Krakow Itinerary Questions


Jan 15th, 2012, 03:09 PM
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Krakow Itinerary Questions

Our family of 4 is heading to Krakow in late March for our spring holiday. We have 6 full days on the ground, and I've designated 3 of them for Krakow proper. For the latter half of the trip we'll have a rental car, and we're mulling possible ideas for those 3 days, below--any feedback would be appreciated, including ideas for cities and activities we may be overlooking. Thanks so much.

Day 1: Zakopane, but we're wondering if the weather might preclude any opportunity for hiking? Would Wroclaw be a good substitute?
Day 2: Auschwitz/Birkenau and Czestochowa
Day 3:Wieliczka and Nowa Huta. Would there be time to see or do something else?
fourfortravel is offline  
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Jan 15th, 2012, 04:13 PM
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1. I did not enjoy Zakopane. If you have a car and can see the area it might be a nice place but in the main part of town there are shoulder to shoulder vendors selling the same cheese and tacky souvenirs. I didn't see much of the surrounding area as we arrived and departed by bus. Since we didn't have a car there wasn't a way to get around the area. I don't see why you couldn't hike in March.

Wroclaw and Zakopane are nothing alike; you cannot compare them at all. I loved Wroclaw but it's not a day trip from Krakow - much too far. It's 5 hours by train and viamichelin shows 2.75 hours by car (but I always add time when driving). Although I enjoyed Wroclaw much more than Warsaw you can get to Warsaw by train in 3 hours. No need for a car in either city.

If you see Wroclaw I would stay overnight.

2. Although I didn't visit Auschwitz it's accessible by bus from Krakow or you can book a city tour - very easy to do once you're in Krakow.

3. Both places are just outside central Krakow. Nowa Huta is part of Krakow so it's not a day trip; about 30 minutes on the tram from the center of Krakow. The Salt Mine is about 30 minutes by bus from the center of Krakow. You would not use a car to visit Nowa Huta - use public transport.

I highly recommend seeing the salt mine.

What are you plans for the first 3 days in Krakow? It's difficult to suggest things you're overlooking when you haven't given your itinerary.

Here's my photos from my last trip to Poland:

And here are some from the year before that include the salt mine.
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Jan 16th, 2012, 03:34 AM
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Adrienne, thank you much. Part of the reason for renting a car for a couple of days is that train tickets for 4 persons for our proposed field trips exceed the cost of a rental car, and the freedom of not having to adhere to a schedule appeals to us.

I was concerned that Zakopane might be as you described, but if we'll be able to hike then it seems we'll be spared much of the touristy kitsch. I didn't mean to imply that Wroclaw and Zakopane were interchangeable, only that we'll likely visit one of the two places. I love your photos--the dwarfs are charming! The salt mine is definitely a field trip, as is Auschwitz.

We're saving Warsaw for a future trip to include Bialystok; the focus of this trip is Krakow and surrounds.

This is our first visit to Krakow, and so the itinerary will include the major sights suggested in the guide book (Wawel Hill, the Old Quarter, Jewish Quarter, etc.) plus allow sufficient time for wandering.
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