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Contemplating a trip to Czech Republic, Poland, plus (?) L'viv

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Apr 20th, 2012, 01:22 PM
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Contemplating a trip to Czech Republic, Poland, plus (?) L'viv

I'm in the early stages of planning a trip to Czech Republic and Poland. I'd also love to add in L'viv in Ukraine but not sure if it's practical. First guess is that I'd go for about three weeks in September - maybe this year, maybe not.

I've only been to Prague in the past. The most practical thing for me seems to be an open jaw into flight Prague and out of Warsaw or Berlin (I'd like to take a direct Delta flight to/from Portland and Amsterdam and connect there.)

Rough itinerary:

Prague
Rent a car, drive:
Cesky Krumlov
Telc
Olomouc
Drop the car in Ostrava (there don't seem to be a lot of more optimal places to drop a car near Poland; don't want a high drop charge by returning it in Poland)
Train to Krakow
Train to Wroclaw
Fly to L'Viv via Warsaw
Fly back to Warsaw
Fly Home

Most people seem to stick to Warsaw and Krakow (and Auschwitz), but I'd really like to see Wroclaw and L'viv. Gdasnsk would be nice also - but I really don't want to make Poland all about traveling long distances between cities.

The train option between Ostrava (or anywhere in Czech Republic) and Krakow seems a bit long - maybe because of the border crossing plus the need to change? Is there a better option?

Anyone thought about or taken a similar trip recently? Am I missing somewhere nearby on my itinerary you think I shouldn't miss? Yes, I have done some reading of past posts and trip reports here - but I'm always looking for fresh insight.

Thanks!
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Apr 20th, 2012, 03:19 PM
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See if you can drop the car at Brno. I rented through AutoEurope and left the car at the Brno airport but it was a bit dicey as the airport was a ghost town and I was lucky there was a taxi there. You can click on my name and read my trip report of the Czech Rep, Krakow, Frankfurt.

Last fall I went to Warsaw, Poznan, Wroclaw, Zakopane, and Krakow and I'm finally working on my trip report for that trip.

I think you're trying to do too much in 3 weeks, especially if you add Lviv and/or Berlin. Is that 3 weeks plus travel time or 3 weeks total (19 days)? Gdansk is about 5 hours from Warsaw.

Prague - 4 or 5 days
Cesky Krumlov - 1.5 days (2 nights)
Telc - 1 full day 2 (2 nights)
Olomouc - 1 full day (2 nights)
travel to Krakow (from where?) - 1 day
Krakow - 5 days
travel to Wroclaw - 1 day (5 hour train ride)
Wroclaw - 2 full days
Wawsaw - 2 days
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Apr 20th, 2012, 03:22 PM
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Consider; When leaving Krakow, rent a car and drive to Wroclaw, then Torun and finish in Warsaw. We drove that in reverse and found the driving easy, roads well marked. You may have seen this site that has much information on some of the cities you are interested in. We enjoyed each of these cities. www.inyourpocket.com Also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Torun http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wroclaw http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warsaw http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Krakow and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prague
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Apr 20th, 2012, 03:38 PM
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Thanks for your reply, adrienne. I'm not strictly limited to three weeks - that's just an estimate. I could add a few days if need be.

I've decided that although I enjoy train travel in Europe, I also like to drive part of a trip on kind of a slower pace, and the Czech Republic looks like a good candidate for that. I don't have a clear idea of what the drive is like through Bohemia but it looks nice with some assorted castles etc. on the way. I'm not sure what I would gain driving from Telc to Ostrava instead of only driving to Brno - is the countryside/towns along the way interesting? It's more convenient, at least, to drive and the distances look relatively short.

I've been to Prague - I loved it but I think I would be fine with only two nights for a return visit. I don't think I need five days in Krakow. My main interest, really, is photography and I think three nights would be plenty for me there.

I don't want to try to do TOO much, though. Poland is so big - looks like I'll need to fly at least one leg or put in some long train rides. I have read some not-so-nice things about train travel in Poland. I'm sure it wouldn't be awful, but I'm not sure I want to put in too many long train days there.
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Apr 20th, 2012, 03:39 PM
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Thanks, Iris - will consider driving in Poland as well!
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Apr 20th, 2012, 04:24 PM
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Andrew; For me being Polish, I so enjoyed driving and seeing everyday people. You may encounter trucks and probably 1940's tractors in the road. Part of the scenery. You may encounter, as we did, huge fields of vegetables, with seven or eight people across the rows, with only a HOE, cultivating the vegetables. Unbelievable. So, it's an individual decision, train, plane or car. Have fun planning. Richard P.S. Not sure if the free Chopin concert in the park are still active in Warsaw in September, but with hundreds of red roses around the concert platform, it's a great photo shoot.
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Apr 20th, 2012, 05:53 PM
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Polish trains make a million stops. It took me most of the day to go from Brno to Krakow and the train was late getting into Katowice so I missed my connection and had to wait for the next train to Krakow. It did not take a direct route and for the first leg I was talking with a couple of people and they wondered why I was traveling so far south to go to Krakow (it was on a train bound for Bratislava). I've only been on old trains in Poland and the only complaint I had was the bathrooms. I wound up flying from Krakow to Frankfurt.

