The Krakow derby is known worldwide as The Holy War. But why does this derby have such a big reputation? We caught up with our Krakow host Filip to find out why.
Keep reading to get the inside track on Poland’s hottest derby and the epic match days that come with it.
“What makes our derby unique is how Krakow is divided between the teams”
Usually, cities are divided like: the north belongs to team A and the south to team B. On the west there might be team C, and the east belongs to team D.
In Krakow, it isn’t like this at all.
Here you can have one particular hood where people support Wisla and all of the hoods around it support Cracovia.
One block of flats may be ruled by Cracovia supporters, then for 10 blocks around you’ll find only Wisla fans.
I don’t think you’ll find another city where if you wanna take a bus from A to B in club colours, you’d need to change your scarf or shirt every 2-3 stops.
“We hate Legia and Lech a lot. But the derby is completely different”
People call our match with Legia the ‘Derby of Poland’, but I like to keep the word “Derby” for real derbies.
To me, this means a game between two teams from the same city.
The Legia match is a game between the two biggest Polish clubs and the two biggest cities. But you only feel the hatred on the days you play them. With Cracovia, you feel the tension all year.
You work with people who support them. Your family may have some people who support them. You hear about fights between fans a lot.
In Krakow derby day is all day, every day.
The fans of the team who won the last derby can call Krakow theirs. The fans of the defeated team can only look down and walk away.
That’s what I call a derby! And you can see what the Homefans trips I lead in Krakow look like here:
“I grew up in a Wisla neighbourhood. So the only option for me was Wisla”
Even as a little kid I was impressed by all the graffiti on the walls. But my first memory of the rivalry will always be what I saw from my window when I was six.
It was the middle of the night and I woke up because of some noise near my block. I looked out the window and saw maybe 10 or 15 people fighting on the street.
Because there was a Cracovia hood next to mine, it was obvious what was going on.
I have no idea who won or anything. But I realised that what I’d heard about other parts of the city was also very close to me.
“My best Krakow derby memory is definitely from 2017”
The entire game was complete s***show by the Wisla players. They lost a goal in the first half and almost lost another at the start of the second. But somehow managed to score 2 goals in the last 10 minutes and win the game.
The last goal was something unforgettable.
You probably know the feeling of a 90th minute winner. But you can’t compare it to one in the Krakow derby. Real hell in the stands!
“My Krakow derby routine is always very similar”
Me and my friends meet up somewhere in the city centre for food and drinks. Usually about 5hrs before the game.
We drink, eat and talk about everything, but mostly football. As you can imagine, after three hours of drinking we’re in fairly good spirits!
The good thing about Krakow is that both Wisla and Cracovia’s stadiums are right next to the old town. So it only takes about 25 minutes to walk there. After we arrive, we’ll grab a last warm-up beer and enter the game.
After the game you’re either happy or sad. And both moods mean you should drink a bit more!
“My advice for fans from abroad is simple: don’t miss it!”
Get your friends or come alone. You definitely won’t be bored over here. Prepare yourself for great memories, and prepare your liver for the Polish vodka!
Trust me, I will show you Krakow from the best point of view. The local one.
This was Filip’s take on the infamous city derby between Wisla Krakow and Cracovia. If you’d like to join Filip in Poland for the next Holy War derby in Krakow, see the upcoming trip here.