in). Costa Coffee is a chain, which means you bump into their cafés almost on every corner, but at the same time it’s adjusted to Poland, so you won’t feel like you’re losing touch with the locals. This particular café is opened every day from 7 am till 10 pm.
Another little café that stays opened on the festive days is Café Olé, and it’s right by the castle. It’s a basic one, but nothing wrong with that. Lastly, for a great in-park outdoor coffee fun & an awesome breakfast, you can try out Bunkier Café, with its greenhouse-like structure and great view of the park. It’s in the park surrounding the Old Town (Plac Szczepański 3A). This was my favorite one, it has a lot of character!
Strolling further from Krakow’s Old Town towards Kazimierz area also gets you some nice places to enjoy good little food and drinks, be sure not to miss out Café Młynek on Plac Wolnica 7. Their Pierogy were definitely more sophisticated ones than those on the main market. It’s apparently a Bed&Breakfast too, that’s perhaps why it has such a homey feel.
Finer diners will appreciate La Szara at the main square. Selection of mostly French meals of upper quality combined with expensive wine will please all the high-end foodies.
Of course, you can walk around the city to your heart’s content. If you’d like to give your legs some rest and explore at the same time, you have several options. Even during Easter time, there are electric carts roaming the city and doing the walking for you. There are usually 8-10 seats and they even have a rain cover. If that’s what you’d like to do, it’s quite a budget-friendly way to discover Krakow’s sights. You can find a tour like that for around €16 or $17.
If you’d like to go for something very different and explore another district of Krakow called Nowa Hut, you can do so on a Communism Deluxe Tour by Trabant, during which they’ll take you to a Communist apartment, a traditional milkbar etc. all aboard a vintage yellow Trabant :) The prices start at €43 or $46 per person for 4 hours.
The castle in Krakow
The Wawel Castle, or as in Polish known as Zamek Królewski na Wawelu, has its exhibitions closed on Easter Saturday, Sunday and Monday. You also cannot have a tour of the castle. But that doesn’t have to stop you from exploring the majestic courtyard and the charming area around the castle. There’s a lot to explore on the outside of the castle even without having to peek inside.
Check out the current opening hours here.
Polish easter traditions?
Easter Monday (so called Wet Monday) has the locals splash each other with water. No worries, it’s not like Songkran Festival in Thailand and you won’t need a raincoat to protect yourself in the streets of Krakow. It’s not that wild at all. If you’ll see even one person with wet clothes (while it’s not raining), you can consider yourself lucky.
Now you know a couple of my tips. In case you’d like to get an exact itinerary on what to see and do in 3 days in Krakow, check out this article.
Krakow is definitely one of the best places to go any time throughout the year, but going during Easter will get you some additional fun. Easter in Poland rocks and I can highly recommend it not only for 2018!
In my opinion, Krakow is one of the best Easter destinations in Europe. And I have travelled almost each Easter holiday in the last 10 years.
The most popular day trip from Krakow: Wieliczka Salt Mine
Nearly everyone who goes to Krakow for a few days pays a visit to the Wieliczka salt mine, as that’s the main place to see outside Krakow. We missed that opportunity but you shouldn’t! Check the current opening hours of Weiliczka – the salt mine is fully closed only on Easter Sunday.
You can visit Wieliczka independently and pay for the entrance & a guided tour. Here’s a full guide on how to get to Wieliczka and what the visit is like.
If you’d rather go the more comfortable route, opt for a highly rated and well priced tour with a pick up and drop off in Krakow.
Where to stay in Krakow during Easter
I stayed at an Airbnb apartment, which was lovely. You can see the review in my article here.
For when you’d rather stay in a hotel, check out the current deals below:
I will not argue that Easter is the best time of year to visit Krakow. I bet summer is even more pleasant. But if you’re lucky with the weather, you can enjoy a lovely spring weekend in Krakow made more special by the Easter festivities.
How about your trips during Easter, do you have a favorite spot? Would you give Krakow a chance for your Easter weekend?
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