If you had to name your favorite place of interest in Krakow apart from Rynek what would it be? For me, it is TAURON Krakow Arena, an unlikely spot I know, but none the less its one of my favorites!
I moved to Krakow in the summer of 2012, all the way from India! Little did I know then that 5 years on, I would still be living here. I arrived right amidst the UEFA Euro 2012 and Poland was part host to this alongside Ukraine. All I had was a job offer in a company and a suitcase full of dreams. Since my arrival, I have been living in a one bedroom flat close to the Rynek at Nowy Kleparz. It’s about a 10 minute walk right up to the city center along Dluga street, to the North of the city center. I live on my own with my Cat who I got just under 2 years ago. I started blogging about a year ago about my love for fashion in which I chronicle my style in outfit posts and I also write about my travels and lifestyle.
I remember my first few days in Krakow quite vividly. On the weekends or after work I would go on long walks exploring the streets and alley ways leading up to the city center. There were at the time, a large number of fan zones set up in front of Galeria Krakowska, on Maly Rynek, and along Blonia. I am not much of a football fan myself, but I did enjoy the atmosphere and must admit it was a thrilling time to be here. I too wanted to attend at least a couple of football matches but did not want to travel all the way to Warsaw or Kielce or the other cities, as I had just barely arrived. Krakow, as most of you know, is a diverse city and has much to offer in terms of entertainment and lifestyle. There is something here for everyone. I love going to events such as the street theater’s, live music events and concerts, eating out, meeting friends and of course shopping. The city hosts on an ongoing basis, a whole lot of cultural and social events. The only thing lacking was the infrastructure to host events on a huge scale.
Roughly about the time I came to Krakow, there was a boom in investments. A lot of companies started to set up base in Krakow and there was a huge inflow of investments especially towards construction of venues such as ICE Krakow, Krakow Expo, development of city’s infrastructure like renovation of Dworzec Glowny (Central Railway Station) and around the same time the cities growing need for an entertainment center.
The concept of Krakow Arena appeared as I learned; first in 2004. The project had been prepared then, but it was pending till 2011. There were two issues: costs and functionalism. Many were of the opinion that, Krakow would not be able to organize enough events to keep the venue profitable! However, construction of the arena began and the project completed in May 2014. A stone’s throw away from the city center, it meets the city’s love for entertainment and sporting events. It is one of the largest and most modern entertainment and sporting venues in Poland. It allows hosting a variety of sports events. Since its opening in 2014, some high profile events were held here including – 2014 FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Championship, 2015 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship Division-I, 2016 European League of Legends Championship Finals and 2016 European Men’s Handball Championship! Other events included shows and performances by renowned artists – Elton John, Queen, Mariah Carey, Bryan Adams, Scorpions, Mark Knopfler, Rod Stewart to name a few.
I have been to the Arena several times and have attended the FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Championship 2014, KSW/MMA (yes I enjoy mixed martial arts), Katy Perry Prismatic World Tour in 2015, Metro a Polish Musical on its 25th Anniversary 2015, the European Men’s Handball Championship 2016, The Women’s Euro-League Basketball 2016 and lots more. I feel the Tauron Krakow Arena has become an integral part of life here in Krakow. It is surrounded by the picturesque Polish Aviators Park (Park Lotników Polskich). In the park one can rest a moment from the cities hustle and bustle, listen to the birds, watch the squirrels and with luck see the hare almost in the city center! There are lots of intricate paths, playgrounds, basketball courts, cycle paths, benches, and the Garden of Experiences. Set up in 1966, the park was to separate the city of Kraków from the steel mills of nearby Nowa Huta, with an expanse which covers approximately 60 ha (150 acres). I had trained for my first 10KM race just last year.
Since the Arena opened its doors there have been over 30 International Artists perform at this venue along with a host of other sporting events. Tauron Krakow Arena has opened doors to many events which a couple years ago was not possible for Krakowian’s to attend and enjoy. For example, I remember the same year I arrived Jennifer Lopez had a show in Gdansk to which many people could not attend. The only other option for Krakow at the time was to hold concerts such as the Krakow Live Festival (previously Coke Live Festival) on the grounds of the Polish Aviation Muzeum, or to travel to Warsaw, Wroclaw or as far as Gdansk for some shows or concerts. Now international artists line up to have their events in the Tauron Krakow Arena! A little known fact is that there is a small hall which is open to the public to book for private events. Anyone can rent the small arena to play football, basketball, volleyball and it’s almost always overbooked. Since I love attending concerts, I am happier with the fact that, I can attend shows and concerts so close to home. I have already booked my tickets to the Bruno Mars concert which will take place later in May this year and hope to see you there 🙂
About me: My name is Doreen and I have been living in Krakow for about 5 years. I believe in the power of Gratitude and try to practice it every day. You can find me on: Facebook –indiangirlinpoland, Instagram – indiangirlinpoland or my website indiangirlinpoland.pl