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Help with a travel plan to Poland

OP renier8 3 | 31    
2 Jan 2018  #31
Thank you Kaprys,
I was planning on going on my own. Stay at Airbnb's and Couchsurfers to get some info and guidance as I go.
Trying to avoid joining a tourist group. If I do end up going, maybe go straight from Warsaw to Krakow and move around there.

I am surprised at what seems to be a reluctance to travel far for the Poles. I live in the capital of my country and the other two biggest cities from me are 700km and 1400km respectively. From what I can see on Google, it looks like Krakow is about 270km from Warsaw.

Trips like 300km for me to get to a place and stay there for two or three days would be quite acceptable.
DominicB - | 2,627    
2 Jan 2018  #32
In Ireland it was zero most of the time

Ireland is positively toasty in winter compared to Poland. Winter in Ireland is like Poland at the times of the spring and autumn that I listed above. In January or February, temperatures in Poland can go down to below -20 degrees Celsius. Toss in a good wind and you'll freeze your balls off walking to the corner store unless you are properly bundled up in (real) wool, (real) down and (real) leather, which are bulky, heavy and costly. I'm living in Vermont, USA, now and we're in the middle of a nasty cold snap. It's -20 outside right now. If I just want to go out on the patio to have a smoke, I have to bundle up.

I understand what you are saying. You want to experience winter and snow. But I also know how they can greatly inconvenience travel. Like I said, if you do come in winter, keep the traveling to a minimum and spend more time in two places rather than bouncing all over the place.
OP renier8 3 | 31    
2 Jan 2018  #33
Okay cool (no pun intended).

I will consider all the options. It looks like my country will take anyway a month or more to issue a visa. So if this trip is going to happen, it will probably be closer to March / April.

Thanks for all the help.
OP renier8 3 | 31    
9 Jan 2018  #34
I have done much work on my plan based on some more input and reading on the web. This is the route and appropriate number of days per town:

Your opinion and input will be greatly appreciated.
Thank you
Chemikiem 5 | 1,202    
9 Jan 2018  #35
I am not sure if 3 nights would be too long for Krynica. It is a small town, but I guess you're visiting there to see some snow. Not sure how easy it would be to get around by road if you are still going in Jan/Feb and there is lots of snow. You mention driving there, are you hiring a car? If it were me, I would spend an extra night in one of the cities instead, but that's just my opinion and at some point you will have to make up your own mind about where to go!

Don't miss a trip to the salt mines when you go to Kraków :-
Dirk diggler 7 | 3,889    
9 Jan 2018  #36
I am surprised at what seems to be a reluctance to travel far for the Poles

Poles actually travel a lot but more so abroad like to Turkey, Bulgaria, Egypt, Thailand, Spain, France, Germany, etc. Even like people who aren't making a killing like say your average taxi driver or maid will take vacations abroad since the tickets are cheap. A lot of Pol-Ams will go to Poland then buy tickets for a flight to another country to visit as its way cheaper.

Krakow is beautiful - it's the cultural capital of Poland. See Wawel Castle first and foremost.

Zakopane isn't too far either like 2 hours from Krakow and it's worth visiting especially if you're into mountains, winter sports,. It's like a Polish Aspen, Colorado or mini Basel without the watch industry.
OP renier8 3 | 31    
10 Jan 2018  #37
Thank you very much. It makes sense about the travel.
For us it is the other way around. Our currency is very weak.
I have plans to stay in Krakow for three nights.

Thank you
Dirk diggler 7 | 3,889    
10 Jan 2018  #38
Id stick with krakow zakopane warsaw and maybe wroclaw. Poznan lublin katowice and tri cities are okay if youre goung for a long time but id focus more on krakow and zakopame amd perhaps warsaw and wroclaw if u have more time. Chances are if youre flying from far away ull likely land in warsaw. Warsaw is pretty and its worth seeing the old quarter and perhaps palace of culture. Sadly ive been to warsaw like a dozen times and have yet to go inside the palac kultury. Theres a good bit of museums but its not like all historic like.krakow. warsaw is now reconstructed and looks like a modern gentrified hipster city. Krakow is probably the best city to visit as a tourist. Very lively college town lot of architecture and historical sites. The salt mines are cool. Auschwitz is close by too and its a memorial worth visiting. Then zakopane you can reach by train or bus. Wroclaw is closer to thr german border thats where im from. Theres maybe like 3 4 full days of stuff to see as a tourist the panorama is one of my faves, the zoo is cool, the rynek is great and an awesome meeting spot. Everyday theres like something new going on in.rynek which makes it fun if ur a local like one day theyll have a motorcycle rally another some sumo exhibition another like a concert thrown by some hair salon chain just random stuff.
OP renier8 3 | 31    
10 Jan 2018  #39
Thank you again for the information :-)
Much appreciated. I will build these factors into my trip..

