The best part of Krakow is how walkable it is! Stare Miasto, the Old Town area is very compact and utterly charming. It is surrounded by a park with plenty of benches that are perfect for taking a break from sightseeing. There are tour companies on every block offering tours to Auschwitz and to the Wieliczka Salt Mines as well as little trams that offer narrated tours (using headphones) that will take you to see Schindler’s Factory as well.
Every hour, a trumpet tune is broadcast from the Old Town Square. The tune ends abruptly. Legend has it that the original trumpeter was shot with an arrow, so the tune ends there.
It seems like every 3rd or 4th shop sells ice cream. My kind of place!
We did tours of Auschwitz and the Salt Mines, but were not able to get to Schindler’s Factory because it was closed for Armed Forces Day. Instead, we were treated to folk dancing and traditional music in the town square!
Tour of Auschwitz and Birkenau
Armed Forces Day Celebration in Krakow
After a nearly 7 hour train ride from Krakow, we arrived in Prague. Our hotel was right in the heart of Old Town; a short cab ride away from the train station. The traffic was horrible but it was around 6 pm, so that may be the reason why. We used an app called Taxify, which seems to be similar to Uber. It was very convenient because our driver spoke no English; we obviously don’t speak any Czech.
We stayed at the Pushkin Apartments which is right across from the Apple Museum. I am not sure why there is an Apple Museum in Prague and certainly don’t intend to spend any money finding out why, either! Fortunately, the hotel had good soundproofing because lots of partying in the streets was going on until all hours. Unfortunately, there was no air conditioning so in order to block out the noise, we had to close the windows.
We were in Prague three days. It is called the fairy tale city, and it is immediately apparent why. According to our tour guide, Hitler loved the city so much that he planned to retire here. That probably explains why Prague was not bombed like other major European cities. They only experienced one day of bombing toward the end of the war (May 7, 1945). After the Nazis learned that Hitler had killed himself, they attacked. That attack was short-lived and so there was very little damage here.
During our time here, we did a free walking tour of the city with White Umbrella Tours, toured Prague Castle, and visited the area called Vsehrad. The heat wave continued for our entire stay and it looks like Vienna, our next stop, will be excessively hot as well.
Tour of Old Town Prague and Jewish Ghetto