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9-Day Poland Trip Itinerary: Warsaw-Krakow-Wroclaw-Poznan-Gdansk-Torun-Warsaw


tamlee
8 Apr 2014  #1
Hello, I will have my first visit to Poland in June. I would like to ask if anybody can give me advice on my itinerary:

Day 1: Warsaw
Day 2 - 3: Krakow
Day 4: Wroclaw
Day 5: Poznan
Day 6: Gdansk
Day 7: Torun
Day 8-9: Warsaw

Day 4-7 visit four cities may be too tight. Should I give up visiting Gdansk or which cities are less worth visiting?

And should I book all the train or intercity bus now?

This is the first time I visit Europe country by myself. Sorry that my questions may be a bit stupid. Thank you so much if anybody can help to answer.
sgt bilko
8 Apr 2014  #2
The problem with your plan is that train journeys will take up most of your day (unless you plan on travelling by night). I would suggest missing some of the cities.

How about:
Warsaw: Day 1
Krakow: Day 2, 3
Wroclaw: Day 4, 5 (Night train to Gdansk, leaves about midnight)
Gdansk: Day 6, 7
Warsaw: Day 8, 9

or

Warsaw: Day 1
Krakow Day 2, 3 (Night train to Gdansk - I'm sure there must be one)
Gdansk: Day 4, 5
Torun: Day 6, 7
Warsaw: Day 8, 9

Actually, I prefer Torun to Wroclaw so I'd go for the second but a lot of people would disagree. Don't miss Gdansk. It really is special. Wroclaw and Poznan are nice but you are basically going to see a rynek and a few nearby streets. In Gdansk, there are the docks, Westerplatte and Sopot/Gdynia up the coast).

I'd try to book night train tickets in advance (and pay for a couchette for comfort/safety) but otherwise you can do it on the day (or better, buy the ticket the day before from the station so you don't have to worry about missing trains/buses).

Enjoy it.
Monitor 14 | 1,821
8 Apr 2014  #3
If you want to extremely cut costs then book 2 months in advance intercity bus PolskiBus: polskibus.com/en. If you prefer comfort then book trains which go little faster and have option of night trip in sleeping compartment.

there is this special offer: interrail.eu/interrail-passes/one-country-pass/poland. You pay for 8 days traveling with any train in Poland 157 or 108eur depending on your age

If you want to book every ticket separately then you can do it here: intercity.pl/en/. Here you can see all train connections, but most of them you cannot buy online, but on a train station: rozklad-pkp.pl. When booking separately you can take advantage of early booking and weekend promotions.
OP tamlee
8 Apr 2014  #4
Thank you so much for all of your suggestions! I will rearrange my itinerary.

I have found this site: en.e-podroznik.pl
Can I use it to book the train or intercity bus?

Actaully I am from Hong Kong. Is it possible to communicate in English easily in Poland?

Thank you a lot!
Monitor 14 | 1,821
8 Apr 2014  #5
It is possible, not always easy. e-podróżnik is quite good, but you can mostly book buses only there.
Harry
8 Apr 2014  #6
I would like to ask if anybody can give me advice on my itinerary:

Your itinerary is far far too tight. You've made no allowances for travelling times at all and some of those journeys are quite long. For example, Krakow to Wroclaw is a five-hour train ride and the first realistic train of the day leaves Krakow at 10.38 am (unless you fancy trying to get the 6.25 train), meaning you won't be in Wroclaw until 15.47, leaving you maybe five hours to look at the city (and no time at all to go to any museums etc). You'll have a similar problem with Gdansk: the first realistic train from Poznan gets to Gdansk at half past one. I would certainly cut out Gdansk (yes it is superb but it's also out of the way and needs at least two days to see) and quite possibly Torun too. I'd also try to get to Krakow on the first day, i.e. fly into Warsaw early enough to be able to get into the city and get a train straight down to Krakow. So something like this:

Day 1: Warsaw-Krakow
Day 2: Krakow
Day 3: Krakow-Wroclaw, Wroclaw
Day 4: Wroclaw
Day 5: Wroclaw, Wroclaw-Poznan (17.25 train)
Day 6: Poznan
Day 7: Poznan-Warsaw
Day 8-9: Warsaw
That gives you a full day in each place and has you travelling every other day.
If you really want to include Torun, you could do it like this:
Day 1: Krakow
Day 2: Krakow
Day 3: Krakow-Wroclaw, Wroclaw
Day 4: Wroclaw, Wroclaw-Poznan (17.25 train)
Day 5: Poznan
Day 6: Poznan-Torun, Torun
Day 7: Torun, Torun-Warsaw
Day 8-9: Warsaw

And should I book all the train or intercity bus now?

