We plan to see DaVinci's "Lady and the Ermine" and meet our friend Anna the 1st day; 2nd day Auschwitz; 3rd day ends with catching the night train to Budapest. What's the advice for day 3?...the salt mines? Will we regret skipping them and just Krakowing...
Based on the time you have I would spend the last day "Krakowing". The Salt Mines are neat but the city is worth exploring even more. But, If you have some extra time, or the weather is not cooperating, you can always take a taxi to the Salt Mines. Its only a few miles outside of the city, very easy to reach via the expressway.
Don't forget to visit Kazimierz, the Jewish section of Krakow and hear some Klezmer music. It's moving, passionate and historic. I heard a Klezmer band play while dining at a place called Alef (Ulica Szeroka 17). It was a wonderful evening. In the foyer is a framed letter from Steven Spielberg, Kate Capshaw, Liam Neeson, etc. (the cast from Shindler's List) thanking the establishment for a nice evening. I understand there is a Schindler's tour as well in this district and you can visit the actual Schindler factory from history as well as in the film. I plan to see these when we visit Krakow next month. Enjoy!
I would spend the day in Krakow. Half at the
Wawel Castle area and the other half in the Jewish
section, Kazimierz. Both are great sites, and are
within walking distance of one another.
Thanks for responses...we were starting to feel the "underground" was not how we wanted to use the time...So maybe now someone will have the suggestion for the "don't miss it " place to have supper!!...or lunch...Must catch that 10:00 pm train to Budapest
The salt mines are ok, but not nearly as interesting as exploring Krakow. I would recommend seeing Oscar Schindler's (Schindler's List) factory. The simplicity of the experience is very moving.
I regret that we didn't happen upon the Kazimierz district until our last day in Krakow. It is rich with culture and locals and wasn't crowded with tourists when we went. It is also where we found the best food of our visit. Make sure you have a hot chocolate at a cafe called Alchemia. It appears to be made of melted chocolate and cream & is prepared in a special glass pot that sits on the bar constantly stirring the chocolate. Amazing & unlike anything I've ever tasted before. The best food in Krakow is served at Ariel in Kazimierz. I stepped out of my box & tried the roasted goose leg w/cherry sauce. It was out of this world. Those who ordered more "normal" foods were also thrilled with their meals.
There are 3 excellent restaurants where we ate
on the Old Town Square. A great place to people
watch while enjoying your meal. All are in Rick's
Eastern Europe book which I lost somewhere along
the way. Also there is a great place for gyros
about half way down the King's Walk between the
Square and Wawel Castle. It is on a corner with
a walk through used mostly by locals as well as
In my opinion I think the salt mines weren't really worth it. They were okay, but it was fun to check out old communist burbs.
I agree with the "the salt mines really aren't worth it". I was excited to read about it in Rick Steve's book, but it was a bit disappointing. I would recommend spending time wondering up and down the streets around the old town square.
Personally, I found the salt mine fascinating. Some of the sculptures were wonderful. But I will say that the salt mine won't take up a full day, so you could see the mine and still wander around Krakow.