We’re Crackers For Krakow! This Fabulous City Is Now A Direct Flight Away With flydubai – & Here’s Why You Should Go
One of the many reasons we love living in Dubai? That you don’t have to spend millions of dirhams to travel and visit some seriously awesome destinations – thanks largely to flydubai, the airline which keeps prices low but customer experience high (I’m from the UK and these guys are a looooong way from the budget airlines I’ve previously flown with in Europe!). And with temperatures in Dubai soaring coupled with the need for a change of scene and a mini break from the same/same, the new flydubai route to Krakow in Poland had me packing my bags before you could say Na Zdrowie.
flydubai is the only UAE carrier which flies direct to Krakow. And because this is a brand new route, it also comes with flydubai’s newest aircraft, the Boeing 737 MAX 8, which is not only more efficient and environmentally friendly (big tick) but also seriously comfy. Economy Class offers new RECARO seats designed to optimise space (probably best economy seats I’ve flown in for ages – not joking) plus great inflight entertainment options with a full HD 11.6 screen featuring lots of movies, TV shows, music and games available to purchase for a small (honestly) additional cost or complimentary for Business Class passengers. And speaking of Business Class, this aircraft also offers a fully flat-bed for snoozing (heaven!!) as well as a gorgeous meal service and more. Check out the youtube vid for a little tour…
Springtime in Europe? It’s hard to beat (especially when you’re battling the summer sun in the desert). But Krakow is gorgeous at all times of year – in the winter when it snows and there are Christmas markets to explore, in Autumn when the leaves turn golden and in summer when temperatures are not too high for sitting outside in the main square. Krakow is a picture-perfect Polish city rich with history and culture, complete with the ‘castle on the hill’ and a winding river. It’s the perfect place if you love to wander cobbled streets (heavenly for a Dubai dweller who depends on the car to get around) and enjoy everything from seriously good food (Polish pierogi or ‘dumplings’ are just divine) at non-serious prices to historical places to visit (many of which are fun for kids too!).
Where To Stay
We stayed at the Sheraton Hotel Krakow which is not only brilliantly located at the foot of the ‘Wawel’ castle and within walking distance of the old medieval centre and the river but is also crisp and contemporary with big comfy beds, an all-day dining restaurant and a rooftop bar with the most amazing views. And as for price? Totally affordable – with rooms available from approximately AED 500 per night you can get the 5-Star experience without overspending.
What To Eat
You’ll find every type of cuisine in Krakow but for something authentic make sure to snack on traditional obwarzanki (Krakow’s take on a bagel), sprinkled with poppy seeds or sesame seeds and available via street vendors around the Rynek Glowny (main square). And when in Poland, opt for some Polish specialties! Pierogi (those aforementioned dumplings) are a big fave with the kids (the potato and cheese filling is divine), each menu always offers an amazing array of soups (from rye to tomato to beetroot) and always make space for cake because there are so many delicious types to choose from (baked vanilla cheesecake anyone?).
Things To Do
Krakow is easy (and fun) to negotiate by foot. The old town and Wawel Hill (home to the Royal Castle) are in the center of town surrounded by the Vistual river on one side and a green belt of parks on the other. A stroll around the huge medieval square (the biggest in Europe) is a must – there are little market stalls dotted about and lots of lovely cafes to sit outside at and soak up the sunshine. The square is also home to the old cloth halls, a beautiful building which now houses an indoor market where you can buy lots of locally made mementos. Head out of the square and explore the historic district of Kazimierz, now a very bohemian area packed with cute boutiques, squares and cafes and head to Wawel Hill, the Royal Castle and Krakow’s 14th Century Cathedral – there are plenty of tour guides who can tell you all about the history of the castle but it’s also lovely just to stroll (and there’s a dragon sculpture which breathes real fire at the bottom of the hill which the kids would love!).
While there’s lots to see and do in the city itself, if you head around 15km out of Krakow you can visit the Unesco World Heritage Site of Wieliczka, a working deep salt mine with the most amazing museum. Think proper miners lifts taking you hundreds of meters underground, chambers and rooms carved entirely of rock salt, salt sculptures, briney underground lakes and so much more – it’s completely magical and totally fascinating. The kids will be allowed to lick the walls (yup, the one place they’re actually encouraged to do so!), play in an underground playground and lots more (you can book specific tours for kids that aren’t too long).
On a mini-break with your other half? Krakow is said to have more cafes per capita than any other European city and a nice cold beverage at the end of a day adventuring is just perfect.
For more ideas, check the flydubai mini destination guide.
Why We Love It
Just under six hours direct flight from Dubai, Krakow is a world away from Dubai and the perfect option when you’re looking to escape to Europe without heading to all the usual places. Affordable, beautiful and fun – we’ll be back in the winter with the kids to do the whole Christmas market thing and head into the mountains (only an hour or so from the city) for some skiing too!
flydubai flies direct to Krakow daily from AED 999 return. To book visit www.flydubai.com