I'd go with all trains and only trains. You can research the timetable for almost all Polish trains at this site: rozklad-pkp.pl/bin/query.exe/en? There are links in the timetable for buying tickets.
sobieski 107 | 2,129
8 Apr 2014  #7
No idea what kind of budget the OP has...maybe domestic flights could help out.
OP tamlee
9 Apr 2014  #8
Thank you all of you. Actually I have no idea which city I should cut off. I would like to see different faces of Poland. Maybe I should only keep Warsaw, Krakow, Wroclaw and Gdansk......

And I saw that moving from Krakow to Wroclaw by bus requires shorter time than by train. Is it easy for a foreigner to take bus? Is the intercity bus station easily found? If I use en.e-podroznik.pl, I do not know the exact location of the bus terminal it is. Should I book it until I arrive Poland?
jon357 64 | 14,382
9 Apr 2014  #9
Day 1: WarsawDay 2 - 3: KrakowDay 4: WroclawDay 5: PoznanDay 6: GdanskDay 7: TorunDay 8-9: Warsaw

That's a hell of an itinerary. I'd miss Torun off the list (although it's nice) and maybe Wroclaw and Poznan. Spend longer in Gdansk and visit Sopot and Gdynia (the three are called the Tri-city and are really three different parts of the same place) too. Also there's a lot to see in Warsaw - you need more than the days you arrive and leave.

And I saw that moving from Krakow to Wroclaw by bus requires shorter time than by train. Is it easy for a foreigner to take bus?

Definitely no if you don't speak Polish. Unless you use PolskiBus which is a bit more user-friendly and book online. The buses leave from easy to find places.
Monitor 14 | 1,821
9 Apr 2014  #10
If you want to see Gdańsk and Kraków and don't care too much about money spend, then you can go Warszawa - Wrocław - Kraków - Gdańsk - Warszawa and go Kraków - Gdańsk with plane. "Eurolot" costs 72 EUR when booking 2 weeks in advance:

skyscanner.de/transport/fluge/krk/gdn/140424/flugpreise-von-krakau-nach-danzig-im-april-2014.html?rtn=0
OP tamlee
9 Apr 2014  #11
oh, suddenly I felt pessimistic about the trip. So is it the best if I just focus Warsaw - Krakow - Gdansk?

Day 1: Warsaw
Day 2-4: Krakow
Day5-7: Gdansk
Day 8-9: Warsaw

Hopefully I can meet helpful Polish like you all in Poland.
DominicB - | 2,645
9 Apr 2014  #12
oh, suddenly I felt pessimistic about the trip. So is it the best if I just focus Warsaw - Krakow - Gdansk?

That's a lot better. There is a lot to see in those three cities alone, and you won't see everything in nine days. You will have a lot more time to see things, and waste a lot less time traveling around.

If you want, you can take a day trip to Kazimierz Dolny from Warsaw (small, very scenic town nearby), or to Zakopane from Kraków (scenic town in the high mountains). If your religiously Catholic, you can also take a special day trip from Kraków to Wadowice, the birthplace of Pope John Paul II. There's even a special, comfortable "Pope train" just for that. Also from Kraków, you can take a day rip to the concentration camp in Auschwitz if your interested in that. From Gdańsk, you can take a day trip to the massive medieval fortress at Malbork, which is truly impressive.

But you don't have to plan those day trips in advance.That gives you a lot of flexibility.

