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-   -   Krakow and either Prague or Budapest? Fly or train? (https://www.fodors.com/community/europe/krakow-and-either-prague-or-budapest-fly-or-train-1676819/)

susanwr Jan 23rd, 2020 06:09 AM

Krakow and either Prague or Budapest? Fly or train?
 
Planning a late September visit to Krakow for 4 nights: first day...get over jet lag; second day..tour city; third day...Auschwitz; fourth day...salt mines. Not sure where/how to go next for 3 or 4 more days before flying back to USA. Have never been to Budapest and I was in Prague in 1970...a very different place back then! Suggestions? Fly or train? I do like seeing a bit of country on a train. Any and all advice on what to do or not do would be appreciated. Anyone take a cooking class in Poland? Thanks.

yorkshire Jan 23rd, 2020 06:25 AM

Flip a coin? Hard to go wrong, but I do remember that the train I took between Budapest and Krakow many years ago went through some beautiful countryside.

isabel Jan 23rd, 2020 06:35 AM

I spent 4 days in Krakow and did the same thing you have planned. It's a lovely city. I usually prefer trains to flying but when I was searching for trips it seemed the train trips to any of the places you are considering were very long. From Krakow to Prague about 7 hours. From Krakow to Budapest about 14 hours overnight. If either of those are not objectionable to you that would work. Personally I'd fly, I love trains but about 5 hours is my limit. Longer than that I'll put up with flying. Ryanair flies between Krakow and Prague in an hour (plus all the additional getting to airport, waiting, etc. but it still won't be 7 hours).

Christina Jan 23rd, 2020 08:57 AM

Krakow is not that close to those points so I would do neither by train. I'd visit some Polish cities instead, lots to see there and it would be much easier. Warsaw would be the most obvious as it isn't far by train from Krakow, lots to see, and plenty of flights to the US from there. The other places I've enjoyed in Poland will not likely have flights to the US, just to other points so you'd need connections (e.g., Wroclaw, Gdansk, Poznan, I've liked them all). Wroclaw isn't too bad by train from Krakow, but Warsaw is the quickest due to the high speed trains on that route.

Unless you want to spend an entire day on a train, of course, or take another flight. I would not do a flight within such a short time frame, nor do such a long train trip. Even going to Vienna would be better than Budapest in terms of train time.

neckervd Jan 23rd, 2020 09:09 AM

As above: check Wroclaw, Malbork, Poznan, Olomouc, etc.
I suppose you know Warsaw already, as you didn't mention it. Otherwise that would be the most obvious place to visit, of course!

thursdaysd Jan 23rd, 2020 12:17 PM

Or you could head up into the mountains, maybe crossing over into Slovakia.

cdnyul Jan 23rd, 2020 02:37 PM

Second day you will still be jet-lagged. The salt mines don't take up a whole day.
There is enough to fill four day within a two hour train or car ride of Krakow.


Muzeum Lotnictwa Polskiego w Krakowie
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The Wooden Architecture Route in Malopolska




kja Jan 23rd, 2020 06:24 PM

I may be misreading, but I'm counting 4 days in Krakow, which generally means 5 nights, though maybe the timing of your arrival is such that 4 nights really do give you 4 days.

With 3 or 4 more days, I agree that you might want to consider Warsaw or another city in Poland. If you do decide on either Prague or Budapest, I think which to visit would really depend on your interests and your tolerance for intercity transport. FWIW, I tend to like overnight trains, and thought the one from Krakow to Budapest a good use of my time -- but it's been a LONG time ago, so I can't speak to the current condition of that route.

thursdaysd Jan 23rd, 2020 07:00 PM

See seat61.com for up to date details on the night trains. I'd post the links, but this stupid site doesn't turn off the link when I start typing again and I can't fix it on an iPad.

