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Planning a trip to Poland - Krakow, Auschwitz, Zakopane and other places - winter, Christmas


slim182 1 | 15
28 Aug 2017 #31
Thanks for all the comments!, Auschwitz is not the main point of the excursion, it is one of the places I was not sure if to go or not and definitely not going there on Christmas day :) we might do it on the 27th if we do it.

We will do a walking tour through Kazimierz as well
Lyzko 25 | 7,139
28 Aug 2017 #32
Sure though that the transition from Christmas cheer to abject misery might not be just a wee bit hard to square?
slim182 1 | 15
28 Aug 2017 #33
Yeah, you are right, didn't think it could be that impressive, good thing I mentioned here!

So!, nicer things to do and see!, open to suggestions!
jon357 63 | 15,214
28 Aug 2017 #34
Kazimierz Dolny

That's the other Kazimierz, and not an easy trip from Krakow.

We will do a walking tour through Kazimierz as well

That Kazimierz is a nice place just to wander round - all the things to see are very well signposted. It's also probably your best bet for food on the evening of the 24th, other than the largest hotels.
Lyzko 25 | 7,139
28 Aug 2017 #35
Noticed you're from Barcelona. Kinda like going on a tourist trip to Las Ramblas, seeing the vigil to the murdered victims of last week's terror attacks, then saying to the gang, "IT'S LUNCHTIME, LET'S EAT!"

:-)
kaprys 3 | 2,363
28 Aug 2017 #36
December 24th is Christmas Eve and the day when Poles have their Christmas dinner - still a working day, though.
25th and 26th are public holidays and many businesses close but I guess many restaurants will offer special Christmas dinners as more and more people choose to go away for Christmas. I would recommend booking something in advance.
slim182 1 | 15
28 Aug 2017 #37
Well, to be honest I did go past Las Ramblas a couple of times this week just before lunch, it is on my way from work to home as I leave very close to it, what can I do, sorry if it somehow disturbed you Lyzko, and thanks for the comments and suggestions to everyone.
kaprys 3 | 2,363
28 Aug 2017 #38
en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Krak%C3%B3w_szopka

One more thing that has just come to my head - never seen them myself as I have never been to Kraków at Christmas - szopki krakowskie. They're nativity scenes but set in historical places in Kraków -an old tradition.
Lyzko 25 | 7,139
29 Aug 2017 #39
You didn't "disturb" me in the least, Slim!

I only caution you as to how your visit to said places can eventually be more meaningful by doing equal justice to both experiences separately, that's all. Whether or not you choose to, is between you and your conscience:-)
jon357 63 | 15,214
29 Aug 2017 #40
December 24th is Christmas Eve and the day when Poles have their Christmas dinner - still a working day, though.

A working day, though an evening people (including restaurant staff) spend with families. Slim should find out a few days in advance where's going to be open for dinner in the evening. Big hotels are a good bet, as are Jewish restaurants in Kazimierz.
kaprys 3 | 2,363
29 Aug 2017 #41
If their boss wants them to work, they work. The same applies to police officers, bus drivers etc. They work even if that means working in the afternoon/evening on December 24th. In fact, it seems to be a good day to make some money for restaurant owners. And as for foreign tourists, it's an opportunity to taste traditional Polish dishes. I believe some places will be open. However, some places might be already full (or actually closed because of the date), so it's best to book something in advance. The op's hotel may offer a special Christmas menu, too.

As for restaurants in Kazimierz, I doubt all the staff there are actually Jewish.
jon357 63 | 15,214
29 Aug 2017 #42
If their boss wants

A big if.

I believe some places will be open.

These will be few and far between. Most restaurabts, cafes, bars etc close early on the 24th.

so it's best to book something in advance.

As I've advised him. In fact it is important he sorts this a few days previously.

In Kazimierz, there are some kosher restaurants and there will certainly be visitors there who aren't interested in Wigilia.
kaprys 3 | 2,363
29 Aug 2017 #43
And that's what I advised him yesterday, too.
Even if the restaurant is kosher, the staff might not be Jewish so even Jewish restaurants may close earlier.
Booking in advance is best. Although I'm not sure he still wants to come having read some of the responses to his question.
jon357 63 | 15,214
29 Aug 2017 #44
Even if the restaurant is kosher, the staff might not be Jewish so even Jewish restaurants may close earlier

Yes. There is however a greater likelihood of there being clients and bookings on that evening.

