The first night we spent in (what I think is) the best hotel in Krakow went like this:
We arrived at Hotel Francuski around 6pm the day after Christmas. We were exhausted from delayed flights and hours upon hours of travel. Checking in was a breeze (even for someone that knows about 4 words in Polish). We made our way up to the third floor via an elevator, walked into our room, and I immediately loved this place. It was the French doors to the balcony that got me – they always do.
We settled in and then started hearing bells and horses every 15 minutes or so. I waited on the balcony to see what it is we were hearing and there were horse carriages trotting by every few minutes! It felt like such a warm welcome into the city that would soon steal our hearts. After all this, we went down to the quaint little hotel bar. We had a couple drinks and then called it an early night.
And that was just the first night!
Hotel Francuski pleasantly surprised us for the rest of our stay. If you read my Ultimate Krakow Travel Guide, you’ve already heard of this hotel, but here’s a little more insight into what we experienced and why this place is the best Krakow hotel you can choose:
The Breakfast was Phenomenal
I don’t think I’ll ever write a hotel review post and not mention the breakfast. I’m not sure what I went through in life to make this part of the stay so important to me. But alas, here we are. I believe the breakfast (or lack thereof) can make or break a hotel experience and for Hotel Francuski, it was perfect!
The breakfast was buffet style and included a cold section that was the same every day. It had fresh breads, traditional Polish spreads, fruit, veggies, pastries, and more.
The second part of it was hot food and it changed daily. This is such a nice touch – to offer something different every day. One day it was an English breakfast with Beans and mini weenies. Another day, it was an American Breakfast with eggs and bacon. Our last day there was apple pancakes that were delicious!
As if it couldn’t get better, they also have an espresso machine for you to use to make espresso and even lattes and cappuchinos.
The Front Desk Service was Impeccable
To give a little backstory here, the number one thing we were most excited about was touring the Auschwitz Museum and Memorial. We had scheduled a tour for Wednesday. When Wednesday rolled around, Austin got a migrane and was stuck in bed for most of the day. Knowing he wouldn’t want to miss this, I cancelled the Wednesday tour with the intention of just re-booking on Thursday. That was a big mistake.
I looked on every tour site later that day and everything was sold out. I was devastated. If I knew that would be the case, I would have just gone on the Wednesday tour and told Austin all about it later.
After a quick pity sesh, I ran downstairs to see if there was anything they could do for us. With a couple calls, they had us on a tour the next day. They even scheduled a van to pick us up at the hotel at 8am the next morning. Never underestimate the power of a concierge with connections!
This was huge for me. I take a lot of pride in being able to plan trips and see everything I want to see in the city we’re traveling to. So, when something like this happens, it’s honestly the worst. I take it so hard (probably harder than I should). So, the fact that someone came in and helped us out to make sure we had the best expereience did not go unnoticed.
It’s A Short Walk from Old Town Square
Hotel Francuski is situated on the North side of town and it’s about a 5 minute walk from Old Town Square which is a great location to be in. A lot of events (like Christmas markets!) happen in the Square and it’s where Sukiennice and St. Mary’s Basilica are located. There are also a bunch of great shops and restaurants right in this area.
This makes for a little further of a walk to Wawel Castle/Cathedral and the Jewish Quarter, but those two areas are still only a 20-30 min walk away.
It was Affordable
I hesitated when adding this section because Poland is a very affordable place to visit in general – especially if you’re traveling from country that uses the Euro or USD. So, nearly everywhere is going to be affordable. There are certainly other hotels and Airbnbs that are cheaper. However, they certainly won’t have the perfect combination of comfort and luxury that we experienced with Hotel Francuski!
A Little History
I found this page on the hotel’s website while I was researching to put this post together and I was blown away by the history of this place. I knew nothing about it when I stayed there!
The hotel opened in 1912 and at the time, it was considered the most modern hotel in town. This is because they offered private cars to pick up guests from the station, bathtubs in bathrooms, central heating, and more. The elite of Krakow met here including famous artists and politicians.
It was actually here (back in 1919) where the Polish Olympic Committee was formed!
Why I’m so Confident…
I’m usually very hesitant to say I know the “best” of anything. I just know someone is going to come along one day with a different, better suggestion. However, when it comes to this hotel, I’m confident I got it right. I did an embarrassing amount of research before choosing Hotel Francuski and compared it to just about every other place to stay in Krakow.
That’s why I’m so confident in this hotel. I knew we had picked the best bed and breakfast for our Krakow trip, but they went above and beyond my expectations.