Welcome to Krakow!
Myself & Nikki Mitchell hosted a Business Development Trip to Krakow with Mazurkas DMC Poland.
Arriving at the airport, we took our transfer from the airport to Krakow and a mile down the road we found ourselves stranded in the snow after the bus ‘breaks down’! After around 10 minutes of the driver trying to fix the coach an entire convoy of trabants arrived and we were driven to Stara Zajezdnia Brewery and enjoyed some beer tasting, sampled their awesome cuisine and a had show-round of their adjacent and amazing gala dinner venue.
After lunch we visited a variety of venues that are a must-see, especially for those organising larger groups with conference or gala dinner requirements. We saw Hall F of the Engineering Museum, the Aviation Museum and the EXPO and ICE Krakow Conference & Congress Centre.
That evening we had a dedicated check-in at the Sheraton Krakow Hotel and then some leisure time before our welcome cocktail and hotel presentation. The meeting rooms all had different capacities, making it great for medium sized groups. I liked the open-plan style of the hotel, where the bedrooms all looked over the main bar / restaurant; and we visited this chic little ‘snug’ type bar where we enjoyed cocktails. Also, the hotel had a very cool rooftop bar with awesome views.
Later we walked through the main square of Krakow and then found ourselves at the very quirky Morskie Oko Restaurant for a Polish feast! We proceeded downstairs to an eccentric, log-cabin style room, complete with highland band! The atmosphere in here was electric and it all really brought the group together; and the tapas-style Polish meats and cheeses.
After dinner, we enjoyed the Polish Vodka Academy experience at the Baroque Cocktail Bar & Restaurant. This venue was intriguingly quirky and the staff were helpful and entertaining during this interactive activity. We had a bit too much fun here, but regardless of the early start, we were all eager participants!
Day 2 happened to be THE day for the fun-factor! After breakfast, we discovered the city, the Wawel Royal Castle and the legend of the Dragon by playing some fun games, solving clues and getting creative, while utilising different modes of transport: namely horse and cart, an elongated golf cart / land train and a tram!
We had our very own Pierogi Party lunch, where we learnt how to make the Polish traditional dish at the Kogel-Mogel Restaurant, which is perfect for groups. Also, in terms of creativity, we experienced a stained glass art Workshop at Krakow's Stained Glass Museum making our own little stained glass window.
After a bit of free time we then departed for dinner and went to the trendiest district of Krakow – Kazimierz. I mentioned earlier the different modes of transport; well, transport number 4 a party bus, complete with disco lights, music, a pole for dancing and champagne to toast! This was one crazy experience, but if you have right group with you, you can really start your evening off with a bang!
In Kazimierz we had dinner at the Plac Nowy 1 Restaurant, which was a modern restaurant, serving the craziest ice cream I’d ever tasted – basil flavour! It was also the best ice cream I’d ever had! Our next venue was Le Scandale, which is also well worth a visit and we took part in cocktail making!
Day 3 we visited the Wieliczka Salt Mine where we donned our interesting mining outfits, complete with hardhats and mining lamps! The Salt Mine is a fantastic place to visit and our group took part in mining activities from the days of old. For groups, a visit to the mine is not complete without a tour of the fabulous underground event spaces which would make for the most amazing Gala Dinner Venue.
I’ve constantly mentioned the ‘fun factor’ throughout my above findings but for this next part, I’ll respectively take a moment for reflection…. On this educational trip we had some spare time on day 3 and so opted to visit Auschwitz – I honestly don’t know what to say about this; I mean, how can you describe such a location? The feelings you get walking through are intense and, I guess the best thing to say is you must see if for yourself (your experience will be a different one to anyone else’s). When I got back to the UK I watched The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas and it certainly helped even more to put things into perspective.
For our final evening we took a walk to the Old Town for a farewell dinner at Wierzynek Restaurant, the oldest restaurant in Krakow, dating back to XIV century. I thought the main restaurant downstairs was beautiful and opulent, we were lucky to have dinner upstairs in a board-room style room at a long, ornate table overlooking the Square. The food was beautifully presented, tasted wonderful and the service and atmosphere were second to none. Overall an experience I’d totally recommend, especially for high-end groups.
Day 4 We enjoyed breakfast at The Stary Hotel, which is a chic, boutique hotel with simple, perhaps even monastery-style, bedrooms. The hotel had an amazing roof terrace, plus underground cavernous spa. We also viewed two other hotels – Pod Różą and Copernicus. All 3 hotels (similar in style) belong to the LIKUS holding whom apparently have the most luxurious boutique hotels, restaurants and shops throughout the main cities of Poland.
If it’s an intriguing incentive you’re looking to organise, with great value for money then do not discount this awesome destination! Krakow certainly did not disappoint! On the other hand, if you have been briefed with finding great conference options, Krakow could also be ideal. But don’t forget that Warsaw has so much more to offer in the way of conference options, especially in that it has a huge congress centre; and the destination is just a couple hours’ train ride away from Krakow!
This of course does not totally guarantee a successful event – the missing factor is your partner in Poland – our DMC MAZURKAS TRAVEL have proved their understanding of overseas markets and run very much as a hands-on operation and have has successfully developed many conferences and incentives into Poland.
This visit was brought to you by our DMC, Mazurkas DMC Poland