Need help for itinery for Krakow

Old Mar 11th, 2008, 08:04 PM
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Need help for itinery for Krakow

I will be arriving by train from Warsaw into Krakow around 2pm on a Wednesday in April. I then depart by air on Saturday Morning. I would like to see the salt mines, Both Camps, and tour around Krakow a bit.
I will be staying not too far from the main square. Could someone who knows the amount of time this will take, tell me how I should arrange this itinery. I have thought of using someone for a private tour on the day I go to the camps, but then would have to do the rest of the sights on my own. Or maybe I should do a group tour and save money. I do not know. Since I have a limited amount of time I want to make sure my time is well spent and I see the above things I mentioned. Any help would be appreciated.
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Old Mar 12th, 2008, 02:13 AM
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You can visit/tour Auschwitz-Birkenau at Oświêcim in a morning, and the salt mine at Wieliczka in the afternoon. Visit your local library or book store...Polish guide books will answer all your questions. Kraków is tourist friendly. Many of its venues are hard to find,the Art Gallery above the Sukiennice is one of them. Make a list of the places you want to see and then ask questions...Find out what is playing at the opera house. Western Europeans have long down played Poland's impressive grand culture. Read about the War of 1919-21. Europe is what it is today because the Polish military defeated the Red Russians at Warszawa, Zamośc and the Nieman River.
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Old Mar 12th, 2008, 05:15 AM
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I would highly recommend using a full day for the two concentration camps. It takes a couple of hours to get there and back. We took the bus out there, and it wasn't terrible (although they got packed and people had to stand). The tour offered at the camp was very enjoyable (and cheap). If you want someone to do everything for you, a group tour is a good alternative. I don't know that you could fit anything else during this day unless you hired a private guide. If you went with a private guide, you could probably fit the salt mine in on the same day.

The salt mine is a maximum of a half day (there is nothing else there). I personally thought it was WAY overpriced and cheesy, but it was something to do. We took a bus there and then got on a tour (couple of hours maximum). I would try to reserve in advance (we had to wait around for a while and there wasn't anything open when we were there).

You might want to take a walking tour of the city because they can give you some great insight into life and history. Even private guides are reasonable (group tours were cheap).

The tourist offices were very helpful in our experience with questions and arrangements.
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Old Mar 12th, 2008, 09:48 AM
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Hi, lyban -

I agree that it would be better to allow a full day for the camps. I went on a group tour from Krakow and am glad I did.

Hope that helps!
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Old Mar 12th, 2008, 11:43 AM
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Thanks for the answers. Can anyone tell which group tours they used.
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Old Mar 12th, 2008, 12:44 PM
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We were in Warsaw and Krakow this past fall, there are local tour companies that you can book for the Salt mines same day or next, which if I remember correctly leaves at 9 a.m. There are tours to the camps as well, but we did't check into the as we had very limited time in Krakow. Make sure to go to the Royal Castle and take the additional tours there, we arrived at 9 a.m. and they sell an limited number of tour tickets, after the tours we were done around 2 p.m. The Market square is a fun place to wander around (also where the tours can be booked at). And make sure to check out the Cloth Hall for touristy items, and if you are looking for amber there is tons of it there. Enjoy your trip to Poland.
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Old Mar 12th, 2008, 02:06 PM
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Agree with others who have suggested taking a full day for Auschwitz/Birkenau, including transportation. I don't think you will feel like doing much else after touring these camps.

I would also recommend a private or small group tour, but can't help with suggestions; I don't remember who our guides were with as did I book them.
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Old Mar 14th, 2008, 08:13 PM
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Thanks everyone for all your replies.
Fodorites are always so helpful.

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Old Mar 15th, 2008, 04:45 AM
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Wieliczka was once described as being as remarkable as the Pyramids and more useful. It dates from the 11th century. Search the 'Wieliczka' site for current informations. Humans are only few years from the time that salt was currency! We may be back on it again!
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Old Mar 15th, 2008, 05:59 AM
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I'm of the feeling as well that the camps are a full day activity in the sense that they are emotionally draining...and the logistics are such that you really need about 3/4 a day for transportation and viewing anyway.

If you'd like some idea of how one tourist spent her Krakow time, here's my trip report for my visit in 2006; Krakow is at the very beginning.
http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=34841274
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Old Mar 15th, 2008, 09:49 AM
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Amy,
Thanks for the link to your trip report.
You posted a great report and I found a lot of useful information.

I will be staying at the Hotel Wielopole. Hopefully I can get as much accomplished as you did.

Thanks again.
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