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First vacation in Poland

Little Mick
10 Aug 2014 #1
We are going to Poland next summer for our 30 year anniversary I have family somewhere but not sure have never talked to them anyway what are some of the must see places in Poland.

We bought love the food and and wild places. We like the country more than city life. My last name is Mickiewicz I believe it is an important name in Poland. I would appreciate any suggestions. Thank you in advance.
Szalawa 2 | 240
10 Aug 2014 #2
I recommend Tatra Mountains. I'm a mountain person and had a grate experience there, lots of stunning views although it can be very busy in the summer. I heard Zakopane is nice, but I never been there.

Częstochowa's Jasna gora is also nice to see especially if you are religious, but again it can get very busy.
There is also a small desert near the village Klucz, I found it pretty cool, but that's because it was the first desert I've been to

Also the Trail of the Eagles that is full of castle ruins which all the ones I've been to are located in the country or small towns. I like that because I am fascinated with history and you get to see alot of the country side driving around.

Most of these listed are in between Silesia and Mało Polska
Anyway that is my list
Snowflake - | 71
10 Aug 2014 #3
Kraków city
Gdańsk city
Malbork castle
£eba sea shore
Wieliczka old salt minery
Tatry mountains or Góry stołowe.
OP Little Mick
17 Aug 2014 #4
that sounds like a good start. My last name is Mickiewicz I have been told that I am related to Adam Mickiewicz I have never seen it on paper but who knows is there anyplace that has any connection with him of importance?
Marysienka 1 | 195
17 Aug 2014 #5
Most of Mickiewicz related places are in Lithuania and France.
jon357 74 | 22,051
18 Aug 2014 #6
And the Mickiewicz house in Istanbul. open to the public and just a few mins walk from Taksim.

I would appreciate any suggestions

The Mickiewicz Museum in Śmiełow is worth seeing if you're in the western part of the country.łac_w_Śmiełowie
Ziemowit 14 | 4,263
18 Aug 2014 #7
Most of Mickiewicz related places are in Lithuania and France.

That is true. Having been of the indigenous family of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, he never visited any areas of the former Crown [Kingdom of Poland] except for Greater Poland (Wielkopolska) to which he arrived from Dresden in 1831 planning to cross the Prussian-Russian border to join the November Uprising against Russia in the Congress Kingdom of Poland. He later on spent more than 20 years of his life in Dresden before moving to Istanbul in Turkey where he died in 1855.

Speaking of himself as "Lithuanian", he wrote in Polish (and later on in French) and it is not even known if he could speak the Lithuanian language. But in true fact the Duchy itself could be considered as being more Byelorussian than Lithuanian despite its proper name.
OP Little Mick
19 Aug 2014 #8
I wish I could tell you all that you would be treated this way with such enthusiasm here in the states I am impressed with the knowledge and willingness to help a simple tourist as myself. Thank you all and if there is anymore please feel free to advise.

Hello again I have been looking into using a tour company the one I have looked at is PAT (Polish American Tours) does anybody have any experience with this company? Or should we just wing it and travel buy our self?
DominicB - | 2,707
31 Jan 2015 #9
Hello again I have been looking into using a tour company the one I have looked at is PAT (Polish American Tours)

My mom, my brother and I have been on that tour twice, and loved it. They cover quite a bit of territory: Warsaw, Gdansk/Gdynia, Olsztyn, Malbork, Warsaw again, then a killer one-day drive to Auschwitz, Wadowice and Zakopane, Kraków with Wieliczka, and back to Warsaw.

The good thing is that you get preferred treatment at Malbork and Wieliczka, the two must-sees on the trip. The guides we had were excellent, and the hotels were all more than satisfactory.

Personally, I would have dropped Auschwitz, Wadowice and Zakopane from the itinerary. That's a bit too much. You could take the train from Warsaw yourself to Krakow and spend an extra day there before meeting up with the tour again. But maybe it isn't so bad now as the roads are in better shape than when we went.
OP Little Mick
1 Feb 2015 #10
Thank you DominicB I take it you don't live in Poland but what about places to eat I love Polish food do you or anyone out there give me a few places to eat we will be going to Krakow that is where my close family come from but will head up to the coast Gdansk
DominicB - | 2,707
1 Feb 2015 #11
I lived in Poland for twelve years, but in Wrocław, so I don't know about the food scene in Kraków or Gdańsk. However, I do know that there are plenty of good restaurants in the old towns of both cities. I've had good meals in both cities, though I don't remember the names of the restaurants. Check tour guides for up to date information.

