I usually get asked when is the best time to visit Kraków. Well, I can recommend going there at Christmas, any time in the summer season but one of the best times to visit is definitely at Easter.
Easter time in Kraków is quite special. The weather is finally getting warm and sunny and the whole city is getting ready to celebrate one of the biggest religious festivities in the catholic calendar.
The Easter markets set their stalls in the Market Square and these can rival the Christmas markets. There are stalls selling local handmade craft items like painted wooden Easter eggs, crotchet tablecloths and hand painted crockery. For those willing to try the local cuisine there are oscypki which is a smoked sheep cheese from the mountains, different varieties of pierogi, grilled meats and craft beers. Colours of spring brighten the stalls and if you look up, you will see very realistic stork nests which in Polish culture are a sign of good spring and good luck.
Kraków at Easter is all about traditions. There are quite a few of them and you can easily take part in all the celebrations. Easter festivities start with Palm Sunday and the obligatory Easter competition for the best traditional palm. All the action takes place in the Market Square and there are some amazing and really tall palms to appreciate.
On Easter Saturday people fill their buxus-decorated wicker baskets with boiled eggs, sausage, salt, bread and other food. These are taken to church to be blessed with holy water. This food is then eaten during a special family breakfast on Easter Sunday. Most of the items in the basket have symbolic meaning. Salt preserves, an egg is a symbol of life, bread is a symbol of Christ and sausage is put in żurek which is a traditional Easter soup. Putting the baskets together is great fun for the kids who particularly enjoy decorating the eggs. The secret here is to boil the eggs in onion skins which gives them that intensely brown colour. Apart from the traditional food there is always a place in the basket for chocolate…to be devoured on the way back from the church.
Easter Sunday is all about family and spending time together. You can either join the locals strolling along the Wisla river or enjoying the sun at Błonia, the biggest green area in Krakow.
Easter celebrations finish with the Wet Monday ( Śmigus-dyngus ). Take cover as this is the day you are not required to give consent to be completely soaked with water. I mean it is a full-on soaking fest and my advice is to just go for it!
There are many reasons to visit Krakow at Easter. So if you are planning a visit consider the Spring where vibrant colours meet culture and traditions.