The Krakow to Warsaw train is a fast one - 3 hours.

There was a recent Poland thread where this town was mentioned. It's SE of Krakow and looks so pretty that I wish I had known about it last year.

http://www.pbase.com/bauer/zalipie_p...village_poland

I mentioned 5 days in Krakow as there is so much to see and do. Wroclaw is a photographer's delight - you'll love it.

I drove from Prague to Kromeriz and Moravia is pretty but it's all much the same. Rolling hills and small towns. There's a lot of agriculture so lots of fields and the Czech architecture does not vary very much. I was there is the spring with the fields of rape so the yellow made for a lovely landscape. Telc is the prettiest place of all. The main square in Trebic is nice too and you have to pass through it on your route.
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Apr 20th, 2012, 06:24 PM
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A long time ago we did a 3 week trip that started in Munich and went to Prague via Upper Austria and Telc, and then to Slovakia, Hungary, and ended in Vienna--it was in the days when it was cheaper to drop a car cross-border than returning to the country of origin. You might consider a similar trip from Prague, visiting Slovakia, the Tatra mountains on both sides of the border, Krakow, Wroclaw and returning the car to Prague (all this assuming that you can take the car to these various countries. In terms of distance it is as feasible as what we did, but I can't speak of time to be spent in Poland as I have not been there yet.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/mksfca/...46345988/show/
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Apr 20th, 2012, 06:46 PM
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Michael - how interesting it must have been to see these places in 1975. The woman who owns the black and white building in Telc said that she spent 20 years restoring it. Kutna Hora has definitely changed.

The wooden church in Radhostem (I think that's the town) looks very much like the ones outside of Krakow. I really enjoyed my day seeing a few of them.

I'm so glad you scanned these photos.
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Apr 20th, 2012, 07:47 PM
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Andrew,
I've been to Czech Republic twice, and to Poland once. Our most recent trip was to Czech Republic in August 2009. We visited Prague, Kutna Hora, Cesky Krumlov, Karlovy Vary, & Telc. Telc was one of our favorite places; it has if not the prettiest, one of the prettiest town squares I've seen. And it was so peaceful, with two ponds on either side, lined with trees. Driving was easy through the CR. YOu can click on my name to read my trip report. That trip was for 10 days.

In Prague, you should visit Vysehrad area. one of our favorites, with STs Peter & Paul church, & beautiful national cemetery, remains of a fortress, & usually less crowded than Old Town & castle area.
HOpe this helps.


In 2003, we visited Prague, Krakow & stayed overnight at Krasicyn Castle near the Ukaine border. Unfortunately I don't think I did a trip report then. My husband drove through Poland from Krakow to Krasicyn (sp?. Scenere is exactly how iris1745 describes. We took the train from Prague to Krakow during the day to see the scenery, which wasn't that interesting, & we were late arriving at Katowice & ALMOST missed our train to Krakow, but we didn't. We did take the overnight train back to Prague from Krakow, & we didn't think it was bad. There were 3 of us, we had our own compartment & slept well. That trip was for 10 days, too.
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Apr 20th, 2012, 07:48 PM
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One more thought: if you have the time, I would add in Karlovy Vary. The architecture is very different from Prague & CK, & it's in a lovely area, nestled among the mountains. YOu can visit the spa, drink mineral water. Very different experience from Prague & other cities.
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Apr 20th, 2012, 11:32 PM
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The wooden church in Radhostem (I think that's the town) looks very much like the ones outside of Krakow.

It probably came from Slovakia to be placed in the museum.
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Apr 21st, 2012, 09:50 AM
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Thanks again for the suggestions, folks!
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Apr 22nd, 2012, 06:41 PM
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So I always have to balance my desire to see EVERYTHING of interest I might wish to see on a trip with a practical need to keep things uncomplicated if possible and not plan a trip that's six weeks long. I usually go solo and get fatigued and a little homesick after about three weeks on the road, so I try not to stay away too long (though I didn't have as much trouble with that last fall in Slovenia and Italy).

