Please Help - Poland - Prague - Vienna

Aug 26th, 2015, 11:32 PM
  #1  
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Please Help - Poland - Prague - Vienna

Hi:
I will be in Torun, Polund in a couple of weeks. I will be in Torun for 4 or 5 days and somewhat busy. I would love to see Krakow if possible.

From Torun, I will have eight days so I decided to go to Prague and Vienna, but I'm kind of open if there is some where better. I do fly home from Vienna though (could possibly change that). Anyways, I would love some ideas re Torun and if it is possible to go to Krakow on my way out of Torun or for a day during my stay in Poland? I'm planning on taking an over night train from Torun to Prague. Is this the best way? Will I need to get this ticket now?

From Prague, I was going to go to Vienna and wondering if I should go to Salzburg first than back to Vienna? Or should I forget Salzburg this trip? If I do go, should I go by train and which one? Can I get that ticket when I'm there?

How many days would you spend in Prague as opposed to Vienna? And what would be the best things to do (Sept. 28 - Oct. 4). As you can see, my plans are kind of everywhere. Any ideas and help would be welcomed. Thank you so much.
tms777 is offline  
Aug 27th, 2015, 12:23 AM
  #2  
 
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I can't help you determine the number of days in Prague vs. Vienna because I may have different interests and preferences than yours. I'm not much of a museum person, nor am I that interested in classical music performances. I loved Prague (been twice now) but Vienna didn't do much for me. Music lovers may like Vienna more than I did I suppose. I spent only two nights in Vienna and that was enough for me.

But if you are asking ME...I'd change my return from Vienna to Prague, personally, and spend more time in Poland - just my preference.

Prague is quite touristy FYI - literally mobbed with tourists at that time of the year. It's a fairly small city (in the core anyway), but to me the best part of Prague is just walking around. It has a lovely feel to it, when you get away from the tourist mobs. Still, if you are interesting museums or attractions, you might study up on what each city has to offer and whether you would be interested.

Torun is quite a ways from Krakow - how would you get there? Poland has a rickety, slow train system, but it works. Sometimes buses are faster. When I visited Poland in 2012, I trained from Gdansk down to Torun, then to Wroclaw and then to Krakow. You can check the PKP website to find out the train schedules (I found in 2012 that the German Bahn.com site I usually use for European train schedules did not have accurate Polish train schedules FYI - in case people recommend that site.) If you really want to go to Krakow, figure how long it would take you to get down there and decide whether it's worth it.

I loved Krakow (most people do), but it may take a few days to get the most out of it. There is a lot of historical stuff, of course.

I found Torun delightful by the way - not very big but lively and charming. I hope you will be staying in or near the center so you can enjoy it. If you do get any free time while you are there, maybe half a day, try to sneak in a visit to Malbork Castle up toward Gdansk - really wonderful castle. Gdansk itself is a very interesting city, too, and very worth seeing, but maybe that's pushing it during your work time, and of course it's in the opposite direction of Krakow.
Andrew is online now  
Aug 27th, 2015, 05:00 PM
  #3  
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Thank you so much for your thoughts. Yes, I believe Prague 3 days and Vienna 2 unless I go to Salzburg of course. All I know is that I have to be in Torun until September 27th and than I have until October 4th to leave Europe. That is quite a few days in Europe and I just couldn't figure out where to go so Prague/Vienna sounded good. I was going to go from Poland to France. But I have been to Paris so I wanted to go somewhere I hadn't gone. I also considered Germany. But for some reason Prague sounded like a good place.
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Aug 27th, 2015, 05:21 PM
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There are plenty of places worth seeing without going to France from Torun. Prague is wonderful. Gdansk, Wroclaw, and Krakow are all very worth seeing (but not in the same direction). You could stop in Warsaw, too, on the way to Krakow, though I skipped Warsaw. Unless you are really anxious to get home, I would see it as "not many extra days in Europe" instead of "quite a few days in Europe!" Personally, I would want an extra week.
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Aug 27th, 2015, 06:26 PM
  #5  
kja
 
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Sorry, but I’m confused about your time frame: Do your 8 days include any time you might spend in Krakow? If so, I would make that a priority – Krakow is, IMO, thoroughly delightful, and it is not easily reached from most other locations that most travelers reach, so you might want to take full advantage of this unique opportunity to see it.

