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Chmielnik is a town in Kielce County Poland. It has a population of 3,743 (2018), and lies in historic Lesser Poland. Before the Second World War, over 80% of the 12,000 inhabitants were Jews. After capturing the town in 1939 the Germans slowly discriminated against the Polish and Jewish population, which swelled during the war as Jews fled from other towns arrived at Chmielnik. Over several months Germans transported Jews to concentration camps, mainly Treblinka, where they were exterminated. The Germans also deported over 1,600 people for forced labor, and, still in Chmielnik, carried out executions of Poles and Jews from the town as well as from other places. The Polish resistance movement was active in the area, secret Polish teaching was organized. Just after the war, only four Jewish residents residing in the town had survived. The remaining Holocaust survivors emigrated, mostly to Israel, Canada and the United States. There is renewed interest in Chmielnik's Jewish heritage although no Jew has lived there for decades. The synagogue has been renovated and transformed into a museum to the memory of the Jews of the region. Photo credit: MOs810, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons
Don’t commit the tourist crime of traveling to a new place without trying the local food. Thanks to the Traditional Polish Food Tour, finding all the must-have meals and traditional treats is easy. Don’t waste your time walking around aimlessly looking for authentic food and risk getting caught in a tourist trap. Save yourself the time of researching all the best Polish cuisine and join a Traditional Polish Food Tour instead. These carefully cultivated tours may focus on food but add a beautiful blend of history, culture, and traditions into their recipes. Enjoy the many flavors of Poland as you make friends with other travelers and hear anecdotes and stories from one of the knowledgeable guides. The tours are kept small to keep the experience personal and intimate - chatting is welcome, as are any questions on Polish food, history, culture, or geography. The Krakow tour explores historically significant Kazimierz and its lively array of Poland’s favorite foods and treats. Along the tour you will not only hear about the food but eat it, too! You’ll sample around 15 different Polish foods, as well as craft beer and vodka. Start the tour on an empty stomach and try and leave room for the end - the dessert is served last! The Traditional Polish Food Tour runs twice a day (either a lunch or dinner option) and takes about 3.5 hours total. There’s a minimum of 1 participant per tour and a maximum of 12. Over the course of the tour you’ll visit 5 or 6 establishments and take in not just the food but the atmosphere and culture. A foodie map, cookbook, and great recommendations are given out by your guide so you can take what you learn about Polish food culture beyond your visit to Poland.
Although visitors to this incredible museum can explore on their own, the Schindler’s Factory Tour provides an enriched experience that shouldn’t be written off. Join this 1.5-hour walking tour and step back in time 70 years, where the streets of World War II Kraków - or as it was known then, Krakau - are brought to life. Experience life in the ghettos, the secrets of resistance housing, the horror of imprisonment and the exhilaration of the Soviet army’s liberation of the city with this unique and up-close perspective on what life was like in wartime Kraków. The Schindler’s Factory Tour is designed to tug at the heartstrings of its visitors and will take you on an unforgettable journey through the 1,968 days of Kraków’s WWII occupation. Hear the stories of those who survived and those who did not on this wonderfully curated historical tour of Poland’s troublesome past. This tour is available several times a day every day of the week except Mondays. The museum is closed during certain holidays and for some months of the year for renovations. For the most up-to-date tour times and to make a reservation, check the website. Last minute additions to the tour are allowed if there is space, but places are only guaranteed when booked in advance. The Schindler’s Factory Museum is a highlight for many visitors to Kraków and this chilling tour comes highly recommended.
