If you like movie festivals spend Spring time in Kraków!

Who doesn’t like watching movies? Especially in the fresh air and in a very reasonable price! If you live in Kraków you know that the 2 biggest film festivals happen here annually around May. Why are festivals like this important? They are definitely promoting local talents and inspiring community collaboration. Also the attract tourists and viewers coming to Krakow especially for these events!

NETIA OFF CAMERA 29.04 – 08.05.2016

netia off camera

This year the International Festival of Independent Cinema will celebtarte it’s 9th edition. For the programme details and tickets check their website: http://www.offcamera.pl/en/

‘The Main Competition ‘Making Way’ is addressed to directors making their first steps. Ten movies from all over the world compete for the Krakow Film Award – and the 100 000 USD. Traditionally, the jury is headed by a Polish filmmaker, this year the invitation was accepted by Krzysztof Zanussi.

In the Polish Film Competition, we have 10 Polish films from last year competing for Kluczyk Foundation Award – and the 300 000 PLN. In this category we also award the best actor and best actress prizes funded by Albert Riele and Gino Rossi. Just like previous year the audience have a chance to vote for their favourite movies from the Festival’s competitions. The author of the winning film will receive a prize of 10 000 PLN (sponsored by Allegro, the Festival’s main partner).

The Festival program has three new sections: “So Scary It Hurts,” “Adults Only?” and “Breathless”. We’ll screen unconventional, genre-breaking horrors, look closely at extremes and passions, and talk about adulthood in a new and irreverent way.

We’ll also have a chance to meet the masters behind the camera. Once again OFF CAMERA PRO INDUSTRY takes place at NETIA OFF CAMERA, in an event addressed to professionals of Polish and international film industry. It’s a place where filmmakers can network and improve, learning from the experts from all over the world. This happens in the relaxed atmosphere of Krakow and the Festival Centre in the Pałac Pod Baranami 4-6th May.’

KRAKÓW FILM FESTIVAL 29.05 – 05.06.2016



‘Krakow Film Festival is one of the oldest film events dedicated to documentary, animated and short fiction films in Europe. During 8 festival days viewers have an opportunity to watch about 250 films from Poland and abroad. Films are presented in competitions and in special sections like retrospectives, thematic cycles, archive screenings. Festival is accompanied by exhibitions, concerts, open air screenings and meetings with the filmmakers. Every year Krakow Film Festival hosts about 600 Polish and international guests: directors, producers, film festival programmers and numerous audience from Krakow. Krakow Film Festival is the oldest film festival in Poland, organized every year since 1961.’


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Easter time in Poland

Next weekend is going to be all about Easter. If you are going to spend this time in Poland check what’s going to happen and how you should prepare yourself for the traditional holiday time in Poland.

Easter Saturday – It is probably one of the most enduring and beloved by Polish people traditions. How does it work? You prepare a basket filled with Easter traditional food that will be eaten during the Easter feast and then take it to church for blessing. Of course, you won’t spot people bringing tables full of many traditional dishes right to the front of the church instead, a small amount of the most important food like eggs, bread, meat and butter are put inside the basket. It’s a very important tradition in Polish culture so you can often spot entire families participating in it.


Holy Sunday – Sunday morning means the big, traditional, family breakfast. It starts with sharing of the blessed eggs between family members and wishing each other and themselves all the best. The breakfast is dominated by cold dishes and is a feast for meat lovers: ham, sausage, roast meats, pâté (pasztet), eggs, horseradish relish, bread. Easter breakfast is so decadent that it has to be considered a day-off from the Spring diet.

easter breakfast

Easter Monday – This special day is a family holiday in Poland and is called a Smingus-Dyngus, or Wet Monday, after the practice of men and boys pouring water on women and girls. Now the real fun begins – if you’re a girl you better read these words carefully, as it is usually girls who end up being the victims of water guns and buckets:)


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Kraków during spring time!

