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Travelling to Krakow, Poland for Easter, 2014

I will be with 2 friends, arriving in Krakow on Holy Saturday morning 4/19/2014, and be there until Tuesday 4/22/2014. Are tours, and sites still available to book? Holy Saturday, Easter Sunday, National Holiday Monday. We wanted to be able to tour the Salt Mines, Auschwitz, the Monastery-Our Lady of Czestochowa. Any suggestions for a tour company and special Easter things to do? We have our accommodations. Also looking for Easter dinner meal, etc. Thank you!

Posted by
4935 posts

janise looks like not many with experience who can reply. I suggest you try asking at the TripAdvisor.com forums. They have forum specific to Krakow, and they have some smart locals who respond to questions there that might be able to answer your questions.Its a bit hard to find the forums on TripAdvisor, but worth a try.

Posted by
53 posts

Janise
Happy to help you answer some questions for you. I am American and have living in Poland on and off since 2011. You picked a difficult time to visit. Being a Catholic country Poland will have reduced hours and most shops will be closed. In that time frame is when most people return to their family home for Easter traditions and home cooked meals. Train and buses will also have holiday service hours. Auschwitz is closed Easter Sunday. Salt Mine I assume same.

To be honest consider another set of dates if you want to see the places you mentioned.

Posted by
2 posts

Hi, I am living in Poland I am from Krakow. My name is Damian, It is true Easter is not the best time to sightseeing. At National Holiday Monday you can visit Auschwitz-Birkenau, Salt Mine probably (last year was open) but shops will be still closed. IMO you can rent private tour and you will do one day tour (Auschwitz-Birkenau and Salt Mine). You will also need one day for tour to Czestochowa. I will recommand some company if you want. Cheers

Posted by
4 posts

Thank you for responding. Our dates are set, as we are making a Divine Mercy Pilgrimage, beginning in Krakow, culminating in the Canonization of JPII, and JPXXIII on Divine Mercy Sunday in Rome. We will just make the best of it. I appreciate the advice. Does either St. Mary's Basilica and/or The Divine Mercy Sanctuary have Easter Vigil Mass on Saturday evening?

Posted by
16 posts

Hi Janise. I visited Krakow Easter 2008, arriving noon Sat and leaving noon Monday. Yes, there aren't that many things open on Easter weekend. The shops around the main square and the Cloth Market were open on Saturday, but the Wawel Cathedral and the musuems/castle were all closed. I finally learned I could get into the cathedral by attending the Easter Vigil (tip - get there really early as the seating where you can actually see anything is very limited, and be ready for three hours of chanting in Polish). Most restaurants in town were open Saturday night. On both Sunday and Monday nearly everything seemed to be closed, although there were a few restaurants that were open. I'm not sure about tours and daytrips as I didn't do that myself.
Good luck and enjoy your trip!
Dan

Posted by
1 posts

Hi Janise.
It will be a very unique experience for you and your friend. Krakow is a very charming place. Try this restaurant while there (might be open during Easter?): http://www.chlopskiejadlo.pl/restaurants/804/profile
Salt Mine Wieliczka is absolutely a must- it is the only place in the world like this one. Check their website:
http://www.wieliczka-saltmine.com/?__utma=1.1082692248.1397271770.1397271770.1397271770.1&__utmb=1.1.10.1397271770&__utmc=1&__utmx=-&__utmz=1.1397271770.1.1.utmcsr=google|utmccn=(organic)|utmcmd=organic|utmctr=(not%20provided)&__utmv=-&__utmk=231142559
Sometimes there are events held in some places. Contact them directly and ask: you might be able to visit even during Easter.

Czestochowa and Black Madonna Monastery might be good to go on Easter Sunday as it is a pilgrimage place. Also it is possible that some restaurants will be open.

Watch Easter Monday: tradition of pouring water at women (more gentle version: a little perfume over your head).
Saturday is a traditional day for blessing food baskets in church and evening vigil. You might try to combine it with seeing Wieliczka which is very close to Krakow and might be open (?).
Happy Easter and have a good time.