Lyzko 18 | 5,309    
10 Jan 2018  #40
As apparently you don't know Polish, I second my colleagues and would probably stick with the main tourist areas such as Zakopane along with other well-traveled resorts where other foreign visitors tend to congregate and where the principle language will necessarily be English:-)

Although I've never been, what I've seen of Wroclaw from those who send me photos, it's just stunning!
OP renier8 3 | 31    
10 Jan 2018  #41
Thank you very much Lyzko. Appreciate the help.
Dirk diggler 7 | 3,889    
10 Jan 2018  #42
Although I've never been, what I've seen of Wroclaw from those who send me photos, it's just stunning!@ Lyzko

Next time you're in PL drop me a line and I'll show you some of the local sites. Honestly Wroclaw is good for like 3-4 days of sight seeing at most beyond that there really isn't much. Rynek is absolutely wonderful and has a restaurant that's apparently Europe's oldest and dates to the early 1200's. All the sites to see are either in the rynek or very close by like the cathedral and all the old churches. There's a palace that's also a museum that looks really nice from outside but ive never been in it. I like the panorama raclawicka and zoo a lot. There's also beautiful forests for hiking. The nightlife kind of sucks - there's one club called banana that we tend to go and then a group of like 4 clubs that are all in like this alley. Its a mix of locals, young tourists (a lot for Asia like Korea, China, few India, etc.), soccer hoolis and ukranians looking for fights, but its mostly 18-30. There's a few older people that will go that are 40 or even well beyond and they tend to just like sit at the bar and drink maybe sometimes the women will dance. There's a decent jazz club that tends to attract the older crowd. Oborniki Slaskie is close by and I like going there a lot. It's an upper middle class suburb with a mix of young commuters to Wroclaw, some international workers, and retirees that's about like 30 mins drive (or by train) from Wroclaw and it has a beautiful horse arena, nice restaurants, some hills for hiking, a huge pool that's totally filled with tons of babes in the summer months despite the disgusting green water and a lot of house parties that put the clubs to shame. The drive to Trzembnica is really nice too and there's a great pizzeria and small rynek .
Chemikiem 5 | 1,202    
10 Jan 2018  #43
Krakow is probably the best city to visit as a tourist

I would agree with that, it was the first city I went to in Poland, and for the first time visitor, there is loads to see and do. I've been back a few times since.

I also think Wrocław is well worth the OP visiting, it is a lovely city, and one of my favourites. Feel sorry for the OP now, all of our recommendations and he keeps changing his plans! Pity he's not going for longer as Lublin is another great city I feel is well worth a visit, I would personally choose it above Gdańsk.
OP renier8 3 | 31    
11 Jan 2018  #44
Hello. Yes it is getting tricky :-) Everyone recommends something different and more things to see. But it is fun to plan to trip.
At the same time I don't want to spend half my time on trains and planes.

I will see if I can add a day or two.
Dirk diggler 7 | 3,889    
11 Jan 2018  #45
Stick to Krakow and Zakopane for now imo.... depending on how much time you have to spend in PL too...
OP renier8 3 | 31    
11 Jan 2018  #46
Thank you.
I will post an updated version of my route soon and would like your opinion again.

Chemikiem 5 | 1,202    
11 Jan 2018  #47
Stick to Krakow and Zakopane for now imo

The OP is in Poland for 2 weeks so I think there's time to see a bit more than 2 places. Not so sure about Zakopane myself as the OP doesn't want to go anywhere too touristy, but in all fairness unless he wants to spend time out in the sticks, every major city is touristy. I think if he limits himself to no more than 4 cities, that should give him enough time to get a feel for what Poland is like. I still think Wrocław and Lublin should be on the list though.
OP renier8 3 | 31    
27 Jan 2018  #48

Input on my travel plan

Hello everyone,
I have posted about my trip before, but I think the threads go away after a while.
Anyway, I have done plenty of research, and if you follow the link below, you can see my plan. It is based on 14 days which is max I can do.

It's pointless in saying what I want to see or accomplish in 14 days, because it will be impossible :-)

Your input will be great
Thank you
Bulletguy - | 11    
27 Jan 2018  #49
Even in the summer time, Poland rarely gets hot enough to be considered hot and sweaty. Perhaps a week or two in August, at the most.

Hhmm......that depends on what you see as "hot and sweaty"! One year i was in Poland near Krakow with temps of 30+c driving a vehicle which has no air-con so that was certainly hot and yes i was sweating!!

Last year i was at Czaplinek (Drawsko West Pomeranian) returning from touring the Baltic states. The weather had been all over the place, some days sunny and warm, other days raining and even cold temps. Really weird. The day had been pleasant enough, blue skies and sun, but approaching Czaplinek i saw a massive black cloud looming and the weather turned. Gale force winds ripped 20 metre trees out of the ground like matchsticks. It was over in minutes but pretty damn scary.
kaprys 1 | 1,355    
28 Jan 2018  #50
Summer storms are quite common in Poland. Sometimes they get really bad.Last August there were even some fatal victims including scouts camping in the forest.

