Poland in October

Jun 24th, 2019, 04:19 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2019
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Poland in October

Hi All,

I'm planning a solo trip to Poland for 10 days in October... first time there. I plan to stay in Krakow half of that time and am looking for a second base to stay the remaining half of the trip. I keep going back and forth. First it was Zakopane (and I realized I can do a daytrip from Krakow, or perhaps just a quick overnighter), then Gdansk, then I thought Torun would be good (as I could do a day trip to Gdansk from there). I definitely want to visit the mountain region and would like to also visit the coastal region, though that's not as high on my priority list. So I wanted to see some of your favorite cities to stay in. Warsaw is out, as I'm not crazy about larger cities. I do love small towns, but want to be sure to have enough to do (cafes, parks, walking tours, etc.). I plan to rent a car, and I have family members in Jablonka that I'm hoping to meet, so I need to do at least a day trip there.

I've been perusing the threads here and getting a lot of great info, but I have a couple of questions.
  • It looks as though most people do not rent a car. Is there a reason for this? To me, it seems like the most cost-conscious and convenient way to get around, as long as I book accommodations with parking. Just want to make sure I'm not missing something.
  • I'm still trying to get used to the idea of everything being so inexpensive! Though I'm not trying to do a budget trip, I want to take of advantage of being able to save money... more money available for another trip. I'm noticing that some of the hotels travelers recommend are $100+ per night, though they don't appear to be better than the many I've found for $30-50 per night. The ones I'm finding are the same number of stars, have as good reviews, desirable locations, include wifi, parking, breakfast, etc. Is there a reason to stay in a $100 vs $35 hotel if everything appears comparable? What about airbnb? I see a lot of these and thinking it may be nice to have a kitchen, laundry, etc. Although staying alone, I think I would feel safer at a place with a front desk and security, though I know Poland is a very safe country.
Looking forward to reading your thoughts!
Thanks, Shannon

shandean is offline  
Jun 24th, 2019, 04:44 AM
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Moderator3 is offline  
Jun 24th, 2019, 05:28 AM
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It is usually more cost effective for a solo traveler to go by train or bus rather than to rent a car. It is certainly more eco-conscious. The time to get to Jablonka by train is not much longer than by car. (Info on buying tickets - https://www.seat61.com/Poland.htm#Bu...ithin%20Poland )

If I were going to Zakopane (touristy but beautiful) I would (and did) keep going into the Tatras in Slovakia. If I wanted a second city in Poland I would go to Wroclaw - I haven't been yet, but I have read enticing descriptions from those who have and whose opinions I respect.

BTW, if you want a cheap country, consider Romania and Georgia.

Last edited by thursdaysd; Jun 24th, 2019 at 05:35 AM.
thursdaysd is offline  
Jun 25th, 2019, 07:06 AM
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As far as hotels go, rates could be determined by location from city center/attractions. Look how far they are from city center for the cheaper ones. Look for a place that is close enough to the attractions in your price point, if that is what you desire.

If you are a seasoned traveler and are comfortable enough in a foreign country to get around (public transport, walking or driving - if applicable) and can arrange for your own tours, sightseeing, etc. then getting an Airbnb will be fine for you. But, if you are pretty new to traveling, then having a hotel front desk to help you get around, call a taxi if needed, or even arrange tours might be beneficial.

The prices you are seeing are pretty common throughout most of Easten Europe. I am finding that to be the case on previous trips to Prague (before the tourist boom), Slovakia, Hungary, and my upcoming trip to Serbia. Just pay attention to reviews, especially recent ones. Take some with a grain of salt - some people are needlessly picky and complaints over rudeness are sometimes subjective or a cultural difference. But definitely take note if specific rooms are noted as being noisy (near stairs, elevator or a busy street) or several recent dirty complaints, and recent security concerns. Otherwise, just pick one that is in your price point or desired location that offers the amenities you desire.
Travel_Nerd is online now  
Jun 25th, 2019, 12:44 PM
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  • It looks as though most people do not rent a car. Is there a reason for this? To me, it seems like the most cost-conscious and convenient way to get around, as long as I book accommodations with parking. Just want to make sure I'm not missing something.>>
You find it most convenient to rent cars in foreign countries when you are visiting cities? Not me, I hate renting cars in foreign countries, I really enjoy using public transport, it is so much easier and worry-free, not to mention the money you save and hassles. And parking can be difficult to find and expensive in cities. As well as worrying about driving in places you don't know the route or the language, driving in the center of some cities is a nightmare. Even some cities of 100K it can be a challenge when you don't know when you'll run into one-way streets or whatever. So I don't rent a car because I don't like to and find it more enjoyable not to have one.

Trains in Poland are dirt cheap, I don't thinkrenting a car could make it cheaper when you add in all the costs of the rental, insurance and gas. I also like feeling more part of the local life as I do when using public transportation, I just enjoy it and often meet interesting people that way, even if just for a chat. In a car, you are alone gazing out at things and not part of it all.

I have never seen a hotel in Krakow for 35 euro per night, but I stay in the center. Yes, Poland is cheap compared to other countries, but Krakow is one of their most popular cities and hotels aren't that cheap there in a popular area. So if you are staying in a modest place far out from the center, that would make sense. I'm going to Poland soon and am paying at least around 100 euro for hotels in cities like Poznan and Gdansk. Those were not the most deluxe hotels, either.

I think Poland has a high car theft rate with gangs operating that do that, also. So make sure you get insurance. Maybe they only steal cars from Germany, but I doubt it.

Last edited by Christina; Jun 25th, 2019 at 01:05 PM.
Christina is offline  
Jun 25th, 2019, 02:54 PM
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I am not sure exactly why people do not rent cars in Poland but I do know that it used to be the case (and maybe still is) that if you rented a car in Germany there was a ban on taking the car into Poland precisely because of the high rate of car theft there. More than once when we have rented cars we have been told not to take the car into Poland, although the last time we had a car in Germany (2015/2016) I don't recall receiving that advice, although we weren't headed that way anyhow. Since then we haven't rented a car in Germany. It may be part of the fine print in the paperwork you receive when you rent, if I remember.

lavandula is offline  
Jun 26th, 2019, 01:45 PM
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A lot of people rent cars in Poland, the ones that don't might be lousy drivers, can't read a map, listen to Rick Steves, or always order vanilla.

In any case why cares what others do, it is your trip.

Krakow and Zakopane have always been popular destinations, but in the last few years they have been so ruined by hordes of tourists, that, unless you don't mind waiting in line to be herded like cattle to get a snapshot of some " must see" ,give them a pass, especially Zakopane.

If you will have a car, consider Rzeszow, or Sanok, infinitely more interesting than Krakow.

Without a car, my choice would be thet TriCity area (Gdansk, Sopot, Gdynia and Oliwa that never gets counted despite having a famous organ) You have the mix of the old , the new and all the night life and cafes you want.

I don't know of any $35 dollar hotels but there are plenty of choices in the the $45 to $60 range.
Check Bookings.com for Gdynia Silver House or Sleep3City.
cdnyul is online now  
Jun 26th, 2019, 02:03 PM
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Been to Poland 4 times and drove once.I like trains and generally stick to large cities like Krakow or Warsaw (which also has some neat sights)-but driving was easy - like any other country- you'll learn quick about staying on the right right side of the road. Cars are great for folks who want to visit things on the way to your night's stay rather than buzz between them by train, And useful in Zakopane - some scenic low Alpine drives. Perhaps - just perhaps theft if a problem of tourist cars in Poland? That would be the only negative I could think of.

But to learn about Poland by rail check www.seat61.com; www.budgeteuropetravel.com; www.ricksteves.com.
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