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Which cities in Poland are nice to visit

NedPol 3 | -
18 Sep 2009 #1
I want to visit Poland but have only 1 week, which cities are nice to visit and what can you do there?
SeanBM 35 | 5,808
18 Sep 2009 #2
Hello NedPol,

And welcome to the Polish Forums.

You can use the search box in the top right hand of this page to answer many of the questions you are asking, as many of them have been asked before. - Recommendations for Zakopane - Recommendations for Krakow and Myślenice

Best of luck,
jamesams1357 - | 35
18 Sep 2009 #3
czestohowa projects homie wear color red and you better have your steel comeing through my hood
polilang - | 5
18 Sep 2009 #4
The first choice of all tourists is Kraków, which is one of the oldest cities in Poland.

My first choice of showing to a foreigner would be Wroclaw - beautiful, climatic, cosmopolitan but still with Polish character.
There is a place called Ostrów Tumski which is on an island in the middle of the city (and is a headquarters of bishop) and every night lanterns are lit by a person lighting them one after another. Perfect town for a romantic weekend. It is a university city so follow students to find the nicest restaurants and pubs (kluby).
Wroclaw 44 | 5,384
18 Sep 2009 #5
and every night lanterns are lit by a person lighting them one after another.

This probably goes unnoticed by most folk. I see it as a romantic link to the past. The lamplighter usually starts his rounds about an hour before sunset.
gumishu 11 | 5,878
18 Sep 2009 #6
Kraków and Gdańsk
20 Sep 2009 #7
The first choice of all tourists is Kraków, which is one of the oldest cities in Poland.

Absolutely. I personally don't like Krakow that much, but I would still recommend it as first choice to someone visiting Poland for the first time. In most countries, the capital would be the first choice, but Warsaw is mostly ugly, sprawling, unfriendly and increasingly aggressive. However, it is still somewhere you need to visit, if you have the time. Like Milan, the attractions aren't as obvious as they are in Krakow or Rome - so it helps if you know locals or someone who is a regular visitor - which is where we come in on PF ;)

Wroclaw is a wonderful city, by far the friendliest in Poland in my experience, and everything you say about the Ostrow Tumski area is true, I loved it there even though it was dull and raining :)

I want to visit Poland but have only 1 week, which cities are nice to visit and what can you do there?

Depends on how you intend on travelling to PL from Holland, I suppose. If you are near a German city, you may be able to fly direct to Gdansk. The reason I say this is that it would make my following suggestion easier, but you could of course work around this if flying to other airports.

One suggestion is this:

1. Fly to Gdansk. Largest city of the "tri-city" area of Gdansk/Gdynia/Sopot. Has the strangest atmosphere of all the cities I've visited in Poland, due to its obvious German influence (which affects the way that people look as well - I've never seen so many German-looking Polish speakers before :) ). It's no wonder the Germans want the place back, because it's a lovely town. I wish we could swap it for Liverpool, but I digress... :_

Bus 210 takes 30mins to central Gdansk and costs 2.50 PLN (0.60 EUR). Public transport doesn't directly cross the main city centre, but runs to a ring-road around it. The bus drops you off at the main railway station. All the main attractions are 5-15 mins walk from here.

Things to do: Well, other than the obvious restaurants/bars/cafes etc you could head straight for Dlugi Targ, which is where many of the city's nicest buildings are. Walk along the river, take a boat ride along the river to the Westerplatte. Visit Sopot or Gdynia if you like beaches/seaside towns. Find the "monument to the fallen shipyard workers" outside the Gdansk Shipyard entrance, if you're into things which are a bit more political.

The above would probably need 1-2 full days.

2. Train to Warsaw, stopping off at Malbork to see the castle (the inter-city line runs this way). Arrive in Warsaw. If you decide you'd rather not spend more than a day here, do this: Leave the Central Station and catch the 175 bus towards the terminus (currently Plac Pilsudskiego, but can change according to roadworks), which is 5 minutes walk from the Old Town. this bus also takes you to the airport if necessary (see below). Ticket costs about the same as a ticket in Gdansk does.

You should save at least a few hours for this area, as it's really nice, but on the bus and as in any tourist area, watch out for pickpockets. You may wish to visit the Royal Castle, which is next to the Old Town Square. Then walk along the main street from the Old Town (Krakowskie Przedmiescie) which is a very upmarket and beautiful old street, filled with cafes, bars, lovely old buildings, expensive hotels, and eventually leads to the University.

