Warsaw, Krakow, Gdansk, and Wroclaw

Old Dec 27th, 2016, 04:51 PM
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Warsaw, Krakow, Gdansk, and Wroclaw

I'm arrived to Warsaw at noon on Jan 19th. We fly out very early on Jan 29. I really want to do a loop (via train) from Warsaw to Krakow to Wroclaw to Poznan to Gdansk and back to Warsaw to fly out.

I have read many people say Warsaw isn't that exciting. I'm not big on the more modern cities and it reminds me of what Frankfurt looks like, so I was thinking of just seeing that on the 19th when we fly in and then taking a train out that night.
Krakow 4-5 nights
Gdanks 3-4 days
Wroclaw- I haven't searched enough to see recommendations for this
Poznan- Also haven't searched much for this

I am wondering if 8 full days (and 1/2) is enough to see that many cities, especially traveling via train. It seems like there are a lot of trips to choose from. And if I had to cut one out, I'm stuck on which would would go! Any recommendations?

If it helps, I'm much more of a smaller town girl. My favorite city ever is Brugges, but I loved pretty much every town in the Netherlands. I'm not positive what to expect from the towns.

Basically, just any input right now would be wonderful! I have basically 1 week to plan the entire trip before school start back, and then it'll be a rush to get my work done before we head out to Poland.
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Old Dec 27th, 2016, 05:08 PM
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We had read about this unusual tour company in Warsaw and all five of us ended up really enjoying the tour. It may not fit with your schedule though. Check the Tripadvisor reviews if your interested:

http://adventurewarsaw.pl/en/
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Old Dec 27th, 2016, 06:02 PM
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If you love small towns, the town of Torun should be on your list. It's a lovely town between Warsaw and Gdansk. You could probably stop off the train for a few hours between Warsaw and Gdsansk. I spent a night, which was not required, because the town is fairly small (the center, where you'd mostly want to explore, anyway).

You can see my 2012 trip report (with pictures) by clicking on my name and finding it in my profile. I visited Gdansk (day trip to Malbork for the castle - a fantastic castle), Torun, Wroclaw, and Krakow, all by train. Managed to skip Warsaw, actually.

I'd probably fly from Gdansk to Krakow (or vice versa) just to save time. Looks like flights are cheap. The trains were pretty slow (and old) but cheap when I used them in 2012. I think the train link between Wroclaw and Krakow has improved. Still, I wouldn't want to waste so much time training across the entire country twice in such a short time. The Polish countryside isn't exactly that picturesque to make the train rides so amazing (and I love train travel myself).
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Old Dec 27th, 2016, 06:11 PM
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While I agree that Warsaw is not as interesting as some other destinations, it does have a number of sites that I thought well worth seeing. While it depends on what you want to see and experience, I think it would be hard to do it justice in only part of one jet-lagged day.

I’m not sure I understand your itinerary – you don’t seem to be allowing anytime for transit, which can take a ½ day for each transition.

My best advice to you would be to consult several good guidebooks and then make some hard decisions!

I haven’t been to Gdansk or Wroclaw yet; I think a stay of 4 or 5 nights in Krakow sounds about right “on average.” Please try to find time while there for the <i>Lady with an Ermine</i> -- she is very special.

Can you book your flights out of your last destination, even if that means a change of planes in Warsaw? It might simplify the logistics….
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Old Dec 27th, 2016, 07:39 PM
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It would be a pity to ignore Warsaw. This park alone is worth an overnight stay so you can visit it and the several lovely former royal buildings that you can now visit and admire their interiors:

http://www.lazienki-krolewskie.pl/en

The Chopin museum is fabulous and not only of interest to music lovers but it also shows much about the history of Poland and Europe of the time, through the many biographical multi-media displays that follow Chopin's life and career.

http://chopin.museum/en

And look at this site: http://www.warsawtour.pl/en/tourist-...jews-2771.html

I flew from Warsaw to Krakow and took the train back - the train is much preferable.

While in Krakow, take the local train (dirt cheap, runs frequently, no need to buy the expensive "tours" they want to sell you in Krakow) to the salt mines - see www.wieliczka-saltmine.com

You've never seen anything like it, an entire underground world made of salt, including large ballrooms, sculptures, grand staircases - unimaginable until you've walked through it.

From the train station you walk a couple of hundred yards, line up for a ticket, tell the agent which language group you want to join, stand by the relevant flag (US or UK), and soon a guide will walk your group into the mines.

The train station in Krakow is not the old building with the big neon sign "Glowny" any longer - a brand new station has been built next to the old, with easy connections into the swanky modern Galleria shopping center.
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Old Dec 28th, 2016, 04:28 AM
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I did look at travel by train already. Between each location, trains vary from 2-4 hours on the fast trains, and up to 8 hours on overnight trains. So we will probably leave late evening time or early in the morning, or possibly do an overnight train ride (still need to book these). I HATE flying so once I'm in Poland, I would much rather go by train, since car is out of the question. And I hate to do another layover too, since I get so anxious on take off (for somebody who loves to travel, I sure hate to get there!).

I definitely want to see the salt mines! They sound fascinating.

I guess my concern with Warsaw is that I really prefer smaller, more picturesque towns. Obviously I haven't been there before, but it seems like Warsaw is a bigger city. I would just rather dedicate my time to cities that I will really enjoy, even if it could mean missing out a little on a bigger city! I feel like we need a few extra days to really see everything, but my husband only had so much time off work.
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Old Dec 28th, 2016, 04:47 AM
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I am a lover of Kraków. And one day I will see the ermine.
Warsaw is according to my polish friends a great city. Was to sleep there last month but trip was last minute cancelled.

Btw you either say Brugge (Flemish spelling) or Bruges (French and English sp).

Frankfurt is pretty unique. About all other European cities have nice spots and nice centers.

Read the rather entertaining thread about reality check for fast travelers it can be an eye opener on time spent traveling.the first posts are enough after that it turns into the usual comments from the regulars.
2 hours of train means usually much more : add check out time waiting time in trainstation schlepping time to find your next hotel time lost behind the old grandma when you want to get your train tickets or time lost trying to connect on the site and your wifi Is down.
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Old Dec 28th, 2016, 08:59 AM
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The train ride between Krakow and Wroclaw essentially takes a full day (6 hours, if memory serves me right). I think you have too many cities on your schedule given the travel times between them.
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Old Dec 28th, 2016, 09:05 AM
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Just to add. I took the flight to Kraków / Katowice quite often and I was turned away once due to fog.
Another time snow created havoc.
19 jan may see some snow.
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Old Dec 28th, 2016, 10:03 AM
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Michael, I think the train ride for me in 2012 from Wroclaw to Krakow was about five hours. But I think the train connection time has been improved significantly since then. Check the current schedules.
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Old Dec 28th, 2016, 10:35 AM
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I think Warsaw is not as quaint and beautiful, etc. as some other cities, but I certainly disagree that it is not as "interesting" as others. They have several excellent WWII-related museums which are some of the best I've ever seen. Their Chopin museum is also the best I've ever seen for a composer. So it certainly has sights that are interesting, although it wouldn't be for someone who had no interest in either of those topics.
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