Poland is a country with much to offer on the traveler circuit. A youthful and innovative spirit dominates with lots of music, art and delicious food- plus plenty of tourist activities to keep you occupied for weeks.
I spent eight days in Poland- four each in Krakow and Warsaw- and found so much to love that I was completely captivated and genuinely sad to leave.
I was also charmed by the country’s three cat cafes, all featuring stray rescue cats.
*NOTE* As of 2018, Miau Cafe has changed to a new location. I hear it's even better than ever!
As a long-term traveler, I try to approach a city without assumptions, and true to form, when I arrived in Warsaw my expectations were neutral.
You can imagine my surprise and delight to discover that not only is Warsaw's cat cafe a gem, but so is the whole city!
With a great balance of historical significance and modern excitement, I spent a few touristy days soaking it all in before venturing out to Miau Cafe. Located to the northeast of the city centre in the Mlynow neighborhood, I climbed aboard a 24 tram for the 20 minute journey from my location in Powisle. I alighted just two blocks from the cafe to find it nestled in a peaceful, residential neighborhood.
Greeted by a friendly staff member, I entered the lobby area of the cafe where I was given a run-down of the rules and then placed my order for a coffee and peanut butter chocolate tart (23 zloty or $6.29 USD) which is incredible value.
Administration settled, I headed to the cat room where the atmosphere was sunny and spacious courtesy of tall ceilings and large windows, but even with the roominess, it had a cozy and stylish vibe with 40's jazz and pop standards playing overhead and plenty of comfortable nooks to hang with the kitties.
Speaking of the cats, there were six short haired cuties in residence, all incredibly curious and social, going from table to table to check out the patrons and their food. I was so enthralled with an adorable tabby watching birds outside, that I was completely caught off guard when he pounced right into my coffee! Luckily, he only stepped into it with one paw and I was able to avert a disaster, but it taught me a valuable lesson. Eyes on food at all times, especially when it's this good- my Snickers-like tart was decadently rich and delicious, one of the best cakes I've ever had in a cat cafe.
The patrons in the room varied from an elderly couple, to two professional women having a meeting, to a group of three high school students whose enthusiasm was infectious. We left at the same time and the young ladies (one French, one Mexican and one Brazilian) informed me they were attending Copernicus international high school. We continued the lively conversation on the tram all the way back into the city center, sharing our love of cats and cat cafes.
Miau Cafe feels a lot like my visit Warsaw, a little bit international, a lot entertaining and completely charming. A perfect city break destination, don't miss the opportunity to visit this fantastic city and cat cafe.
If you've never been to Krakow before, I encourage you to do so. A beautiful city with a significant, tragic historical past and youthful, vibrant cultural present, there is plenty to occupy you during a visit.
After a pleasant walk through the colorful and well-preserved Old Town, we were ready for a cup of coffee and some kitties. Well-located just outside the medieval walls and on a busy street near the main train/bus station, there was lots of foot traffic that stopped to admire a couple of sleeping fur balls in the window.
Inside the lobby area, we were greeted by the staff who presented us with a menu and a run-down of the rules. After ordering two lattes and a muesli cookie, we entered the main room through an ingenious double door security system to ensure no dashes into the street.
Many tables were occupied, especially near the window where most of the cats were hanging out in cozy nooks, but we snagged a corner table that gave us a nice view of the action.
The space itself is basic with a few tables, chairs and a cat tree. It could have used a good vacuum, but was otherwise clean and tidy.
There are six cats in residence at Cat Cafe Kociarnia (aka Kocia Kawiarnia Kociarnia) including three long-haired beauties (Norwegian Forest, Maine Coon and Birman) who seemed older and more sedate, and three European short-hair kittens with boundless energy.
The older cats slept but the younger ones made their rounds moving from table to table while looking adorable (or looking for treats, perhaps!) which made our time at the cafe lighthearted and entertaining. Our coffees and cookie were good and the staff pleasant.
A visit to Cat Cafe Kociarnia Lubicz is a satisfactory outing and nice coffee stop when touring the city of Krakow.
There is definitely love in the air at this cafe, the original location of Cat Cafe Kociarnia (the newest outpost is near Old Town on Lubicz).
The cafe focuses on rescuing and rehoming kitties, and the team here deserve a lot of kudos as this is truly the work of angels. Not just friendly towards cats, the staff are also welcoming to humans as well!
I selected a Monday afternoon for my visit, and after a 20 walk north of the Old Town walls, I arrived. The entrance has the same set up as the Lubicz location with a double door security system separating the kitchen area from the cat room.
After ordering a coffee and slice of carrot cake, I wandered through the two rooms looking to select a seat. The back was a bit dark and lacking kitty companionship, except for one wide-eyed black feline who kept stared up at the loft area with such intensity, he never wavered even when I gave him a head rub.
I settled on a table in the front room, a bright and sunny space ringed by a colorful, cushioned benches. It's definitely catty, with plenty of toys and kitty accoutrements sharing the space, a situation only for the most ardent of cat lovers . Most of the cats were sleeping, except for one playful kitten that chased a string yielded by a young student, much to the delight of the other patrons.
The coffee was nice and the frosting on the cake extra rich, thick and yummy.
Overall, the vibe at this location of Cat Cafe Kociarnia is pleasantly scruffy, and while the aesthetics might not blow you away, the friendly folks here do pour a nice cup of coffee in between serving their sweet fluff ball masters. I’d probably give the edge to the Lubicz location when recommending which outpost to visit, but these kindly cat lovers are certainly deserving of your support if you find yourself in Krakow.
The Neighbor’s Cat is the alter ego of Paula LaBine, an itinerant cat lover who writes about cat cafes, rescue/adoption & TNR, and has been featured in Miau Magazine, Katzenworld Blog, The Catnip Times and Taiwan Scene. She is currently on a quest to visit every cat café in the world, 206 in 29 countries so far! Find her at theneighborscat.com or on Facebook/Twitter @catcafeviews.