A few weeks ago, in March, I went to Krakow in Poland. First visit and first time in Poland. We went earlier in the season due to the dates working out for our friends, but it did mean the weather was possibly going to still be quite cold. In fact it wasn't as bad as expected but I did have to make sure I packed layers as well as the ever-elusive capsule wardrobe.
We had an amazing time and absolutely fell in love with this medieval city with it's history and culture. In this post I will show you what we did and what I wore.
We travelled with BA from Heathrow to Krakow on a Friday afternoon, arriving in time for dinner so I wanted to wear something comfortable and not necessarily have to change to go out. This new gingham shirt from Mint Velvet was perfect as I could wear my heavier Barbour coat over the top and not overheat in the airports. I then added my cashmere mix scarf from Sweet Bea and wore my coated jeggings from Next and my comfortable and warm (faux fur lined) biker boots from Hush (previous season).
Day one, Saturday, it looked warmer than it actually was and I probably under-dressed slightly! We spent the morning in the Underground Museum under the Old Town Square learning about the medieval history of the city. Then in the afternoon we did a free walking tour of the Old Town with Krakow Explorers (who are excellent and I can definitely recommend them, they are No 1 on TripAdvisor).
I wish I had worn my biker boots and Barbour coat - but anyway! I wore my Vionic trainers they are so comfortable for walking in, I simply don't get sore feet at all. My 7 For All Mankind skinny jeans, a stripe jumper from Hobbs (unseen) and Mango lightweight down jacket.
My capsule wardrobe basics were skinny jeans with blush pink and navy. Plus coated jeans and red for the evenings. I took two coats because the lightweight down is so easy to pack and takes up no space. I took several scarves. I wore my biker boots to travel and packed my Vionic trainers and my Vionic heeled boots. Then lots of medium weight knit jumpers in navy and blush pink.
On Saturday night we had a superb dinner at an award winning restaurant - Amarylis at the Queen Hotel. I wore coated jeans from Boden, black heeled boots from Vionic and a red jumper from Sezane. We had such a fun evening and were so well looked after by the waiting staff. At this point I have to own up to having decided I quite liked the flavoured vodka (as well as the red wine) so I did indulge ... more on that later!
Sunday morning it was still chilly but the forecast was 25 degrees for the afternoon. So I knew I'd be okay in my lighter jacket and I'd need to remove layers. We did a free walking tour of the Jewish Quarter and former Ghetto with Krakow Explorers again. Had lunch then visited Schindler's Factory and Museum before heading back to the Old Town Square where we enjoyed a horse and carriage ride - then we had to go to the Vodka Cafe and do some vodka tasting!! Who even knew I liked vodka?!
This lighter weight knit from The White Company is proving to be a favourite as we move into spring and summer.
Monday was always going to a challenging day, we were visiting Auschwitz and Birkenau. I didn't do an outfit post, it didn't seem appropriate but I did have to wrap up - it is a very cold and exposed location and how on earth anyone survived in much worse temperatures is an absolute miracle. I actually wore both my coats! My lightweight down with my Barbour over the top. I needed it! A note about Auschwitz, it is a hugely emotional day but I do feel it is something everyone should do. It is busy and you join a group tour, ours was organised by Krakow Trip who also did our airport transfers. It certainly makes you stop and think but the crowds mean you are protected a bit from the overwhelming sense of horror that it could really happen. Our tour guide was so sympathetic and respectful.
Tuesday we were flying home but we were able to spend the morning at Wawel Royal Castle just a short walk from the hotel. Our hotel - the Metropolis Design Hotel - was excellent, clean, friendly, great location and very friendly service. It was only a ten minute walk to the main area of Krakow, the Old Town Square.
It was a bright but cold day so I layered up in my Barbour jacket and Biker Boots as it is also easier to wear the heavier items rather than pack them when travelling!
And that was our four nights in Krakow. I loved it. I think I got my capsule wardrobe about right - surprisingly, I'm usually useless at packing, although I am getting a bit better.
Our itinerary in summary in case you decide to do your own trip:
Friday afternoon - we arrived in Krakow about 7.00 pm in time for dinner at a rooftop restaurant overlooking the castle, Cafe Oranzeria, we stayed at the Metropolis Design Hotel.
Saturday - in the morning we learnt about the medieval history at the superb Underground Museum and then in the afternoon we did a free walking tour of the Old Town.
Sunday - we did a free walking tour of the Jewish Quarter and the former Ghetto then in the afternoon visited Schindler's Factory and Museum. I would like to have spent longer in the Jewish Quarter especially the main square, it is very pretty.
Monday - we spent the day at Auschwitz and Birkenau.
Tuesday - we visited the castle in the morning before our flight home mid-afternoon.
Note about free walking tours - you do need to make a donation/give a tip to the tour guide, based on what you think the tour was worth. We were generous, our guides from Krakow Explorers were excellent.
It felt a bit odd to be posting about the cooler climate of Krakow as we have just enjoyed a hot Easter weekend which found me in summer dresses and shorts! But I wanted to share our weekend away as I always think my itinerary might help in planning your own trip.
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