Whatever you do, make sure you see the Wieliczka Salt Mine just outside of Kraków. It's spectacular. Wieliczka and Malbork are the two most spectacular tourist absolutely-must-sees in Poland. It's worth paying extra for a personal tour guide at both places. You'll enjoy it a lot more than going with a group.
Harry
9 Apr 2014  #13
So is it the best if I just focus Warsaw - Krakow - Gdansk?

I'd leave Gdansk out, it's a pain to get to at the moment (work being done on the main railway line is slowing the trains a lot).

Why not go with Warsaw, Krakow and Poznan?
Monitor 14 | 1,821
9 Apr 2014  #14
That's a lot better

only if trip Kraków - Gdańsk is by a plane.
OP tamlee
10 Apr 2014  #15
Which transportation should I use from Gdansk to Warsaw? By train or bus?

I found that there are Polski Bus every hour from Gdansk to Warsaw and travelling time is 5 hours which is shorter than by train.

Here are the information:
Departs - Gdańsk, Dworzec PKS, stanowisko 8
Arrives - Warszawa, Dworzec Autobusowy Metro Młociny

Are the bus terminals of Gdansk and Warsaw close to old town?

Thank you!
Harry
10 Apr 2014  #16
Which transportation should I use from Gdansk to Warsaw? By train or bus?

If you really must go to Gdansk, fly.

Are the bus terminals of Gdansk and Warsaw close to old town?

Gdansk bus station is about a twenty-minute walk from the Old Town. Dworzec Autobusowy Metro Młociny is about 8km from the Old Town.

Really, I love Gdansk but if I had nine days and needed to take some people around who also wanted to go to Krakow and Warsaw as well, I'd take them to Poznan instead of Gdansk.
Monitor 14 | 1,821
10 Apr 2014  #17
PolskiBus is not so close to center. Just check the map. Trains are very close.
Not every train is slower than bus for example:
Warszawa Gdańska - Gdańsk Główny 11.04.14 dep 09:33 arr 14:19 4:46 0 TLK38109
Rob777
10 Apr 2014  #18
PolskiBus is not so close to center. Just check the map. Trains are very close.

True, but in Warsaw it stops at Metro Młociny stop just near the metro. Going to the center from there is extremely easy, takes 15 minutes at most.

In Wroclaw it stops at the main bus station and in Cracow just near the center.

As to the trip, wow.... that's a tight schedule.
I'd suggest you skip a few cities.

IMHO a must are: Warsaw, Cracow and... one of the two either Wrocław or Poznań. I myself will vote for Wrocław (as a good Wrocławianin myself ;)

Gdańsk is cool to, but as someone mentioned the getting there might prove relatively problematic right now. (Unless we're talking by plane). On the other hand you could try figure sth out.

Toruń falls in this category too. Besides it's the smallest of the cities, though its old town is arguably the most beautiful.

So, I'd recommend Polskibus for a roundtrip Warsaw-Cracow-Wroclaw-Warsaw.
I took Wroclaw-Warsaw (6 hours) and Wroclaw- Cracow (3 hours), so you won't waste time.

In Warsaw the communist architecture combined with the cosmopolitan skyscrapers will be something quite unique for you, I bet. It's a former seat of Polish kings (as was Cracow) so you absolutely must see the King's Castle and the Old Town. See also £azienki park and the Warsaw Urising Museum-one of the most innovative museums in Europe where you can really feel history coming back to life.

In Cracow...too much to name. Wawel Castle and the Old Town are a must. Sukiennice will be a nice place to buy souvenirs. Nearby you'll find also the Mariacki Church, an absolute miracle of medieval architecture and art.

If you can have a slight detour from the biggest cities, I'd suggest going just outside of Cracow to see two things:

First, a solemn reminder of the German-Nazi Holocaust. The Auschwitz concentration camp.

Second, Wieliczka salt mine. This is a one of the wonder in the world--over 700 hundred years old salt mine with underground artwork, sculptures and a whole frikking underground church made of salt. You wouldn't believe your eyes. This will be a memory to cherish for years!

From Cracow and thereabouts go to Wroclaw. Here you can see Ostrów Tumski-a medieval island covered with churches, Old Town, The Wroclaw University museum with astrological tower observatory open for the public. And last but not least be sure to spend an evening here Wroclaw has a great nightlife scene, have something to eat in Piwnica Swidnicka, the oldest operating restaurant in Europe. Oh, and starting in May are multimedia displays on Wroclaw multimedia fountain. They are worth seeing.