kja Jan 23rd, 2020 07:27 PM

https://www.seat61.com/

Leely2 Jan 23rd, 2020 07:34 PM

I took the night train from Krakow to Prague. A friend and I booked a private sleeper. We had some snacks, a little wine. Brushed teeth in the little sink in our compartment. I was worried about motion sickness, so took a Dramamine, put on an eye mask. Good night zzzzzzz. It was fun. Not for everyone, however.

susanwr Jan 24th, 2020 02:02 PM

Krakow and Warsaw planning
 
I'm not sure how to thank everyone who nicely replied to my question about Krakow, Prague and Budapest. But now I think staying in Krakow for 4 or 5 nights ending by taking the train to Warsaw for 2 or 3 days in Warsaw. So in addition to the Salt Mines and Auschwitz, what day trips out of Krakow would nice? Is it easy to rent a car and drive around, or should I look for tours? We are two female seniors. We could start trip in Warsaw if there are better flight choices, but it doesn't seem like it makes much difference starting in either city. Thanks again in advance.

susanwr Jan 24th, 2020 02:04 PM

Krakow and Warsaw plans
 
I'm not sure how to thank everyone who nicely replied to my question about Krakow, Prague and Budapest. But now I think staying in Krakow for 4 or 5 nights ending by taking the train to Warsaw for 2 or 3 days in Warsaw. So in addition to the Salt Mines and Auschwitz, what day trips out of Krakow would nice? Is it easy to rent a car and drive around, or should I look for tours? We are two female seniors. We could start trip in Warsaw if there are better flight choices, but it doesn't seem like it makes much difference starting in either city. Thanks again in advance.

thursdaysd Jan 24th, 2020 02:59 PM

It's a couple of hours by bus to Zakopane. Is that too long for a day trip?

kja Jan 24th, 2020 05:58 PM

For your transportation options, consult google maps and/or rome2rio.com

amyb Jan 30th, 2020 07:27 AM

I spent the same amount of time in Krakow last year and didn't leave the city except for Auschwitz and the Salt Mines. My trip report is on here, but there's more than enough to do not to take day trips to fill your time. I highly recommend the Secret Food Tour of Krakow, it was awesome!! And I learned a ton about the history of the city as well as ate some wonderful local foods.

Christina Jan 30th, 2020 01:21 PM

I generally do day trips of 1.5 hrs each way or less, but I have done some that are at least 2 hrs if it's a place I really wanted to see and knew I wasn't likely to any other way. That's up to you, whether it's too long, not for me. Particularly in summer when it stays light late, you are easily back by dinnertime.

There is no need to rent a car to take day trips from Krakow. Now that would eat up a lot of time. I have usually stayed in Krakow itself when I was there, although I've done a tram/walking tour of that communist suburb, Nowa Huta, which was interesting.
This is the company I used, it was excellent and the guide lived there as a child, so he really added a lot to background
https://cracowtours.pl/communism-tra...r,tour,35.html

There are lots of things to see in Krakow itself when you have the various museums, the WWII sites, the castle, the Jewish quarter with its museums/sites, Schindlers factory, etc etc. I presume the salt mines/Auschwitz is one day trip? If you don't think you can find enough to do in Krakow itself for 3 days, you could go to that town where Pope John Paul II was born, it's not far away. That company I cited above has several day trips you could Czech out (ha ha), including one to Zakopane which would make it easy.

kja Jan 30th, 2020 04:59 PM


Originally Posted by Christina (Post 17055216)
II presume the salt mines/Auschwitz is one day trip?

Personally, I would not want to combine those two on a single day trip.
FWIW, after spending a day at Auschwitz / Birkenau, I was very glad to have planned for a very quite evening.
YMMV.

janisj Jan 30th, 2020 05:23 PM

kja: Wanted to send you a PM but can't (not re this thread) so I'll leave a cryptic message here . . . Instead of 'deleted' - white text ;)

kja Jan 30th, 2020 05:28 PM

@ janisj: Thanks! Unfortunately, we need at least a few characters :( but I can think of ways to use them. ;)


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