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Krakow In Your Pocket

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Krakow In Your Pocket

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February 8, 2013 Posted by | Krakow Travel Advice, Tour Information | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Irish Mbassy – What’s on this weekend

Mbassy

FRIDAY – Karaoke with Mikey!

FOOTBALL

Watford Vs Crystal Palace – 20:45

RUGBY LEAGUE

Wigan Warriors Vs Warrington Wolves – 21:00

SATURDAY – Live music with THE BEERTONES!!

Beertones 1

FOOTBALL

Inverness CT Vs Celtic – 13:00

Spurs Vs Newcastle Utd – 13:45

Sunderland Vs Arsenal – 16:00

Southampton Vs Man City – 18:30

Real Madrid Vs Sevilla – 22:00

RUGBY UNION – 6 NATIONS

Scotland Vs Italy – 15:30

France Vs Wales – 18:00

G.A.A

Cork Vs Kildare – 20:00

RUGBY UNION

Herlequins Vs London Wasps – 21:00

SUNDAY

FOOTBALL

Aston Villa Vs West Ham Utd – 14:30

Man Utd Vs Everton – 17:00

Athletico Bilbao Vs Espanyol – 19:00

RUGBY UNION – 6 NATIONS

Ireland Vs England – 16:00

RUGBY LEAGUE

Dewsbury Rams Vs Featherstone Rovers – 19:00

via Facebook.

February 7, 2013 Posted by | Events, Krakow Travel Advice, Sport | , , | Leave a comment

BBC Travel – Kazimierz: New life in Krakow’s Jewish quarter

Wander through Kazimierz, better known as the Jewish quarter of Krakow, Poland’s second largest city, and signs of the area’s cultural heritage are everywhere.

Szeroka - Kazimierz   www.krakowtours.co.uk

The Old Synagogue dominates Ulica Szeroka (Wide Street), where wooden tables from traditional Jewish restaurants spill out onto the pavement In the evenings while the sound of traditional Jewish klezmer music emanates from the bars and cafes of the surrounding alleys.

via BBC – Travel – New life in Krakow’s Jewish quarter : Cultural Activities, Poland.

February 7, 2013 Posted by | Krakow Travel Advice, Recommendations, Tour Information | , , , | Leave a comment

Skiing and snowboarding in Poland

The mountainous landscape of Poland is ideal for skiers and snowboarders. In the south of our country there are several dozen resorts, some with a long tradition, some newly opened.

The better known ski slopes are in Zakopane, of course. The longest one in the Tatry leads from the mountain revered by Polish skiers – Kasprowy Peak, to the Gąsienicowa Meadow – and is over 7 km long.

The routes from Nosal and Gubalowka are also very popular, with the Szymoszkowa Clearing the favourite place for the snowboarders. Snowboarders have not been forgotten in Witow and Bialka Tatrzanska near Zakopane, where special slopes for hurdling and tricks have been prepared.

In Sudety the piste near Karpacz and Szklarska Poreba are the most crowded. The most famous Polish cross-country skiing piste is in Jakuszyce, where the biggest winter international event takes place – the Piast Race.

The Beskidy Mountains resorts have modern facilities and are competition for the foreign resorts – the equipment of the skiing resorts in Jaworzyna Krynicka or in Wierchomla matches any on the best European slopes. The Jaworzyna Mountains have modern gondolas and the longest lit route, 2,5 km. Wisła, Szczyrk and Korbielow also have their faithful fans.

In the past few years, due to the increasing popularity of winter sports new piste have been created in Mazury, Podlasie and Kaszuby regions, as well as the artificial slopes which have been created in the Szczesliwice park in Warsaw and the Malta park in Poznan.

The route in Polanczyk, by the Solinski Bay, on the Sosna clearing by the shore of the Czorsztynskie Lake and the Lysa Mountain in Sopot are worth recommending to those who like to ski in surroundings with beautiful views. Perhaps the slope in Sopot is not very impressive from the point of view of altitude but it does give a rather unique experience, a view of the Baltic Sea whilst you ski!

 

January 28, 2013 Posted by | Krakow Travel Advice, Recommendations, Sport | , , , | Leave a comment

Chester Chronicle – Frodsham’s Phil Clark offers insight into Holocaust history

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JO HENWOOD talks to Frodsham’s Phil Clark, who now lives in Poland, about his tour company which offers in-depth walking tours of Auschwitz

PHIL Clark’s first visit to Poland was in 2007 to watch a friend’s son canoeing for Great Britain. It was there that he met his wife Marta and, 37 trips and two years later, the couple got married.

The former Manor Junior School and Helsby Grammar School pupil helped 35 friends and family make the journey for the wedding, which inspired him to set up his own tour company.

