I have been to both, a few times, Krakow and Warsaw, and love them both, but I have spent more time in Warsaw, being it is closer to family and friends. Which city is better, and why? Which is safer, and why? Which is a better place to live, and why? Which is cheaper? Food, living. I have been told, the music, Jazz, the type I like, is better in Krakow, but where is it, in both cities? Am I starting a war with my questions? I hope not, but think many of us, not living in Poland, would like a inside view, as to what the Polish people living in Poland think.
Mike, of course you're not starting a war. My opinion - for most of the Poles living in respective cities there's no question 'which is better to live, Warsaw or Krakow'. The majority just lives where they were born. Those inclined to actively search 'carieer' are moving to Warsaw. Not because it is a better place to live (it isn't) but because there's virtually no unemployment and the salaries are much higher. As to jazz - both cities have a lot of jazz fans and accordingly large quantity of jazz events. Generally my impression is Krakow is very small and 'slow' in a good meaning, Warsaw is 'rushing'. Both are fascinating cities although so different. People of Krakow are prudent and patriotic. People of Warsaw are profligate and more cosmopolitic. Here are there are Poles - who generally are very friendly and honest and like amusement. Both are safe cities, but cities...
Krakow seems much smaller than Warsaw, hence gives one an impression of claustrophobia, and is very polluted due to its location in a valley surrounded by hills. Yet, it probably contains 50% of Polish historical and cultural heritage, with such masterpieces as Vit Stoss` Altar in St Mary`s Cathedral or Leonardo`s da Vinci`s portrait of a Lady in Czartoryski Museum, not to mention Wawel Castle with tombs of kings and famous Poles.
Warsaw is a shadow of the city it used to be before the war. Germans and communists destroyed or damaged its historical and cultural tissue to a great extent. Still, it offers vast space and allows to breathe freely, which is important for any serious city.
Krakowians are prudent and careful, indeed. They seldom organised Risings (there were a few, though), knowing that occupants come and go, so there was no sense in starting a futile fight. It seems preserving the national heritage was more important for Krakowians than engaging in wars.
Warsavians are rash and quick-tempered. They were always in the first line, whenever the independence or existence of Poland was threatened. As if they tried to prove they were worthy to be called The Capital of Poland. ;D
What do the rest of you think, more so, those who have been to both places, but don't live in Poland, like me. Which do you like better and why?
Mike, I have to say one thing more. It is difficult to compare Krakow and Warsaw. They are really so different. In US scale - it is like comparing New York and New Orleans with it's unique French Quarter, for instance. Is somebody able to say -which of the two is better? Of course both are great but incomparable (well at least both were before the flood disaster). The same is with Krakow- when one thinks Kraków one thinks the 'Krakow's Old Town'. Which is absoulutely unique and it can be compared to Prague or Florence only, not Warsaw. Warsaw has more faces than just one. Again - in US scale when we think New York, what do we think? In Manhattan only we have so many facews of the city, for instance Time's Square and Greenwhich Village, Northern Harlem and Upper East Side. You can try to compare Greenwhich Village to Krakow but not the whole New York.
Now, Krakow is better..... Wisla Krakow claims 12th Polish title Saturday 30 May 2009 by Piotr Kozminski from Warsaw uefa.com
Wis³a are celebrating winning their 12th Polish title
Wis³a celebrating winning their 12th Polish title
Wis³a Kraków have won the Polish title for the 12th time in their history as a 2-0 win at home to Œlask Wroc³aw in the last round of Ekstraklasa matches maintained their three-point advantage over nearest rivals Legia Warszawa.
Dominant display Wis³a needed only a draw to be crowned champions for the second successive season but dominated in their final match and were rewarded by goals from Rados³aw Sobolewski on 27 minutes and Marek Zieñczuk (82). "This is one of the best days of my life," said midfielder Zieñczuk, who is leaving the club after five years as his contract expires this summer. "I scored a goal, set up another and we won the title. This is tremendous for me. I am leaving, but my heart will stay here."
European places Legia finished second thanks to a 4-1 victory against KS Ruch Chorzów and KKS Lech Poznañ were third. Wis³a will play in the second qualifying round of next season's UEFA Champions League while Legia, Lech and KSP Polonia Warszawa will go into the qualification rounds of the UEFA Europa League. Pawe³ Bro¿ek from Wis³a and Takesure Chinyama from Legia ended the season as the top scorers in the league with 19 goals each.
Podolski stricken Górnik Zabrze and MKS Cracovia Kraków were relegated into second division, with the demise of the former a major surprise given their status as 14-time champions. "I am totally shocked that Górnik have been relegated," said Polish-born German international Lukas Podolski, a big fan of the club. "I crossed my fingers for them, checked the table before the final round and was sure they would manage to win against Polonia. Unfortunately, they lost 1-0. This is a disaster for me."