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Help with Poland Itinerary

I am planning a trip to Poland this fall. Flight reservations are made (found a very convenient flight at good price). We arrive in Warsaw at 3:00 pm on September 29 and fly out of Warsaw early on October 16. We do NOT want to rent a car this trip, so it will have to be all by train, or possibly bus if it makes sense.

I have a tentative itinerary, which I'm fairly happy with. My only concerns are that it may be too much of the same thing (medieval old towns, which I love) and not enough nature (which I also love). It just seems like the more scenic spots in Poland are not well served by train. Our primary interest is history and absorbing the local culture and atmosphere. We enjoy visiting museums, but not constantly, and enjoying good food and beer/wine. We are not foodies and don't spend a lot on restaurants. Take-out, bakeries, market stalls, etc. work fine for us. We have zero interest in night life, except an occasional concert in a neat venue.

I would appreciate feedback on this tentative itinerary:
3 nights Warsaw,
3 nights Gdansk (will do day trip to Malbork Castle),
2 nights Torun,
1 night Poznan or Gniezno,
2 nights Wroclaw,
5 nights Krakow (will do day trip to Auschwitz and also visit salt mine),
1 night Warsaw (very early flight in am).

Posted by
4637 posts

You will have quite a lot of time in Krakow. Go to Zakopane in High Tatras. Alpine mountains. Visit absolutely gorgeous high mountain lake Morskie Oko (Sea Eye) under the Rysy Peak - the highest mountain in Poland. If you are an avid hiker and weather cooperates you can conquer it. No technical climbing experience needed. Just a strenuous hike. From Krakow to Zakopane you can get by train or bus. Bus is faster. From Zakopane to Lysa Polana by bus. To the lake by a cart pulled by horses or walk.

Posted by
12103 posts

Hi,

That is a good choice of cities and towns. If tracking down history is the main interest, I would also include as a day trip from Torun the town of Chelmno, used to be called Kulm on the Vistula. It's a town that escaped the destruction of 1945, very doable by taking the bus from Torun. Not all towns in the lower Vistula area met with destruction in 1945.

The train Torun to Poznan stops in Gniezo. Gdansk is especially interesting with its Old Town. You might consider getting to Westerplatte from Gdansk if you want to see the war memorial. Numerous poignant historical sites/museums in Warsaw, such as the memorial to Katyn, (likewise in Krakow) the Military History Museum, etc.

Posted by
2075 posts

Thanks, Ilja and Fred for your suggestions. I will see if I can take nights away from some spots to make room for Zakopane. I do think we would like it, but it's so hard to decide what to give up.

Posted by
12103 posts

Hi,

How true! Deciding what to see in Poland (or, conversely, what to drop) is taxing and difficult. An argument can be made for all the cities on your list, every one of those cities and more, if you include the surrounding area of Torun, Gdansk, Wroclaw, Warsaw, etc....3-5 days in each, even Gniezno too, since it's on a major rail line.

Posted by
4637 posts

You don't have to give anything up. You got 5 nights in Krakow. You could take one or two nights from Krakow. They have a tour company in Krakow. You can do Auschwitz and Wieliczka with them in one day, guide included.