Think of Krakow, Poland, and your mind may be filled with conflicting images: The country's transformation in the 21st century, its centuries-old architecture, the horrors of the Holocaust and years behind the iron curtain after Poland was liberated by the Soviet Army in World War II. These conflicting images fuse into the reality of modern Krakow -- a city on the mend from decades of difficulties that started with the invasion of Poland by Nazi Germany in 1939 and began to recede in 1989 with the fall of communism in Poland.
Krakow honors its past even as it looks forward to a future of renewal.
Weather in April
If you're planning a trip to Krakow in April, you'll find relatively mild weather throughout the month. Springtime temperatures take a big jump from the start to the end of the month, from an average high of 52 degrees Fahrenheit at the beginning to an average high of 64 degrees as the month comes to a close. It's chilly at night, ranging from lows of 35 F to 44 F degrees. Besides a big hike in the high temperatures, Krakow gets a big bounce in daylight hours, adding 1.75 hours of light by the end of the month. But even if the sun is out longer, it will more often than not be covered by clouds. And those clouds will bring rain, mostly light, a significant number of days.
What to Pack
The daily high-temperature range in April dictates taking along pieces that can be layered and stripped off as needed or used alone on particularly warm days.
Take jeans or cotton pants and lightweight sweaters that give some warmth -- cashmere is a good choice since it takes little room in your bag. Cotton sweaters are also good in this kind of weather. Add a few long-sleeve tops or shirts that harmonize color-wise with the sweaters so that you can wear them together or separately.
Take a cotton or wool blazer or leather jacket for night time when it's cooler or if you experience an especially cold day. Ankle boots are great for walking around old cities with uneven pavement, and they are the perfect amount of warmth for this temperature range. Or wear other sturdy shoes that are completely closed with socks.
Holidays and Events
If Easter falls in April, the Krakow Easter market is a must for travelers. Celebrating Easter in Krakow is a memorable, colorful, and meaningful experience.
The Misteria Paschalia Festival is a classical and historical music concert held in various venues in Krakow throughout Holy Week. If that occurs in April, it's a must ticket. There are two performances nightly of different programs, so there is a great amount of choice of both time and music.
From Wawel Castle to the Main Market Square, Krakow blooms with the energy of springtime in April. Try to see as many of the sights as you can on foot – you'll get a better feel for the city and make some discoveries along the way. Some of the other must-sees include the Rynek Underground and Schindler's Factory (yes, that Schindler, made famous in the 1993 Steven Spielberg movie Schindler's List.) As you walk to visit these places or to meals or cafes you'll be in the presence of one of Krakow's main attractions -- its architecture.
Don't forget to look around -- and up.