Carry along this street and eventually you will reach Nowy Swiat, which is where all the beautiful young people hang out (so why I spend so much time there is beyond me, because I am neither beautiful or young, but I dress better than 98% of Poles, so maybe I fit in, lol). From the end of this street, you can catch the same bus (175) towards the Central Station, stopping off to see the Palace Of Culture and the new London/New York-style skyline which is springing up around it. Under the railway/metro stations are kilometres of subways, which contain small shops bars and cafes, which cater for every need, and are one of the last remaining examples of "old-style" Poland in the central business district - see if before it all gets demolished/refurbished in a few years time. You have been warned ;)

This is enough for one day, but there is plenty more to see if you wanted to stay longer. The problem with Warsaw is that everything is spread out, so you either have to travel by bus/tram/metro, or walk long distances. It's also very ugly in between the nice bits, full of grey Brutalist commie architecture, and this is why it isn't a first choice for first-time visitors. But having lived in London for many years, it doesn't bother me too much, but if you come from a small town/village, it must be a big shock :) Watch out for the drunks/beggars anywhere in the centre, but mainly around the central station. Be polite, but firm. They are unlikely to become violent unless abused, but are very annoying and increasing in number.

3. Fly to Wroclaw. The train journey averages about 6 hours, and flying in Poland is often not much more than a one-way IC ticket in 2nd class. All of Poland's major cities are about 1 hour by plane. Bus from the airport into town cost £2.40 PLN the last time I was there. Apart from the Old Town and its market place, visit the cathedral and Ostrow Tumski (river island), and walk by the river. Plenty of old churches and museums/galleries to visit. I don't know the city particularly well, but I've been there quite a few times, and found the people to be the friendliest in Poland - you can have a really good laugh with people round there, which isn't really something you can say about Warsaw - people are far too serious/overworked/stressed-out up there.

4. Train to Krakow. Far from my favourite city in Poland, but an absolute must, as it is the de facto historical/cultural capital, while Warsaw is the political/financial capital, and the difference is obvious. The Old Town, its market place, the Wawel Castle, the Kazimierz district (former Jewish area) and areas around the river are the obvious places to go. Krakow is easily walkable, but trams run everywhere worth going. As above, others may tell you more about the city than I can. That the city is absolutely gorgeous is a fact, but I personally don't feel much for it. Maybe it's just a bit too obviously "touristy" for my liking. But it's somewhere you really need to go, and I've never met anyone who said they hated it there (including me). Plenty of bars/clubs/restaurants/museums to cater for every taste, but I couldn't find decent pierogi (lol).

I've arranged the above for the following reason: if you need to get back to Warsaw to fly back to Holland, it's less than 3 hours by train, whereas from Wroclaw it's 5.5-6.5 hours, and over 5 hours from Gdansk. Additionally, there may be better flight connections from Krakow than from Wroclaw, as the airport is larger and has more destinations. But I'm sure this proposed itinerary may be altered to suit any plans ;)

Hope this helps. This should be possible over 1 week. I'm sure someone will add to this soon though.
jessicahumphrey - | 5
29 Jan 2010 #8
I really liked Malbork! The castle there was beautiful!
Filios1 8 | 1,336
29 Jan 2010 #9
liked Malbork

And Malbork liked you too... :)
wildrover 98 | 4,451
29 Jan 2010 #10
czestohowa projects homie wear color red and you better have your steel comeing through my hood

Any guesses what this would be in English...?
convex 20 | 3,978
29 Jan 2010 #11
Additionally, there may be better flight connections from Krakow than from Wroclaw, as the airport is larger and has more destinations.