He said: “I arranged most of their flights, hotels, gave them walking tours of Krakow, took them to Auschwitz and the Wieliczka salt mine and arranged all their transport. Many of them suggested that as everything had worked so well for their week in Krakow, I should look to set up a business doing the same for other tourists and that’s how the idea of Krakow Tours was born.

“Having been on a tour of Auschwitz, with a museum guide on a couple of occasions, I knew it wasn’t the best way to see the museum.

“Their tours of Birkenau are cursory to say the least, so I set about learning as much as I could about the camps with a view to being able to give a more in-depth visit to my guests. My tours today allow guests to visit the museum without a guide, I then show them around the best preserved parts of Birkenau, and also other sites in the area not covered by any other tour company.

“It’s now approaching three years since I started the tours and, in that time, I have take more than 3,200 people to Auschwitz, from 45 different countries.

“I have taken children and other family members of Auschwitz victims and survivors, and have been lucky enough to meet quite a few survivors myself.”

One such survivor was the now late Kazimierz Smolen, former director and co-founder of The Auschwitz-Birkenau museum. He died, aged 91, on January 27 last year, the 67th anniversary of the Liberation of Auschwitz. Another was Stella Muller-Madej, author of the book A Girl from Schindler’s List.

The vast majority of Phil’s guests are individual tourists, though he and his two employees do arrange tours for larger groups including schools, older students and adult learning organisations.

Neil Benson, of Gresford, visited Krakow last October with his wife Jo.

He said: “Being on the very spot where the worst atrocities in history happened is a bit overwhelming, and we were still absorbing it all several weeks later.

“Phil’s knowledge of the camp, and about the wartime period generally, added a lot to our trip. It’s an experience we will never forget.”

Phil divides visitors to Auschwitz into two categories – large tourist groups who rush around the museum, seeing half of what is available, and those with more than a passing interest in the history of the Nazi camp..

Phil said: “Many people have been with me to Auschwitz twice and two people have been three times.

“It’s almost impossible to take in the atrocities that occurred at Auschwitz, and it is a very difficult place to describe after a visit, but suffice to say to a man everyone that visits is glad they did. I believe it is a place that every person who has the opportunity, should visit.”

via Frodsham’s Phil Clark offers insight into Holocaust history – Chester Chronicle.

January 24, 2013 Posted by | Auschwitz, Krakow Travel Advice, News | Leave a comment

Unesco video for Krakow

 

Planning on visiting Krakow, contact KRAKOW TOURS for all the help you need.

January 17, 2013 Posted by | Krakow Travel Advice, Tour Information | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lodz – The Polish Manchester

The SunThe mayor of Lodz is considering legal action against British tabloid The Sun, after it described the central Polish city as being full of “drunks, loan sharks and pawnbrokers”.

“Today I am sending the editor-in-chief of The Sun a letter inviting him to see with his own eyes how much his subordinate was mistaken as to the actual quality of our beloved city,” Mayor Hanna Zdanowska said on Monday after the Sunday edition of the tabloid wrote an extensive article detailing what they claim is the decline of the once prosperous industrial city.

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The mayor added that she has instructed lawyers at the Town Hall to look at possibilities of taking action against the Murdoch-owned newspaper for misrepresenting the city and harming its image abroad.

She has also asked the Polish Foreign Ministry to intervene.

“Derelict buildings, boarded-up businesses, crumbling masonry – the poor and elderly getting in line to buy bread,” is the grim picture painted by the British tabloid under the headline: “The Polish city that’s moved to Britain.”

When the UK and Ireland opened their labour markets to new EU members in 2004, hundreds of thousands of Poles and other central and eastern Europeans rushed to take up the opportunity to work and live abroad.

The Sun, however, says that this migration has led to the decline of cities such as Lodz – once a centre of the textile industry in Poland and known as the “Polish Manchester”.

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As Sun journalist Graeme Culliford claims, Poland’s third largest city is now witnessing its decline and fall, backing his claims with photographs of grim and desolate cityscapes and alcoholics standing idle on street corners.

“On Piotrkowska Street, which at three miles long is one of the longest high streets in the world, the cobbled thoroughfare is empty even in the middle of the day,” the journalist writes.

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The best selling newspaper in the UK goes on to claim that the city is suffering from a wave of westbound economic migrants, allegedly “a more destructive threat” than Nazi occupation during World War II.

“Half the adult population has left the city,” one Lodz inhabitant tells the tabloid.

“They are in Scotland, London and Bournemouth, where they have a beautiful flat, a nice TV, a car — things we cannot have here,” says a Lodz-based job centre employee.

“Nine years after it joined the European Union, Poland is facing a national crisis compounded by its people’s determination to find a better life beyond its borders,” the article concludes.