Let's say you still have time, go visit Poznan then (I'm not familiar with Poznan's sighs, but I hear it's cool).

Just my 2 cents,
Rob
OP tamlee
11 Apr 2014  #19
Thank you so much for all of your advice which do help me a lot in planning the trip.

Finally, I booked all the things:
Day 1 - Warsaw
Day 2 - Warsaw to Krakow by train
Day 3 - Warsaw
Day 4 - Warsaw and night domestic flight to Gdansk
Day 5 - Gdansk
Day 6 - Gdansk
Day 7 - Gdansk to Warsaw (by train/bus)
Day 8 - Warsaw
Day 9 - Warsaw

Is sunset early in June? The only concern is that I will arrive Gdansk at around 21:30 and I don't know whether it will be difficult to find the hotel in dark. Anyway, domestic flight seems to be the best choice to save time.

Finally I chose Gdansk because of tricity. As it is a coast city, I guess it may have different attraction comparing with other inner cities. It's really hard to give up the rest cities...definitely need to visit Poland once more.

I really don't know that there are many things worth to see besides concentration camp and salt mine. Thank you for your recommendation!
Monitor 14 | 1,821
11 Apr 2014  #20
Is sunset early in June?

16 Jun 2014 sunrise: 04:14 and sunset: 21:00

Day 1 - Warsaw

Where is your mistake? There is lot of Warsaw and no Kraków.

I don't know whether it will be difficult to find the hotel in dark.

You must have smartphone, right?

Don't forget to write us here your experience after comming back.
OP tamlee
11 Apr 2014  #21
haha, Ops I really made a mistake, Day 2-4 are Krakow
Monitor 14 | 1,821
11 Apr 2014  #22
I still think that you have too much Warsaw there :)
Harry
11 Apr 2014  #23
Finally, I booked all the things:

Why not just go straight to Krakow on day one?
OP tamlee
16 Jun 2014  #24
Thank you all of your help. I finished my Poland trip smoothly. Finally, my route is Warsaw -> Krakow -> Gdansk -> Torun -> Warsaw

Among these cities, I think Gdansk people are most helpful and nice. When they saw us reading map, they actively asked us if we needed help.

Polish people are very nice. Even they may not be able to speak in English, when we ask for help, they are willing to give us a helping hand or sometimes use body language to direct us the way .

One difficulty I found in this trip is the public transport ticketing problem. When we arrived Kraków Główny, we had to change a tram to our hotel. The ticket machine was out of order at the tram stop. A local Polish taught us to buy ticket on the tram. But when we got on the tram, we can't find the ticketing machine. A passenger told us that only the first carriage has the ticket machine. At the same time, a person claimed himself as the tram staff said that we did not buy ticket and need to paid the penalty. I was please to pay the fare by coins but refused to pay the penalty as I did not intent to evade the fare. As I just need to take 3 stops, after arguing for few minutes I have already arrived my destination. The staff asked us to get off the tram and stood on the stop to continue force us to pay the penalty. My husband then asked him to call the Police. After few minutes deadlock, maybe he didn't want to call the Police, he finally allowed us to leave.

I think it is very inconvenient to buy the ticket. After this experience, we always buy ticket first before getting on the public transport or buy 1-day pass.
Cemal -Istanbul
8 Jan 2015  #25
Hello guys, this Sunday I will arrive in Warsaw and will stay in Gdansk, Warsaw, Lodz, Wroclaw and Cracow.

Can anybody tell me what places I can eat dinner, have fun and meet people in these cities?

Or maybe if there is a topic for this, can you guide me to there?
Andrea00 - | 4
1 Dec 2015  #26
If you are in Poland in Wroclaw I recommend to make use of Wratislavia Tour services. I was going to visit only Wroclaw but the guide was so fantastic that we went with him also to Krakow and Częstochowa.
Roger5 1 | 1,463
1 Dec 2015  #27
Andrea, you work for them, don't you? Come on, be honest.


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