A trip to Krakow, Poland for New Year’s 2020 seemed attractive to us for two reasons. Firstly, we had never been to Krakow for New Year’s Eve. In 2016 we arrived on Christmas Day from closed-up Bratislava, Slovakia to find a well-attended and lively Christmas Market in Krakow’s Old Town Market Square with most old town restaurants and pubs open, along with many retail shops too.
Krakow, Poland is one of the most visited cities in Europe among the likely lesser known tourist cities to most Americans. Any time of year there is a party going on, sometimes recognizable, other times found just by looking around to find a happening spot. A distinctive difference for me in Krakow compared to cities like Amsterdam and Prague is the main tourist area of Krakow also caters to a large proportion of locals in old town area pubs and restaurants sharing their space with tourists.
Secondly, what makes Krakow attractive to me as our trip budget manager is 5 zloty pints of Tyskie in old town Krakow pubs beats 5 euro pints of Heineken in Amsterdam when drinking through six pints of beer in the course of a pub crawl day. That exchanges into $1.30 pints in Krakow to $5.50 pints in Amsterdam. Other alcohol and restaurant prices in Krakow have a similar scale of price difference in Poland compared to Amsterdam.
Five days for us as a couple hanging out in Amsterdam takes a $500 traveling budget-friendly without lodging included. Five days for a couple hanging out in Krakow is an easy $50 per day eating and drinking to a far more extravagant degree than $100 per day buys in Amsterdam.
Mercure Krakow Stare Miasto, Krakow Poland
Kraków Główny train station is located beneath Galeria Krakowska. We arrived in the city a quarter hour before midnight on Saturday after a quick flight from Amsterdam. Fortunately I am familiar with navigating through the mall or I think I would have had a confusing time trying to get out of the shopping mall through the maze of closed shops at the late hour to the city street.
There would have been plenty going on around Krakow, but we were knackered after a busy day in Amsterdam. I was glad I picked Mercure hotel directly across the street from Galeria Krakowska.
Mercure Krakow Stare Miasto/Old Town was my third 2-night stay to earn Accor’s ALL loyalty program promotion for 6,000 bonus points. This stay was $95 per night. I booked all three stays/six nights at Accor Hotels for $620 all-in during the promotion period in Sep 2019 offering 6K bonus points for three advance purchase and nonrefundable 2-night stays completed by Jan 15, 2020. These three stays in Amsterdam and Krakow earned 7,975 ALL points.
2,000 ALL points = 40 EUR hotel stay credit. My plan is to spend my points for Accor Hotel stays somewhere in Europe summer 2020.
Loyalty Traveler – Forget IHG Accelerate, Le Club Accorhotels 6,000 points for 3 stays is current deal for me (Sep 23, 2019).
Loyalty Traveler – Trip Report Overview – Amsterdam Christmas, Krakow New Year (Jan 5, 2020).
Mercure Krakow Stare Miasto has a royalty theme. Historically Krakow was the royal capital of Poland until 1596 when the capital was moved to Warsaw to be more centrally located to Vilnius, the other major capital of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.
Our room faced Galeria Krakowska mall.
Regular size mugs sporting a traditional Polish design were a treat for morning coffee.
The day before I was unable to figure out how to operate the rain shower at Park Plaza Vondelpark Amsterdam. Push button technology at Mercure Krakow was appreciated.
One complaint I might have had with the hotel room is the light shines through the glass wall partition to the bed. That could be an issue for me as a sleeper who needs a dark room to remain asleep. Kelley was not up and turning on the bathroom light during the night in the way I did as an early riser taking a shower before walking around Old Town. Light in the room is not a big issue for Kelley.
Mercure Krakow Stare Miasto hotel lobby
We did not hang out in the lobby at all. Never even redeemed a coupon for two free beers at the hotel bar. There are so many cool pubs in Krakow that drinking in a bright hotel bar did not suit our mood.
My breakfast spot in the neighborhood is Lunch Bar TU located around the corner from Mercure Krakow Stare Miasto. I discovered the breakfast spot last summer when staying three nights at Hotel Indigo Krakow about 5 minutes walk from Mercure.
Mercure Krakow Stare Miasto is a hotel I would not hesitate in returning to again.