A Most Entertaining Rugby Weekend in Europe

Krakow City, Krakow is fully equipped to entertain by day with its historical and cultural tourist sightseeing spots, its main square called Rynek is the largest in Europe and surrounded by cafes, restaurants and drinking venues plus the underground museum below the square. Also, a variety of activities such as shooting ranges, off road driving and the Olympic white water rafting circuit or visit the Wieliczka Salt mine or pay your respects with a visit to Auschwitz Memorial Camp. By night, Krakow is absolutely buzzing with live music, karaoke and plenty of themed bars and pubs in its two main areas of the Old Town and the so called Jewish Quarter known as Kazimierz. The choice of culinary delights is infinite and of a high standard and you must try the locally crafted beers on sale. You can also play crazy golf, axe-throwing, darts, pool and snooker in the venues and pubs. The club life is astounding with top DJs often featured and drinks promotions galore. Krakow has liberal licensing hours so most venues, pubs and clubs remain open till the early hours of the morning. All this to enhance your enjoyment of the tour before you even get down to playing rugby which is 10s for the men and 7s for the women in the KRF.

The KRF aka Krakow Rugby Festival, has hosted their rugby weekend festival since 2015 and seen men and women’s team compete for their 3 category finals of Champions Cup, Elite Trophy and Kracking Plate. The format has 2 group qualifying stages completed on the Saturday and according to a team’s placing determines which final it competes in on the Sunday. The KRF takes place at Juvenia Krakow RFC’s stadium every 3rd week in June of each year with an Induction Party on the Friday evening before the tournament proper begins the next morning. The KRF organisers provide a comprehensive service to include accommodation, transfers and entertainment on and off the field of play. It is certainly one of the most interesting rugby festivals in Europe to consider putting on your to do list. This international rugby competition has seen teams from all the major European rugby playing countries plus teams from USA, UAE, South Korea, S. Africa and Venezuela from the long list. The KRF also encourages non-players to join their club tour and the many summer rugby friends teams that get together in the off season to participate in the various tournaments around Europe and the KRF is one of them.

How to get there, The John Paul II Airport in the nearby Balice area of Krakow is a hub for the low cost airlines and most flights are direct from all European destinations. The KRF Package Deals include a meet & greet service with shuttles into the city centre that take around 20 minutes. Countries bordering Poland can use the intercity bus services and motorways to facilitate travel time. The train service is also useful to consider, however, flying is the more usual mode of arrival. There are other airports that can be considered such as Katowice (Pyrzowice) which is a 90 minute bus ride to Krakow but the KRF will run a collection service should you desire it for an extra minimal cost.

Match Days, There are pick up points for the shuttle bus service to the playing ground close to the KRF accommodation hotels, if you have chosen your own accommodation then the pitch transfer service involves a small charge for the 2 days of transfers. Although you can use the local tram or bus service to the stadium or, indeed, walk there as the stadium is just outside the city centre. The matches start at 10am until 6pm both days. There are more games on the Saturday group stage and on the Sunday with less games there is time for skill and drinking games, awards ceremony and pitch-side live band concert.

Grand Gala Dinner, After the tournament finishes a sumptuous evening celebration dinner in an exclusive city centre restaurant where teams tuck in to a feast fit for a king and hold 1st time tourers initiation rituals along with a singsong and a charity auction.

Special KRF Features, the most interesting one is the Unlimited Beer ‘n Cider during the tournament served at the Induction Party, 2 days of play pitch-side and the Grand Gala dinner. Saturday night is a free night and the KRF offers a free pub crawl and tickets to various trendy clubs or you can go it alone. On match days a cooked breakfast and lunch is provided pitch-side and bottles of water are freely available. Paramedics and an ambulance is present over the 2 days of play. Support for teams with allotted guides to assist in escorting teams to the various pick up points and venues on the itinerary. Basically, the moment you arrive in Krakow the KRF crew are there in attendance to help.

Party Krakow Events, for the upcoming KRF the organisers have joined forces with an event and activities company to offer an even better service of extra attractions or activities you may wish to reserve or book. This means everything can be pre-booked via the KRF and simplifying the payment procedure. The PK website for extra fun activities such as Krakow Kalashnikov shooting, white water rafting, go-karting, Krakow pub crawl, and many more visit: https://partykrakow.co.uk/

Krakow’s local rugby team is Juvenia Krakow RFC who play in Poland’s top flight league the Ekstraliga and the club is always keen to show their Spirit of Rugby, generous hospitality and together with the Krakow Rugby Festival organisers put on one of Europe’s most interesting rugby festivals. The KRF slogan is, ‘ Do you have the ovals to complete it?’ As the Unlimited Beer ‘n Cider feature can take its toll they say. They also say that you should look out for the Slider Man, interesting.

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