We are a group of three friends in our early thirties planning to travel around Europe for around two weeks. Our initial plan is like this:
Land in Frankfurt, Germany.
Take a train/hire a car and drive over to Prague, Czech Republic.
Travel by car/train to Poland. Places intended to be visited are (at least): Krakow, Warsaw, Poznan, Lublin. Any more places/ better places recommended? Some historical or cultural attractions and night life would be primary criteria, and we're also partial to trekking through scenic places.
Travel back to Berlin and thence to Frankfurt by car/train (whichever works out more convenient and cheaper!).
What do you think of this itinerary? How can we improve it (especially the part in Poland). How can we travel cheap and safe and yet have a good time (if that's possible at all).
If you drive to Prague you might find parking difficult. Its all for residents. I stayed a couple nights on the west side of charles bridge and there was a street a couple subway stops away called Muchova. You'll find some parking spots around there usually.
In Prague I would recommend going to Petrin Tower. Amazing view and a good walk.
There's a Tiger Express company that do pretty cheap trips and I think they go from Prague to Krakow. They certainly go to Katowice which is an hour or two by bus to Krakow. As nice as Krakow is, its full of tourists and there's many nicer cities in Europe. Wroclaw to the west of Krakow was much better in my opinion. Much more beautiful. Polish nightlife is not always to my taste, there's an abundance of Sak Noel style music, but if you ask some 20 something's they will suggest good bars.
As for attractions Go to the salt mines near Krakow. They are busy but really cool to see. Even over all of that, go to Auschwitz Birkenau, go early and take a tour. I cant articulate the feeling of the place but you really should go. While in the south of Poland, you will enjoy hiking in the Tatra mountains. There's a lake called Morskie Oko that is awesome and lots of other trails.
Brilliant answer, mate! Thanks. Indeed, the salt mines and Auschwitz were definitely on our bucket list. Looks like it might be worthwhile exploring the Czech Republic a bit more as well.
What would you say about the cost though? As in travelling across the Czech Republic and in Poland? Travelling, eating out, a bit of clubbing etc. Does it make sense to rent a car in those countries or rather take the bus? And do you know if backpacking a bit might be safe for people who have zero knowledge of Czech or Polish? I understand most urban people might be able to understand varying levels of English, but any idea how it is in the countryside?