‘Bias’

According to Mayor Zdanowska, however, the journalist who wrote the report “has no idea what he is writing about,” and “shows Lodz in a very biased way” as part of a long-held editorial stance against immigration to the UK.

Of the claim that employers find it hard to hire IT specialists in the city, Mayor Zdanowska pointed out at a press conference on Monday that companies such as “Hewlett-Packard and Samsung have moved from other countries, including England, to Lodz”.

The Polish Embassy in London has responded rather coolly to the article.

“[We] may address the issue with the Sun, if the information contained in the article proves inaccurate,” spokesperson for the Polish Embassy to Britain Robert Szaniawski has told the Polish Press Agency (PAP).

“It’s not particularly difficult to take photos of drunks and boarded-up retail shops in England either,” the spokesperson noted.

January 9, 2013 Posted by | Krakow Travel Advice, News | , , , | Leave a comment

Travel Advice – Money

KRAKOW TOURS – Here is  a blog aimed at answering many of the questions that travelers have prior to arriving at a holiday destination for the first time. If you have a holiday already booked, or still in the planning stage, this information should prove very useful for you.

Currency Exchange.

Currency can be exchanged at both your departure and arrival airports, but expect to pay hefty commissions and/or obtain a low exchange rate. If you feel you must get your Zloty whilst in the UK then by far the best option is to pre-order from TRAVELEX online and collect it from your departure airport.

In Krakow, currency can be exchanged at hotels, banks and anywhere that you see a sign proclaiming ‘KANTOR’, Kantors will usually provide the best exchange rates and zero commission, but shop around as there can often be as much as 10% difference in the exchange rates offered.

Consistently the best rate available in Krakow is from a Kantor called ‘Grosz’ on Slawkowska, it is only 2om from the north west corner of the main square.

TIP: Try to avoid changing money at a Kantor on sundays, only the smaller independent ones are open, and they seem to all agree to an exchange rate for the day, that is much lower than you should be able to achieve. 

AVOID: Please avoid the Kantors signed CHANGE – KANTOR these are very prominent and look very smart and official, they are usually liveried in Orange or Blue. The rate they display would be the best available if it were real, they display the SELL rate, and if you realise your mistake after handing over your money they will not refund you. Travellers arriving by train will reach 2 of these Kantors before reaching the honest ones.

8th February 2013

Best Krakow Kantor Rates

4.90zł to £1 

4.15zł to €1

Prices

Since EU ascension and becoming a favoured tourist destination, prices in Poland have been on the rise, making the country less of a bargain than it was 5 years ago. Having said that, however, prices for food, drink, cultural venues and transport still remain comparably cheap in contrast to Western Europe, and especially when compared to the Eurozone for travelers from the UK.

In Krakow, expect to pay the highest prices in, and around, the main square. Venture to some of the many side streets and you’ll often find much better value for food, drink and indeed for shopping.

Tipping.

Things have changed a lot since the bad old days when everything had to be tipped. Today it is understood that you tip because the service was good. So if you were satisfied, leave a tip. However you have to bear in mind that catering staff, restaurants, clubs, etc are paid a very minimum wage so if you think it was worth it, add 10% to the bill as a tip, and try to pay it cash to your waiter/waitress.

When paying for a taxi, round up the bill. Generally taxi drivers do not expect to be tipped, so if you do the driver will be surprised and happy, again if it was worth it tip. NO EFFORT NO TIP.

TIP: Be careful in a bar or restaurant when you hand over your cash to pay the bill. In Poland, if you say ‘thank you’ (dziękuje – ‘jen-koo-yeh’)  it can often be taken as a sign that you won’t be wanting any change back. This can prove expensive, say ‘proszę’ (prosheh) and leave the thank you until they return with your change.

Bartering.

If you intend to shop bazaars, open air markets or farms try bargaining. Accepting the first price is not a good idea there, but remember that price negotiations in Poland are far different from the bartering done in Arabic countries. With a little common sense and good humour you can still have a lot of fun and get a little knocked off the price.

Small Change.

Thinking of paying for your tram ticket with one of the 100zł notes in your pocket? Think again. Small shops, newsagents, public toilets and even the occasional fast food franchise or bar will often refuse to break a large note for you. as annoying as it is to carry coins, do carry small change for such moments.


January 5, 2013 Posted by | Krakow Travel Advice, Recommendations | , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Wieliczka Salt Mine

A Fantastic Christmas Card from The Wieliczka Salt Mine

December 20, 2012 Posted by | Krakow Travel Advice | , , , | Leave a comment

Krakow In Your Pocket

Krakow In Your Pocket

Download the latest edition of ‘Krakow In Your Pocket’

December 3, 2012 Posted by | Events, Krakow Travel Advice, Recommendations | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Krakow Christmas Markets

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Main Market Square

One of the season’s most popular highlights is the annual Christmas fair on the main market square – a tradition started before WWII and rekindled after the fall of communism (when people were allowed to buy and possess things again).

