A home away from home in Poland’s loveliest city

IT is a pity that ancient and beautiful Krakow is no longer the capital of Poland – sometime towards the 19th century Polish kings veered towards Warsaw for business but they always asked to return to Krakow for their final resting place, as did many famous Polish saints, poets and bishops. These days, Krakow is near enough fully renovated with all its ancient buildings restored with such beauty as to put many cities in Western Europe to shame.

As the autumn and winter months loom, Krakow is a quick and easy city break that won’t blow your Christmas budget – Easyjet and Ryanair fly several times daily.

But our stay was certainly sweetened by our choice of accomodation: the Antique Apartments – very close to the ancient market square “rynek” right in the heart of the old town, with all the main attractions only a short walk away. This is an opportunity to feel the grandeur of old Poland before the horrors of the two world wars.

This grand old building was once the home of Poland’s high and mighty and it is now tastefully converted into a variety of apartments. Starting at €50 per night for two people in a one-bedroom apartment you get a nice lounge area, a fully equipped kitchenette, free wifi, a bedroom area and generously proportioned bathrooms. All this located slap bang in the prettiest part of the old town, seconds away from all the action but quietly tucked away for a restful night’s sleep.

The apartments are generously sized – for example a two-bed at €75 per night is advertised to sleep up to 6 people and even the €50 one-bed can sleep four people. The range of rooms, from studios to four-beds, makes it an ideal venue for a corporate team building event without upsetting the Finance Director’s budget.

The design is something quite unique – modern and clean but tastefully honouring the history and character of the building. We fondly remember the antique old-fashioned wrought iron lift that is now fully restored and functioning – it is a real treat to use it, though you have to remember to close the doors or the next person can’t use it.

Another advantage of having an apartment is that you don’t have to have the same-old hotel breakfast – instead you can experience the variety of cafes and restaurants for breakfast and brunch that serve delicious unsung Polish food for a very good price – two people can brunch in style for about £10-£15. You literally walk out of the building and there are lovely cafes and restaurants next door or across the road. It is extremely convenient, so even if it is cold or raining, the distances are very short, so you won’t mind a three-five minute walk to get somewhere interesting or delicious and sometimes when you are lucky – both. From €50 per night for a one-bedroom flat. www.antiqueapartments.com.