The renaissance pearl that is the Old Town remains as striking and fresh as the day it was finished: a place of colonnaded passageways and shaded, leafy courtyards, it all leads to a mesmerizing square that stops you in your tracks.
Generously filled with dramatic archways, lavish churches, semi-secret corners and revamped tenements, it’s enough to just wander without aim and let the hours slip away.
This was where angels feared to tread. But changes have been meteoric. If Praga was once a byword for abandonment and decay, today it has become a calling card for the very concept of urban regeneration.
Inside a bar thick with smoke, babble, and antique booby traps, I lost myself in the cacophonous atmosphere, gazing helplessly at a barmaid in a tight tiger print top. I’d fallen in love: with her, with Kazimierz, with Kraków and with Poland.
Attracting a specific clientele defined not by their wealth or success, but rather their attitude to life, it is a place of openness, creativity and boundless good times.
Finding Wrocław listed on TripAdvisor as an Emerging Destinations, Webber says the inclusion of one of his favourite city’s in Poland is ludicrous. “Under-the-radar? Only if you’ve spent the last two decades in a Kentucky jail,” he scoffs.
From a personal point of view, it’s sheer depth of contrast comes somewhere near the top: lavish wedding cake palaces that reference the might once wielded by the city’s power players; futuristic office compounds; blackened, broken tenements; abandoned, creepy warehouses; restored redbrick factories; and PRL blocks of cosmic dimension.
From polar bear trails to revamped castles, Webber presents his top travel finds of 2020.
Coinciding with the launch of PKP’s 2021 timetable, TFN takes a whistle stop look at the four big cities that will comprise the foundations of their offer in the year ahead.
Lying less than 15 kilometres north of Kraków, the 14th century castle was built as part of the Eagles’ Nest trail: a string of ancient fortifications constructed to defend the region and its trade routes. Here, you know you’re in a castle and that’s a feeling that is a bonus in itself.