Occupying the south-west corner of the Rynek, this year’s fair features some 50 rustic, wooden stalls selling all kinds of folk art and Christmas ornaments, candies and sweets, knitwear, toys, souvenirs, jewellery, pottery, partridges, pear trees and more.

Christmas tree in old Krakow

Food vendors will also be dishing up hot food, over which families share picnic tables and keep warm with the hot mulled wine (called ‘grzaniec’) dispensed from enormous barrels nearby.

Somewhere close at hand Saint Nick will be posing with the little ones illuminated by an enormous evergreen as carolling is the air and random acts of holiday spirit take place on a cultural stage nearby.


The stalls are generally open from 10:00 – 20:00 and the atmosphere will remain intact until December 26th when most will close, though the market itself doesn’t officially close until the Sunday after the three Kings Day parade on January 8th.

Galician Advent Fair

This year Kraków boasts a second holiday fair located on Plac Jezioranskiego in front of Galeria Krakowska and the train station. In what looks set to establish itself as a new city tradition, this
small holiday market features mostly local vendors selling a range of regional foods, traditional handicrafts, decorations and more, from wooden stalls arranged around the ice rink that
occupies the square in winter.

Not only that, but there’s also a beautiful carousel (open daily 10:00-22:00), a stage for concerts by live bands and carollers, daily workshops for children and other events throughout the month.

Open until December 24th, with vendor stalls open from 10:00 – 22:00 each day, this new
holiday market is less congested than the Rynek and absolutely worth checking out.

November 30, 2012 Posted by | Events, Krakow Travel Advice, News | | Leave a comment

Historical Museums of Krakow

November 29, 2011 Posted by | Krakow Travel Advice, News, Tour Information | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Good news for Polish tourist industry.

The number of tourists travelling to Poland is expected to rise by six percent in 2011, leaping from 12.4 million to 13.2 million visitors, according to the UN’s World Tourism Organisation.

Although companies specialising in the Middle East have suffered huge losses this year as a result of the political turmoil, according to the WTO, Poland’s prospects echo a global upturn for the sector.

The Central Statistical Office (GUS) published figures yesterday showing that an equivalent of five billion USD flowed into Poland last year from foreign tourism.

As many as 1.1 million Germans stayed in Polish hotels and hostels during 2010.

The number of Germans was three times greater than that of the British, who came second in the rankings.

In tandem with these trends, Poland will be spending 30 million euro on a campaign to tie in with the International Tourist Fair in Berlin (ITB), the most significant global fixture of its kind.

March 1, 2011 Posted by | Krakow Travel Advice, News, Tour Information | , , , , | Leave a comment

New Euro 2012 blog


KRAKOW TOURS – Countdown to Euro 2012 in Poland and Ukraine.

As it’s now only 17 months until the start of Euro 2012 KRAKOW TOURS have added a new Blog, to keep the estimated 1 million fans visiting Poland and Ukraine up to date with news, stories and information about the Euro 2012 championships.

For all you need to know about Euro 2012 have a look here.

January 12, 2011 Posted by | Events, Krakow Travel Advice, News, Recommendations, Sport, Tour Information | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Auschwitz visitors, almost 1.4 million in 2010.

KRAKOW TOURS – As many as 1.38 million visited the site of the German Nazi death camp at Auschwitz in 2010, the museum has announced.

The record high attendance in the 60-year history of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and State Museum in Oświęcim, southern Poland, topped the previous year’s attendance of 1.3 million.

The numbers soared despite the air traffic freeze following the volcano eruption in Iceland and the May floods in the southern and central parts of the country.

“The former death camp is the most frequented memorial site in the world,” said museum spokesperson Bartosz Bartyzel.

Apart from 530,000 Poles visiting, the largest group coming to Auschwitz last year were British, accounting for 84,000 people, followed by Italians, numbering 74,000 and 63,000 French nationals.

Up to 850,000 visitors were students.

The museum’s staff member Andrzej Kacorzyk has pointed to the increasing number of foreigners from European countries and the Far East: “Last year the Memorial Site was visited by more inhabitants of South Korea than the US citizens,” he said.

There is also a growing interest in the museum’s multilingual guided tours and educational programmes

The Auschwitz Nazi death camp complex, established in 1940, claimed the lives of over 1.1 million people.

Auschwitz Trips with Krakow Tours.

January 12, 2011 Posted by | Krakow Travel Advice, Tour Information | , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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