Explore Kraków in depth and on foot with this fantastically educational walking tour. In just 4 hours, guests explore the main highlights of the city - as well as a few hidden secrets - as they traverse the Old Town and Jewish Quarter. Kraków Walking Tour delves into the rich history of the city, and has a knowledgeable team of guides to enrich and exciten the journey. Learn odd facts, heroic tales, and heartwarming stories as you explore Poland’s former capital city. Starting in Old Town on Floriańska Street, you’ll stroll along the picturesque Royal Route and end up in Kazimierz, the Jewish Quarter. Stops along the way include the observation deck on Wawell Hill and much of the Podgórze district, including Ghetto Heroes Square and Oskar Schindler’s Enamel Factory. In Kazimierz, you’ll explore the boutique and cafe-laden streets, while learning about its rich Jewish history that spans centuries. Sites in the Jewish Quarter include the New Jewish Cemetery, the Isaac Synagogue, and the Old Synagogue - a nearly 500-year-old institution and one of the oldest representations of Jewish architecture in Poland. A free city map is included in the tour and guests are invited to follow along the map to get a better understanding of Krakow’s physical layout. Tours start daily at 10 AM from the Main Market Square and conclude at Oskar Schindler’s Factory at 1 pm. There is a 30-minute stop for coffee, and the tour moves at a comfortable pace for all ages to join.
Step back in time to the Kazimierz of yesteryear with a visit to Once Upon a Time in Kazimierz. From its ancient floorboards to the authentic wood furniture and adorned with artefacts of Kraków’s past, this restaurant is as much a feast for the eyes as it is for your stomach. Merging the histories of Polish and Jewish culture, Once Upon a Time pays a real tribute to the culture-rich past of Kraków. From the outside, the restaurant is decorated like the shopfronts of the past with weathered window shutters, shabby window displays and peeling shop signs that proudly display their names. The interiors of each shop front is preserved to look as it would’ve in the past, a glimpse at the grocers of the early 20th century but the cultural tributes go beyond that. The Once Upon a Time menu is decorated to look like an antique newspaper, and is stocked with traditional fare like pierogis (Polish ravioli), cholent (a thick meat stew) and borsch (a beetroot soup). They offer a wide selection of beers, liquors, traditional meads and ciders, as well as soft drinks for everyone’s liking. On top of the traditional lunch and dinner menu, Once Upon a Time in Kazimierz offers a special breakfast menu with a mixture of typical Polish and Jewish breakfast feasts, such as shakshuka, ‘omlet’ and grilled lamb. It’s a great place to fill up on a hearty breakfast before starting a day of touring and exploring. In the evening, the restaurant hosts live music concerts paying tribute to the klezmer and traditional sounds of the region. Whether you make it a pitstop or a focal point of your evening, Once Upon a Time in Kazimierz is a one-of-a-kind restaurant that truly speaks to the souls of its guests, whether local or international. Visit Once Upon a Time in Kazimierz for every day from 10am until midnight for an unforgettable Jewish-Polish cultural experience.
The name "Ariel" originates from the Old Testament and is one of four archangels. The name can also be pronounced "Uriel" meaning "the Light of God". Ariel is a restaurant, cafe, and gallery located in the center of the Kazimierz Jewish Quarter. This area of town is full of life with 5 synagogues nearby and lots of history. Inside the restaurant, there's a dining room that seats 45 guests located on the first floor of the antique Jewish tenement-house from the 16th century. There is also a larger dining room for 80 guests on second-floor filled with hundreds of paintings and Klezmer Jewish music and seating areas in the basement and gallery room.
Mazaya serves traditional falafel dishes bursting with Mediterranean flavors. At either of their three locations, you'll find someone of the best tahini, pita, and hummus in town served in either sandwich or salad style. This restaurant wants everyone to enjoy their falafel and offers several vegan and vegetarian options. Visitors who review this restaurant describe Mazaya as being a reasonably priced cafe where you can enjoy a colorful falafel dish in a cozy atmosphere.
