Krakow or Warsaw?

Jun 23rd, 2014, 06:14 PM
Join Date: Aug 2013
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While I still agree that the OP should just remain in Krakow because of his time limits, I do not find that Warsaw is that difficult to get around or really that spread out. There is quite a bit to see here. I spent several hours walking around the sites of the former Warsaw ghetto and Jewish remnants here. I also went to the temporary exhibition of the Polish Museum of Jewish History, which will not open its permanent exhibition until October 2014.

Warsaw is a very interesting city, but, if you don't have a lot of time, do Krakow or Warsaw to avoid knocking yourself out. With 5 days in Krakow, I barely had enough time to hit the highlights. I have the luxury of about 8 full days of sightseeing on a 10 day home exchange in Warsaw, so plenty of time to learn the public transport system (as much as I need to know) and to see everything. The only site of interest that is spread out (and bus 180 from the Old City will take you thee) is Jan Sobietski's Palace, Wilanow. If you bring a comfortable pair of shoes and get a good map (available at hotels and tourist information) you can easily walk between some of the sites.

Don't give Warsaw short shrift as a tourist destination. It is very interesting. As with any holiday, however, you have to choose.
lauren_s_kahn is offline  
Jun 26th, 2014, 01:15 PM
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Just another word on Warsaw's behalf. A lot has changed in Warsaw since the end of Communism. I found the food, for one thing, much more diverse than what was available in Krakow. I had delicious Italian veal one night and a paninni for lunch today to give you an idea. In Krakow it was more traditional Polish food (which can be very good but you don't want to eat it every day) or, in the Jewish area Jewish type foods (although kosher meat butchering is banned in Poland) usually in restaurants run by Poles for nostalgic and tourism reasons. I never, by the way, had the time to try one of them.

Warsaw used to be called the Paris of the East and it is going in that direction now, in my opinion. I would urge anyone thinking of a trip to Poland to visit both cities. I am just sorry my stay in Poland is ending now and I just got to visit Krakow and Warsaw. There is a lot more to this country than those two cities and I do hope I will have the opportunity to return. It all, of course, depends on where I get home exchanges.

In my opinion all the guidebooks I've looked at in English--and some of the opinions I've read on this board--are just way out of date. Warsaw also has some wonderful museums that most Americans miss because they give it so little time. For American Jews with an interest in their own backgrounds (and most Jews background is from Poland-Belarus-Russia depending on where the borders were at the time) a lot of time in Warsaw can easily be consumed walking around Jewish locations--albeit some very sad locations. I had no problem finding enough to do here in my 10 day stay and certainly did not see everything.
lauren_s_kahn is offline  
Oct 6th, 2014, 12:42 PM
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I was in Krakow and Warsaw. I would definitely recommend Krakow.
The city is much smaller than Warsaw, but has a historic atmosphere. I agree with the majority that Warsaw is a city with a great history, especially if we are referring to the Second World War (Jewish ghetto, or the great museum of the Warsaw Uprising:
But unfortunately IIWW destroyed the old houses and took all the charm of Warsaw.
Krakow is a completely different city. I have a feeling that the people who live there, they are more relaxed and they want to meet new people, especially tourists.
Is a city of students (for example, one of the oldest universities: Jagiellonian University : )
Interesting are also around Krakow: Salt mine, one of the oldest in Europe.
I'll never forget my tour to Auschwitz ( Everything was very tight and realistic. Especially authentic photographs and belongings of the victims.

I hope that I can make this trip again because I've never been in the Tatra Mountains, and the mountains are my passion. I always have a little time because Zakopane is quite far away from Krakow and I always have a problem with transport. (I have motion sickness and I can not travel in large buses or trains)
addysson32 is offline  
Oct 6th, 2014, 02:40 PM
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just joining in with another vote for Krakow and Nowa Huta in particular. We just got the bus there, walked through the housing/shopping area up to the Cathedral, and then explored the market on the other side, getting the bus from there back into town.

if you like music, the local orchestra is very good:

we also found that there were concerts in several of the churches which they advertised in the porch or on the door. We went to one on the anniversary of the death of Pope john Paul which had not only some very beautiful singing, but was free.

