“ Water park in Krakow, Poland. „
Park Wodny Aquapark, Krakow
Park Wodny Aquapark is the local swimming centre in the north of Krakow where I am currently living. It is also one of the fun attractions for tourists and visitors to Krakow. Until the weather turned ridiculously cold I was a frequent visitor to Park Wodny Aquapark for a combination of both exercise and fun reasons.
Park Wodny is located outside the main city centre of Krakow on Dobrego Pasterza 126 and can be reached by a number of the city's buses. The bus stop you will need to go to is conveniently called Park Wodny and the Aquapark itself is directly in front of you as you get off the bus, it is impossible to miss.
There is a large car park in front of the Aquapark and it is free to use. The car park is also often used by the cinema next door but every time I have been here I have always seen plenty of free parking spaces.
As you walk through the entrance to Park Wodny the reception area is to the right of you. You will usually need to queue up in quite a lengthy queue even when there are a few booths open.
I have always found the staff to be friendly and most of them have a basic understanding of English so asking them for what you want is pretty pain free and straight forward.
When you have paid for your entrance you will be given an electronic wristband which activates your locker and also times how long you have been at the pool.
When you pay your admission you will need to choose if you want a timed hourly ticket or and unlimited all day ticket. If you choose an hour or 2 hour ticket then be aware that if you go over the time limit then you will be charged for each additional minute you are there and also your time includes the time you need to get changed, so you will need to be quick to get the most of your time there.
From the reception area you will go through a door to the changing areas.
The female changing area is a good size with a choice of cubicles for changing in. There are many lockers located in the changing area and you will need to open your locker using the electronic wrist band you were given at reception.
There are toilets which are usually of a good standard for cleanliness and showers which are of a good standard too.
As you walk around the changing area you are not allowed to wear outdoor shoes and you are also not allowed to walk around barefooted so you must remember to take a pair of flip-flops with you which you will wear until you get to the pool side.
The floor is regularly cleaned and hosed down and I often see ladies walking round constantly sweeping away any excess water.
There are mirrors and a couple of dryers to give your hair a bit of a dry off too, but I haven't used these as I'm usually trying to be as quick as possible to avoid being charged extra for time!
As you leave the changing area you will need to go through the showers and also through a foot shower before you head to the main pool area. Once you are at the pool side you can remove your flip-flops and get into the fun...
Sauna, Slides, Jacuzzi's and more...
The main attraction of Park Wodny is the numerous slides and activities available there which will keep kids and big kids (me!) amused for hours! There are around 8 to 10 different slides at Park Wodny, they vary from a simple drop slide to slides with varying speeds and twists, turns and drops. I have always had a love of water slides and have visited many water parks in my life while on holidays, because of this I was expecting the slides here to be pretty much the same as I had experienced before. I was wrong...
Firstly the slides here have no lifeguard sitting at the top telling you when it is safe to slide, instead they work on either a traffic light system with a green or red light stating when you can slide, or on a couple of the larger slides they have a safety barrier which raises to allow you to enter the slide.
The quality of the slides varies from slide to slide. Each slide has a board by the entrance telling you the lowest age you must be to ride the slide as well as the length of the slide and how steep it is. These signs are in a few languages including Polish, English and some German. The first slide I went on had a minimum age of 9 to be able to use it, at 29 I felt quite safe and happily slid along, unfortunately the flow of the water in this slide was quite gentle and I found I needed to push myself along at various points which took the excitement out of the slide.
My next slide was a little more adventurous with an age restriction of 13 or over, I remember standing in the queue thinking 'ah this will be nothing' however, as I was about to find out, this slide was steeper and the water flow much stronger and I literally flew down the slide at speed! The slide itself was really long and had some pretty sharp corners in it, I was very grateful for the tunnel design rather than a half pipe as I slid up the sides a few too many times. The final shock of this slide for me was a sudden drop near the end which actually made me scream as it was so unexpected! I was then thrown out, breathless, into the dunk pool at the end with quite a bit of force! That was amazing and I have been on this slide many times since! Even though I know about the drop I still love the excitement of it and await the anticipation of it coming.
The next slide I feel is worthy of a mention is the one that reminds me very much of the 'bowl' style slide at Butlins. This slide consists of simply a very steep drop which takes your breath away and drops you into a large open bowl shaped kind of whirlpool, which, with the speed of the drop you will spin around the edge a few times before dropping down another smaller chute and down into the pool below.
There are also numerous other slides which are basically variations of the 3 I have mentioned, they are all fantastic and I would definitely recommend trying them all if you have time! The queue's for the slides are usually fast moving and I would say at the most the longest I have ever queued is around 5 minutes.
Around the main pool area you will also find many small jacuzzi's which seem to very popular with the adults while their kids run around like crazy. I have sat in the jacuzzi's a few times, usually just to simply take a break from the slides. The jacuzzi's are usually nice and warm and of course very bubbly. I did notice that the water tastes slightly salty, I wasn't drinking it... the bubbles were popping on my face!
At the far end of the pool area, next to the burger bar, there is a large sauna. I have never used this as you need to pay extra for it and I'm not particularly a fan of saunas. From the outside looking in, it does look nice and very spacious and I should imagine if I was a fan of saunas I would enjoy this attraction.
Another main attraction at the aquapark is the Rapids and next to the Rapids, the Wave Pool. These are as they sound, a pool full of waves and ups and downs, which is fun and relaxing, but the water is quite deep so if you are tired or have little children with you then you will need to be careful. The rapids are for strong swimmers only and I personally love them! They are basically a very strong water current flowing in a figure of 8 race track style and all you need to do is let the current drag you along. The rapids can get quite busy and crowded, but they are watched over constantly by a lifeguard so you can feel safe enough.
Around other areas of the pool you will find sprinklers and jet sprays combined with ropes to swing across foam 'lily pads' and football nets with inflatable beach balls to play with.
Among all of the slides and random fun activities there are actually a few lanes singled out for people who simply want to swim, these lanes are located near to some of the slide dunk pools so the often get splashed with the water from them and this creates a wave effect. The lanes are also affected by the nearby 'wave pool' and 'rapids' so for the serious swimmer this wouldn't be the best place for you to go!
I have always thought the water quality here is great and I've never noticed anything suspicious lurking in the depths, if I had then I wouldn't be a repeat customer!
The prices at Park Wodny are pretty good for the amount of entertainment you will get. Monday to Friday for an hour for an adult it will cost you 20zl (zloty), a child is 16zl and under 3's are free. Family tickets are available as are reduced 'Happy Hour' tickets if you go at 8am! At the weekends tickets are 22zl for an adult and 19zl for a child.
Current Exchange rate as of May 2012 is 5.3zl for every £1.
Overall I love the Aquapark and would highly recommend it to you if you come to Krakow for your holidays! Kids will love it and for them it will be a nice break from the typical touristy attractions in the city centre and big kids like myself will also love it here!
Thanks for reading :)