Keep reading for “10 Interesting Facts about Krakow’s Football Teams”
There are two football teams in Krakow, Wisla and Cracovia. They are more than rivals.
Not only are these teams’ stadiums directly next to each other, with just a thin part of the Blonia separating them, but they are also in direct competition. You see, everyone in Krakow has a team, and they hold their team closer to their heart than their own Babcia. And they defend it as though it is a family member. If you see graffiti in Krakow it’s probably football related, as each teams’ fans constantly paint over one another’s tags. The rivalry is so heated that you can’t really wear any football fan gear outside the stadium. If you’re on the tram to the game, your scarf is hidden. If you go out to the bar after the game, your scarf is hidden. If you’re walking on the street, your scarf is hidden. It’s no joke- if you forget to put your scarf away, people will tell you to hide it.
Now if you ask me, Cracovia is a way better team than Wisla, but I prefer not to be beaten up so I will keep my opinion out of this, and just present some facts about the teams and their stadium experiences. Either way, they are both teams that present a fun time and experience so if you’re in town and have some free time definitely try to catch a game.
To get to the stadiums you can take several different buses or trams. I suggest using JakdoJade and planning your route that way. Use the stop “Cracovia”, “Cracovia Blonia”, or “Cracovia Stadion” to get to the Cracovia Stadium. Probably easiest for those in the city center would be to take Tram 20 or 24 to “Cracovia”. Even though its a stop away from the closer “Cracovia Stadion” both leave from Dwozec Glowny (Main Station), while 24 also stops at popular stops Bastowa Lot and Teatr Bagetela; Miodowa or Starowislna in Kazimierz; or Plac Bohaterow Getta in Podgorze, so it is a familiar tram for tourists.
The stadiums are so close together you could use these same stops for Wisla, but you could also go straight to the stadium by taking a tram or bus that goes to “Reymana”. “Park Jordana” is also a very close-by stop. Again, I suggest using JakdoJade for this route planning. But the 24 or 20 will take you to this stop from the same popular stops I listed before.
Now to the important stuff! Here are some fun facts about the experience at both stadiums (I have personally gone to both for games)….
1. Your first time at a Cracovia game your ticket is only 1zl- even if it is a high-risk, super competitive match.
2. If you are a woman, there is a special section at the Cracovia Stadium you can buy tickets for only 1zl, whether it’s your first game or your 100th. (Men can sit there too, but they pay normal ticket price).
3. You must register to buy tickets and enter either stadium. This means bring your passport or ID with you. And remember you won’t be allowed to bring in any outside beverages. The registration process can take some time, so I suggest going during the day before the game or even a few days before to get the registration process over with and buy your tickets. Essentially, you will have to wait in a line to register and get tickets, and then wait in another line to actually enter the stadium. If you register and buy tickets beforehand, you’ll only have to wait in the line to enter.
4. Food is available at both stadiums. Wisla’s is basic and not very good- think bagged cold popcorn, poor-quality meat. Cracovia, however, has awesome sausages grilled over a fire and fresh popped popped corn.
5. Both stadiums sell beer, and it’s super cheap! BUT if the game is considered high-risk (for example Cracovia v. Legia Warsaw) they will not allow alcohol in the stadium and also will not serve any.
6. Souvenirs are also available- think scarves, jerseys, mugs etc.. Buy a scarf and wave it around during the game, then tuck it away until you are far away from Krakow and can actually wear it about without any trouble.
7. Games can get rowdy, but there are different sections that separate the singing and screaming”hooligans” from the more mild fans. The cashiers selling tickets can tell you which section is which. One is for women usually, one is for families, one is for hooligans, etc…
8. The visiting team always has its own section, fans are not allowed to mix.
9. The section with the so-called hooligans can be really fun! There is so much energy and there are people that volunteer to play drums and lead the chants and songs in these sections. Sometimes they even have flags that cover the entire section!
10. If you want the true Polish experience, stop by a store on your way and buy a Małpka or two of flavored vodka- sneak some shots on your walk to the stadium and get ready for some fun!!!
These photos were taken at the Cracovia vs. Legia Warsaw Game where we only paid 1zl to be there! And as always feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions, comments, or concerns!