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PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2009 7:45 am 
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Being in my last year of secondary education, preparing for exams and University, me and some friends have been planning an exam trip. After all kinds of locations (going back to Helsinki, Israel, Russia, Monaco) we thought Krakau would be a nice destination.
It's got culture, or at least it seems to have culture on the photos I've seen so far. It's quite close to Auschwitz, a place where I've wanted to go for a long time. And, the trip isn't too expensive (flight + hotel is about 300-320 euros).

I was wondering though: Has anyone here on CL ever been to Krakau, or lived/lives there? I'd like to get your opinions about the city: Is it a city where I can take some nice shots? Are there activities for my friends (who aren't photograhers)? How's criminality in Krakau (don't want to get the 70-200mm stolen)?

I understand it's not the most logical option for an exam trip, but we all like culture and historic towns, because of the schooltrips we've made before (3x England, 1x Germany, 1x Finland).

Thank in advance for your replies.

EDIT: changed typo in thread title.


- Bjorn -

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Last edited by Bjorn van Sinttruije on Thu Feb 12, 2009 3:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2009 10:27 am 
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Actually i have been there like 3-4 years ago i think it was. It was a study trip with my high school. There's a lot of interesting stuff to photograph. Especially i remember a really beatyful church in the city, but if i remember correctly u had to pay a little to take pictures in there, but i dont think it was that much.
Also there's auswitch, some salt mines and in generally a nice city.

Unfortunatly i didnt have my cam back then so i don't have any pictures to show. But enjoy the trip :)

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2009 2:19 pm 
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Jake, thanks man, I appreciate your reply. Since so far you're the only one I know who's ever been to Krakau: Is it safe there, for a couple of 18-year olds? My mom doesn't mind me travelling abroad, but she hates the idea of Poland. Thinks it's very criminal and dangerous.

Good to hear the city's great for photography!

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2009 2:53 pm 
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Bjorn, I'm from Poland, I lived in other city, however I've been couple times in Krakow. The last time was, hmmmm I think almost 4 years ago.
As far as I remember I didn't have to pay for taking pictures, but at that time I had crappy camera - so I wasn't interested in taking pictures anyway. Maybe in museums you would have pay for taking pictures. But I don't know. Maybe I'll ask my friends - if they know anything.

Criminality - it's not too big in this city, the worst is in other cities. However just don't leave your camera unattended even for couple minutes. If you have some flashy cell phone like iPhone or Nokia n958GB or mp3 player like iPod then don't show them when you walk alone in empty streets at night.
At day time it's rather safe. And if you want sb to take a picture with you just choose the person carefully - don't ask youngsters, preppies.
Ask people in their thirties - especially couples.

About Krakow - it's one of the most interesting cities in Poland and definately worth visiting, just take a look:

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http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/c ... C08790.JPG
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http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/c ... ral_01.jpg
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/c ... vum_01.JPG
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/c ... ing_00.JPG
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/c ... 3w-ASP.jpg
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/c ... Krakow.jpg
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/p ... akowie.jpg
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/c ... %C4%85.jpg
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/c ... nek_01.jpg

and there's plenty more to see and take pictures of!!! if you go there you'll never regret!
I also highly recommend to go to three more cities - Warsaw the capital, Torun - which has the most of all polish antiques, and historic monuments :) and Poznan :)

If you have more questions, ask me - I'll try to help you :)

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2009 11:50 am 
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Thanks BBR for taking the time to share your experiences and some photos. I really appreciate that! Since I'm travelling with a group, about 5 young lads, I won't be out on the streets by myself, there will always be others.

My hairdresser told me yersterday she had friends who'd been to Krakau many times, they loved the city's culture and history, and the crime wasn't too bad. One of her friends was robbed, but it was mostly his own fault: he made the mistake to go walking at night (alone) while being drunk... :roll:

Thanks again for the info. Now I can reassure my mom that Krakau is a good destination.

And one more question:
I am the only one who likes to take photographs, my friends like culture, but they'd like to do something active as well. Are there any special activities in or just outside Krakau? Thanks in advance.

- Bjorn-

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2009 2:08 pm 
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Bjorn van Sinttruije wrote:
And one more question:
I am the only one who likes to take photographs, my friends like culture, but they'd like to do something active as well. Are there any special activities in or just outside Krakau? Thanks in advance.

- Bjorn-


You're welcome :)

Well, there are different things that you can do in Krakau :D

It depends what do you mean "special activities" :twisted:

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2009 3:15 pm 
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Well, things that are fun, not only cultural. So in the morning we'd visit a church, and in the afternoon we'd do something that's more exciting. Yeah, exciting, that's what I'm looking for. On a trip to Germany we climbed in trees (like this). A large shopping centre, with not only tourist items but electronics and games, that'd be great! I'm hoping to find a photography store somewhere, the prices are probably lower in Poland then here in Holland.
My friends would probably like to do more than walk around and marvel at the beauties of a historical city. I found some place called Aqua Park on Krakow's website. That could be nice... possibly. I personally love golf, not very good at it, but I love playing, and there's a golfcourse outside Krakow that seems to be available for all. Might be nice to do as well.

Oh, another question just popped up in my head when reading about the Krakow Tourist Card: How's public transport? I visited Helsinki last year and the public transport was superb, it took you everywhere you wanted! We'll probably not be able to rent a car (guess there's an age limit of 21), so public transport is our only way of getting through the city.

And one last thing for now: Do you know of any organised tours to Auschwitz (from Krakow)? It'd be easier to meet a guide somewhere in the city and take a bus with a whole group of tourists. I guess we could find out at Tourist Information, but I'd like to know in advance.

Thanks again for your help!

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2009 3:33 pm 
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Bjorn - give me one day to look for some answers for your questions :)

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2009 4:04 pm 
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Sure! Thanks for taking the time. Feel free to ask me some photography-related questions in return! (or about the Netherlands, if you ever intend to go there :D ).

- Bjorn -

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2009 2:33 pm 
Bjorn van Sinttruije wrote:
Are there any special activities in or just outside Krakau? Thanks in advance.

- Bjorn-


There are two places which are a must to visit.
1) The concetration camp Oswiecim (Auschwitz)
2) Wieliczka Salt Mine.

If you have your rented car, then use it for both places. You don't need any organized tour.
At Wieliczka Mines, the organized groups have priority, therefore single visitors are waiting about 30 minutes for entry and guide.
Also, picture or video taking is not free. You have to buy a permit.
Since the museum inside is very old and the color of the salt is rather dark, therefore, strong flash is advised.
All together, if the weather will be good enough, you will enjoy very much in Krakow, one of the niciest cities in Europe.
If you need additional reference, search Krakow at PBase. There are hundrets of pictures posted there.

Cheers,

Adam


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2009 7:17 pm 
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Welcome Adam to the Camera Labs forum and thanks for your reply!

- Bjorn -

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