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KRAKOW with Mielec

We are planning stage of a Europe vacation in October with possible 3 nights in Krakow.
My great Grandparents were from Mielec and came to USA in the around 1920s. We would like to see area- what would best way to get there from Krakow for couple hour tour of area. Any other interesting things to see in Mielec area

Any suggestions what to do in Krakow for 3 night stay would be appreciated. We like to try authentic polish food and not tourist traps.

Posted by
2278 posts

We did something similar several years ago. My wife's family emigrated to the US from a small village about 45 min. west of Krakow in 1909, and she was anxious to visit the area. We wound up booking a car and driver for the day which worked out quite well - even had a built in translator to help interview some of the locals as she conducted her own private roots quest.
Since our visit we've heard of a local guide named Andrew Durman who comes well recommended by other contributors on the RS forum, so much so that we suggested him to some other family members last year who were visiting Krakow. They absolutely raved about him when they returned from their trip. His contact info is Am sure he can arrange your private tour himself or suggest someone locally who can. Good luck.

Posted by
2278 posts

Also should mention that Krakow is a beautiful city in its own right...virtually untouched by WWII. The old Jewish quarter of Kazimierz was our personal favorite - it's a quiet neighborhood just a short stroll from the Planty and Stare Miasto (Old Town), surrounded by exactly the kinds of local restaurants you're looking for.
I won't repeat what you can easily find in any guidebook regarding local attractions, but would only say that there's plenty to do to keep you occupied for your 3 days. One interesting day trip for us was a visit to the Oskar Schindler factory hidden away in one of the suburbs. Worth a visit if you're a fan of the movie, as is a half-day stroll around the old Jewish quarter itself.

Posted by
6802 posts

jmjbrtw the whole Stare Miasto area is worth wandering around. But the main highpoint (literally) is the Wawel Castle at the end which is probably the most historic place in Poland, with the graves of kings and all sorts of displays. Also, either there, or somewhere in the area is Da Vinci's Lady with Ermine, if you're interested in art.

The Stare Miasto area is full of restaurants, and tourists (mostly Polish tourists), but not ruining the authenticity of the food. For a casual snack or lunch, we liked the Krakowski Kredens deli, which sells take away sandwiches at the window on the street. Just about any restaurant will have pierogies on the menu.

Take a look at the In Your Pocket - Krakow website (download the free guidebook). There is a ton of into on Krakow shops, restaurants and hotels, as well as interactive map feature that will show you what's near your hotel, etc.

Posted by
2487 posts

On the way from Kraków to Mielec you'll pass Tarnów, a very pleasant provincial town. At least good for lunch or an afternoon beer, depending on the time of day.

Posted by
8 posts

I guess you've already returned from your trip to Poland - how was it? I hope you had a nice stay, with such gems of Krakow as the bustling Main Market Square (like captured here: ), sumptuous Wawel Castle with its extensive art and sacral collections or mysterious Kazimierz Jewish quarter. The upcoming summer is great for a visit if someone is a football freak - there will be UEFA EURO U-21 torunament held in Poland and Krakow is where on of the semi-finals and the final itself are going to be played.

Posted by
242 posts

We visited a village (my grandparents) very close to Mielec- Niwiska. While I LOVED Krakow, please plan to spend an entire day in Mielec and the area. Try to go to the Kolbuszowa Skansen and the Blizna Historic Park near Niwiska. I also strongly recommend Andrew Durman. He did some research for us and we tried to find relatives in Zawoja. We weren't successful, but met some folks with the same surname and were invited into the homes, etc. You will have a much better day if someone who understands how to interact with priests and the locals (who likely don't speak English). Andrew gets an A+.

You will find authentic Polish food all around. Try to find a Milk Bar, which is a basic restaurant from the Communist era. Good food- sort of like a soup Nazi experience. Feel free to PM me. I have a lot of info, having been to Krakow and the ancestral villages. I also wrote a book on genealogy and traveling to Europe- it is on Amazon as an ebook.