Actually, there is one that I do remember, and that is Pierogarnia u Dzika in front of the Kościół Mariacki in Gdańsk. I'm not sure if it's still open, but they had a wide selection of all different kinds of pierogi, and you could order a sampler platter for several people with a good selection.

Also forgot Częstochowa and Toruń on the list of towns the PAT tour visits.

If you are not going on the tour, then be much more modest in the number of places you visit. You will not be able to cover the territory that the PAT tour does on your own, and travel, whether by train or by rented car, can be very tiring in Poland, especially for an American.

If you like wild places, then the Szlak Orłów and Park Ojcowski between Kraków and Częstochowa is fantastic if you are renting a car. You are aware that Kraków and Gdańsk are at opposite ends of the country, and that will consume two whole days of travel? Three if you are landing in and taking off from Warsaw.

Since this is your first trip, I recommend going on the tour. It is a lot more relaxing than trying to do all that traveling on your own. Or stick to two cities, Kraków with Wieliczka, Gdańsk with Malbork, and Warsaw and Toruń along the way. A common mistake Americans make is trying to see too much in a short time, and that can be very exhausting.

My advice is to pass on Auschwitz unless you know the history about it very, very well. Well enough to know where things were and exactly what happened there, especially at Birkenau where little remains except a vast, open expanse of meadow. It is impressive if you could point out where all the missing pieces used to be, just because of its sheer size. If you don't know a lot about the history, though, the effect is lost. The main camp is too museumy and sanitized for my taste. It did not convey the horror of the events that happened there, at least to me. The prisoners there were constantly covered in a thick layer of $hit and lice, walking in a deep swamp of $hit and pi$$, and that doesn't come across at the site.

My mom was also disappointed with Częstochowa. My brother called it "Catholic Disneyland". I agree that there is little of interest there unless you are a fervent, traditionalist Catholic. There are much better religious shrines to visit in Poland, like Wambierzyce and Bardo near Wrocław, for example, that don't have a tacky touristy feel to them. There are bound to be others near Kraków and Gdańsk, or along the route between them. Avoid, however, Stary Licheń, the tackiest shrine of them all. That really is a Disneyland.

Kraków and Gdańsk have plenty to see, and it's rather easy to get around either city. Less so with Warsaw, which I never particularly cared for. While I am sure other posters here sill disagree with me, I think it lacks the charm of the other cities in Poland. Toruń has a charming old town that is good for a day or two.

Not really much to see in Wadowice, either. And I find Zakopane tacky, touristy and overpriced.

Malbork and Wieliczka are the true gems you should see.

If you're not particularly attached to seeing Gdańsk, then you can do Wrocław and Poznań instead. They have really nice old towns and plenty to see, and are a lot closer to Kraków than Gdańsk.
Monitor 14 | 1,818
1 Feb 2015 #12
You are aware that Kraków and Gdańsk are at opposite ends of the country, and that will consume two whole days of travel?

With Intercity trains it's 5:20h now:

My mom was also disappointed with Częstochowa. My brother called it "Catholic Disneyland".

That term would even more to Licheń:

but what about places to eat

Use this website to find good places. There are a lot of reviews of restaurants in Europe, also price ranges and pictures:
kpc21 1 | 763
1 Feb 2015 #13
With Intercity trains it's 5:20h now

With Ryanair plane - 1:10h + time for transfer between city centre and airport. But the plane is only twice a week, on Sundays and Thursdays.
winners - | 3
25 Aug 2016 #14
Merged: where can i visit in poland while on vacation?

pls reply my thread
kpc21 1 | 763
25 Aug 2016 #15
It depends on what you expect. Mountains? Sea? Cities? Lakes? Castles?

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