Driving itinerary, feedback wanted

Old Jul 25th, 2017, 01:17 AM
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Driving itinerary, feedback wanted

Planning a trip to Poland for the first time.

Flying into Krakow August 25th 1pm, and leaving from Warsaw 12-14 days later. There are two of us and I found a reasonable one way car rental dropping car off in Gdansk or Warsaw.

Krakow 31/2 days, pick up car on day 4 at 4pm, head to Auschwitz, overnight, 8 am visit (online ticket) on 5th morning, onwards to Wroclaw for a night (5th).
Poznan for 2 nights (6,7), leave early morning, visit Torun, overnight in Malbork (8th). Visit Malbork castle 9am.
Leave Malbork for Gdansk, overnight for 2 or 3 nights.
Drive to Warsaw, drop off car, spend one maybe two nights. Fly home.
Any feedback will be appreciated. We drive often overseas and travel light with only carry on rollerbags and small backpacks. We travel on the fly and are very flexible, and will booking lodgings that are easy to drive to and park, last minute using booking.com like we've done in Romania, Greece, Bulgaria and Colombia.
The area around Hel looks interesting, I am considering skipping Warsaw visit and fly straight from Gdansk to Warsaw airport and home. This way we can spend more time in Baltic sea area.
Any tips feedback will be much appreciated.
Just finished reading this lovely food and travel book. Highly recommended.
tangwah is offline  
Old Jul 25th, 2017, 11:35 AM
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What interests you in Poznań and Wrocław?

Since you will have a car I would replace the cities above with Częstochowa /Jasna Góra, Gniezno and Biskupin.

You might be interested in Olkusz and the nearby park; Ojcowski Park Narodowy.

Regardless I would not overnight in Malbork, but in Toruń.
Consider adding the castle in Kwidzyn, it is north of Toruń,
on the way to Malbork. You could visit both in one day and still make it to Gdansk for the night.

The area of Hel is interesting, IMO the best way to get there is by boat, those run from Gdansk and Gdynia.

I think the TriCity area deserves at least three nights, but I was born there, so I might be biased.

Hands down, who cares about the money, my choice for a hotel in Gdansk would be the Hilton on Rybny Targ, otherwise I would stay in Gdynia, either at Dom Marynarza, (100 meters from the sea, breakfast, free parking) Hotel Nadmorski, (same location, higher standard) or Hotel Neptune, (former Swedish Embassy building, heart of Gdynia location, 10 minute walk to the train station, parking)

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Old Jul 25th, 2017, 04:24 PM
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You might want to consider taking a tour from Krakow to Auschwitz, rather than driving there and staying overnight. My reasoning is that visiting Auschwitz / Birkenau can be a very powerfully emotional experience – or at least it was for me. I did not want to have to think about anything for some time afterwards, or more precisely, I wanted to let my thoughts be whatever they were. And for similar reasons, I planned for nothing else on that particular day, except for a very quiet dinner. Even if you are staying very near, it's one more place to navigate (camp to lodging), one more place where you will need to decide on your dinner options, etc. And it's one more change of hotels. JMO.

If I understand from your other post, you are coming from the US, which means that you will likely have jet lag in Krakow. If so, 3.5 days might be on the short side, particularly if you take my advice about Auschwitz.

While in Krakow, do consider making time for the Lady with an Ermine -- she is very special.

I'm glad I spent some time in Warsaw. It isn't as beautiful or charming as Krakow, but IMO, it offered some things that were very well worth seeing.

I haven't been to other parts of Poland, though, and so can't comment on them or about how to balance the option of time in Warsaw with your other interests.

Hope that helps!
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Old Jul 26th, 2017, 12:22 AM
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Thank you both so much for helpful replies.

Cynul. My itinerary is mostly based on information gathered from travel forums, travel blogs and a lonely planet Eastern European guide book from the public library. Wroclaw and Poznan are both highly touted on travel blogs. I did think it could be repititive visiting all 3 cities and your alternatives are very appealing. Thanks too for recommendations on lodgings, cdnyul. I think it might be time for me to buy a good travel guidebook on Poland.

I've read that the ferries to Hel stop August 31st unfortunately otherwise that would be a great way to get there.

Kja thanks again for feedback and concern. My Husband is lucky, jetlag doesn't seem to affect him and I recover very quickly too on transatlantic flights. Jetlag after travelling to Asia is is brutal for both of us though. My friend and neighbor just returned from a visit to Auschwitz (it was a quick visit to Poland just for Auschwitz for him). He didn't think we'll have a problem moving on after our visit.
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Old Jul 26th, 2017, 12:34 AM
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At the risk of belaboring the point, there's a difference between "having a problem" moving on after visiting Auschwitz and wanting to take the time to avoid doing so. i'm sure I COULD have moved on, without difficulty, had I wanted to do so. Instead, I WANTED to give myself time to absorb the experience, with minimal distraction, and I'm glad I did.

I'm not saying what would be right for you -- I think its a very personal thing. Just trying to be clear....
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