What’s happening in Poland during Spring? A lot! First of all to officialy say goodbye to winter we have to sink the Marzanna. Sinking of Marzanna is an old pagan custom. According to some sources “Marzanna” was a goddess which was offered grains after harvest in hope to ensure good crop the following year. According to other sources she was a goddess or death or winter. In order to get rid of winter Marzanna had to be destroyed for Spring to come. Even nowedays some people are happy to continue this tradition. Usually children and young adults take part in the ceremony. Marzanna puppet doll has to be burned and finally sunk in the river.


International Women’s Day in Poland happens annualy on 8th March.
It is the day to celebrate all women in your life. So kids bring flowers to their teachers and men stand in line at the local flower shops to get flowers for their wives, girlfriends, mothers… This day is still very popular as it used to be in the communist times. Than it was and still is more celebrated than Valentine’s Day which is a new tradition that arrived here with the western culture. Women’s Day was very popular during communistic times and has been is celebrated more as a national holiday for all women, whether they are 8, or 80 years old. At that day, all women in Poland receive special attention usually by getting a flower – carnation and a pair of stockings. In addition to flowers and a pair of stockings, they sometimes receive greeting cards.


After your stay in Kraków spring is a perfect time to visit the Tatra Mountains and witness nature coming back to life. One of the most beautiful places in March/April will be Chocholowska Valey. Each year it blosomes with thousands of  crocuses.


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What’s happening in Kraków?!

Why is it worth to visit us? There are many reasons like the fact that it is Poland’s former capital and oldest university town. Settled in 10th century, Kraków is one of the oldest cities in Poland. The choice of cafes and restaurants is huge and each of them has one of a kind spirit. The prices are definately attractive for most of the travelers – you can easly find reasonably priced accomodation (like hostel Mosquito;), bars and restaurants are definately cheaper than in other Europian capitals. English is commonly known language by most locals so it’s easy to get advice or information from passer-by’s.

If you need more, here’s a list of interesting events that will take place in the near future. Because of new art-connected initiatives and new arenas and cultural centers, Kraków is a host of various cultural events like concerts, interesting exhibitions and performances.



After the great success of the concert in May 2015 in Lodz, the legendary Scorpions band comes back to Poland with another concert, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the band activity. Special anniversary show will be held on 4th of March, 2016 in TAURON Arena Kraków. Despite the passage of several decades and plans to end their career, the legendary Scorpions band continually plays in a great way, surprising their  fans with an excellent  shape and musical perfection.  The best proof  was this year’s performance in Poland, when on the 9th of May, the band played in Atlas Arena hall in Lódź, filling the venue with over  14 000 spectators. Scorpions have enchanted the gathered audience with well-known hits as well as the songs from their latest album “Return To Forever”. Full audience attendance and a great shape of the musicians was noticeable to the national media. Also Polish fans gave the musicians the understand that they can’t wait for the next visit of Klaus Meine formation  in Poland.


Chippendales' Calendar Photoshoot in Las Vegas

And now different kind of event…😉 In April, the tour of the legendary American Chippendales group will begin. We have great news for all the fans of the sublime men’s show – the dancers will come to ICE Kraków on 7th of April at 7:00 PM! It’s going to be quite a treat for all ladies! Masterful flirting, muscular and tanned bodies, as well as plenty of charm and eroticism – it’s an explosive mix that sweeps audiences along for world-class fun! The legendary Chippendales group from the USA will come to Krakow. These professional dancers can seduce every woman and transport her to a world of fantasies, secret desires and passions. So far, the group has performed over 40 thousand times in 150 countries.



Just like every year, there will be some international movie stars coming to Krakow but also lots of attractions for the independent cinema lovers who will get a chance to meet up with their favorite filmmakers in the best art-house theatres in the city. Faithful festival audience members will be able to watch new productions shown within our permanent sections: Discoveries and Catching Up. There will be lots of new sections and terrific events that will surprise even the most demanding. International Jury will judge ten first or second features from all over the world that will compete for Krakow Film Award in the sum of $ 100, 000. Polish films, as usual, are presented within Polish Feature Film Competition section.



