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Need advice on trip to Poland


littlebee 1 | 3
4 Sep 2016 #1
Hello from the US, everyone! I'm planning to take my 2 adult sons and their wives to Poland next August and I would greatly appreciate any advice you can offer.

1) Which cities/regions besides Warsaw and Krakow are must-sees?

2) Is taking the train the best option for our group? Do we need advance tickets or can we decide once we get there?

3) Do you recommend advance bookings for hotels?

4) Where is the best place to witness the "W Hour" in Warsaw on August 1?

5) I am planning to visit Poznan, the birthplace of my father's family, but I would love to also visit the small village that my mother's family is from in eastern Poland. In fact, I have the address of the family farm. Is it possible to go there by train or would we have to take a bus? Or is the best option for my husband and I to extend our trip without the kids, rent a car, and drive there by ourselves? It's a small farming community near Kolno.

6) Is Bialowieza Forest worth a trip and is it possible to get their by train?

Thank you, everyone...can't wait to visit!
Looker - | 1,100
4 Sep 2016 #2
1) https://polishforums.com/travel/poland-best-places-visit-2667/
2) I'm not using trains often but I think there's no need to purchase tickets in advance. One problem though - in case of smaller towns - sometimes there's no ticket office, and ticket you buy inside the train is much more expensive.

3) It depends. When weekends and more busy places I would recommend to book places in advance - booking.
Roger5 1 | 1,457
5 Sep 2016 #4
but I would love to also visit the small village that my mother's family is from in eastern Poland. In fact, I have the address of the family farm.

Tell me where it is and I might be able to help.

Is Bialowieza Forest worth a trip

Very much so.

is it possible to get their by train?

Not really, unless you get a tourist special, which is very occasional. You could get a train to Hajnówka and a bus or taxi from there.

PM me if you're coming. I live in the area.
gumishu 11 | 5,681
5 Sep 2016 #5
Tell me where it is and I might be able to help.

she said it is near Kolno - Kolno is near (north of) Łomża - i am not sure if trains still reach Łomża (they used to) - anyway I think it would be better to rent a car to travel in the area (it is not very developed and in recent years many bus services have been cancelled)
Chemikiem
5 Sep 2016 #6
Is it possible to go there by train or would we have to take a bus?

There is no train station in Kolno, but you don't say if you are planning to travel straight from Poznań or from somewhere else? It is a very long trip from Poznań, especially by bus. You would probably be better off renting a car.

i am not sure if trains still reach Łomża

Not anymore apparently.
OP littlebee 1 | 3
5 Sep 2016 #7
Thanks, everyone! I don't have an itinerary yet, but it looks like I will be renting a car...at least to Kolno and eastern Poland. Do you think I would be better off driving to Krakow and Poznan, as well?
kpc21 1 | 763
5 Sep 2016 #8
2) I'm not using trains often but I think there's no need to purchase tickets in advance. One

Bought earlier is in the most cases cheaper for long-distance trains. For local trains it makes no difference.

On local trains (at least those of the Przewozy Regionalne company) you can get a 30% discount for all except one from a group of from 2 to 4. So, in your case, for 5 persons you can get 3 discounted tickets. The offer is called "Ty i raz - dwa - trzy":

przewozyregionalne.pl/ty-i-raz-dwa-trzy

To use a similar offer for long-distance trains, you need at least one child not older than 16, so for them it will not work in your case. But for local trains yes.

she said it is near Kolno - Kolno is near (north of) Łomża - i am not sure if trains still reach Łomża (they used to)

Currently there is no passenger trains to Łomża. They are going to be reintroduced after the renovation of the tracks, which is going to be done until 2023. The nearest train stations to Kolno with passenger traffic are: Pisz, Ostrołęka and Śniadowo.

But Łomża seems to be the only town with which Kolno has a connection better than just a single bus in a whole day.

See the timetables:
pks.lomza.pl/index.php?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=32
faster.net.pl/linia/lomza-kolno
Be careful with that many of those buses operate only on working days or on school days (those "on school days only" will not work during school holidays) - read the annotations.

Check for bus connections at e-podroznik.pl

There is many bus lines that can take you from Warsaw to Łomża, you can also google the phrase "autobus warszawa łomża" albo "bus warszawa łomża".
OP littlebee 1 | 3
6 Sep 2016 #9
Excellent suggestions, thanks! If we have a car, is it possible to stay in Warsaw and just make a day trip to Kolno? With our large group, I hate to be moving around too much...I would rather use Warsaw as a base and make day trips from there. Is Kasmierz Dolny doable for a day trip from Warsaw?
Chemikiem
6 Sep 2016 #10
is it possible to stay in Warsaw and just make a day trip to Kolno?

Apparently it takes about 2 hours 20 mins to drive there, it is about 174 kms away, so yes it's not that bad a trip if you allow plenty of time.

The fastest route looks to be by taking the S8 road.

Is Kasmierz Dolny doable for a day trip from Warsaw?

It is about 2 hrs 20 mins away ( about 145 kms ) You can either take the DK17 or DK79.
AnnieKozi
19 Dec 2017 #11
Hi littlebee, how did your trip go? My Father was from Kolno (taken in WW11) and his family also had a small farm nearby. I am from Australia, and I am visiting Poland for the first time in May 2018 and will visit the area. I have relatives names from Kolno (all deceased), all his living family moved to America (Chicago I think).
pawian 178 | 15,519
18 Mar 2020 #12
4) Where is the best place to witness the "W Hour" in Warsaw on August 1?

The higher, the better. Watch this video from a tower block:

youtu.be/jnyLqm2VRkY


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