Kraków Beach disappears, Balloon to return

Changes on Wolynski boulevard

Kraków beach (Plaża Kraków) on Bulwar Wołyński, close to Hotel Forum is currently being removed and the building demolished with the site set to be the new home for the return of the Kraków observation balloon.

Plaża Kraków opened in 2009 and was much loved by Kraków families who enjoyed relaxing on loungers at the beach area  and  restaurant, or having fun at the playpark, football and beach volleyball pitches.  When opened, it was marketed as the first city beach in Poland and largest in Europe.

In 2013, the city of Kraków adopted a new local development plan, “Bulwary Wisły II”, for developing the Wisła boulevards.  The development plan imposed height and other restrictions on buildings in the area.  Unfortunately the restaurant building was too high and did not comply with the new rules.  An agreement was reached with the city,  that the company operating Plaża Kraków, had until the end of 2015 to demolish and remove the property.

As time passed the owners refused to comply, the entertainment area was closed and fenced off, but no demolition took place.

Foto Dawid Serafin Onet

Legal action, appeals and further controversy followed, with no real progress until earlier this month when work began to clear the site.

Foto: ANNA KACZMARZ Gazeta Krakowska

The Kraków Ballon Returns
The site of Kraków Plażą beach club however will not remain empty for long, as it is set to be the new home for the Kraków observation balloon.

For many years locals and tourists enjoyed ‘flights’ in a tethered balloon, with an observation deck which provided fabulous panoramas of the city.  The changes to the Wisła boulevard’s local development plan which affected the Kraków Plaża beach club, also put an end to the observation balloon, which closed in 2015.

Kraków Plaża Beach Club and Kraków Balloon © David McGirr

The balloon was located between Hotel Forum and the Manggha centre, having previously been situated on the opposite side of the river close to where Tea Time pub is now.  As with many things in Kraków, the balloon attracted some controversy with many considering it an eyesore, particularly when it began displaying advertising.

The balloon is due to return to it’s new location, by Hotel Forum, where work has already began to install anchor points.  The balloon is expected to be operational by June and operate until 2020..  The balloon will rise to 150 metres and in some circumstances, for research purposes, to 300 metres.

Air Quality Monitoring & Display
A new aspect of the ballon involves the operation of  equipment to monitor air quality.  The balloon will also feature cloud shaped displays which will change colour to display information to reflect the air quality, with more red images being displayed when air pollution is high.


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