Krakow is a relatively undiscovered gem when compared to other European cities that have made its mark on the tourist map, but that’s only a matter of time. And what a sparkling gem it is! In this three part post, we explore various aspects of Polish cuisine – the third part of our guide covers regional specialities and trip outside of Krakow in pursuit of local trout.
Part 3 of a 3 part post
Krakow – Part 3
Learn to make (and taste) regional specialities
Żywe Muzeum Obwarzanka [Obwarzanek Krakowski’s Museum]
Located in Rynek Kleparski, the interactive Obwarzanek making workshop in Obwarzanek Krakowski’s Museum is fun and educative. Obwarzanek Krakowski, a popular snack in Kraków has the status of regional food with protected geographical indication. Not only did we learn to make these famous Obwarzanek, we also learnt the history of theses braided ring-shaped beauties of bread sprinkled with either salt, poppy seeds, or sesame seeds. After an interactive session of obwarzanek making, you can also indulge in the museum’s small café cum shop with coffee, bagels and some souvenirs. Interestingly, there are only 8 bakeries in Kraków who have the license to make these and around 150,000 pieces are made daily and distributed around the city.
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Krako Slow Wines
Address: Lipowa 6F str., Cracow
Learn about and taste Polish wine with a wine tasting session at Krako wines. Even if you don’t do the wine tasting class as we did, you can sip and enjoy a wide variety of different wines, beers and spirits etc from around the world as you soak up the lovely atmosphere of this trendy find!. As a bonus, you can purchase all that you taste and bring some home with you too! We suggest you order a platter of charcuterie and cheese, paired with fresh salad, dips and bread, all Polish, of course. to accompany the experience.
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A day out from Krakow
Ojcowski trout farm
Do leave aside a day or two to leave Krakow and head outside to the gorgeous countryside. Jut an hour or so outside Krakow we mother and daughter duo, Magna and Agnieszka Sendor for a tour of Ojcowski trout farm as well as a superb lunch of traditional homemade sauerkraut and pickled cucumbers to accompany the delicate trout which are smoked or baked. This is a gorgeous and popular spot where the long queues prove that it’s all about educating the palates (and minds), to appreciate the taste of honest food and respect our eco system. Do read our separate post about this amazing experience which you can find HERE (coming soon).
The farm is located in the very center of the strict nature reserve.
Address: Ojców 48, 32-047 Ojców
Congratulations to Magdalena Węgiel, who we mentioned above. Magdalena is among the most innovative female farmers in the European Union as recognised at the “Innovation Award for Women Farmers 2018 – Innovative Solutions for Farming Sustainability – Women Farmers’ projects” competition”. Magdalena received an award from COPA-COGECA, the united voice of farmers and agri-cooperatives in the EU, which promotes the agriculture sector.
SEE the article HERE
And finally, don’t dare to leave Krakow or Poland, without checking these out:
Chlodnik: a beautiful pink cold beetroot soup that is a summer staple in Poland.
Lody: the home made ice creams that are so popular in Poland, especially those made with fresh seasonal fruits. There are many traditional ice cream parlours but a few have reached cult status… for example, Lody Tradycyjne in Starowiślna street where long queues are part of the process.
Kremówka or Papal Cream Cakes: Papal Cream Cake is a Polish type of cream/custard pie made of two layers of puff pastry, filled with whipped cream, creamy buttercream, vanilla pastry cream or sometimes egg white cream, and is usually sprinkled with sugar. (more on this here … Kremówka ~ Papal Cake)
Milk Bars: These historic milk bars (bar mleczny) used to be government subsidised cafeterias during the socialist post war Poland. Today, there are about 150 milk bars remaining in Poland and they serve popular Polish dishes at incredible prices. Some of the well known Milk Bars in Krakow are Pod Temidą (ul. Grodzka 43, Old Town), Bar Targowy ( ul. Daszyńskiego 19, Old Town), Milkbar Tomasza (Ul. Św. Tomasza 24, Old Town) which looks modern and more like an American-style diner, or the traditional Bar Kazimierz ( Ul. Krakowska 24, Kazimierz) in the historic Jewish neighborhood of Krakow.
