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Dining on the Train

We are planning a trip to Poland, and rather than fly Ryanair or something from Oslo we were just going to take the Norwegian connection to Poland. Well on that day the only flights go to Szczecin or Berlin. I figure we can fly to Szczecin and then take the train to Wroclaw. As a side note I wouldn't be opposed to spending a day in Szczecin if there is enough to warrant a day when we only have 6 usable days. I would probably drop Wroclaw if we did Szczecin. We plan to end the journey in Krakow since that is the only Norwegian flight back to Oslo that day to make our flight home. So if we did jump on the train to Warsaw or Wroclaw from Szczecin it would be and EIC or IC train. I plan to avoid the TLK trains if possible. Here is the possible plan.

Szczecin -> Wroclaw on EIC/IC
Spend a day or two in Wroclaw.
Wroclaw -> Warsaw on EIP train.
Spend a few days.
Wroclaw -> Krakow on EIP train.

I know I have rambled a bit, but I am trying to find out if those trains are enjoyable. I know the EIP are the brand new ones. Also should we expect a dining car on an EIC/IC train? For instance it would save time on the travel day to eat on the train from Szczecin.

Posted by
16869 posts

DB train schedules don't reveal any dining or bar car in the details of travel schedules between Szczecin -> Wroclaw. Dining cars are not really the norm across Europe and it looks like meals are only included in 1st class in a EIP train. See more at http://www.polrail.com/en/Poland-eating-and-sleeping-on-board-train and at http://www.intercity.pl/en/site/for-passengers/information/trains/.

You are free to bring your own food and beverage onboard, which is usually a better value.

Posted by
121 posts

That depends which train exactly you are planning to take. Here are, for example, all the Intercity trains departing from Szczecin Główny, dining cars are coloured in pink
http://www.intercity.pl/pl/dokumenty/zestawienia%20poci%C4%85g%C3%B3w/od-11-12-2016/Szczecin_Glowny_16.12.2016.pdf
For Szczecin-Wrocław, IC Matejko 9:52, IC Chełmoński 11:49 and IC Barnim 13:50 have dining cars

For Wroclaw-Warsaw (Warszawa) and Wrocław- Kraków you can check here:
http://www.intercity.pl/pl/site/dla-pasazera/informacje/pociagi-i-stacje/zestawienia-pociagow.html

All EIP trains have dining cars. As for comfort, EIC/IC trains are also mostly brand new, older rolling stock has been moved to TLK. You do not need to avoid TLK if they are for some reason convenient- if you book online choose non-compartment cars, they are new even on TLK trains. I recently returned from a journey on TLK and the non compartment cars were all perfectly fine, clean and spacious.

Posted by
5 posts

Thanks so much Sati! Can I ask you a further question about Szczecin? Is it worth spending a day in Szczecin, and then going to Warsaw and then Krakow? Basically cut out Wroclaw. I wouldn't mind also going to Gdansk, but I'm only going to have a week. :-)

Posted by
121 posts

Wrocław is more attractive and I think on the whole there are more things you could do in Wrocław than in Szczecin but if it's only for one day I don't think you'll have any problem filling it if you choose Szczecin. I've only been to Szczecin twice, both times on business so I didn't have much time for sightseeing and only remember the castle and a pretty waterfront. Gdańsk is on a par with Wrocław. Poznań is nice also, and it's closer to Szczecin than Wrocław or Gdańsk. A week is not much. You need to come for longer:)

Posted by
5 posts

I wish I could go on a vacation for more than a week. Should I just take the train to Warsaw when we get to Szczecin and just do Warsaw and Krakow? If you had one week where would you visit?

Posted by
12564 posts

"Eating" fills your gut.

"Dining" is an event.

This is the MAV Valentine's Day Dining Event. (click on the link to
Galériák, then on the photos of the dining car and the carriage.) http://www.mavnosztalgia.hu/hu/programs/show/836

They run a number of special trains every year. Some luxury, some unique; all to interesting places.

Posted by
121 posts

What time does your flight land in Szczecin? The problem with cutting out Szczecin is that there is no much point flying to Szczecin if you want to see Warsaw and Kraków. Warsaw and Kraków are the two most visited cities in Poland, most travellers do not see anything else. You could see more if you don't mind being a bit rushed.

@James E
PKP Intercity does a pretty good job feeding passengers even on regular trains, and at very decent prices. Lots of Poles like its WARS dining cars and if there is one on their train, they will not miss the opportunity. AFAIK MAV does not operate in Poland

Here is what you can expect in Intercity dining cars, I think it's the latest version but the menus are tweaked a bit from time to time and not all dishes are available on all trains.
http://www.intercity.pl/pl/site/dla-biznesu/3053/gastronomia-wars.html
(click on the blue pdf links, the menus are in English)

Posted by
5 posts

The way the flights work on Norwegian is there aren't flights to Warsaw on Saturday's. So I can leave Boston on Friday and get to Szczecin on Saturday at 12:45. We could then take the train to Warsaw and be there that evening. Leaving Poland the following Sunday. If I want to fly directly to Warsaw I have to wait for a Monday flight from Boston and get to Warsaw on Tuesday morning. Szczecin gives me two more days in Poland. Obviously there are other airlines, but it is hard to beat the cost of Norwegian.

I've looked at the WARS menus and even found a few videos online. The food looks pretty tasty to me. :-)

Posted by
12400 posts

"...most visitors do not see anything else." That's a real pity. They are absolutely missing some lovely, fascinating places with that mind -set. Aside from Warsaw and Krakow, see the villages/small towns, also Malbork, Wroclaw, Gdansk, Torun, Poznan, Szczecin, Lublin. etc, etc.

Posted by
2487 posts

If you had one week where would you visit?
I would prefer Torun over Warsaw. Lovely city, beautifully situated on the river, very walkable, and with an Intercity service from Szczecin.
From Kraków you could have a rewarding (half-)day trip to Tarnów, using the more or less hourly train service. Another lovely provincial town with a significant Jewish heritage.

Posted by
8 posts

Check the website for timetables on the days that interest you, they indicate whether there are any dining cars present inside a given train once you get your result from their browser. You're right when it comes to avoiding TLK trains, but also check IC category - they have already replaced a lot of their cars into modern PESA or Stadler trains that have "WARS" dining cars and offer cheaper connections that are nearly as fast as EIC trains.
Actually, I hope you will devote some time to a stay in Krakow, with its nearby Auschwitz and Wieliczka Salt Mine UNESCO heritage sites available for sightseeing (the Old Town of Krakow and Kazimierz are obviously as worth a visit). Warsaw is a nice city but a more business-oriented one. Two days will suffice to visit the most recommended places to see there. Have a nice visit to Poland, anyway :)!

Posted by
8 posts

The website obviouly is: http://rozklad-pkp.pl/en, don't forget of the Polish transliteration of cities' names and "Główny" added to the name of a given station means it's the main station of the city you're checking. And remember my advice to prolong your stay in Krakow, of course!