On this trip, the practical scope seems to be limiting the trip to Czech Republic plus Krakow and Wroclaw and loop back to Prague, renting a car the whole time (assuming I'd be able to drive it into Poland). I do enjoy train travel in Europe so it would be a shame to drive the whole time, really, but it seems to make the most sense.

Renting a car in Krakow and driving all the way to Warsaw seems a bit too far for me. I like the idea of driving from Krakow to Wroclaw, though, but renting a car for that short of a time is too expensive with the one-way drop constraint.

I like smaller cities and towns (Telc looks perfect), and I may take Kwoo's suggestion of adding Karlovy Vary (Carlsbad). So my itinerary (still in the VERY early stages keep in mind!) might look like this:

Fly to Prague
Prague
Rent a car in Prague, drive to:
Karlovy Vary
Cesky Krumlov
Telc
Olomouc
Krakow
Wroclaw
back to Prague
Fly home.

I could do that fairly easily in approximately three weeks, give or take a few days would be OK.

I do like seeing the sea when I travel, though, which is one reason Gdansk looked appealing. Since I will want to fly home via Amsterdam (direct flight to Portland), I could add something on the end closer to Amsterdam, I guess, for a few final days before flying home. We'll see!

Thanks again for everyone's feedback and suggestions.
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Apr 23rd, 2012, 08:09 AM
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quickest and best way for travel between Warsaw and Krakow be by train - but renting a car for your trip from Krakow to Wroclaw would be a good idea ... not sure how many days you planning for this part of the trip - but there is a ton to see in AREAS of Krakow and Wroclaw - if you interest is beer - you have Zywiec on the way - if mountains - you have from Tatry to Table Mountains ( Gory Stolowe ) with it's labyrinth paths , Wroclaw area is also full of history and full of unsolved secrets where you can still find tunnels and bunkers from WW II which even reach very beautiful castle in Ksiaz. Bolkow also in area has a very nice castle.
if nature is more of the interest check Karpacz, Szklarska Poreba etc etc all between Krakow and Wroclaw.
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Apr 24th, 2012, 02:06 AM
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I live in Lviv, and I know few photography people here to meet you with. September is good for taking pictures because of the weather. Two days for a starter, I guess, could be enough. Anyhow, you can always repeat the experience.
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Jun 3rd, 2012, 03:21 PM
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Hello,

East Europe is fantastic, but indeed you have to prepear ur a bit. Talk with people and enjoy.
I love Wroclaw and Poznan. Stop by there.

As a handy pice of advice get yourself some offline travel guide. This one is quite good and Enjoy! x

http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/wrocl...528316973?mt=8
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Jul 13th, 2012, 06:11 PM
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Almost three months later, I'm still...thinking about it, for this fall! No, that isn't too late for me. I am good at planning last minute trips to Europe.

I have put it all aside for a while and am now just thinking about it again. I'm still not sure where to draw a line around all of the things I might want to see.

One thing I'm trying to do is add Gdansk at the end. The main reason is, my favorite trips to Europe have all had some "seaside" connection - towns or cities that are ocean ports or something. I realize that most of what I have considered above is landlocked, though most of these cities have rivers. Gdansk looks really cool.

So an obvious endpoint would be to head north to Gdansk and then fly home out of Warsaw. But - what about heading over to Copenhagen instead (by ferry or by short/cheap flight) and flying home from there? I've been to Sweden but never to Denmark, and Copenhagen looks interesting too, another city I've always been curious about. I like the idea of "tasting" part of a country to see if I wish to return and see more of it in the future.
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Aug 21st, 2012, 05:05 PM
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Update: I booked this, arriving in Gdansk September 7:

Gdansk (3 nights)
Torun (1 night)
Wroclaw (2 nights)
Krakow (3 nights)
Olomouc (2 nights)
Rent a car at Brno Airport (return in Prague)
Trebon (1 night)
Cesky Krumlov (2 nights)
České Budějovice (1 night - or elsewhere, maybe 3rd night at Cesky Krumlov)
(Return car in Prague)
Prague (3 nights)

Day Trips:
Gdansk: Sopot, Malbork
Krakow: Auschwitz
(Driving to Trebon): stop in Telc
Cesky Krumlov: misc. castles (driving)
Prague: Karlovy Vary, Kutna Hora

Three days is probably a bit too much for Gdansk - but it's my arrival to Europe, plus I'll be doing day trips, and I like towns on/near the sea (this will be my only one).

Of these places, I've been only to Prague before.
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Aug 22nd, 2012, 01:48 AM
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I'm jealous, I'm dying to go to Gdansk (bit of a "Tin Drum" obsession). It does seem like you'll be doing a lot of driving!
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