Day Trip from Krakow

Old Jul 17th, 2019, 04:53 AM
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Day Trip from Krakow

We will begin Krakow for 5 days, and i am considered taking a second day trip outside the city.Our first is to Auschwitz. Having researched , I am considering Tarnow, which is closer, or Zakopane and the Tatra Mountains. Any preferences, I know they are different!!! If we do the Zakopane day, is it feasible to drive there ourselves, or should we join a day tour?
I am not familiar with the roads in Poland and I am not sure if it is worth our driving it ourselves.

Thank you
Alison
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Old Jul 18th, 2019, 05:21 AM
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If the weather is good(clear sky, sunny, no rain) go to Zakopane. It's easy to do it on your own, and you should simply take a bus.

If you prefer to see another town in addition to Krakow you could take a train to Tarnow.

If the weather is really bad(raining) go to the World Heritage listed Wieliczka salt mine, although that takes only 2-3 hours, since it's very close to Krakow,
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Old Jul 18th, 2019, 08:33 AM
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Don't waste a day on Zakopane, regardless on the mode of transportation.
You will waste three hours getting there and end up in one of the oldest tourist traps in Poland, where the art of the rip-off has been honed to perfection.

There are better places to see the Tatra mountains, Czorsztyn or Niedzica would be my choice.

It is definitely worth it to drive yourself.

I have not been to Tarnow, does look interesting.
The area between Krakow and Rzeszow south of the A4/E40 is a treasure trove of wooden churches, castle ruins, and palaces.

I would not stay 5 days in Krakow.

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Old Oct 29th, 2019, 09:45 AM
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Krakow is one of my favorite cities, I've been there a couple times where I stayed probably about 4 days. I did day trips, of course.

I don't know your attraction to places like Zakopane or resort areas, or where you live that seeing those mountains would be so special. I see mountains a lot at home, including several trips a year out west, so when I go to Poland, I prefer to spend my time seeing things unique to Poland. I'm also very interested in WWII history and the Solidarity movement, so have enjoyed visits to cities/towns to see museums and sites related to those, or historic cities. . So I haven't been to mountains but there are other places you could go instead.

I think Tarnow is a good idea, it's only an hour by train. I would suggest Wroclaw but the trains in that direction aren't so swift and I think it would be too long for a day trip. It would actually be quicker to take the train to/from Warsaw for a day trip. I'd much rather do that, it's about 2:20 by EIC train. Which is, of course, about the same time you are contemplating spending each way for Zakopane.

Of course maybe your trip already involves Warsaw. Krakow is a bit of an unfortunate location for each day trips by train. I think Tarnow is a great idea for convenience.
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Old Oct 29th, 2019, 08:29 PM
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We stayed in Krakow for 7 nights, and did two day trips: the salt mine and Czestochowa to see the Black Madonna. The church there is incredibly beautiful.
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Old Oct 29th, 2019, 08:42 PM
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I liked Zakopanr. I went by bus.
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Old Oct 30th, 2019, 04:30 PM
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Zakopane is beautiful and exciting and has a lot of important wooden architecture and a string of smokehouses to visit where they make ozsypek, a kind of smoked cheese you will see on sale on the streets of Krakow as well as in Zakopane. and of course some beautiful waterfalls and high mountain trails. If you get the opportunity to try ozsypek grilled, do it. It is amazing charred and slightly melty. I do not consider Zakopane a day trip, however. Although it is not terribly far from Krakow, there is only one road in from Krakow and traffic can back up terribly.

Tarnow has a beatiful rynek, and a very nice ethnographic museum with gypsy caravan vehicles on display. It was about 45% Jewish before the Nazis perpetrated a horrible slaughter, lining up people and gunning them down in the rynek.

There is a series of "Eagles Nest" castles leading form Krakow to Czestochowa, mostly located in national park areas, and in ruins. They are not terribly tall (or what is left of them) but it is a seriously beautiful outing culminating in the stunning monastery, Jasna Gora, which contains the famous painting of the Black Madonna.

Of course, the Salt Mines at Wieliczka are amazing and deservedly a world heritage site. Wieliczka is also a beautiful village.
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Old Nov 3rd, 2019, 03:37 AM
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No one has mentioned Katowice. Does it not have anything of interest to a tourist? We will be in Czech Republic and had intended to stay for a couple of days in Krakow but find that Katowice would provide a more central stop for our itinerary. Would I be making a mistake if I planned to stay there rather than in Krakow (but with a day trip to Krakow to return to a city we were really enjoyed on a previous trip}?
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Old Nov 3rd, 2019, 04:30 AM
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Originally Posted by JulieVikmanis View Post
No one has mentioned Katowice. Does it not have anything of interest to a tourist? We will be in Czech Republic and had intended to stay for a couple of days in Krakow but find that Katowice would provide a more central stop for our itinerary. Would I be making a mistake if I planned to stay there rather than in Krakow (but with a day trip to Krakow to return to a city we were really enjoyed on a previous trip}?
It does have things to offer for tourists, probably enough to skip a day trip to Krakow.
Old and modern architecture, complicated history, old coal mines converted to museums, parks.
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Old Nov 3rd, 2019, 06:59 AM
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Katowice has their own via dolorosa you could follow.
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Old Nov 3rd, 2019, 09:53 AM
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Katowice itself may not be that interesting, but it is at the centre of a large conurbation which has some interesting features, and it's easy to get around by public transport, plus it is the "real Poland", not "tourist Poland" or "historic Poland".

The most extensive tramway system of the world, partly overland tramways connecting cities. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silesian_Interurbans

The place where WWII started,also the tallest wooden structure of Europe. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gleiwitz_incident

The point where the borders of 3 empires converged. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three_Emperors%27_Corner

The Pless palace.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pszczyna_Castle
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Old Nov 3rd, 2019, 10:17 AM
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Thanks for all the replies and useful information. I think we will probably stay in Krakow but stop in Katowice and get the best of both worlds.
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Old Nov 3rd, 2019, 10:24 AM
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If you're coming from Czechia you could also stop in the twin city of Cieszyn straddling the Czech-Polish border. It's much nicer than Katowice and is virtually tourist free(except local Czech/Polish tourists). An it's right on the way from Prague or Olomouc to Krakow. Direct train from Prague/Olomouc to Cesky Tesin about 4/2 hours, direct bus from Cieszyn to Krakow 2 hours. You could take a morning train, spend the afternoon in the city and arrive to Krakow in the evening.

https://www.mywanderlust.pl/reasons-...-with-cieszyn/

Last edited by BDKR; Nov 3rd, 2019 at 10:35 AM.
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Old Nov 3rd, 2019, 01:29 PM
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Thanks for the recommendation. It looks like I'll be spoiled for choice with all these interesting places to try to fit into our schedule. Glad we decided to look at Poland as well as the Czech Republic. Lots of places to explore.
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Old Nov 5th, 2019, 06:11 AM
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trip advice

First of All, I advise you to take your second day trip outside Krakow to Auschwitz only. It is closer than tarnow ( Krakow to Auschwitz is 68 Km, while Krakow to Tarnow is 84 km). Further, Tatra Mountains are 164 km away from Krakow and I feel that you should make a base there only, if you really want to go to these mountains. Of course, Tatra Mountains are full of nature and activities. If you don’t mind long distance driving, drive to Tatra Mountains for more peace with nature. The roads are fine but be cautious at curves. Wish you a great journey!!!

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