Popular staples on Milk Bar menus… almost a mini recap of Polish Cuisine
- Pierogis: The stuffed dumpling of some kind, and Poland has the famous pierogi. The pierogi ruskie was a favorite of our group, filled with a potato, cheese and onion mixture. Pierogis are so culturally important that there is an annual dumpling festival held to honour this culinary heritage! This year’s Dumpling Festival (or Festiwal Pierogów) involved not only traditional and well-known dumplings but also various combinations of ingredients and interesting stuffing like salmon, lamb, deer meat or smoked cheese.
- Naleśniki: A crepe-like pancake with sweet or savory fillings
- Gołąbki: Meat and rice filled cabbage leaves
- Kiełbasa: Polish sausage, either eaten on its own, or added to a soup
- Barszcz: Similar to the Russian borscht, this is a delicious beet soup
- Obwarzanek krakowski: A bagel-like bread that is sold widely around the city by street vendors.
- Pączki: Donuts filled with rose marmalade and a variety of icing options including lemon, orange or cinnamon.
Where to stay
Golden Tulip Krakow Kazimierz hotel
The comfortable Golden Tulip Krakow Kazimierz Hotel offers accommodation in a historic area of Krakow and is set within a 20-minute walking distance from Krakow city center, in the proximity of Main Market Square, Kazimierz Jewish District and the historic Wawel.
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A very modern and chic interior greets the guest at Puro Hotel. It is located just opposite the Krakow Glowny train station and is a walking distance from the Market Square in the Old Town. The rooms are resplendent in natural lighting and technology savvy interiors – lights and air-conditioning controlled via a touch button in a tablet.
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Built in 1836, boutique Hotel INDIGO Krakow – Old Town is located in the artistic heart of Cracow. Each hotel in the Indigo property are designed to reflect the culture, character and history of the surrounding neighbourhood and no two hotels in the world are alike! In Krakow, the individually designed rooms are inspired by the work of Polish artists such as Matejko and Wyspiański.
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The Ostoya Palace Hotel
This is a heritage hotel located in the Ostaszewski Palace built in 1895. The interiors have interesting architecture details reflecting the 19th century. The famous Blonia – a huge meadow in the centre of Krakow, as well as other green areas at close vicinity to the hotel and is ideal for tourists and busine travellers who also want to revel in the charm of nature.
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There are daily flights from Dubai to Krakow with Fly Dubai. Average flight duration is 5hrs 50 minutes and price starts from AED 1270 onwards (more info on FlyDubai here). The time zone falls under Central European Summer Time (GMT+2).
Poland belongs to the European Schengen zone. Passport or ID card holders from one of the countries in the zone do not need a visa to visit Poland up to 90 days. Visit HERE for comprehensive and official information regarding visa requirements.
Currency and Exchange rates
Although Poland is in the European Union, Złoty (PLN) and not the Euro is used as the currency. Several exchange offices can be found in the Old town in Florianska and Szewska streets. The exchange rate as of the day of writing the article is 1.00 PLN =0.266892 USD (roughly 1.oo PLN to 1/AED)
Language & Communication
Polish language is spoken in Poland but most people, especially in the tourist places are able to communicate in English. The best way to obtain tourist information is just to ask at the hotel reception or the nearest tourist information office (Jana street very close to the Main Square and the St. Mary’s church)
ul. św. Jana 2
tel.: +48 12 421 77 87
e-mail: [email protected]
Disclaimer: Debbie and Ishita were guests of Krajowy Osderek Wsparcia Rolnictwa (the National Support Centre for Agriculture in Poland), Poland Tastes Good and the Krakow Municipality with the mission to learn and share about Poland and its food, cuisine, culture and culinary traditions. This compilation has been drawn from their experiences – some of them hosted and some self-paid. For more info, visit www.kowr.gov.pl