Unless you're flying to Frankfurt, Munich, or Warsaw, the connections out of Wroclaw are with the budget airlines that fly once or twice a week at the most inconvenient of times...
yakitam - | 4
13 Feb 2010 #12
I am a genealogy junkie and am planning on visiting my ancestral roots in the Mlawa area in the coming year. Anyone familiar with the Mlawa area who would care to share their insights, opinions, suggestions? A total newbie to Polish travel so any and all thoughts are welcome. Dziękuję in advance! :)
jwojcie 2 | 763
13 Feb 2010 #13
In Mlawa you will be in close range to fine sites like:
- Gdansk and Baltic sea
- Torun -> great gothic architecture
- Masurian Lakes
- Marlbork castle

google it and choose direction, then explore more about it

PS. in Mlawa neighbourhoud there are castles in Nidzica, another one in Dzialdowo and some monastery in Przasnysz
yakitam - | 4
13 Feb 2010 #14
You are sweet. Thanks for the head up. Do you know if it would be better to rent a car to travel the area around Mlawa or if there is access to the rail, bus, etc?
Seanus 15 | 19,706
13 Feb 2010 #15
Definitely Wrocław. It has a lovely market square and enough options for most people. The market square here in Gliwice is nice too but Gliwice can't quite offer what Wrocław can. I'd describe Wrocław as a mini Prague.

Many of Poland's gems are hidden in smaller places. For example, some of the scenery in Żywiec is breathtaking. As a Scotsman, I felt very comfortable there. Wisła and Ustron are also worth visiting. It all depends what you want to see :)
convex 20 | 3,978
13 Feb 2010 #16
I'd describe Wrocław as a mini Prague.

It's but it lacks the soul of Prague, Krakow, and Warsaw. Wroclaw, and all the cities in the previously German areas only have 2, maybe 3 generations that have lived here. It has the same feel as Lviv, there's no connection of the current population to the history of the city.

But, very easy on the eyes, and friendly :)
jwojcie 2 | 763
13 Feb 2010 #17
Do you know if it would be better to rent a car to travel the area around Mlawa or if there is access to the rail, bus, etc?

There are trains and buses there. But certainly things are easier with a car.
Trains site:

Buses (in polish only):

PS. I assumed it is obvious by looking at the map and I didn't mention that, Mława is close to Warsaw, about 2 hours by train.
yakitam - | 4
15 Feb 2010 #18
Thank you again. I thought that a car might be the best option as I intend on doing a bit of off road exploring in the countryside around Grzebsk and Bielawy northeast of Mlawa, then head further east to Chorzele and south to Przasnysz. When my Ciocias visited Poland a number of years ago they flew into an airport at Szczytno, but I understand that airport is no longer operational. Looks like flying into Warsaw would be the best choice.
banderias - | 16
15 Feb 2010 #19
you have to go to Katowice man...

there is Hitler's Auschwitz camp in Oswiecim town (which is near to Katowice city) and Wieliczka Salt Mine near to Katowice district, (i couldn't visited because of extremely cold but i hope i will visit), inside of that mine there is a church which was made from salt.
Seanus 15 | 19,706
15 Feb 2010 #20
Oświęcim (Auschwitz) is relatively close. Katowice is not a nice city at all, it's the definition of bleak.
21 Feb 2010 #21
Krakow. Far from my favourite city in Poland

In my opinion, Krakow slowly becomes an uglier city than Warszawa, full of drunk british,
buildings with no elevators, many are starting to fall apart.

Atmosphere in Krakow sucks, and it is also very expensive city.

On Florianska, it costs 25,000 pln/sq.m. an old shytty apartment
delphiandomine 88 | 18,455
21 Feb 2010 #22
and it is also very expensive city.

Why do you live there then Mark?
21 Feb 2010 #23
delhimindomine short mind idiot. i am not mark biernat !

i was in krakow 2 times and its not worth it. probably you live there and you hate yourself thats why you stay all day long on forums, spamming and trolling
jonni 16 | 2,485
21 Feb 2010 #24
i was in krakow 2 times and its not worth it.

Funny that it's one of Europe's main tourist cities.

Warsaw is great to visit, but Krakow is a much more beautiful city.
delphiandomine 88 | 18,455
21 Feb 2010 #25
Funny that it's one of Europe's main tourist cities.

I guess it's a miserable existence, sitting at a window and watching all the tourists having fun, while realising that you're stuck inside spamming forums to try and get the bitterness out, I guess.
21 Feb 2010 #26
i have less than 15 posts on this forum, while delphiandomine has 1820 posts

who has more sadder life?
lowfunk99 10 | 397
21 Feb 2010 #27
I really liked Zielona Gora.
jonni 16 | 2,485
21 Feb 2010 #28
I wasn't struck by the place - don't know why. But there's an excellent microbrewery in the Old Town!
celticbrooder - | 17
15 Mar 2010 #30
Wroclaw Wrocks!!
(the Jewish Quarter of Krakow is pretty cool too...)

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