As always, feel free to send us comments and questions through our FB page or via e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org). Enjoy summer in Poznań!
In this issue we’ve decided to stay close to the main train station and showcase one of Poznań’s hidden architectural treasures: the 1910 Concordia Printing House, which now houses the Concordia Design studio & Concordia Taste Restaurant.
Ahh, sun, sun, sun, you’ve finally reached Katowice! Welcome to issue 37 of Katowice In Your Pocket! You’re here at a great time, now that the city’s vibrant culture scene is in full swing with festivals and events taking place regularly – read our feature on p.6 to learn more about Katowice’s music credentials, recognised, no less, by UNESCO – ooooh. Check out our ‘Events’ section on p.10 for full details on all the best picks of the Silesian cultural calendar! The buzz around town is both palpable and visible, with people jogging, skating, and cycling – we encourage you to try out the city bike scheme (p.42). In summer half the population disappears to the Valley of Three Ponds (p.33) – the city’s best kept secret for waterside relaxation, with bars, beaches, pedestrian and cycle paths and a public waterpark for the kids. Contrary to outside opinion, Katowice actually has a lot to offer, whether it’s fun outdoor activities, post-industrial tourism or some serious history lessons in the city’s museums. The city’s cafe culture, foodie scene and nightlife are all in full swing and steadily improving, so get out there and have some fun. As always, let us know how you got on in Katowice on our FB page and/or show us what you’ve seen during your time in the city by using the hashtag #Katowiceinyourpocket, or if you prefer, just use good old fashioned email: email@example.com.
The summer feel good factor coupled with the music festival season being in full swing gives Silesia a real buzz. Here is ‘bubble town’ in the making during the Tauron New Music Festival. Damian Kramski
While much of Poland is still catching up to the fact that Katowice is fast emerging as Poland’s preeminent music destination, locals and international music festival attendees have known it for years. In 2015, Katowice’s musical prowess and cultural status was certified by none other than UNESCO itself. Let’s take a look at this prestigious distinction by exploring Katowice’s multi-genre musical pedigree.
FESTIVALS IN KATOWICENew ReviewsMorcinka 3A
A cafe bistro, with breakfasts, lunches, ice-creams and a very respectuful menu consisting of salads and some very funky Asian bowls.Read more ➞
A little place to get some sweet Turkish tea, coffee and Baklava. Popular amongst local and international Erasmus students. Read more ➞
Not your regular kebab joint, they offer serious quality kebabs, and plenty of other delights from salads, Indian chicken tikka to shish kebab. Read more ➞
Polish food is known for being hearty, simple and very affordable. There are many staple Polish dishes, but the one that has transcended borders are Polish Dumplings or ‘Pierogi’ in Polish. You can definitely find them in cities like New York, Chicago and Toronto, where Polish communities thrive, but also London, Baltimore, Vilnius, Buenos Aires or Mexico City. In fact, it’s safe to say that “where there is a Pole, there are pierogi.” In the US you can even find them in the frozen food section of some large supermarket chains.
These doughy dumplings can be savoury or sweet, filled with potato (the Ruskie kind), meat, sweet cheese, mushrooms and cabbage, strawberries or plums. The possibilities are truly limitless! So, if you decide to visit Poland, you can’t leave without trying the real thing. There are lots of Polish restaurants in Warsaw serving pierogi, so make sure to add this culinary experience to your travel itinerary. These are our top recommendations in Warsaw.
1. Dawne Smaki
Old style Polish cooking, serving basics like herrings in oil, pig’s trotters in aspic, pierogi, up to some high-class mains like loin of venison and hand chopped steak tartare. Read more ➞
2. Folk Gospoda
Boys and girls in peasant attire rushing around carrying plates of fortifying Polish food. The Polish highlands meet the capital. Read more ➞
3. Gościniec Polskie Pierogi
Right at the entrance to the Old Town, with hearty food from soups, pierogi, potato pancakes and various meat offerings, all at very reasonable prices. Read more ➞
4. Grand Kredens
Not the cheapest place in town, but definitely a worthy dining experience. Read more ➞
Welcome to In Your Pocket: Gdańsk, though I should be saying, quite simply, The Tri-city (p.26). Many people coming here don’t fully realise how much else is going on in the area and, in my opinion, we are all are incredibly lucky to have three well-established cities with thriving communities, restaurants, cafés, nightlife and cultural events in such a short distance from each other… and it’s all at your finger-tips!
Even more exciting is the fact that the summer months have set in and these aspects in each city are twice as amplified as they are during the other times of the year. For this reason, I would strongly recommend taking a look at the Events Guide (p.14) because now is when it’s all going on! The adventure is yours to choose… and you don’t always need WiFi to make it happen! For the first time, we’ve made a walking tour for each city that can be taken advantage of if you browse the other sections to see what’s nearby. And if you do get lost, don’t be afraid to ask a young Pole for directions. Most have learnt English and love to help! Lastly, I would like to thank Martin Kitson, founder of Poland In Your Pocket, and IYP’s primary editor in the Tri-city area for almost 20 years. He is a big reason why we’ve been able to continue to be in circulation for so long and the very foundation on which I was able to put together my first print guide to the Tri-city. Thank you, everyone!
