Krakow and Auschwitz

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Lluis Enric Mayans

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One week trip to beautiful Krakow and Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp.

1 day

We arrive at Krakow airport and to reach the center we decide to use the train, which is taken just outside the airport. Just walk a few hundred meters and you will reach the stop. Tickets can be bought on board and it is better to pay the return fare in advance to save some money (total cost for 2 people a / r about 10?). The train takes about 20/25 minutes to reach Krakow Central Station and from there? very easy to walk around the city. First we reach the Tourist information, we retrieve a map of the city? (and a small brochure with all the info on museums and places of interest), and with the help of this we arrive quickly at our hotel, crossing all the beautiful and picturesque old town (Stare Miasto). let's freshen up and leave immediately for the city ?. Reading the small brochure we discovered that all museums have one day a week where you can? enter for free and today (monday)? Schindler's factory shift. We then head to the factory taking advantage of the opportunity and visit it. The tour of the factory, now converted into a museum on the history of the 2? world war and more? in particular on the Holocaust, it takes us for a couple of hours and? very interesting. Inside there are many documents, photos, audiovisuals of the time, and many faithful reconstructions of the environments in which people lived at the time of the war. Leaving Schindler's factory, we pass by the Plac Bohater? W Getta, the square of the heroes of the ghetto, a square / monument, where 70 large metal chairs by two Polish artists have been placed, which make this place a place of memory . Continuing we cross Kładka Ojca Bernatka, the bridge of lovers in Krakow and here we too leave our padlock. Hungry we decide to go and eat something and so we enter the Moaburger (ul. Mikołajska 3? Excellent Burgers and very good prices for quality and quantity?).
Once we have finished our? Snack ?, we reach the main square of the city, Rynek Głowny, where there is? the Textile Market (Sukiennice) and the Basilica of Santa Maria. We cross the fabric market, the structure more? large square, now used for the sale of souvenirs and handicrafts. We dedicate the afternoon to visit the center and get to know a little? the city.
In the evening, also thanks to the tiredness of the journey, we went for a bite to eat in a restaurant in the center, close to Rynek Głowny square. We enjoyed a meat soup and a vegetable stew in bread.

2 day

We spent the whole day visiting the Auschwitz Birkenau concentration camps.
We left in the morning at 7.50 from the bus station, and took the PKS bus that leaves from the G1 ramp, for the price of 14? pp a / r, and in about an hour and a half we reached the Auschwitz concentration camp. The entrance to the complex? free, but if you want to take a guided tour in your language (which we highly recommend), you can? have for the price of 10? per person. Considered for? what the guided tour? only one a day (in Italian? 12.30), and that we were there very early, we decided to enter and initially face the visit alone, also to see those things that later with the guide we would not have been able to see. In fact, inside the field you can? turn quite freely, and you can? enter inside the various blocks, where there are various photographic exhibitions. In particular, inside one of the blocks that at the time were used as dormitories for Jews,? a "gruesome" exhibition was set up, but it was certainly impressive, with some objects that had been taken away from the people who arrived at the camp. In fact, inside these rooms you can find suitcases with the names, shoes, children's toys, clothes, and even some prostheses written on them. The silence that c? inside the field? deafening. I do not dwell too much in the description of this place why? ? a place that should be seen once in a lifetime and that will leave you? a sign. The guided tour inside Auschwitz lasts about 2 hours, after which? we are transferred by bus to the Birkenau camp, which was the extermination camp, where the guided tour continues for about another hour and a half. After the visit we returned to the Auschwitz entrance square and from there we took the bus back to Krakow. In the evening we had dinner with pierogi, a typical Polish dish. They are a kind of ravioli with different fillings, very very good. We ate them at ZAPIECEK (Sławkowska 32? Open 24h), where with little more? of 7? we were served 2 plates of 12 pieces.
After a short walk, considering the low temperature, we entered one of the most popular pastry shops. good and famous of the city? KARMELLO, and we ate them a delicious hot chocolate.

3 day

Even this morning we got up early why? our program included a visit to the Wieliczka Salt Mines. Take bus 304 from ul. Kurniki to the stop? Wieliczka Kosci? Ł?, And in about 20 minutes you? at destination.
The entrance ticket costs about 20 euros per person including a guided tour in your own language. The journey takes about two hours and of the nine floors of which? composed the mine are visited only the first three, going down to a depth? maximum of 135 mt. Visit ? very interesting and engaging.During the route? possible to taste the salt, material of which? composed the entire subsoil. beautiful of the tour? certainly the visit to a large cathedral entirely carved in salt where? It is also possible to celebrate weddings. Once the visit was over we returned to Krakow to visit the famous St. Mary's Basilica which is located in the main square. Can you? visit for free for half, while if you want to get up to the main altar you have to pay a modest entrance ticket of about 4 ?.
For dinner we opted for one of the best restaurants in the city, TREZO RESTAURANT (ul. Miodowa 33), and we can not help but confirm the excellent reviews on which yes? based our choice. Good quality / price ratio, and excellent availability. of the owners.

4 day

Today we dedicated the whole morning to visit the Wavel hill where the Castle and the Cathedral are located. Not there? a single ticket, but? for each sector of the castle? payment of a single ticket is expected. We decided to visit only the wing of the castle where the famous work of art by Leonardo da Vinci was exhibited? The lady with an ermine ?, paying about 5? . What about the Cathedral? free visit for the church only, while if you want to see the great bell, the royal tombs and the Cathedral museum? expected to pay a ticket of about 4? .We recommend paying for the ticket why? climbing in the Tower of Sigismondo, where is there ?? the big bell, you have a magnificent view of the city.
After the visit to the Cathedral we went down from the Wavel hill at the foot of which you can? admire a great dragon symbol of the city? of Krakow.
In the afternoon we visited the Kazimierz, the Jewish quarter, where we chose to visit two synagogues: the Izaak Synagogue and The Old Synagogue. The first ? still in use for celebrations, while the second? now used as a museum. For both you pay a modest entrance fee.

5 day

IS? on the day of returning to Italy, in fact, after having breakfast we went to the station to take the train that took us to the airport.
Krakow? it was a pleasant discovery, we were very excited and we recommend everyone to include it in their next travel destinations!

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