The hotbed of Polish fashion, Krakow is rivalling the big four as one of Europe’s most style-conscious cities. Ruffled by a fusion of edginess and alternative fashions, the medieval town is shaping a creative culture of its own – and it’s catching on. Along ancient causeways in the Old Town and urban industrial derelicts, vintage dives, flea markets and concept stores are making their home. From quaint and picturesque buildings to underground bars and urban cafes, Krakow is turning the heads of the world’s fashion fanatics. Get your glad rags on and follow our guide to the most fashionable spots in Krakow.
Hit the streets and go in search of one of the city’s best kept secrets – a plethora of second hand stores. The pioneer of the Polish vintage scene, Krakow’s cobble stones are crawling with bargains and hidden gems to spice up your style and add a new edge to your wardrobe. With an overwhelming amount of choice start your journey through the ghosts of fashion’s past on Jozefa Street, home to local favourite, Vintage Classics. Get lost in a maze of quirky hats, jewellery and vintage wedding gowns. The owners also sell their own label called The Great Pretenders where you can shop styles from the 40s and 60s. For a younger vibe, head towards Miodowa Street and check out Vintage Look for recycled womenswear, as well as Artus 94, a giant store featuring a massive range of styles and garments. Needless to say, you won’t be stuck for places to shop when you visit Krakow.
Embracing the country’s newfound love for all things style, Cracow Fashion Week comes to town each March to showcase collections of both established and up and coming designers. Backed by Cracow School of Art, the event is the highlight of the fashion calendar in the city and industry enthusiasts travel from far and wide to catch a glimpse of Poland’s latest fashion talent. Taking on new themes each year, the event is the ultimate opportunity to capture the style of Krakow on one central stage.
If upcycling’s not your thing, the rest of the city has plenty to offer with independent shopping boutiques and high-street stores scattered around the centre. Explore quirky design labels such as Mapaya and Pan Tu Nie Stal, brands that clash culture with fashion trends like you’ve never seen before. For high-end boutiques and something a little more reserved, wander down Pasaz 13. On this street you’ll find all your favourite big brand stores as well as some alternative stuff in Boogie Flowear, the flag bearer for the boho style dressing most of Kazimierz’s locals. Over the weekend, try something different and riffle through the stalls at the flea markets – you never know what you might find!
Located just off the Old Town in the bustling boho neighbourhood of Kazimierz, you’ll find the coffee spot fuelling Krakow’s fashion conscious crowd. Zenit was conceived and designed by local interior designer Piotr Paradowski, in an attempt to fuse diverse flavours with the ultimate café experience. Channelling vintage vibes, the interior is some of the coolest in the city and creates a cosmopolitan feel in the old medieval town. With walls covered in art from local artists, slick décor and fancy food, this place is aesthetic goals. Settle in for a coffee, take some pictures and mingle with the city’s style folk.
Stop by for a drink in Krakow’s first speakeasy. This self-proclaiming dive bar is anything but shabby and has created big buzz on the city’s nightlife scene. Located underneath the Smakolyki restaurant, you can only gain access to Mercy Brown via a secret door at the back of a wardrobe. Prepare to be transported to an era of vintage finesse when you step inside. The interior epitomises the Prohibition years with its chandeliers, frilly lampshades, plush velveteen couches, golden drapes and dim candle lights. Order one of their quirky cocktails, sit back and relax in this extravagant time-warp.
The charming atmosphere, elegant style and modern surroundings of Hotel Stary on Szczepanska street make it the perfect base for your fashionable tour of the city. All 78 rooms of the lavish five star hotel are located across six storeys, with each floor being designed to fit a unique colour scheme and décor. The building that seamlessly mashes old with new is the perfect backdrop for Instagram photoshoots both inside and out. In the heart of Krakow’s Old Town, the 18th century aristocratic residence oozes charm and is the place to stay in the city.
Thinking of visiting Krakow soon? Make sure to tag us in your fashionable photos of Krakow using the hashtag #ryanairstories, for a chance to be featured on Ryanair’s Instagram feed.
Flights to Krakow
- Lucy Norris