Gdańsk’s importance as a port city lead to its starring role in the start of WWII (p.46). Today the city’s riverfront, lined with cafes and restaurants, is ideal for a stroll, and we’ve plotted the perfect route (p.32).
Photo by Sergii Figurnyi. AdobeStock.
Summer is at full swing and the heat waves are no joke in Poland. Fortunately, in Wrocław the Oder river provides refuge from the high temperatures in the form of beach bars. So, if you’re looking for a place to chill or party by the water, go down by the river and beat the heat by unwinding on a hammock or lounge chair while sipping your favourite drink.
Most of them are open from May until September.
Zazoo Beach Bar
Open May-September. Part sandy, part grassy beach bar, it is just outside the Wrocław Zoo at a picturesque junction of the (regular) Oder and Old Oder. Read more ➞
A leafy summertime oasis with lounge chairs, food trucks and trampolines for children, Liquid Form is located near Hydropolis. Read more ➞
Prosto z Mostu
On the bank of the Old Oder (Stara Odra) close to the Warszawski Bridge(s), it has a chillout zone, a ropes course with many attractions for kids, a volleyball court, food & craft beer. Read more ➞
Stara Odra Beach Bar
Just across the Oder from BASEN Beach Bar, it is the perfect place to chill and enjoy a selection of cooling alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks and food trucks. Read more ➞
Docked on one of Wrocław‘s picturesque islands you get on board to party to the sound of techno and house or chill during the day over a cold craft beer. Read more ➞
Twenty years ago, when the Y2K end times were still approaching and much of the Western world was ‘livin’ la vida loca,’ buying Furbies without abandon, fawning over Freddie Prinze Jr., and in a furor over Jar Jar Binks (well that hasn’t changed), a small, dedicated team in Kraków was quietly putting together the very first In Your Pocket guide on Polish soil.
Hitting the market in July 1999 – a time when Polish businesses did not have websites and the IYP office did not have internet, the files for the first issue of Krakow In Your Pocket were hand-delivered to the printing house on a stack of floppy discs. Over the last two decades the publishing industry has changed as rapidly and dramatically as the city we dutifully describe, but Kraków In Your Pocket has humbly persisted in upholding the legacy established by that first edition, publishing the most honest, up-to- date and informative guide to Kraków in any format, from any publisher, in any language.
Having now personally overseen more than half of Kraków IYP’s 118 editions, I’d like to thank the brave souls who built this business and all those who have contributed to it over the years. Thanks is also due to all those like yourself who have not only trusted us to deliver accurate, keenly observed content, but have also taken the time to read it. Cheers, and enjoy Kraków.
Performers parade around the market square, kicking off Kraków’s annual Street Theatre Festival. From July 4-7 the Old Town will be enlivened by colourful, humourous, mysterious and amazing acts; more info on p.08. Photo by Dominik Jagielski
For this issue we chose a striking shot of Ostrów Tumski’s (p.36) Church of the Holy Cross (p.38), seen from one of Wrocław’s iconic viewpoints – the tower of the Wrocław Cathedral (p.39). For more places to admire the city’s panorama, turn to our feature on p.6.
In Warsaw, as in other cities around Poland, street art is going through a tidal wave of popularity (read more about Warsaw Street Art). In the last few years, new street murals have become a common sight around the city. More restaurants and businesses are turning to street artists to playfully embellish their public spaces, and city authorities have even taken the surprising step of sponsoring some large scale murals around the city.
If you’re a flaneur and you’re into art, then we highly recommend you find your way to some of the street art in Warsaw, but be quick, one of our favourite murals of a castle in the sky, once located on ul. Mińska 12 (Praga Południe) is no more – gone with the building it was painted on!
Let us know which is your favourite. These are our top 9 pieces of street art.
1. David Bowie ➞
The mural commemorates Bowie’s stop-off visit in Warszawa Gdańska Train Station as he was travelling through the city on 21 April 1976 by train and during the stopover, he went for a walk around the city (to Wilson Square (Plac Wilsona) and popped into a record shop to buy some music.
Walk through the gateway from ul. Nowy Światto enter the popular ‘Pawilony’ (Pavilions, full of bars), and again, continue through the second gate ahead. You’ll then see, to your right, Brown Bears sleeping created by Belgian artist ROA in 2009.
Created in 2010 to mark the XVI International Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw (The Year of Chopin, marking his birthday in 1810). The piece shows the composer in the company of people, objects and stories connected with his life. Designed by Marcin Urbanek, the piece is a collective effort by many artists.
Created in 2016 by Polish artist Michał ‘Sepe’ Wręga as part of the Street Art Doping Festival. ‘Education System (System Edukacji) mocks the use of ‘war rhetoric’ used by populist politicians and media, using fear as a weapon to drum up support… sound familiar? The mural depicts people watching a Punch and Judy puppet show, glorifying the use of violence.
It might not look like it, but on the steps leading up to the Śląsko-Dąbrowski Bridge (from Wybrzeże Gdańskie) this is Marshal Józef Piłsudski on his horse Kasztanek during the ‘Miracle on the Vistula‘. Created in 2010 by Chazme and Sepe.