The clickity clack sound of horses trotting down the cobblestone streets fill Krakow’s town square, where people gather to taste the delights of Polish sausage and golabki, hear the clocktower trumpeter play his song at every chime of the hour, and maybe even take a ride around the Old Town in a horse and carriage.
It was my first time in Poland and we decided to venture to Krakow because we had heard so much about its old town charm. Although it isn’t the official capital of Poland, many Krakowiaks refer to it as the “cultural capital” of their country. We were lucky enough to make it in time for the Folk Art Fair, which happens every August and showcases some of the best artisan crafts, music, food and entertainment.
Though it was fun to peruse the local crafts, I admit we were mostly distracted by the rich aroma of Polish street food whetting our appetites—I had to take some shots with my Samsung NX300 to remember all of the amazing dishes. From cheese-stuffed pierogies to sauerkraut soup, the food stands were definitely taking a toll on our daily food budget. My absolute favorite had to be the golabki, a mixture of meat, rice and spices wrapped in cabbage—wow!
Once we were done with our tasting tour, I was able to shoot some of the traditional architecture around Poland, which transported me to another time. The main square is quite small in comparison to other cities, but what it lacks in size it definitely makes up for in charm.
Krakow isn’t all traditional charm—as you enter the Jewish Quarter you’ll discover a totally alternative vibe. From graffiti-covered alleyways to hip cafes blasting Bob Marley’s mellow moods, the Jewish Quarter was definitely living on a different pulse.
I loved seeing the rawer side of Krakow. It was a bit more grungy and hip and more my taste, and a great place to have a mini photography adventure, too. It also probably helped that we found a bohemian cafe where they sold the best hummus I’ve ever eaten!
Wandering through the mix of traditional and alternative neighborhoods, we discovered an eclectic side of Krakow we hadn’t anticipated. With that, and the amazing food that presented itself on every corner, we left the city feeling both visually inspired and satisfyingly full.