Plenty to do in 3-4 days.
annhig is offline  
Oct 8th, 2014, 12:59 AM
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OP asked this question on June. She hadn't contribute a single word to this thread since then. It would be nice to hear what she ended up doing.
mariha2912 is offline  
Oct 8th, 2014, 11:24 AM
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I just asked my cousin, who spent 2 weeks in Poland last year. She said that Krakow was absolutely beautiful, with lots to do, while Warsaw was pretty damaged from World War 2.she really recommended Krakow.
sanderskn is offline  
Oct 8th, 2014, 06:32 PM
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Warsaw has been totally rebuilt with a lot of museums. Krakow is good for 3-4 days but Warsaw has much more for a longer stay. So many people trash Warsaw on travel boards without ever visiting. I was just there last summer. My blogs on Krakow & Warsaw from June 2014 are below:
lauren_s_kahn is offline  
Oct 22nd, 2014, 04:44 AM
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limmy is offline  
Feb 4th, 2015, 11:07 AM
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lyb is offline  
Feb 14th, 2015, 02:24 PM
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Both Warsaw and Cracow are worth discovering. If you decide to visit Warsaw, check blog:
ratush is offline  
Mar 7th, 2015, 06:51 AM
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This has been an interesting discussion for me. We are planning a trip to Poland beginning in mid-September for approximately two weeks. At first I hoped to begin in Warsaw, go to Krakow, then Wroclaw, and finish in Prague. As I've read more I think that tries to fit too much into the trip, particularly as the travel time between destinations takes a day away. I've been thinking that it would be best to confine the trip to Warsaw and Krakow. We will probably fly into and out of Warsaw. We enjoy museums for the history and walking tours for the perspective they give you on a city. Any suggestions on how to split time between the city and nice day trips from each location?
JimKal is offline  
Mar 7th, 2015, 08:45 AM
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Jim - we have occasionally thought of a similar trip but i would definitely want to include Wroclaw.

Krakov is worth at least 4 days, and Warsaw the same, probably, so I would have thought that you could fit all three into a fortnight.
annhig is offline  
Mar 7th, 2015, 10:17 AM
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I would love to return to Poland one day--especially to see the newly opened Jewish Museum in Warsaw.
lauren_s_kahn is offline  
Mar 7th, 2015, 12:36 PM
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Ann - thanks. Have you been to Wroclaw? How much time is needed there?
JimKal is offline  
Mar 7th, 2015, 01:01 PM
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Sadly not, Jim. We went to Krakow for a long weekend and could certainly have done with one more day and night. When I was researching for a longer trip that we have yet to do, what I saw of Wroclaw made me keen to go there - that and it was convenient for the route we were thinking of.

Here are some of the pics I found, c/e TA:

definitely worth at least 3 nights i think.
annhig is offline  
Mar 12th, 2015, 01:48 PM
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Warsaw is ugly. New, post-war city full of concrete. Choose Krakow. Amazing, old city with historical, fantastic buildings.
xjennas is offline  
Mar 13th, 2015, 01:58 PM
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I had plans to go to Warsaw for 5 days. I left after two days. Really, this city is nothing special. But I adore Krakow.
anlangdon is offline  
Mar 13th, 2015, 02:54 PM
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Krakow for sure.
read my blog. It is chuck full of goodies!
brookums71 is offline  
Dec 8th, 2016, 05:18 AM
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My uncle lives in Poland with his family and I visit them few times a year. I think that both Krakow and Warsaw are beautiful and very different. For me Krakow is probably more historic atmosphere and is less crowded, but on the other hand Warsaw is modern and has a little bit more to offer. I definitely recommend the Warsaw Rising Museum, i left it speachless. For more fun activities the Old Town is the best choice, and to have some fun I usually choose the New Orleans Club or their restaurant which is amazing. You can check their offer here: I hope to visit Poland and discover some new places soon
mmichaell is offline  

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