Legendary film music composer Hans Zimmer will arrive in Poland. May 3th 2016 on TAURON Arena Krakow. Academy Award-winning music composer will perform in three concerts in Gdansk, Lodz, Krakow, accompanied by The Czech National Symphony Orchestra and a choir. German-born composer Hans Zimmer is recognized as one of Hollywood’s most innovative musical talents.Zimmer has composed scores for Hollywood blockbuster films including Pirates of the Caribbean series, The Thin Red Line, Pearl Harbor, The Last Samurai, The Dark Knight Trilogy, Inception, or Interstellar and animated films such as The Lion King, Madagascar, Kung Fu Panda, The Prince of Egypt etc.





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Polish cuisine – what to try during your visit in Kraków.

While in Poland don’t forget to try our local cuisine! If you want to try traditional Polish food, first you have to stop counting your calories:)

Typical meal is usually very hearty and often contains a lot of meat. The most common dishes are: bigos, żurek, kotlet schabowy, pierogi and gołąbki. The most typical ingredients used in Polish cuisine are sauerkraut, beetroot, cucumbers (gherkins), sour cream, kohlrabi, mushrooms, sausages and smoked sausage. A meal owes it taste to the herbs and spices such as marjoram, dill, caraway seeds, parsley, or pepper. The most popular desserts are cakes and pastries. Don’t forget that a shot of vodka is an appropriate addition to festive meals and helps you to digest the food!



Pronounced go-WON-bki– literally ‘little pigeons’ – they are made by filling white cabbage leaves with stuffing made of rice and minced meat, served with either tomato or mushroom gravy. Gołąbki simmer or bake in a broth of varied flavours, and they always taste best on the second or even third day.



Fermented flour for a soup. It is one of the most surprising, tastiest and most old fashioned soups in Poland. The ubiquitous żurek is prepared in countless regional variations. The soup is made with sour rye flour. Sour rye is a naturally fermented liquid mixture of water, spices and rye flour.



The most iconic Polish food of all, they need no introduction. It seems that pierogi ruskie, stuffed with potatoes and cheese, are one of the most popular varieties both in Poland and abroad. Pierogi with meat fillings are quite popular as well as cabbage, mashrooms and spinach.



appetizing, seasoned “hunter” stew made from sauerkraut with chunks of various meats and sausages, extremely traditional.




This sweet dessert originated in France. It’s puff pastry layers are separated by whipped cream, sweet cream, pudding or meringue (made of egg whites), and the top is sprinkled with powdered sugar or covered in icing. Even after many years in the Vatican, John Paul II always talked about the kremówki from his home town Wadowice.

Doughnuts – Pączki


Pączki, or doughnuts are fluffy and light like a sponge. They are shaped like a flattened bowl and fried in deep oil, so they’re not exactly diet food. There are a variety of fillings: rose marmalade, liqueur, pudding. They are to be found in pastry shops all year round but pączki are a symbol of the end of carnival season. On Fat Thursday, the last day before Lent, tens of millions are consumed!



In addition during Fat Thursday Poles would eat faworki, or chrust – sugar-powdered pastry ribbons.

Apple pie – Szarlotka


There are hundreds of apple pie recipes. Polish apple pies usually have a half-crisp or crisp base. There are raisins, cinnamon and cloves inside. But everyone has their own favourite recipe. It’s a regular on the dessert menus of cafés and restaurants, and is sometimes served warm with whipped cream and ice-cream.

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Cinemas in Kraków

Too cold to explore the historian city center of Kraków? Looking for a place to warm up? How about watching a movie? You are in luck as in the Old Town of Kraków and close area outside of it you may find amazing, old and filled with historic atmosphere independent cinemas. With their sectretive aura and exceptional pragrammes they are a strong alternative for mainstream chain multiplexes.

kino ars

Main Square 27

kino pod baranami

The cinema is housed in a historical building, at the very heart of The Old Town. There are three small projection rooms inside. Its attractive repertoire covers mostly highly ambitious films and film festivals of world cinema. It also presents a cycle of screenings for foreign viewers: polish films in English, as well as many films for the young audience. This beautiful cinema exists since 1969 and belongs to a prestigious chain of Europa Cinemas. Kino Pod Baranami is a host for various film festivals in Kraków such as Silent Movies Festival and Off Camera of Independent Cinema.

