Sunday, 2 November 2014

Kraków tops city-break destinations ranking

If you know Kraków, not really a surprise - this is now officially the European city that most Brits want to fly to for a short break. Coming number one out of 45 destinations in Which? magazine's ranking of city-break destinations within a three-hour flight time of UK airports, Kraków finds itself ahead of Paris, Rome or Barcelona. Also in the Top 50 - at number 37 - is Warsaw. Surprisingly, there's no Gdańsk or Wrocław, cities which I think are even better city-break destinations.

Let's take a quick at the Top Ten:
1. Krakow, Poland 
2. Munich, Germany 

3. Prague, Czech Republic 

4. Berlin, Germany 

5. Valencia, Spain 

6. Barcelona, Spain 

7. Budapest, Hungary 

8. Vienna, Austria

9. Seville, Spain

10. Tallinn, Estonia
Final score then - Spain 3, Germany 2, Central Europe 5. Notable, I think, is the absence in the Top Ten of anywhere in France or Italy - but then surly service and over-priced restaurants and hotels are to blame.

The Which? ranking was based on 4,585 reviews from Consumer Association members in the 12 months to August 2014. Low-cost airlines such as WizzAir, Ryanair and Easyjet have brought the prices of travel to hundreds of European cities to within those of domestic rail or air travel. Proximity of airport to city centre is very important in such a ranking; if you're going anywhere for two or three days, you don't want to spend several hours in transfer from some ridiculously far-flung airport (Paris-Beauvais, Brussels-Charleroi and Frankfurt-Hahn spring to mind). Here, both Kraków-Balice and Warsaw-Okęcie are well located, though Warsaw-Modlin... well, if you've got a spare two hours to kill...

The Daily Mail - not known for its pro-Polish sentiments - covered the story two weeks after a lovely puff-piece evidently paid for Polmos Białystok (which helicoptered the Mail's journalist from Modlin airport to Białowieża, thus sparing her readers any potentially embarrassing descriptions of overland travel between Warsaw and eastern Poland). The result was a glowing review of the national park, hotel, restaurant, and of course Żubrówka bison-grass vodka.

All good PR for Brand Poland, which is clearly on an upswing these past 25 years. As long as the government doesn't start throwing public cash at trying to improve things...

Thanks to Bob for flagging up this monstrous waste of taxpayers' money. It is hopeless. Not least because the English, with their finely tuned ears for accent, will immediately spot that the child brought in to do the voice-over is not a native speaker, thereby destroying the entire premise. Look, it's "fah-thah", not "fudderr".

This time two years ago:
Rzeczpospolita publishes infamous 'trotyl' Smolensk story

This time three years ago:
Wilanowska - south Warsaw transport hub

This time five years ago:
Powiśle on a cold, clear autumn morning

This time six years ago:
Okęcie "to remain Warsaw's only airport"

This time seven years ago:
Searching for autumnal perfection


Anonymous said...

the web page is taking longer and longer to open - anything you can do to speed this up would be appreciated, thanks Michael

Michael Dembinski said...

@ Anon -

Not really - this all runs on Google's Blogger platform, standard stuff IT-wise... other than cutting down the number of pics I upload (which I don't want to do), may I suggest you see whether it might be something slowing down your computer? Adware, spyware, low memory or disk space...?

All runs fine on my seven-year old computer at home...

adthelad said...

Am I wrong in thinking the boy is supposed to have a non English accent i.e. Polish? Although on the other hand if attending an English school would still have picked up the proper pronunciation soon enough.