I need help or confirmation on our first trip to Poland from mid August to mid September. We arrive in Warsaw in the evening and plan on 4 nights there. Take the train to Gdansk for 4 nights as well. Krakow is next for 5 nights. There is a early train that leaves Gdansk and we can be in Krakow by 1pm at the latest. We love to hike and Zakopane is fairly close so thought we would go there for 5 days of hiking. We have 2 nights left before leaving from Warsaw. Should I extend time in any of the cities I have mentioned or cut time or see someplace else? I would greatly appreciate any thoughts. Should use a different sequence or not? Thanks
It depends on what you want to do in each city. I'm very interested in 20th century history, so I spent a lot of time at museums and historical sites in Poland. I ended up with 8 full days in Warsaw, 5 full days in Gdansk and 7 full days in Krakow--not counting days spent on side-trips outside those cities. The extra time in Warsaw was due to the sheer number of sites I visited. In Gdansk it was the incredible amount of time I spent in the WW II Museum, plus a lot of time at the Solidarity Center.
Most tourists have time allocations much closer to yours. If you think you have the right timing, based on what you've gleaned from your guidebook and possibly also from TripAdvisor's Things To Do lists, stick with what you've got. But realize that you have just 3 days in Warsaw and 3-1/2 in the other two cities.
With 3 weeks available, I would say that you could definitely spread out your itinerary to give more of a taste of Poland as a whole. I also feel like 5 days in Zakopane is a tad excessive. That being said, here is how I would rearrange your itinerary to incorporate more variation:
Fly into Warsaw
-Warsaw (3 nights)
-Torun (2 nights)
-Malbork Castle Town (2 nights): With a day trip through the Masurian lakes district to the Grunwald Battlefield/Museum
-Gdansk (3 nights)
-Gniezno (2 nights): With a day trip to the Iron Age fortified settlement of Biskupin
-Wroclaw (3 nights): With a day trip to the Churches of Peace in Jawor and Świdnica
-Kraków (3 nights): With a day trip Schloss Pleß at Pszczyna.
-Zakopane (2 nights)
-Kraków (1 night)
Fly out of Kraków
Hope this helps :)
I agree about adding Torun and Wroclaw. Torun would be a train stop between Gdansk and Warsaw. Wroclaw is to the west (look on a map) and a little bit of a detour, but it is a nice town. Torun is smaller.
Consider flying from a city in the north to Wroclaw. This could save you some time. It's a nice city, though I prefer Poznan to it.
Thanks for your replies. After reading the replies am thinking of cutting 2 days from Zakopane and adding Wroclaw. That will allow us 2 days in Warsaw before we travel home. Thanks again.
Good that you're setting aside 5 nights for Krakow. I agree with doing a day trip to see Schloss Pleß in Pszczyna, which was formerly known as Pless if you're into the history...well worth your time.
Keep in mind too in Krakow are two large, obvious historical monuments, one to Grunwald (1410), dedicated to the Polish battlefield victory, and the other monument to the victims of Katyn, that forest west of Smolensk. The Grunwald monument is within walking distance from Krakow Glowny (central station). The Katyn monument is a large cross in the center area on the sidewalk with the word "KATYN" over the cross..poignant, gripping.
Are you choosing your itinerary in Poland based on what the tourists usually see or are you pursuing your own interests?
There are lots of interesting places...Lublin, the Masurian Lakes area, northeast Poland, the towns in the lower Vistula, some of which survived intact, in the east, Przemsyl, the towns along the Baltic, and so.