I hope you're going to have a good time, although I'm still a bit concerned about the time of the year you chose. The weather may simply suck and ruin your stay. Check the forecast before you go. Prepare for the fact everything may change within a day and have both winter and waterproof clothes. You won't be able to do proper sightseeing in heavy rain.
OP renier8 3 | 31    
28 Jan 2018  #51
Thank you very much. I will definitely take your advice.
But I will be there in March. Come hell or high water (no pun intended) :-)

mafketis 16 | 6,295    
28 Jan 2018  #52
The thing about Polish weather is that it often changes throughout the day (often extremely). It's quite common to get weather that seems to be from different seasons in the same day. In March if you dress to not be cold in the morning you might be too hot in the afternoon, or it might be snowy, longterm (or sometimes shortterm) forecasts are often very inaccurate. The best advice is to be ready for almost anything weatherwise.
OP renier8 3 | 31    
28 Jan 2018  #53
Thank you. Yes I will prepare with layers clothing, so that I can change according to the weather.

Hello everyone. Thank you Kaprys. I am still working on this while I wait for my visa.

Her is what I have so far: You can see my travel plan here
1. I have decided to go East as I make my way South.
2. I have indicated the places I want to see.
3. The only thing that looks cumbersome is the trip from Zamosc to Krakow. There is no train or bus as far as I can tell. And by car is five hours.

4. My flight out will be from Krakow, so after Zakopane - I will go back to Krakow.

Please let me know what you think. I will push an extra two days in.
It looks like this at the moment:

Gdanks = 3 days
Warsaw = 3 days
Lublin = 2 days
Zamosc = 1 day
Krakow = 3 days
Zakopane = 3 days

All these implies stay-overs.

This seems okay to me after much research, and will give me good combination of travel, sightseeing and a bit of rest (from work).
I am open to ANY ideas and suggestions please. Number of days, route, anything.
Thank you as always.

kaprys 1 | 1,355    
5 Feb 2018  #54
Your final decision is up to you really. If these are the places you find interesting after your research, stick to them. Now check what exactly you want to see in all of them and decide how much time you want to spend in each of them.

You're going to spend some time travelling from one place to another. If you're going by train or coach you will have to stick to the time schedule. Whenever it's possible, I'd choose trains - PKP intercity, not regular trains. If you get on pendolino, the journey won't last long.
OP renier8 3 | 31    
5 Feb 2018  #55
Thank you Kaprys,
Do you think I have choice to drive from Zamosc to Krakow by car?
kaprys 1 | 1,355    
5 Feb 2018  #56
Honestly speaking, I have never done it so hard to say. There are car rentals there but their websites are in Polish. Try googling wypożyczalnia samochodów Zamość.

I don't want to sound discouraging again but do you think it's a good idea to drive a rented car in a foreign country. It may snow and you're not used to driving in such conditions. The roads may not be really good and other drivers kind of reckless ...
Chemikiem 5 | 1,202    
5 Feb 2018  #57
As Kaprys has said it is your decision but I still feel you are trying to accomplish too much in a short space of time, that is a lot of cities/towns to see.

do you think it's a good idea to drive a rented car in a foreign country.

My thoughts entirely. I have never driven in Poland because I'm basically a chicken. I've seen too much terrible driving to want to stress myself out on holiday! Plus the weather conditions as you said. Driving in snow is no joke if you are not used to it.
OP renier8 3 | 31    
5 Feb 2018  #58

Thank you some much. I will take this advice to heart. So I am going to skip Zamosc. There is a train from Lublin to Krakow, which makes it easier. I will do no driving at all during the trip.

Gdanks = 3 days
Warsaw = 3 days
Lublin = 3 days
Krakow = 3 days
Zakopane = 3 days

That effectively allows me to see five places with three days in each.
And around 16 hours in transit (train and bus).

OP renier8 3 | 31    
15 Feb 2018  #59
Good day Polish friends.
I am soooo exited ! I will arrive in Gdansk on 1 March.

Updated schedule:

Gdanks = 3 days
Warsaw = 3 days
Zakopane = 3 days
Krakow = 4 days

I seem to have one extra day. Where do you recommend I add it?

ps: Lyzko sent me a message in some Netherlands, which was really surprising. It is similar to my language. Excellent! Thank you Lyzko. I do hope we can meet up while I am there.
kaprys 1 | 1,355    
15 Feb 2018  #60
I'm glad your travel plan is ready. Despite everything, I think it was a good idea not to go to Lublin this time. It will give you some extra time in Kraków. As for what to see in the area, I would suggest two things that are usually chosen by tourists travelling there. One is Wieliczka Salt Mine. Google it. It has beautiful salt chambers and statues. The other one is Auschwitz. A depressing witness to history but when will you have another chance to visit it?

Both of these places are not far from Kraków.
Be safe.

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