Three of the best... meeting venues in Krakow

Following the opening of Krakow's stunning ICE Congress Centre, the city's C&I reputation is set to soar in 2015.

ICE Krakow Congress Centre (©Ingarden & Ewý)
ICE Krakow Congress Centre (©Ingarden & Ewý)

ICE Krakow Congress Centre

In October last year, the ICE Krakow Congress Centre finally opened for business after more than 12 years in the making, seven of which included perfecting the design before a three-and-a-half year construction project. Krakow’s reputation as a value-for-money destination, combined with a large-scale and modern venue of this calibre has seen the city’s MICE popularity rocket in a short space of time. The city was recently backed by MPI, which hosted its European Meetings & Events Conference at the venue last month, which was attended by more than 400 event professionals from around the world.

The venue’s conference space exceeds 36,000sqm, with its Auditorium Hall holding more than 2,000 delegates. The second-largest space is the Theatre hall, which has a capacity for 600 and a retractable floor, while the 300-seat Chamber Hall can be halved to create two 150-seat spaces. The venue also includes an extensive foyer that can be used for drinks receptions, exhibition space and four catering areas.

Sheraton Krakow Hotel

Situated beside the Wisla River, which runs throughout Krakow, and only ten minutes' walking distance from the ICE Krakow Congress Centre is the five-star Sheraton Krakow Hotel. The 232-room property sits in a prime location, with the stunning Wawel Royal Castle a stone’s throw away while the city’s Medieval Square, the largest in Europe and home to some of Krakow’s best restaurants, is only a few minutes' walk in the opposite direction.

The property’s event facilities boast 12 river-facing meeting rooms that can host intimate meetings for as few as ten, or large-scale conferences and gala dinners for as many as 300. The Wisla Ballroom, the largest of the hotel’s event spaces, can be separated into three separate spaces, each hosting up to 70 for a dinner or 80 for a reception. All spaces are fitted with modern audiovisual equipment.

Groups can also take advantage of the hotel’s four bars and restaurants, including the Mediterranean Olive Restaurant, which sits underneath a vast glass atrium on the ground floor, or the Rooftop Terrace and Lounge Bar, which offers uninterrupted views of the Wawel Royal Castle and the River. The hotel’s Qube Vodka Bar is an ideal after-dinner setting, where guests can sample some of the world’s finest vodkas from glasses made of ice.

Bonerowski Palace

There is much to see in Krakow’s Main Square: the 14th Century Town Hall Tower, where the hourly commemorative St Mary’s Trumpet Call can be heard, The Rynek Glowny Grand Square and an endless selection of both cosy and modern bars and restaurants are just a few of the landmark’s attractions. For event planners looking to bring a meeting to the forefront of this history then the Bonerowski Palace is a good place to start.

Standing on the edge of the Square, the hotel is a tall, gothic structure that offers luxury accommodation and stylish meeting facilities for small to medium-sized groups. Bonerowski Palace offers eight deluxe rooms and eight apartments of different categories and sizes. Each room is elegantly designed with a nod to Poland’s artistic heritage, with decorative wallpaper and antique wooden furniture. The 112sqm suites overlook the Square, while the eight deluxe rooms look out onto Krakow’s famous St Johns Street.

For meetings, the hotel offers two spaces. The largest is the 84sqm Royal Room, which can host up to 80 people theatre style or for a gala dinner, while the Ducal Room can cater for groups of up to 25 across 34sqm of event space.

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