Booking in advance is best.

He should at least check (he could do this well ahead online - the best ones have websites with contact details) which of the Kazimierz places are open late on the 24th. Probably among the best places for food in Krakow anyway.
kaprys 3 | 2,363
29 Aug 2017 #45
I could argue with that. You can find some good restaurants all over Kraków, not only in Kazimierz.
I doubt he'll have a chance to taste some traditional Polish Christmas dishes there, either.
jon357 63 | 15,214
29 Aug 2017 #46
Some of the kosher places in Kazimierz are exceptional.

a chance to taste some traditional Polish Christmas dishes there, either.

I suppose if he hasn't visited PL before (which he has) pierogi, preserved fish and barszcz might be a novelty. Pretty well every non-Chinese non-Kebab restaurant there has them on the menu, and he'll be able to (and should) eat them at least once at any point during his trip.

It would be a shame to visit Krakow and not sample some of Krakow's traditional Jewish dishes there.

For non-Jewish food, he might like Jama Michalika, as much for the interior as anything. The food is the Polish standard fare that you can (and do) get anywhere and everywhere, however the art on the walls is great and the place has a rich history. I usually look in for a cocktail when I'm in Krakow.
kaprys 3 | 2,363
29 Aug 2017 #47
The thing is that he can have pierogi or kosher food all year long - even the following day. But he'll have a chance to taste a full Polish Christmas Eve dinner only then. Even if he hates it - I agree some tastes might seem weird to non Poles, like dried forest mushrooms- it's good to try some local food.

When I went to Malta I met a guy who had visited Poland. He said he liked pierogi and barszcz. And their cuisine is really different.

Kazimierz is great. I really like it. He says he wants to spend several days in Kraków and the Jewish district is a must, IMHO.

But I still think he should try traditional Christmas food on Christmas Eve even if he chooses a restaurant in Kazimierz.
slim182 1 | 15
29 Aug 2017 #48
That is right, I would like to have a traditional Christmas dinner, I already did once in 2009 when I went to spend Christmas in Gdansk with a polish family and I loved it. Now I would like my wife to try it as well.
jon357 63 | 15,214
29 Aug 2017 #49
In that case, your best bet is one of the better hotels, who may be doing this. You'll need to check well in advance which ones are open, and if they're doing a traditional Wigilia meal.

These 2 are doing catered Wigilia meals on the evening of the 24th. I've eaten at the Galaxy and it is OK:

galaxyhotel.pl/pl/oferty-specjalne/kolacja-wigilijna
hotelunicus.pl/akt,kolacja_wigilijna_,57.html
Lyzko 25 | 7,139
29 Aug 2017 #50
I learned several years ago from some Israeli colleagues that it is quite common for Israeli teenagers to visit Krakow at least once a year, furthermore, that she has one of the most vibrant Jewish communities anywhere in Poland, for that matter, Eastern Europe, including Warsaw.

Is this still true?
dolnoslask 5 | 2,850
29 Aug 2017 #51
Is this still true?

Don;t fall of your chair Lyzko but jews live in Poland free and safe from persecution, please come visit see for yourself you are most welcome.

jcckrakow.org/en/
dw.com/en/krakows-jewish-community-builds-a-future-in-poland/a-18214085
Lyzko 25 | 7,139
30 Aug 2017 #52
Under the right circumstances, you may be right. The again, as a Polish gentile living abroad, rather than as a Jew living in Poland, what are you expected to say?

LOL
dolnoslask 5 | 2,850
30 Aug 2017 #53
he again, as a Polish gentile living abroad,

But from your postings one could only assume that you had a real interest in Polish Jewish history and relations, I thought a visit to the Jewish cultural center in Krakow may have been of some interest, anyway a second visit to Poland may give you a chance to brush up on your Polish language skills.
Lyzko 25 | 7,139
30 Aug 2017 #54
A splendid idea, dolno. Any virtual tours in Polish, as money's a little tight for my family and me at the moment, what with a new house and all:-)
dolnoslask 5 | 2,850
30 Aug 2017 #55
as money's a little tight for my family and me at the moment,

Sorry mate, I will try and dig out some info, iteresting that prince charles had a hand in thr setup of the centre.
Lyzko 25 | 7,139
30 Aug 2017 #56
Not really. He knows which side his royal bread is buttered on!


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