Kraków’s popularity as both a holiday and expat destination has grown considerably over the last few decades. The city’s expat population is growing thanks to increasing numbers of multinational corporations choosing to base operations in the city. In turn, this has contributed to both increasing levels of development and cultural diversity in the city.
Expats moving to Kraków will be in for a treat when it comes to ways in which to spend their free time. Whether one is looking to indulge in fine food, dance the night away or explore the beautiful Polish mountain regions, Kraków offers an eclectic range of lifestyle activities.
Shopping in Kraków
Within Poland, Kraków is seen as the top shopping destination. Here, shoppers will not only find a wide range of modern goods and international brand names, but they’ll also find great local produce at reasonable prices.
Galeria Krakowska is one of the most popular shopping areas in Kraków. It boasts a wide range of high street stores and higher-end boutiques, and is conveniently located close to the Main Market Square. The more sedate, Galeria Kazimiex is another great shopping spot located at the riverbank in the Jewish district of Kraków. It hosts rand of fashion boutiques, quaint bookstores and cosy cafes.
For an altogether different shopping experience head to Hala Targowa. Away from the typical tourist trail, this is a favourite among the locals. At this unique flea market, shoppers can lose hours browsing through old books, antiques and art.
Eating out in Kraków
Kraków has a charming café culture. Expats will find plenty of quaint coffee spots hidden underground or in a nook of a historic building.
While the city may not be quite as eclectic as more established European expat destinations, new arrivals will find a restaurant scene that is rapidly developing to keep pace with the increasingly multicultural nature of Kraków’s population. Beyond the hearty Polish cuisine, expats will find a range of international restaurants serving up Italian, French, Indian, Chinese and Mexican dishes.
Head to one of Kraków’s ‘milk bars’ where diners can experience authentic Polish fare at bargain prices.
Nightlife and entertainment in Kraków
Kraków is a university city and is seen by the locals as the party capital of Poland. Expats won’t be disappointed when it comes of evening entertainment offerings.
Main Market Square comes to life in the evenings when almost every historical building hosts some sort of pub, restaurant or club. Cellar-based venues are particularly unique to Kraków and well worth exploring.
Kazimierz is a great option for those who are after something little low-key. This is where expats should venture to discover the bohemian side of life in Kraków. Live music venues, craft breweries and street food eateries an alternative entertainment experience.
Sports and outdoor activities in Kraków
Kraków is a green city and with parks on every corner, expats will find plenty of opportunities to spend time outdoors – at least in the summer months. That said, even when the weather isn’t great, Kraków residents can still be seen enjoying a walk along Planty or the path by the Vistula River. Kosciuszko Mound is a great spot where one can enjoy some beautiful views of the city.
When the city life begins to take its toll, expats can head to the Tatra Mountains as Krakow is just a two-hour drive from Zakopane. This area is a hiker’s paradise and in the winter it presents perfect conditions for skiing, and at a fraction of the price found in other parts of Europe.
►To learn about transport in the city, see Getting Around in Kraków
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