My husband and I are staying with family in Estonia for one week. We then have another week to travel on our own-June 26-July 3. We would like to go to Poland (Warsaw and maybe Krakow) and Lithuania (Vilnius). We are flying back to US from Vilnius. We wanted to take a ferry from Tallinn to Poland and trains from there. Any suggestions for transportation, hotels in Warsaw, Krakow and Vilnius, special events, etc.
We were in Poland in September of 2012. In Krakow, we stayed at the Hotel Alexander - www.alexhotel.pl. We found it to be very nice. It's down kind of a small side street, but it was within walking distance to the main square which is where everything you want to see is located. Decent breakfast in the morning that is included as well. I would suggest in Krakow that you stick with public transportation and/or walking. Most of the places you will want to see in Krakow are right around the main square, so easily managed by walking.
In Warsaw, I've stayed at both the Holiday Inn as well as the Hotel Novotel - both in the city center. Both were very nice hotels. Both were kind of typical of a "big city" hotel - very large, "corporate feel", etc. Warsaw is much larger and a bigger challenge to get around. However, I still recommend sticking with walking and/or public transportation. Driving and parking is Warsaw is challenging.
It is very easy to take trains throughout Europe, and particularly from city to city within Poland. We took trains in between cities and found them to be very reasonable in price, efficient, and easy to use.
Re: hotels in Warsaw. If by chance you are in Warsaw over the weekend, check out the prices for the international chain hotels such as the Marriott, Hyatt, etc. These hotels tend to offer really low rates when the business folks are not in and can be a great option for upgraded accommodations at very good prices.
For Warsaw. Consider a bus from your Baltic destination to Warsaw.
Hotels would recommend ones rght in the center. Polonia Palace is modern and in center (personally stayed in the past) Novotel is a large hotel right at center. Also a group of hotels centered on the MDM hotel just off the center a couple of tram stops.
In Krakow try the Globtotter it is a smaller hotel but is very nice is has great reviews. It is just a few blocks the main square. But the best is Wielopole Hotel. it is also very near and the staff is very nice. When I visit Krakow I stay at one of the above places and prices are good.
Any other questions about Poland feel free to ask. I put some helpful links here.
We were very pleased with our stay in Krakow at the Hotel Wielopole. It is just a couple of minutes walk to the main square, ATM practically next door, tram connections close by too. The price was quite reasonable, the breakfast was huge...with made to order eggs if requested...and all the staff, from servers to front desk were warm and friendly. When we checked in..get this..they told us there was a better rate available than the one we had booked and we upgraded to a larger room...that hasn't happened to me too often. I would recommend the hotel highly. Also, we took the Auschwitz tour arranged door to door by the hotel with a local company. They made the call, gave us our choice of time for pick up, and it was done. Excellent value, excellent tour, guides, the whole nine yards. We are not tour people, but this was so easy and rewarding that we signed on the next day for the salt mines. Enjoy beautiful Krakow.
I am a Pole and live in Szczecin, NW part of Poland in the seaside area, a capital of region called Western Pomerania. This is also good destination for a few days trip. You can find some hotels in the city center as Radisson Blu in the skyscraper named PAZIM or cosy and small Park Hotel near PAZIM. There is also a hotel on the river 'Bończa', in Szczecin-Dąbie, the eastern part of the city. Except hotels Szczecin has many interesting places of nature and culture, for instance The Pomeranian Dukes' Castle, National Museum, Summer Theater, Roses Garden and Ładoga Restaurant on the Oder River. In the area - among others Szczecin Landscape Park, Szczecin Lagoon, Jasienica Abbey in Police, Świdwie Reserve near Police, The Old Town of Nowe Warpno, Festival of Slavs and Vikings, Regional Museum and Open Air Museum in Wolin, Międzyzdroje - a seaside resort known as 'The Pearl of the Baltic' and attractions of Świnoujście - a town situated on 44 islands, for example the lighthouse, The Eastern Fort and nature reserve Karsiborska Kępa. There is "Solidarity" Szczecin–Goleniów Airport between Szczecin and Świnoujście, harbour in Świnoujście with ferries to Ystad in Sweden, a hydrofoil from Świnoujście through Trzebież to Szczecin and train connections e.g. from Warsaw, Gdańsk, Olsztyn, Białystok, Poznań, Cracow or German capital Berlin.
If you have some free time, you can take into consideration also other places in Poland, not only Warsaw and Cracow.
Let me know if you have any questions where to travel in Poland.
We've been in Lithuania three times. If you're not set on ferrying from Tallinn to Poland (can one do that?), you might consider the bus from Tallinn to Riga to Vilnius. You could stop in Siauliau to visit the Hill of Crosses. And Kaunas for the Ninth Fort and the jewish memorial. Vilnius old town has a lot of interesting sites. You'll enjoy it. In Vilnius I also recommend the Domus Maria Guesthouse. The Litinterp Guest House is more simple and basic, and, of course, less expensive. (You might want to consider enjoying the 3 Baltic countries on this trip and leave Poland for another.) Further, we took an interesting train trip from Vilnius to Warsaw. You, of course, would do the reverse. However, returning to the US from Warsaw would be an easier flight--fewer changes, etc.--than from Vilnius. The In Your Pocket guides are free online with a lot of information about all of these cities. Enjoy your trip.