City Breaks on a Budget: Krakow

By Amy Lawlor

Home to legendary castles, magnificent churches, bustling marketplaces and a fantastic nightlife Krakow has become the Polish tourist destination to experience as opposed to Poland’s capital Warsaw. With cheap alcohol, accommodation and food it’s a safe haven for college students alike.

Only a 30 minute taxi journey away from the airport, it costs a fixed fair of  €25 into Krakow city which is fairly cheap if you split it amongst a group of people. Despite it’s cold weather Krakow has a lot to offer in the history, make-up and nightlife department.

If you’re interested in World War II, a visit to Auschwitz concentration camp is a must.  It is highly recommended that you book a combination pass costing €69 which covers your 8-hour tour of Aushwitz-Birkenau concentration camp as well as a tour of the Wieliczka Salt Mine. This pass also includes transport to and from both tours as well as including a packed lunch. The salt mine tour alone costs €60, therefore the combination pass saves you money in the long run.

If you’re a make-up addict it is worth doing a day trip to Poland to stock up on your Inglot essentials. The well-known make-up brand is manufactured in Poland meaning the prices are minuscule in comparison to Ireland. Here, Inglot’s HD full coverage foundation retails at €33 whereas in Poland it costs just under €18, it’s definitely worth the visit.

The nightlife in Poland doesn’t kick off until the early hours of the morning so clubs at 12pm will more than likely be empty. If you’re a vodka drinker be prepared for the measures to be strong. There are plenty of cheap beers to go around but if you drink cider, ‘Tatúv Sad’ tastes similar to orchard thieves and costs €4 a pint. Nightclubs in Poland don’t include a service charge so if your drink prices change over the night it’s because the barman thinks you’re drunk enough to rip off so watch out for this.

Amy Lawlor

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