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Gdansk and Krakow travel -- need tips

Helge Martin 1 | 6  
12 May 2008 /  #1
Hello everyone.

I have been searching for a forum like this and finally i found it. In June i will be going to Gdansk and Krakow to do a story for several norwegian radiostations. I have 24 hours in each city (kinda make mee feel like Jack Bauer, but enough about that)

I need tips in the following if anyone would please help:

Food and Drink
Acomodations (hotels etc)
Are there any places most tourist dont go, but should?
How well does polish speak english? Do i need a translator?

If anyone have any tips, i would appreciate it very much. I have never been to Poland, but very much looking forward to it

Kind regards
Helge Martin
Polson 5 | 1,771  
12 May 2008 /  #2
Hei Helge, velkommen :)

I've never been to Gdańsk either, but it's said to be a really nice place.
There are people from Gdańsk on the forum, maybe they could help you :)

How well does polish speak english? Do i need a translator?

I don't think you'll need a translator, young Poles learn English at school.

Good luck and ha en god tur (is it correct ?..) ;)
OP Helge Martin 1 | 6  
12 May 2008 /  #3
God tur is correct :) Thanks
scottie1113 7 | 898  
12 May 2008 /  #4
Only 24 hours in each city means you will only scratch the surface. Gdansk Old Town is beautiful, a must see place, but there are a lot of tourists. Still, you have to go there. There is a large mall-Madison-only a few minutes from Old Town and very close to the main train station, plus there are shops all around Old Town.

Food and drink? Yes. Lots of choices. Restaurants range from inexpensive to expensive, just as you would expect. Look at to see some restaurant reviews. I recommend the hotel Wolne Miasto. Graet location in Old Town, but I don't know what your budget is.

Don't worry about a translator. A lot of Poles speak English and if you only know a couple of words in Polish you'll be just fine.

Transportation in the city is very good. You can catch a tram or bus to anywhere you want to go, and taxis are not expensive. Gdansk is not a small city but the places you'll want tio see during such a short trip are all very close to each other.

It may rain so be prepared. Check out for five day forecasts. When you go to that site on the first place there is a box with a magnifying glass. Type in the name of the city you're interested in and you'll get current and future weather. If you have any more questions you can post them here or email me.

You'll have a great trip.
13 May 2008 /  #5
Did you know that you have an Honorary Norwegian Consul in Krakow? He's also my architect... I'm sure he will be more than willing to show you the places that tourists don't go but should. For bars/hotels etc check out cracow-life, or hang out in Kazimierz to see the world go by.
Krzysztof 2 | 973  
13 May 2008 /  #6
Many years ago there was a Norwegian philology faculty at the Gdańsk University, if it still exists, then hiring a 3rd-4th year student (who should speak reasonably well) is an option, especially one who knows the city well. If they charge too much (Norwegian is rare in Pland so the translator prices can be high) then an English speaking person could be your choice. It really depends on what's the purpose of your story. Would youprefer to speak to specific persons in specific places, to hear their opinions, or is anyone speaking English good for you (because you're more focused on describing what you see, not on what people have to say).

Also a local person could be helpful if you don't have much time and don't want to get stuck in some place waiting for someone speaking English :)

Lykke til!
Polson 5 | 1,771  
13 May 2008 /  #7
Once you're back to Norway, please let us your opinion, how you enjoyed your trip :)
Gdansk and Krakow are really nice places. For my part, i'll be visiting Warsaw in July ;)
OP Helge Martin 1 | 6  
13 May 2008 /  #8
This is all great tips, thanks a lot!

Last message from my boss is that i may have to go by train from Gdansk to Krakow. They are checking this out now. Anyone know how many hours this take? I've been looking at maps and if i compare to norwegian railroad (wich suuuuuucks) it may take as much as 8 hours?

The tip on the Honorary Norwegian Consul sounds interesting. I may have to check up on that. One of my missions is to talk to a norwegian in the city, or someone that has a relationship to norway of some kind.

I know i only scratch the surfuse, its a bit of the point. How much can you see on 48 hours....? Just reading the history of the two cities takes more than 48 hours. Im realy excited and looking forward to the trip.