Anita Stanislawska is a licensed Kraków City Guide and Kraków enthusiast, passionate about sharing her wonderful and magical city with tourists. With Anita, you can explore Poland’s former capital with a broader look of its historical relationship with the rest of Europe. Learn about past kings, popes, cultures, religions, and how they have all shaped the Kraków of present times on one of Anita’s specially curated tours. Anita organizes private guided tours for individuals, small groups, and large groups, such as schools. Aside from traditional tours around historical sites and monuments, you can enlist in a Recreation and Day Spa in Kraków, a day of City Games, or a meeting with World War II survivors - experiences that can enrich your trip and make it all the more memorable. Typical tours include private guided trips within Kraków with a special focus on the Jewish district, Kazimierz, as well as memory tours to Auschwitz and Birkenau, historic tours of the Salt Mine, and nature-based tours to incredible sites like Zakopane, Tatra Mountains, Dunajec River, and the Pieniny Mountains. If you’re interested in learning about another religion that has important ties in Poland’s history, Anita offers Catholic tours, among other options. Tours can be given in English, Russian, German, Italian and an array of other languages, either by the tour guide or with use of a translator. Regardless of your tour needs and desires, Anita is here to help you experience Kraków and Poland and all its historical and cultural treasures.
Marta Chmielowska has been assembling and leading tours around Kraków for over a decade. She’s a fully certified, licensed Kraków City Guide who, along with her partner Czeslaw Chmielowska (a licensed driver), can organize an array of tours and services for your trip to Poland. Whether you need airport and rail assistance, museum tickets, or itinerary suggestions, Marta is here to help. Marta provides tours all across southern Poland, including Kraków, Auschwitz, the Wieliczka Salt Mine, Zakopane, and Czestochawa, but is happy to organize tours for other parts of the country, like Warsaw and Lublin. All tours are given in English and are customizable to your needs and desires, but don’t take Marta’s years of experience for knowledge, she has some wonderfully pre-planned tour itineraries to offer. Marta has a master’s degree in History from the Pedagogic Academy of Kraków, she mastered her English speaking skills while living in the USA for four years, and started guiding tours to share her passion for her country with Poland’s tourists. Working with her husband, Czeslaw, they offer comfortable, minibus-based tours for up to 8 people, all across Poland. Czeslaw is a highly experienced driver and local to the highlands of Zakopane and boasts a vast knowledge of his region and the famous Tatra mountains. Together, this duo makes an incredible team and can provide you with an unforgettable visit to Kraków and the surrounding areas of Poland.
If you’re looking for complete door-to-door service from an extremely professional guide, look no further than Andrew. Providing everything from airport pick-up and drop off, to hotel assistance and personalized itineraries all around Poland, Andrew is committed to helping tourists to Poland make the most of their visit. Andrew is fluent in English and a certified driver, who makes touring the natural and historical spots of this country easy. If you’re interested in genealogy research, Andrew also offers his services and assistance. Extremely knowledgeable about Kraków and many famous sites around Poland (including Warsaw and Auschwitz-Birkenau), Andrew can create and tailor an itinerary to your interests. He can also recommend beautiful hidden gems around Kraków and the rest of Poland, depending on the duration and flexibility of your trip. Andrew has been working for many years as a tour guide and has accrued an impressive list of great references. Whether you’re looking for an extremely personalized experience or simply want to put your touring in the hands of a trusted local, a guide with Andrew won’t disappoint.
Located in the heart and soul of Kraków on the corner of Market Square, this hotel proudly lies on a prime slice of realty. However, Hotel Imperial has more to offer guests than its location. This four-story hotel holds 33 fully-furnished rooms, that are available in a variety of sizes and standards. You can opt for single, twin, or double rooms with classic or premium furnishings, or take your holiday up a notch with a deluxe room boasting stunning views of Market Square and exquisite finishing touches. Hotel room amenities include free Wi-Fi, tea and coffee facilities, centrally controlled air-conditioning, and many other comforts. Each morning, you can enjoy a wonderful cup of coffee and a buffet breakfast as you look out over the Market Square from the reception or breakfast room. For lunch or dinner, enjoy delicious traditional and international cuisine at the Imperial Hotel Restaurant. The proximity to Market Square and it’s centralized location in Old Town, means many of Kraków’s famous historic sites are within walking distance. The hotel itself is also laden with a rich history. The building was built in the first half the 14th century by St John Capistrano’s instruction. He was an active member of the Catholic Church and often hosted his sermons next to the building, which were said to impact many in the community. There is a commemorative statue of Saint Capistrano on the first floor of the hotel. The Imperial Hotel was also one of the first to host members of the Turkish royal party in 1494, who brought camels and horses to the city of Kraków for the first time. Another famous resident of the hotel was Master Twardowski, who was considered a famous sorcerer in the 16th century, and many myths and legends surround his presence in the city. The modern day Imperial Hotel, however, appears sorcerer-free and lusciously decorated. It hosts a friendly and knowledgeable team of staff who are truly willing to make your stay as pleasant and personalized as they can, fulfilling the hotel’s goal of providing Kraków’s guests with a place that feels like home.
