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lookfar Jun 4th, 2022 08:55 PM

Baltics and Poland Itinerary - need advice!
We are landing in Riga Latvia in late August then have 8 nights to make our way to Prague to meet up with a big group of friends for a trip from Prague to Budapest.

I'm looking for advice on the 8 days/nights from Riga to Prague

I initially thought we would do this 100% by train, but that doesn't seem to work so I'm looking for advice on where to go and how to get between places

My initial thought on nights-
2 nights Riga - not sure if RIga is worth 2 nights but we'd work through our jetlag and take it slow
then travel to Vilnius - rent a car and drive? rental car seems to make sense
1 or 2 nights Vilnius
then travel Vilnius to Warsaw - do we drive (6 hours 40 minutes per ViaMichelin) or fly?
I find the Suwalki Gap - the 65 mile border between Poland and Lithuania which separates Belarus from Kaliningrad - to be fascinating (ok, I am a geopolitics geek.) I would like to see this and understand it. Seems like a major strategic aim for Russia to connect Kaliningrad to their vassal state of Belarus....
2-3 Nights in Warsaw - recommendations on best # of nights
then travel to Krakow - drive 3 hours 40 minutes or take the train??
2 nights in Krakow

then go to Wroclaw for 1 night or go to Prague??? To Wroclow - it looks like the train works
From Krakow to Prague - Fly or drive? If you drive, anywhere we need to stop between Krakow and Prague?
If we did Wroclow to Prague - is driving the only option?

I would really appreciate your advice on this general plan

Michael Jun 5th, 2022 12:42 AM

A rental car might make sense driving around a single country. Renting a car for a one way trip through several countries will be very expensive. Where there are no train connections, look for bus connections.

thursdaysd Jun 5th, 2022 05:44 AM

My initial thought is that you are shortchanging Riga, which made my revisit list. However, that's partly because I am a big Art Nouveau fan.

Take the bus from Riga to Vilnius.

Find out what the drop off fee would be if you take a car from Vilnius to Warsaw. Used to be a night train on that route, but it's long gone and I would fly.

See here for info on the train from Warsaw to Krakow:

For Krakow to Prague I'd take the night train, see:

I haven't laid this out to see how the time works, but I suspect you are trying to do too much and I can't imagine you have time for Wroclow as well.

cdnyul Jun 5th, 2022 05:59 AM

This is a travel forum so I will not give financial advice, but renting a car in Lithuania and dropping it off in Chechia might not be possible, regardless of the cost.
Since you are interested in geopolitics you probably know there is no love lost between Lithuania, Poland and Chechia, as a result of which travel is not easy between those countries.

The Suwalki Gap is a plain, prime terrain for a blitzkrieg attack., if you enjoy looking at farmer's fields it is your kind of place.
The most practical way to get there is by car.

Keep in mind that there is currently a state of martial law along the Polish Belarus border with some overlap of the Polish Lithuanian one.
You don't want to mistaken for a refugee smuggler or, worse, a refugee rights activist by the border police.

LOT flies non-stop from Vilnus to Warsaw, if your interest is only in three major cities in Poland, use the trains.
Forget the bus nonsense.
There are many more places in Poland, infinitely more interesting that the three " boilerplate" cities you mentioned.

Car would be the best for

Both Warsaw and Wroclaw are reconstructions, Krakow is not.

bilboburgler Jun 5th, 2022 06:10 AM

Riga needs two whole days as indeed does the food which, while dense, is actually interesting. What started as survival foods during Socialist times have become a good way of using natives plants in what is a flat boggy landscape to keep people alive and with the addition of a few flavours and sugar very interesting.

Bus south, yes, train is uncertain until you get to Poland. Border lands right now are serious barriers.

I thought Kaliningrad had voted for independence?

Russia just wants land, it doesn't care why, it just likes a reason, a poem, a thought. But as said above, the gap is flat, tank land.

lookfar Jun 5th, 2022 03:18 PM

Very helpful!
We will fly from Vilnius to Warsaw!

maciek_g Aug 10th, 2022 07:09 AM

Why Warsaw?
I always wonder why people come to Warsaw for 3 or more days. It's really more than enough, unless you want to visit most of Warsaw's museums. Kraków, Wrocław, Gdańsk are much more interesting.

bilboburgler Aug 10th, 2022 08:30 AM

maciek +1

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