Please keep sending me tips on what i need to see, where i should eat, shop and have a late night drink etc :)
13 May 2008 /  #9
Yes, it takes 7.5hrs :(
Krzysztof 2 | 973  
13 May 2008 /  #10

some examples (Wednesday, 11th June 2008):
InterCity train
Gdańsk Główny dep. 5:35
Kraków Główny arr. 13.00 (duration 7:25)
Gdańsk Główny dep. 7:25
Kraków Główny arr. 15.00 (duration 7:35)
Gdańsk Główny dep. 9:25
Kraków Główny arr. 17.00 (duration 7:35)
Gdańsk Główny dep. 15:25
Kraków Główny arr. 23.00 (duration 7:35)

if you don't travel by IC, then the journey would be longer (even 10,5 hrs, and you have to change trains in Warsaw)
OP Helge Martin 1 | 6  
13 May 2008 /  #11
Got this travel route today (a suggestion from the travel agents)

Kristiansand (my hometown) Oslo 6.10 am

Oslo - Gdansk 7.40

Train from Gdansk at 16.55 arrive qt Krakow 7.45 the next day.....

Yes, norwegians are crazy...

Leave the following day again from Krakow at 10.25

Trying to get an extra day on the travel.Crossing fingers and looking forward to the trip
scottie1113 7 | 898  
13 May 2008 /  #12
You won't see anything in Gdansk except maybe the Old Town. Not enough time. I really don't see the point in a trip like this. What kind of story can you possibly write from this that would be of any interest to anyone? Oh. Maybe you could title it "How I Didn't See Anything in Gdansk in the Few Hours I Was There And Very Little More of Krakow". Completely pointless and you'll miss the charms and beauty of both these cities.
OP Helge Martin 1 | 6  
13 May 2008 /  #13
I agree, and i have said the same thing to my boss. Let's hope common sence wins yet another time....
14 May 2008 /  #14
That trip sounds very much like a waste of your time (you won't see enough to research any kind of story) and your boss's money. It would be far better to do two two-day trips: one for Gdansk and one for Krakow. The extra cost is going to be far outweighed by the improved quality of the stories.

If you arrive at Gdansk at 7.40, you won't be out of the airport until 8.10 and at that time of day with the rush hour traffic, you won't be in the city centre before 9 (at the very earliest, probably more like 9.15 or 9.30). If your train is at 16.55 and you'll need to be at the station ten minutes early, so you'll need to leave the city centre at 16.30. You want to do a couple of stories about Gdansk on the basis of being there for seven hours? You might as well just do the stories Lonely Planet style and forget about going to Gdansk.
OP Helge Martin 1 | 6  
14 May 2008 /  #15
I agree Harry. How is the flights between Gdansk and Krakow btw? Anyone know?
scottie1113 7 | 898  
14 May 2008 /  #16
I suggest showing these posts to your boss. Maybe common sense will prevail.
15 May 2008 /  #17
How is the flights between Gdansk and Krakow btw? Anyone know?

As far as I know there are no flights between Gdansk and Krakow (I have no idea why). You'll need to change in Warsaw. The problem is that Gdansk airport is a good 30 minutes from the city centre and so is Krakow. So with the one hour minimum check-in, you're looking at an hour travelling to and from airports, an hour of waiting, 55 minutes flying to Warsaw, a wait there for the Krakow plane (which could well be a couple of hours) and 45 minutes to Krakow.

The best way to check flights would just be to go to LOT are the only airline which I know flies to both Gdansk and Krakow from Warsaw.
Kowalski 7 | 621  
15 May 2008 /  #18
Train from Gdansk at 16.55 arrive qt Krakow 7.45 the next day.....

no such train
OP Helge Martin 1 | 6  
15 May 2008 /  #19

The new message from my boss is to forget about Gdansk for now, and concentrate on Krakow. That means that i will go directly to Krakow, and arrive on a tuesday. And then go back home on the foolowing thursday.

That makes more sence or what?

So now i'm looking for things to see tusedays to thursdays in Krakow in june
16 May 2008 /  #20
Have a read of this:

It will give you a good idea of what's in the city.
mirmiru - | 1  
26 Feb 2009 /  #21
Thread attached on merging:

I'd like to get my polish boyfriend a surprise trip to Gdansk. (Chcialabym miec niespodzianke do mojego polskiego chlopaka: wycieczka do Gdanska...this is not correct, but a proof of my love;))

would the very beginning of June be recommended, or is it deadly freezing so that we wouldnt be able to take a bath?? Please advise me, it would be just and touch&go visit but I'd like to go to the seaside....

dziekuje za informacje

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