Cardiff, Dublin, Krakow, Istanbul and Vienna
This is a part of a series of ‘A guide for one day in (City)’. This post series includes an informative guide, shared by well-traveled and experienced travelers, about their favorite popular European cities and the ways to explore it in one day. If you are short on time or want to make use the quick city stop, this is the perfect place to know where to go and what to see. Keep reading to know how to spend one day in Cardiff, Dublin, Krakow, Istanbul and Vienna in this part.
Food- Cardiff Market has the best independent stalls for food, Celtic Corner is my favorite for a greasy breakfast. The Hayes & the main shopping center, St David’s have a lot of chain restaurants, but if you head further out of the center, there are a lot of independent places such as Tenkaichi, Grazing Shed, Calabrisella, and Madeira.
Things to do- Cardiff is a beautiful city even on a grey day, here are of my favorite things to do;
Cardiff Castle – Entrance fee of £10.95 with an extra £3.25 for a house tour, for that you get to see the whole castle grounds, apartments, wartime tunnels and lots more!
TIP: head to the top of the castle tower, and you will find a secret garden!
National Museum Cardiff & Cardiff Story Museum– National Museum Cardiff is an art gallery also. The museum is a free entry and continuously has exhibitions for you to see. Cardiff Story Museum exhibits the history of Cardiff and the entry is free. This museum is situated on The Hayes.
Techniquest– Techniquest is a science and discovery museum based in Cardiff Bay. The adult ticket is £8 and a child ticket is £6.50. Family tickets and senior tickets are also available.
Nightlife- Cardiff is famous for its nightlife and the welsh love a good drink. Womanby Street is a great night out with over 5 pubs/clubs on one street. Including Clwb I for Bach, Tiny Rebel & Fuel. Gwdihw if you love live music, then this is the place for you. Café in the day and venue in the night and the beer garden is great on a sunny day!
Dublin the capital city of Ireland has a lot to explore. Try one of the cities hop-on-hop-off bus tours. Several companies offer tours at a reasonable price. A number of primary attractions are included, and riders have time to hop off at a few locations for exploring.
For more in-depth exploration, here are some options.
For families, Christ Church is a great start. Visitors get a trip to the vault, where a mummified cat and mouse can be seen, and to the bell chamber, where the bells can be tolled to the heart’s content. Across the street is Dublinia, which tells the stories of ancient kings and Norman conquest, with hands-on, interactive, and state of the art exhibits. From there, walk a couple blocks south for St. Patrick’s Cathedral, or east of Dublin Castle.
For a cultural experience, start at Trinity College and view the Book of Kells. Walk a block south for other national treasures like the Tara Brooch and St. Patrick’s Bell Shrine at the National Museum. There are a number of museums in this area. For quirkier choices, ghost hunt at Kilmainham Gaol, Collins Barracks, and St. Michan’s Vaults.
People watch and shop on O’Connell Street. There are numerous shops with interspersed monuments along the way. Stop at the historic General Post Office, and get a photo with the Spire or the James Joyce statue. Then mingle at the open air market on Moore Street. This was my favorite place in Dublin!
Important things to know: Dublin is busy and the crowds can be thick. There are a lot of bicyclists, who are traveling at pretty high speeds. Driving in the city is not easy for tourists, particularly those from right lane driving countries. The streets wind a bit, and there is a high number of one-way streets.
Krakow is a super destination for family-based vacations in Europe. Why? Krakow town is like a fairy-tale. Cobblestoned alleyways, large castles, dragons, horse and carriage rides with beautiful lakes await. Not to mention, the currency exchange rate is top class! What you would usually pay a large amount for in popular European destinations such as Paris, you can get 10 of in Krakow!
A Day Plan in Krakow With Top Things to Do- In the early morning, take a stroll in the nearby parks. Walk past numerous informative and beautiful statues. One of which is a metal frame that you can star in and take pictures! As early morning becomes late morning, stop off at E.Wedel Chocolate Lounge for the best dessert and coffee you have had in a long time! In the afternoon, take a visit to Wawel Castle. The castle sits in central Krakow on the banks of Vistula River. At the castle, there are a beautiful Cathedral, staterooms and informative exhibitions. The best part is a spiral staircase that descends deep into the mysterious dragon’s cave. A fire-breathing metal dragon is waiting for you as you exit. For your late lunch, take to the banks of Vistula river and watch the world go by with a family picnic! Take a small hike up Krakow Mound to get the daily exercise in and end the day in style at the Combinator Exit Game. Here you will find a pirate-themed escape room. Whilst the pirates are having a banquet dinner, you need to escape the wooden jail and get off the ship.
U Babci Maliny – The best traditional food for really low prices!
Synagogue tours in the Jewish Quarter (Kazimierz)
Tour to The Wieliczka Salt Mine
Krakow Aqua Park
The Turkish capital, Istanbul is a true gem for every single traveler. Divided into an Asian and a European part and parted by the Bosphorus, there are endless things to do. Start your day with a nice walk towards the water. Get yourself a nice seat by the sea and simply watch the old ferries cruise by and the even older fishermen on the Galata bridge fish all day long. Doing so, you can get a glimpse of the popular mosques, such as the Blue Mosque, as well as Hagia Sophia, which used to be a church and a mosque and has been turned into a museum by now. Istanbul is a city to walk – a lot. It has so many different faces that it is hard to actually get hold of them. One of my favorite things to do in Istanbul is a little ferry cruise that takes me from Europe to Asia. It’s a nice way of getting an idea of how big Istanbul is and it is usually super romantic and cozy. The best thing about it? There is always tea on the ferry, always!
Apart from that, I would totally recommend getting lost in the steep alleys of Cukurcuma. This old district is famous for its antique shops and also offers the perfect setting for a walk. Refresh yourself with a Turkish pizza and a freshly squeezed orange juice before you head over to the famous Istiklal street, Istanbul’s major shopping street. Especially in the evening, the street turns into a kind of open-air-stage for musicians and artists. It’s always great to listen to live music and to watch some shows for free. Other than that Istanbul is a great city to simply get lost in as you’ll always find something amazing.
If you’re looking to spend a day in Vienna, start off by having breakfast at Cafe Central, which serves famous Viennese cuisine and is popular with visitors and locals alike. The grand interiors will transport you a bygone era!
Once you’ve had your fill, you can opt to explore the various museums in the city. Vienna has numerous options and if you’re confused on where to head, start off by visiting the Museums Quartier which should keep you occupied for at least half a day!
Head off for a walk down Vienna’s Ringstrasse if you’d rather skip museums. Prominent landmarks such as the Parliament, City Hall, the Burgtheater, the university, Votive Church are all located on the Ringstrasse and will display various architectural styles such as Flemish Gothic and Neo-Renaissance to name a few.
In the evening, do try to attend a concert where the performers are exemplary irrespective of which one you opt to go for!
Vienna is full of palaces and charm and will not disappoint!