Some time ago, I mentioned that I will be visiting Warsaw and Kraków and I promised to provide you a small guide.
Last year I prepared a post, which included a little tour around hot spots in Warsaw, but as it’s a huge city, new places spring up like mushrooms! You need to know that it’s not so easy to reach all good places in a single day. Warsaw is an extremely big city with only 2 lines of metro (out of which – second line extends to only 7 stops!), so if you are planing a trip to the Polish capital, book for a few more days.
Where to eat?
Last year I praised my love for milk bars, where you could get really cheap but delicious, home made food! I still think it’s the best place to get a real, Polish meal (dumplings with spinach or cottage cheese taste like heaven). But I am aware, that some people would like to eat in more fancy places. You should definitely visit Hala Koszyki! Built in 1909, has been recently renovated and reopened. This shopping mall of food, located at Koszykowa street 63 has many restaurants, gourmet food shops and a huge bar in the middle. The top floor has a few galleries and possibly an event/meeting space. There are plenty of food joints, which serve different cuisines. I ended up as usual at an Indian place, where I got amazing paalak (spinach) with chicken and freshly baked chapattis. Across this place, you have a sushi bar and a burger joint. If you feel like drinking tea, there is one little tea shop, which offers thousands of different aromatic teas and accessories.
credit: KAGO SUSHI
NIEBO (in polish Heaven) is one of the coolest places, I recently had pleasure to visit. Located at 800 m sq, prewar villa has a lot to offer to its visitors. This place is a night club, a concert hall and an artistic space – all in one! Marvelous interiors! Industrial jungle – that’s how you can call a bar mixed with plants and colorful paintings! Once you enter this place, you really feel like being in heaven. You can expect intimate jazz concerts, cool electronic parties or bigger music festivals. This place is open for various artists from different fields. Last time when I visited club NIEBO, there was a vintage market event, where you could buy the best vintage clothes available in the Polish capital.
Rumors are that one of the best coffee in Warsaw, is served in Ministerstwo Kawy located at Marszałkowska 27/35. You can taste regular coffee perks from a coffee machine or try some alternative options such as: drips, chemex and aeropress. What would be a coffee without little dessert on the side? Cookies, chocolates whatever you wish! Plus few options for vegetarians and vegans!.
Last year I provided you addresses of top fashion stores in Warsaw, where mainly you could buy designer clothes. How about having designer pieces for 60% cheaper? We have a solution for that as well, more precisely a shopping mall TK Maxx!. Many branded clothes way cheaper than in regular stores. I love to hunt there for shoes or bags – usually a lot of leather, high quality products. You can also find a lot of great branded cosmetics, like W7 The Cheeky Trio – which I received as a Christmas gift from my friend. And of course many home decor accessories. Beautiful lamps, blankets, vases whatever you wish for!
Something for your body
Fantastic soaps are offered by YOPE, located at Żurawia 43 or at online store www.yope.me. I got Kitchen mineral soap as another Christmas gift this year (lucky me, I know), but I am using it as a simple shower gel. Very delicate, with fresh fragrance. However, if you like to cook a lot, especially dishes with fish, garlic or onions and you have difficulties getting rid of the smell, this soap is made for you!
BioOrganika, located at Nowolipki 15, offers a lot of organic cosmetics, including brands such as ECO LAB. I am using Detox Body Scrub, which keeps my skin fresh for a long time and silk hair oil, which helps my damaged hair, stay healthy. But cinnamon body oil from Vianek tops my list! Smells like heaven, perfectly moisturize my skin. You can get it as well in BioOrganika shop.
I am sure that many of you, who plan a trip to Kraków, check everything around the main square or Kazimierz district. That’s surely the central part of this beautiful city, but the best spots are usually located in little, hidden streets. As I have many friends, who live in Kraków, I would say I am up to date, when it comes to nightlife.
Where to stay?
Definitely in PURO hotel! One of the best hotels in Krakow with an unusual design. You will be connected with art within the first few hours of your stay! Absolutely fantastic furniture! Spacious rooms with fantastic bathrooms make your stay more pleasant and comfortable. Lobby of this hotel looks freaky! You need to check it out! Pure Hotel is located in core city center – Ogrodowa 10.
credit: PURO hotel
Only at Karma! Definitely the best coffee place in Kraków, located at Krupnicza 12. You have many options, whether you go for regular espresso or cappuccino or you feel like drinking coffee with some fruit tones. Are you a vegan? Do you like organic food? This place is for you! Menu changes daily there and what is quite important (and surely not practiced in many restaurants) eggs there come from free range hens! Also staff from Karma bake their own bread!.
Time for dinner!
If you come to Krakow, but not necessarily wish to eat Polish food, (which could be quite heavy) I have few other options for you.
Bianca – is an Italian restaurant, offers delicious pastas, based on the best ingredients shipped from various parts of Italy. In Budapest we have a lot of Italian places, where chefs are Italian, but I can assure you, that pastas at Bianca restaurant taste as good as you would eat your meal in the South of Europe. Fantastic service and beautiful interiors, make you stay there for hours. This place also has a pretty extensive Italian wine list, but if you are in Poland and it’s cold, I would go right away for Grappa. Bianca is located at plac Mariacki 2.
Not enough of sea food? Youmiko Sushi, located at Józefa 2 street, is your Japanese mecca! Fresh local fish (if local, means fresh) with vegetarian sushi and your dinner is ready. This place has really cool and cozy interiors, long tables allow you to bring bunch of your friends and start fiesta together.
Party mode on
Of course, Kraków unlike Warsaw has better city structure, which allows you to party in different places, the same night. If I were you, I would avoid crowded city center and move my ass to Dolne Młyny (Dolnych Młynów 10 street) – one of the latest hot spot in Kraków. This 15 000 m sq place, which was originally a tobacco factory contains restaurants, pubs and little clubs. It’s also a shelter for various artists and digital nomads, who will also find their co-working space there.
Two other places, where I like to pop up each time I am in Kraków are: Charlotte and Dym.
Charlotte (plac Szczepański 2) offers fresh pastry based on French receipt (bread is baked inside each day) and little appetizers between the meals. You can grab some lunch and taste wines, imported from little vineyards from different parts of France. The main characteristic of this place is a long table, situated in the middle of Charlotte, where in the mornings, random people can sit next to each other and enjoy fresh bakery, while in the evening, it becomes a wine bar. Great interiors, friendly atmosphere plus tasty food make this place really special.
Dym, located at Świętego Tomasza 13, is a cute bar where you should definitely pop up and get a shot of cherry vodka! It’s a really cozy place, with many interesting people. You can be approached by random person at the bar – locals mix there with expats and tourists. This is one of those places in Kraków, where the best memories from wild night can be created.
Have you ever visited those two cities in Poland? What’s your impression and favorite spots?