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Itinerary Suggestions

Hello All!

I am in the early stages of planning a 2 week trip to Poland at the end of Nov/early Dec. Air fare is super cheap and I am going to take advantage. Minus travel days, I will have 12 days to explore and would like to keep it to 2 major cities with day/train trips from each. I would love suggestions about where to explore. I enjoy culture, restaurants, history, etc. I love just walking an exploring places. I'm a chef so I love food related experiences as well. I'm also looking forward to holiday activities, Christmas markets, etc.

Any advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I have been all over Europe but this will be first time in this area.

PS, I am of Polish heritage :)

Posted by
555 posts

I have been to Warsaw, Krakow, Wroclaw, and Poznan. I like them all. You cannot miss Krakow. Warsaw is a transit hub, but it's also the least scenic.

Poland is quite spread out and it's not possible to do day trips between any of the four cities mentioned. Food is really awesome, as numerous young ambitious chefs set up restaurants offering new Polish cuisine. Prices are also much more affordable than in most of western Europe. You'll love it there.

Posted by
5965 posts

RSE has a guidebook concentrating on Warsaw, Krakow and Gdansk which is pretty good at identifying sights in those three cities. Both central Warsaw and Krakow are full of restaurants, both traditional and trendy international. The InYourPocket website and downloadable guides are a great way to locate places near where you will be. For a cultural heritage thing, if you travel from Warsaw to Krakow, you should stop in Czestochowa and see the Shrine of the Black Madonna, which is at the core of Polish religious history. Auschwitz is a day trip from Krakow, and important to see.

Posted by
1422 posts

If you only want to stay in two cities, I'd pick Krakow and Gdansk, but with two weeks, I think Warsaw is worth adding. If you have 12 nights, you could do 4, 4, and 4. If you only have 11 nights, I'd do 3 in Warsaw. True, it's not the most pretty city, but it is a cultural hub, has many fine restaurants, and has had a difficult and interesting history.

Well, to be fair, all of Poland has had a difficult and interesting history. The most fascinating experience I had in my 2 weeks in Poland was from a tour guide in Wroclaw named Mateusz, who gave me a vivid history lesson. (Sorry I can't come up with a last name or contact information.)

I hope you get decent weather that time of year!

Edit: I found Mateusz's contact info. His website is https://www.whatsupwroclaw.com/.

Posted by
113 posts

I recently got back from a 3 week trip to Poland and had an amazing time much in part to the suggestions given by this forum. If I had to pick my top three, it would be Wrocław, Gdańsk, and Kraków (and an honorable mention for Toruń). The food in Poland is so good, you won’t be disappointed. Off the recommendation of Carlos from this forum, I ate at Pierogarnia Stary Młyn and they were easily the best pierogis I had in all of Poland. They are a chain and have restaurants in most of the major cities. I ate there in both Turuń and Wrocław and both were delicious. Also, Morskie Oko in Kraków is another fantastic restaurant. I took a pierogi making class while I was in Kraków and it was a really fun experience and I highly recommend.

There are many day trips you can take from Kraków including Auschwitz, the salt mines, Zapilie, or Tarnow, but there is plenty to do in the city to keep you occupied for days. I got a private tour for a very reasonable price and I cannot recommend her enough. Her name is Maja and she studied architecture. She knew so much about the city from history to food to lore and was extremely engaging the whole time. I could pass along her info if you are interested.

From Wrocław I took a day trip to Książ Castle, again because of info given by this group. I just suggest starting your day early so you have time to see everything. The Palm house was much more fascinating than I expected but I ran out of time to see it all.

If you go to Gdańsk, going to Melbork castle is a must. If you don’t mind a long day trip, you could visit Toruń. It’s a cute medieval town that can easily be seen in a day. While I was in Gdańsk, everyone told me I needed to take a trip to Sopot. I didn’t have time to make it out there but everyone assured me it was worth it. Not sure if it would be the same in fall though.

Many people say Warsaw is a stopover city, but I really enjoyed it. It’s a vibrant, modern city with beautiful parks and delicious food halls. If you end up in Warsaw, you have to visit the university library gardens. It’s a marvelous sight and gives you the best views over the city.

Posted by
2207 posts

Off the recommendation of Carlos from this forum, I ate at Pierogarnia Stary Młyn and they were easily the best pierogis I had in all of Poland.

Wow so happy they still hold up! Thanks for the trip report :)

Posted by
41 posts

Wow thanks so very much for all the great suggestions!!!! Now I just have to bite the bullet and decide lol.

Posted by
41 posts

Christina, thanks for all that great info!! I would love your guide's info, I sent you a PM.

Thanks!!