ARS Cinema
ul. Św. Tomasza 11, Old Town


Located in an historic building whose history as a cinema dates back to 1916, ARS was recently saved from closure and remains Kraków’s most popular art house cinema showing a range of commercial and ambitious independent films. It offers great deals especially for students such as Cheap Mondays or Cinema for 6 PLN in the Summer Time. It also shows a Mysterious Special Screenings in attractive price – however you don’t know what movie you are going to see until it starts;)

Cafe Cinema Paradiso
Pl. Niepodległosci 1, Podgórze


This humble community cafe near the vastly under-rated Bednarski Park features a patio on Podgórze’s ‘Independence Square,’ and lives up to its name by screening films twice a day FOR FREE, granted you at least buy a drink at the bar. While they have the coffee, beer, smoothies and cocktails to complement any film, we recommend their paninis, burritos and other snacks, which are not only delicious but served quickly. Movies aren’t screened at the bar either, but in a separate, enclosed room with Polish, and also English subtitles when necessary. Check their FB page to find out their repertoire and reserve yourself a seat.

Al. Krasińskiego 34, Old Town



The biggest of mentioned here cinemas. Three projection rooms with comfortable seats, commercial films are shown on the biggest non-IMAX screen in Kraków, while art films and festival entries screen in the second two. Also a cafe on site. Great weekly event called Bloody Monday is hosted in the underground bar. Enjoy ‘Not always scary’ low budget horror movies for free with friends and beer:)

Kino Agrafka
ul. Krowoderska 8, Old Town

kino agrafka

Housed in a YMCA-Poland, this tiny cinema shows primarily art films and very strongly promotes Polish Cinematography.

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Andrzejki – St Andrew’s Day celebration in Poland

29/30 November in Poland is the day of mysterious parties with the candles and future telling games, called Andrzejki – St Andrew Day. It is celebrated In Poland, like in many other countries, although it has a different meaning for us, as it took on a part of ancient Polish traditions and customs. The origin of Adrzejki, which is what we call it, is pagan but we applied a Catholic name to be more acceptable for Catholic society. For foreigners this day is a great occasion to experience ancient Polish customs and to fill up with food and drink.

andrzejki 2

There are hundreds of ideas of  how to find out about the future, namely  the  marriage, lucky or unlucky  love  and   prosperous or poor perspectives. The most spectacular is   pouring   liquid wax into water. The shape which formed as the wax solidified is then illuminated  to throw it’s shadow on the wall. The shape of the shadow    gives the opportunity for unlimited interpretation, which is fun for all participants.

st andrews

Some of the most popular rituals during this special night are:

Pouring hot melted wax through a key into a bawl of cold water – hardened wax is held up to the light and the future is guessed from its shadow cast on the wall. The lights are usually off (except the light of the candle). It not only help to read from the shadow but also helps to keep an unusual atmosphere of this evening. The shape of the shadow is observed from different angles and the future of the girl (especially her marital future is guessed from it). In the past not a usual key was used to this ritual but a key from door in the church was the best.

Preparing pieces of paper with male first names on the edges of the bowl – the bowl is filled with water with a candle floating in the middle of the bowl. The first burn paper piece indicates the name of the future husband.


Three cups flipped upside down to cover marriage ring, small cross and a piece of green plant – girls are choosing one cup and it indicate their future fate- the ring of course signify the marriage, cross – life as a nun in monastery and the green plant is predicting the unmarried life. Sometimes the small doll was placed under the cap – a symbol of the illegitimate child.

Tossing the shoes – shoes of all the girls are arranged one after another along the wall and moved gradually in the same order to the door. The girl whose shoe would first cross the doorstep would be married first.

One more belief – try to remember your dream at St. Andrew night – if you would see a man in a dream – this might be your future husband; or look at the water reflection in well or in the mirror at midnight to see his face.

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