Sunday, May 29, 2022

Travel on $100 a Day: Krakow, Poland

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There used to be a series of travel books about how to travel in Europe on $100 a day.  Today it is much more difficult to achieve this goal – but not impossible.  It just takes a little more research and planning. There are several countries that are very budget travel friendly.

Krakow, Poland is one of those budget friendly country’s.  Here is one person’s story on how they traveled in Krakow on $100 a day.  (Budget does not include airfare)

In May of 2017 my adult son and I traveled to Krakow, Poland. Krakow is a budget travelers dream. Because we got such a great exchange rate, one US dollar got us almost 4 Polish Zloty, our money went much further than when we have traveled to other countries.

I pre-arranged airport transfers booking through Viator.com which costs just under $23.00 for two people. The ridefrom the airport to our hotel in the city center was an easy ten minutes.

We stayed at the Ingo Aparthotel, which I booked through booking.com, and that was located a 2-minute walk from the main square, right in the heart of the city. It is a small hotel but very nice. The room was a good size especially for being in Europe where hotel rooms are notoriously small.

The location of the hotel was perfect. It is located next to Planty Park which encircles the historic city center where the medieval city walls use to stand. It’s a beautiful place to go for a stroll or sit and relax. The hotel is also a short 10-15 minute walk to a huge 5 story mall which we visited several times during our stay. Our price for the hotel was $380 ($28 per person/per day) for a seven night stay and included an excellent, large continental breakfast.

In the city square there are plenty of shops and restaurants. The entire square is encircled with restaurants. Most have outdoor seating areas where you can enjoy your meal under the large red umbrellas while watching the activity in the square. There are outdoor heaters and cozy red blankets for cool

er days.  Not even the rain stopped people from enjoying the outdoor seating. The large umbrellas provide shelter from the rain and the heaters and blankets provide warmth. I actually really enjoyed sitting out in the rain eating. It was a fun experience.

At first glance I thought these restaurants were going to be out of our price range but after taking a look at the menu’s, which are posted outside the restaurants, I couldn’t believe how inexpensive they were. We tried a different place each night. One of my favorite meals was croissant wrapped salmon with strawberry and mango salsa. It was delicious. Including a mojito and dessert the total cost for my meal was $13.00.  A bargain basement price compared to other European cities.

I had looked into pre-booking sightseeing tours online before we left however after talking to people who had previously traveled to Krakow, I decided to wait until I arrived. I was told it would be much cheaper if I purchased to tours in Krakow. They were right. There were tour booking centers around the city square which charged a fraction of the online prices. We had no problem booking tours. I booked a tour of Auschwitz, including transportation, for about $20 for the following day.  We also booked a same day city walking tour for $10.

Normally I use a lot of public transportation while traveling in Europe but you really didn’t need it in Krakow. It’s a very compact area so we either walked or used the transportation included with our tours. Only once did we use a cab while coming back to our hotel from the Schindlers Museum. While we had no problem catching a cab from the museum, the city center was not over run with cabs everywhere like you see in cities like London.

For anyone looking for a budget trip, I would highly recommend Krakow. It’s a clean, laidback, easy going city with tons of stuff to see and do. It is definitely on my top 10 best trips list.

Our daily budget (per person):

Hotel – $28.00

Dinner – $10.00-13.00

Lunch – $5.00 – 6.00

Breakfast – Free at hotel

Sightseeing – $20.00 – $30.00

Our total daily budget: $63.00 – $77.00

The article originally appeared in International Travel News Magazine.

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