Krakow has so much to offer that I’m not sure that a day trip makes most sense. I recommend that you get some good guidebooks (always a good investment, IMO, or spend some time with a few in your local library), identify the things you most want to see in Krakow, note their opening/closing times, and mark them on a calendar. Then pencil in your transportation, add some time on either side (for getting to/from your lodging, checking in/out, packing/unpacking, getting oriented, etc.). Then see how things fit together. I wouldn’t be surprised if you end up deciding, as many of us have, that Krakow is easily worth 4 or 5 days.

BTW, if you have even a tiny interest in art, do consider visiting the Lady with an Ermine while there – she is very special!

Again, while it really depends on YOUR interests, I would find it very challenging to visit Prague and Vienna in the time you have -- even if you are talking about all 8 days! Trying to add Salzburg, or anything else, would just NOT work for me! So again, I recommend that you consult some guidebooks to find what might work for you.

I think Andrew’s idea of seeing a bit more of Poland well worth considering. Again, it isn’t all that easily reached….

FWIW, I thought Warsaw worth a few days, but it isn’t a “gem,” IMO – it’s a city where where can find some interesting corners and some areas of historic interest, but sometimes more interesting for how what you see contrasts with what once was, than for what you are actually seeing (if that makes any sense). Even so, it does have a few sites that I am VERY glad I saw! YMMV.

Hope that helps!
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Aug 27th, 2015, 07:59 PM
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Kja: Thank you so much for your thoughts. Yes, it helps. I am in Torun Poland 9-22 thru 9-27. My daughter is competing (ice skating) so the days she is competing I will have to be there. (appx. 3) so while she has to be there to practice and cheer on her other team mates, perhaps my husband and I can go to Krakow for a day or two during that time frame.

From Torun, we were planning on going directly to Prague (I am still working out that logistic as I was told that there is a night train but I haven't found it yet). So, the plan was to be in Prague 3 or 4 days and then take the train to Vienna for 3 or 4 days. We currently fly out from Vienna on the 4th of October.

Yes, I love art, so I will look into visiting the lady with an Ermine. Since our vacations revolve around my daughter's skating, I am trying to make the most of it.
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Aug 27th, 2015, 08:36 PM
  #7  
kja
 
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@ tms -- working around your daughter's plan certainly makes sense! And congrats to her (and you) for achieving a level worthy of international competition.

If you have an interest in art, do consider what to do while in Vienna -- SO many magnificent museums! IIFC, I had 4 full days there, and did NOT see all the museums (or other sites) I would have liked to se -- YMMV.

And if you have time in Warsaw, consider trying to visit the Museum of John Paul II Collection. When I was there (1995), the works were in sad need of restoration -- some were SO dark that one could hardly see the images! -- but OMG, even so, some of those works were obviously astounding!

If art is a priority, and if you are still considering both Prague and Vienna, you might want to tilt toward Vienna. I had 4 full days in Vienna (5 nights, and actually closer to 4.5 days), and as a lover of art, I could have easily used more time there. I loved my 3 days (or so) in Prague, but not so much for its art... JMO!
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Aug 27th, 2015, 08:40 PM
  #8  
kja
 
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"IIRC" -- If I Recall Correctly, not IIFC -- sorry!
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Aug 27th, 2015, 11:04 PM
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If you are looking for more reasons to spend time in Vienna the week of 28 September...

Edward Munch exhibit at Albertina (plus the Habsburg staterooms).

Rembrandt/Titian exhibit (from the Dresden Gemäldegallerie) at Prince Eugene's Winter Palace (a worthy palace to visit in its own right).

2015 celebrates 150 years of the Ringstraße, the grand boulevard that surrounds the Inner Stadt. There is a special "Klimt and the Ringstraße" exhibit at Belvedere; an exhibit at the Jewish museum on how the "Jews built the Ringstraße," and a couple of others.

WienerWiesen will also be underway at Prater, Vienna's nod to Oktoberfest. Also, from 2-4 October the city is hosting the Vienna Food Festival, featuring foods from street vendors and food trucks.

Finally, Palais Schwarzenburg has an Open House that weekend. The palace is the last family-owned palace in Vienna and was featured in the Bond movie, "The Living Daylights." It is now a high-end hotel.
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Aug 27th, 2015, 11:11 PM
  #10  
kja
 
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Oooh, fourfortravel, I want to come for these special events! If only....
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Aug 27th, 2015, 11:49 PM
  #11  
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@fourfortravel: Wow, thank you so much. I am so looking forward to experiencing all, or as many as I can, of the festivities you have mentioned.
Thank you again.....
tms777 is offline  
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