Disclaimer: This will be a feature that will continue throughout the length of my stays in places. Since literally every place as a walking tour/tourist guide, I am morphing that idea into things about the city that you really want to see. I figure that since I’m a pretty good gauge on what people are into and whatnot, this would be a good way to do an unbiased infomercial on a city that perhaps you haven’t seen and would like to know about. I will not pull punches, if I liked a place — I’ll sing its praises. If I hated, I’ll tear it the biggest asshole on the planet. Because I know assholes: I am one.
Take these as you will because I’m speaking only from my perspective. And remember: opinions are like assholes, everybody has one and only mine matters.
Krakow (Cracow), Poland
One-word definition: Forgettable/Incomplete
Cleanliness of the city: Main Square? Disney World. Everywhere else? Prison.
Quality of Girls: INCOMPLETE out of 10 — This was the saddest place for girls that I have seen so far. Somewhere has to be the worst, and thus far Krakow is it. When I went to the Galleria Krakow — which is where the Krakow Glowny station goes through, there are girls that are top shelf walking all around. However, they seemingly disappear when you actually get into the city. Therefore, I am not sure if they are just commuters or figments of commercialism. I saw absolutely no attractive girls in the city. It was depressing.
Likeliness of Hooking Up: INCOMPLETE out of 10 — When you don’t see any girls, it is difficult to put a bead on the likeliness of hooking up.
Language Barrier Level: INCOMPLETE out of 10 — Notice a pattern?
Receptiveness of Foreigners: 5 out of 10 — In truth, people in Krakow are just really set in their ways. They don’t go out of their way to help people but they don’t altogether refuse you (unless you are traveling to Auschwitz — then it begins to be a sticky situation).
Cost-effectiveness: 10 out of 10 — I spent zero money here because there was nothing to spend it on. Once I finally found the Main Square — which I wasn’t really close to being in the Jewish Quarter — I noticed more of a happy place. Unfortunately, however, that was only on the third day here — prior to leaving for Kiev, Ukraine. I got into the city later than expected because my train from Brno was delayed several hours. So the first night I just went straight to bed. The second day I went to Auschwitz for the day and came back in darkness. So when I finally had the chance to see the Main Square, it was only for a fleeting moment because I had a ridiculous 6 am flight the next day — and Krakow doesn’t have a metro system, so you are at the mercy of the trains. To make a long story short, I had to take a 10 pm train and spend a night in an airport hangar to ensure I’d be at the airport in time to get on my flight. So yeah, literally bought food and that is it.
Safety and security: 8 out of 10 — I felt safe walking around the city but it isn’t the most positive-looking place. In fact, it looks like the most war torn city that I have been to. Buildings are crumbling and it just doesn’t look like an infusion of money has come here since WWII. It is like the Forgotten City. The Main Square is very safe, but I wouldn’t want to be caught out in any of the surrounding districts because it just doesn’t look like a place you want to be caught out in.
How the Girls Are: INCOMPLETE out of 10 — Don’t stay in the Jewish Quarter — because you are exiled from the rest of the city. Again, I didn’t meet any girls because I was kinda in the middle of nowhere.
Best Chances of Meeting Girls: The Galleria was filled with them. So I’d say there. Where they go from there is anybody’s guess.
Accommodations: 2 out of 10 — I went from the penthouse to the outhouse. First off it was a hostel — which is a downgrade. But it was mainly that I was in the middle of fucking nowhere that made it suck. It was a mile and a bit walk to/from the train station, the buses aren’t really on schedules and there was nothing to do in a complete one-mile radius. It was cheap — that was about it, but if you are going to Krakow — stay in the Main Square and/or around Krakow Glowny Station. That is where the action is. You’d have a fighting chance with Polish girls — who I’m sure are worth it.
Beer: 0 out of 10 — If you come to Poland and drink beer, you aren’t doing Poland right. Polish beer is a fucking atrocity. It is worse than the worst American cheap brew. And by miles. Here, to get in with the locals and actually enjoy it — you do WODKA. Which, obviously, is vodka. Vodka: 10 out of 10 — And it is amazing. When I was in the airport in Warsaw, a group of Polish guys were passing around vodka before getting on the plane. They polished off four bottles between them. I’m not fucking kidding. And it is like a festive family gathering. There is a real sense of community with the Polish people. And although I don’t speak Polish, I picked up a little during my time here. And when the one guy offered me a drink — I said that I don’t understand Polish (in Polish), and he said (in English), “I don’t really understand English, but I understand when offered good vodka. Want?” And like that, I was indoctrinated into their group.
Now you can’t be a pussy and worry about germs. You swig and pass. You don’t ask for a shot glass and you don’t clean to the bottle. Fortunately, two girls sat down between me and the offer guy — so I at least could fake like I was just kissing them. Which I did.
After crushing that bottle with my new found friends, I got on the plane and promptly slept from Warsaw to Kiev. It was like time travel.
Getting Your ‘Merica, Fuck Yeah! On — Well there were Jewish people, so I felt like I was in New York City. But other than that, there wasn’t much in the way of American culture.
Pros — Auschwitz was amazing.
Cons — Too many to unfairly list. Truth is that I need to go back and give it a fair shake. I don’t even really feel like I went there. However, if/when I do, I’ll be armed with the Polish language beforehand.
My Krakow Experience
My trip to Auschwitz was life-changing and unforgettable. My trip to Krakow was lifeless and forgettable. I would have to go back at some point to really grab a sense of the city — and obviously not stay in a ghetto that has been untouched in half a century.
Two main recommendations: 1. if you go to Auschwitz, make sure you are give yourself more than three nights to see the city. Because you won’t be able to… and 2. stay near the train station (Glowny) — everything else is too isolated to be able to move around in. Krakow doesn’t have a metro — it only has trams, buses and the trains. So getting around is slow.