It only took five minutes for me to completely fall in love with Kraków. Here is why.
Kraków is actually not as small as I thought it would be and having walked a whole lot of it over the past couple of days, I can definitely say that it’s hard to find a bad neighborhood here. The only thing that comes close to being a threat is that cars and trucks often drive/park on the sidewalk. If you’re not careful, you could probably get yourself run over where you have every right to be walking.
The city is both quaint and really lively so it doesn’t feel as fake as some other really historic towns. And it’s dripping with character. I could spend an entire day sitting in cafe/bars like Nowa Provincja, on their Wifi applying for jobs. Everything has a very relaxed but fun feel. Every street you walk on from Stare Miastro to the Jewish quarter is gorgeous and welcoming. This was even more obvious after coming back from a day at Auschwitz, which sucked the life out of me. Kraków and its beautiful picturesque main square, its lovely people and street performers gave me life back.
All the friendly and attractive people that I did not find in Warsaw live in Kraków. This place is full of happy people and it’s obvious just from walking around but even more obvious in restaurants, cafes, and bars. Even when there is a language barrier, people talk to you with a smile on their face. And did I mention they were attractive? Wow. Poland, I’m impressed.
Kraków does not disappoint when it comes to food. You can get traditional Polish, or burgers, barbecue, Italian, vegan, and more. I haven’t had a single bad meal and all of them have been extremely cheap. There are at least a dozen restaurants I’ve passed by that look amazing, but alas, I don’t have enough meals to spare this time around. Maybe when I move here. Aside from good food, the city doesn’t disappoint when it comes to drink. I love any city where I can get a huge variety of flavored vodkas for about a dollar a shot.
Like Warsaw, Kraków is extremely cheap. Having been in Poland for almost a week, I’m starting to adjust to how little everything costs, where I found myself scoffing at a $5 ride from Schindler’s Factory back to city center. In my defense, I had just been to two museums and had a snack for almost the same amount of money. On the other hand, I’ll splurge $30 on a massage here any day of the week.
It’s fairly easy to get around on foot, but the city has an amazing tram system that can move you around more quickly. My favorite thing about the trams is that they look beautiful against the backdrop of old buildings. They’re not ultra modern, but they’ll get you from point A to point B. And though the actual cars are outdated, all the stops have electronic signs so you know exactly when your tram is scheduled to arrive. As a bonus, they’re never too packed.
Total Livability Score 10/10
I love a place that can bounce back from its dark history with a zest for life and a sense of humor. I could definitely live here!