Krakow/Zakopane OR Munich?

Old Mar 9th, 2012, 12:16 PM
  #1  
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Krakow/Zakopane OR Munich?

I'm traveling to Gdansk this June with my H and 18 mo old to visit family for a few weeks. We wanted to do a 2-3 day jaunt at the end of our trip - either to Munich (H's preference), or I was thinking of Krakow/Zakopane. I'm wondering if anyone can weigh in on either city - & also keep in mind we have the little one in tow (so the salt mines are out of the question!). I've been to Krakow & Zakopane about 15 yrs ago; H has never been - but he would really like to visit Germany - however I think staying in Poland would be much cheaper without the Euro costs.

We have free hotel in either city so this is not an issue. In Munich we wanted to visit Oberammergau, Garmisch-Partenkirchen and possibly Neuschwanstein Castle. In Krakow I'm not sure what activities would be best with the little one. I would love to visit Zakopane, but obviously will not be able to do any hiking. I remember the town being quaint and the market there..

I was trying to estimate the cost of the train ticket from Gdansk to Krakow - & it looks like it's about $50USD one way... actually about the same price as a flight to Munich. Would car rental be needed in Krakow? We're looking for efficiency and ease of travel with the baby (I don't even know if the 8 hr train ride is a good idea...)

Just trying to weigh our options here - any tips are appreciated!
AngelaS is offline  
Old Mar 9th, 2012, 12:32 PM
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Poland is much cheaper than Germany but I'm not sure it's the Euro driving the prices. It's just a cheaper country. Portugal is also cheaper than most European countries and they use the Euro.

I love Krakow but either Krakow or Munich would be good small cities to end your trip.

With only 3 days you don't really have enough time for both Krakow and Zakopane. There are tons of things to do in Krakow, even with a child.

If you've not been to Zakopane for 15 years I think you might find it changed. The goods sold along the main street and in the market are cheap stuff that you can find anywhere. The vendors all are selling the same things. It's a complete disappointment. I was underwhelmed by Zakopane.

You definitely do not need a car in Krakow. It's a small city and has a good tram system. The old quarter is flat and easy to walk.

I took the train from Krakow to Warsaw and the ticket was about $50USD first clas with the seat reservation. I would expect the ticket from Gdansk to Krakow to be more.

I know the Polish train stations were being renovated for the Eurocup but I don't know if they are updating their trains. The toilets were not the most attractive. I wouldn't use the toilets on the 5 hour ride from Wroclaw to Krakow since they were all filthy.
adrienne is offline  
Old Mar 9th, 2012, 12:38 PM
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Thanks for the input adrienne. Not good to hear about the toilets - especially with the little one! Again, making me re-think the train idea - we will definitely not be able to avoid the toilets with a baby. We really are trying to figure out which place will be best with the little one. The quaint towns we want to visit in Germany are an hour drive from Munich & they look really nice - but I haven't researched what to do there..

What would you suggest to do in Krakow?

Sorry to hear that Zakopane was a disappointment for you. My H really wants to visit another country - he may be tired of Poland after visiting relatives for 2 weeks (and there are LOTS of relatives to visit..
AngelaS is offline  
Old Mar 9th, 2012, 01:14 PM
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Here's a thread that has a couple of responses about Krakow with children. Just being in the town is wonderful, even if you don't go inside museums.

I would try to see the Krakow Under the Occupation Museum which is new. It is so unique that you should not have trouble keeping your toddler amused for a couple of hours. There are videos of survivors, lots of rooms emulating the Ghetto, etc. The best time to go is Saturday morning as there won't be any school groups and not many individuals. That's when I went and the museum was almost empty.

I haven't been to Gdansk but I'm sure Krakow is very different. It was very different than Warsaw.

I just checked the train schedules for Gdansk to Krakow and the shortest ride is 8.5 hours but that leaves at 6:44AM. The other trains take between 9 and 13 hours. I think that is too long on a train for an 18 month old. It's long for adults!

I would definitely fly. The Krakow airport is only 20 minutes from the center of the city.
adrienne is offline  
Old Mar 10th, 2012, 08:41 AM
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Polish zloty for some time now have been too strong and driving prices up - where Poles actually vacation outside of Poland more now then within their own country. Yes you can still get deals on e.g. train travel BUT so what? where quality is not there and like someone already mentioned even toilets are just plain filthy. For good Hotel / Restuarant you are paying many times more then outside of Poland. I've been to both areas ( traveling to Poland a lot) and with a little one, you maybe better off in Germany. Rent a car in Munich ( do not stay in Munich ) just drive outside to very nice areas.
With the car you will always have all needed stuff for the baby near by.
Outside of Munich areas are really pretty.
I really liked this area with exceptional views of the mountains - http://www.chiemsee-schifffahrt.de/
other places are also very nice -
http://wikitravel.org/en/Fussen
http://www.gapa.de/Town+Region
http://wikitravel.org/en/Salzburg

Roads are nice and parking everywhere.

also what ever you decide flying maybe a better option then train from Gdansk - Polish LOT www.lot.com has promotions from time to time also there are cheap airlines flying between all of those cities (Munich included) where there are large airports in Krakow as well as Gdansk.

Enjoy!
PeterB is offline  
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