Prague/Krakow - help

Old Sep 16th, 2000, 01:40 PM
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Prague/Krakow - help

We are planning to visit Prague sometime between 11-1-00 and 3-1-01 and were interested in a side trip to Karakow and Auchwitz/Salt mines etc. We wanted to do this in about a 1 week period over there. Could sometone kindly advise how long the trainride is, the cost from Prague, difficulies and if the sites mentioned are doable at that time of the year due to cold/weather.
Old Sep 17th, 2000, 06:52 AM
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Here is a link to a German web site (in English) that gives you information on train connections (it looks like there is an overnight train from Prague to Krakow - 8-9 hours).
There should also be non-stop flights. Check Polish airlines LOT at I am quite sure they have regularly scheduled flights from Krakow to Prague. 1 week is sufficient to see Krakow, Auschwitz and Wieliczka salt mines, but be prepared for cold weather and snow at this time of year (since everybody is used to snow there, public transportation and all businesses tend to operate normally when it snows in Poland, unless it gets extremely cold with blizzard like conditions). Not sure though if Wieliczka is open in wintertime. I'll try to find some info and post it.
Old Sep 17th, 2000, 07:29 AM
Ben Haines
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The reference library of a city near you may have the Thomas Cook European Timetable. Tabe 95 has your trains. The most convenient, saving travel time and a hotel bill, is the night train. Prague Hlavni 2107, Krakow Glowny 0528 (upon which you'd go straight to your accomodation to recover). Better might be Prague Hlsavni 2125, Warsaw Central 0712, buy a Polish local ticket, leave 0735, restaurant car train, Krakow 1010. Polish local tickts are cheap, less than ten dollars, and you get a full night's rest. Back westward the timings are better: Krakow 2241, Prague Hlavni 0733.

The night trains have berths in 6-berth couchette cars at 15 US dollars supplement and in 3-beryth sleepers at 45 dollars supplement. The basic second class fare one way was 50 US dollars in January 2000.

By day you change trains. Prague Hlavni 0750, Krakow Glowny 1615, or Prague 0905 Krakow 1830, or Prague1305 Krakow 2124.
Westbound leave Krakow Glowny at 0650 or 1102, arrive Prague 1700 or 1900.

Both these stations have pickpockets, especially active as you board trains.

Krakow is beautiful any time, including under snow. Ausschwitz is particularly sorrowful in snow.

Please write if I can help further.

Ben Haines, London

Old Sep 17th, 2000, 04:07 PM
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Here is a link to Wieliczka salt mines museum web site. They have information in English. Choose Tourist Information for opening hours. Hope it hepls.
It looks like they are open in winter but not all week.
Old Sep 18th, 2000, 10:07 PM
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Thank you both. The info is quite helpful. I travel a lot and will be glad to reciprocate in the future if I can be of help to you as well.
Old Sep 19th, 2000, 09:01 AM
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You will be traveling around Christmas/New Year - make sure you have reservations for all same goes for trains. Also check town: "Zakopane" beautiful mountain Town south of Krakow. Should be really nice around Christmas (but again only with reservations).
Old Sep 20th, 2000, 12:22 AM
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If you don't speak Polish, make sure you take an English tour of the salt mines. We took the Polish tour and I think we missed a lot. They only had a few English tours everyday so find out ahead when they are and plan your arrival accordingly.
Old Sep 20th, 2000, 08:15 AM
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We avoid organized tours like the plague, but in Krakow this summer, we decided to do the salt mines as a total inexpensive tour, pick up and return to our hotel. It was an afternoon thing and included the full tour with an English speaking guide, and limited to about 15 people. It was great. There were other people there trying to get an English tour and they were told that there would be no more that day. There was one couple on our tour who had spent half a day there a couple of days earlier trying to get an English tour and couldnīt, so they were taking this group tour. Plus the traffic to the salt mines was horrendous. We were glad we left the driving to them.

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