Enrich your visit to Kraków with a stay in this historic venue right in the heart of Old Town. The magical Hotel Wentzl was originally constructed at the turn of the 16th century and miraculously survived the great fire of 1550, where most of the surrounding buildings were spared. The hotel was named after the Wentzl family who married into the ownership of the building in the early 19th century and brought a lot of tradition and charisma to the institution. If you’re looking for an authentic stay in the heart of Old Town, Hotel Wentzl cannot be beat. This 4.5-star institution has beautiful rooms overlooking the Main Market Square and is the only hotel at such proximity to the town center. Choose between 11 divinely decorated double rooms or double lux rooms, that can accommodate for up to 4 people. Rooms are spread over 3 floors and there is an elevator for convenience. The hotel offers some wonderful services such as airport pick-up and drop-off, car rental services, and concierge service. Additional facilities include free Wi-Fi access, complimentary bike rental (for strolls around town), and in-room massages at an additional fee, among many other offers. When it comes to dining, the hotel boasts two restaurants and a cafe with a focus on Wentzl classics and traditional Polish food, as well as European cuisine. Enjoy breakfast in the Wentzl restaurant from 7-10.30 AM and return after a day of touring for a delicious warm meal in the cellar restaurant, Da Pietro. There’s truly no better location in this vibrant and lively city than the market square that hosts Hotel Wentzl. Every day you can easily wander out of the hotel and enjoy a new part of the city. Stay for a few days and get to know the lovely staff and market vendors, enhancing your stay in beautiful Kraków all the more.
Located in the heart of Kraków, this stylish boutique hotel is just a hop away from many of the city’s main tourist attractions. This award-winning hotel goes above and beyond to offer guests an incredible stay. From design and decor to friendly, knowledgeable staff and delicious menus, the Queen Boutique Hotel offers a seriously thought-out guest experience. From crisp white sheets on your bed to a stupendous breakfast buffet (bottomless sparkling wine included), the Queen Boutique Hotel is truly dedicated to providing a number of useful services and facilities. Check into this wonderfully-located boutique hotel and enjoy 24-hour front desk service where hotel staff members are happy to assist in organizing transportation, tours, and excursions, and even purchasing concert and event tickets. Upon arrival, you and your party will also receive a welcome snack, and you’ll have access to the bespoke Amaryllis restaurant and bar as well as 24/7 room service. The hotel can also provide takeaway lunches for days when you’re on tour and picnics along the Vistula River. When you’re done with days of trudging around the town, enjoy some time in the freely accessible sauna or relaxation room - other spa treatments are available for purchase. Foodies will love the Amaryllis restaurant, which is open late and hosts a resident sommelier ready to recommend wine from a phenomenally curated selection. There’s a warm fireplace lit in the colder months of the year, creating a cozy and welcoming atmosphere. The balcony boasts a spectacular view over the Wawel Castle gardens and makes for the perfect place to enjoy a nightcap or a glass of champagne at sunset. No matter what your notion of visiting Kraków is, the Queen Boutique Hotel is here to make it better. From excellent guest services to beautifully decorated rooms, treat yourself to a luxurious stay at this top-rated hotel in the heart of Poland’s former capital. Note: If you’ve rented a car, there is a guarded car park less than half a kilometer from the hotel, otherwise, the hotel offers taxi services, airport transfers, and private tours.