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All-over-the-place Poland questions: Lodz, Lublin, Zamosc, and Pszczyna

Hi everybody,

(Apologies in advance. This is a long post with several questions. I know that not all of these stops are possible, and that's fine. I'm just having a difficult time with trip-planning this year.)

My trip to Poland is approaching fast and I still can't seem to settle on an itinerary. This is very out of character for me, but I've decided to just go with it. I have plane tickets and a place booked for my first few nights in Warsaw, as well as fully cancelable reservations in various other places. Last year I spent a few days each in Warsaw, Krakow, Gdansk, and around Wigry Lake and loved 95% of everything I saw, so maybe I am just subconsciously comfortable with rolling with things this time around. I guess I'll find out.

All the same, I could use some insight and advice. I am due to land in Warsaw around noon on July 5th (like I said, uncharacteristically leaving things to the last minute) and fly home from Prague (long story, but it's mainly about miles and having a good friend I can stay with the night before) on the 25th. As I've posted on the General Europe board, I'm planning on spending 3 or so days each in Kyiv and Lviv as well, and it seems to make most sense to meander my way south/southeast from Warsaw, eventually winding up in Ukraine, and then heading back west from Ukraine (either by train or plane) to wind things up around Krakow and vicinity, before hopping the overnight train to Prague.

Question #1: I would like to see Zamosc and at least take a peek at Lublin before heading to Ukraine (Lublin is also appealing because of the direct overnight train to Kyiv that operates at a civilized time). Thoughts on the best way to do this? I can go directly to Zamosc from Warsaw, which takes about 6 hours, spend two nights there, get an early train to Lublin, spend the day there, and then catch the night train to Kyiv (leaves about 9 pm, I believe). Or I could do a night in each city. I know that Lublin is not really considered a "must see" but from what I've read, I think I'd find it very interesting for a day. Am I correct in assuming that Zamosc (two hours from Lublin and UNESCO site) is too "much" for a good day trip from Lublin?

Question #2: Lodz is another city that is intriguing me, though I think only for a short trip. Has anybody done Lodz as a day trip from Warsaw? At just one hour each way, it seems quite doable. If I stick with the above plan to go to Ukraine via Lublin, a day trip to Lodz from Warsaw seems to make the most sense. But if I were toss that plan, do people have thoughts on spending more time in and around Lodz?

Question #3: Pszczyna (mainly the castle) sounds wonderful. Given that I'm wrapping things up around Krakow (on my way to Prague), I thought about a stop here. I won't have a car, so my options are to take the train from Krakow (about 3 hours, with a change in Katowice), spend the night in Pszczyna, and then presumably leave the next day for Prague (via Katowice). Or, return to Katowice after seeing Pszczyna, spend the night, and take the train from there to Prague. Is Pszczyna a good place to spend some extra time, or would I do better in Katowice? I've not been to either place and am open to either. I also love trains, so I am not too discouraged by all the potential train-hopping discussed above.

If I haven't put you to sleep yet, thanks for slogging through my questions! Any insights, suggestions, alternatives would be welcome.

Posted by
2487 posts

I have a weak spot for Lódz and find a day trip won't do it justice, especially not if you include a visit to the impressive and moving Jewish cemetery (north-east of the centre; closed on Sat).
In my experience a day is enough for Lublin. The historical centre is nice, but otherwise I found it difficult to get grip on the city.
Zamosc is a pure beauty and should indeed not be missed. It is, however, small and a day trip would suffice to appreciate it all.
When in Kraków, consider a day trip to Tarnów, about 1 hr away if I remember correctly. Much nicer than you possibly imagine.

Posted by
2207 posts

Hello, definitely the towns you are looking to visit are a bit more off the path.

One suggestion, on your way back to Poland from Ukrainia, after Lviv consider making a stop at the charming town of Przemyśl, which I believe is on the train line from Lviv to Krakow. Przemyśl has a long and rich history due to its advantageous geographic location and is the second-oldest city in southern Poland (after Krakow). There is plenty of architectural baroque eye candy in the old town center that reflects this. Przemyśl also has one of Poland's only surviving pre-WWII Jewish Synagogues (built in 1910).

Regarding Pszczyna, off the beaten path but very interesting indeed, I think a full day would cover most of it, including the Castle, Ethnographic Museum, and European Bison Preserve, the 3 highlights for me. Katowice is ok, it is the capitol of Sileasian people of Poland but was heavily industrialised during the Communist times, though they really are cleaning up the city center nicely, especially after that big Climate Change conference there last year. They have a vast Silesian Ethnographic park there just outside the main town.

Hope this helps :)

Posted by
12320 posts

I would suggest that you disregard what you've read/heard of places being labelled as "must-sees" in Poland. So what?

Choose the places you want to see. Last summer the Mrs went to Poland solo before proceeding with the rest of the trip to Krakow, Berlin and France, spent a week in Lublin, found it interesting and enlightening, ie well worth it.

Between Pszczyna and Katowice I would choose the former, mainly for the restored, refurbished "zamek" (the Schloss.) important historical site if your historical interests include WW1.

On the trains you can get to Vienna by night train from Pszczyna ...very convenient. You have a good itinerary for this Poland trip.

Posted by
6714 posts

Has anybody done Lodz as a day trip from Warsaw?

Yes, it's so close and easy to get to by train. It would be a shame to miss it if you've never been before.

Posted by
217 posts

Thank you, everybody, for your replies!

Not everything is settled yet, but it looks like I'll be doing Lublin and Zamosc in between Warsaw and Kyiv, as mentioned above. Has anybody taken the bus between Lublin and Zamosc? I can only find one train per day and it's either really late in the evening or departs inconveniently early in the morning. If so, what bus company/website did you use? I'm striking out on Polski bus/Flixbus' site.


Posted by
2487 posts

Where did you look for the train connections between Lublin and Zamosc? The PKP train planner gives two morning trains from Lublin and two afternoon or early evening back.

Posted by
217 posts

Thanks for the PKP link! I was looking on the site. The 9:08 train looks perfect.


Posted by
4888 posts

I had great luck with print at home PKP tickets. The conductor had no problem scanning the 2D bar code even though it was 93% size from A4 to 8 1/2 x 11 reduction for printing. Note that internet tickets cannot be re-negotiated at live ticket booths. I don’t think they are changeable anyway.

Tom is right about how interesting Lodz is. We went because my grandparents left while the going was easy, around 1919. See it before the gentrification is successful!