We (4-5 adults, the oldest being 75, youngest 47) will be traveling to Krakow, Poland in September 2015 for a wedding. Aside from the festivities, how much time should we consider spending in Poland? What is a good way to travel while in Europe? What other countries/areas would be a great place to see? We are in the planning stages at this point, so any suggestions will be appreciated!
michelle. The first question is how much time do you have? We spent two weeks in Poland and it wasn't enough. Other people would be happy with a couple of days. Trains planes or automobiles? They all have advantages & disadvantages. Spend some time with some good guide book and you'll have to decide what sounds interesting, and how much money and time you want to spend. Admittedly hard to get four adults to agree.
I fly solo, so what works for me may not work for you.
I like using the trains when i can and thats 95% of the time. There will be times when a car is needed, but that hasn't happened. Of course it will depend on where you want to go/do/see things.
If you pull out a map of Krakow/Poland you will get an idea on whats close by, but thats relative and time and $$$ will be a factor.
More information would be really helpful. For example.....
- How long is your trip?
- How long do you have to be in Krakow for the wedding?
- Have you been to Europe before?
- Where else would you like to visit?
Train is usually the best method to get around, but that depends on the specifics of each journey.
Thanks everyone! To add to my original message, I would say we probably have two weeks. I have been to Europe before on a tour. 7 countries in 14 days, so didn't spend much time anywhere. One person has been to Italy. One has been to Ireland. One has not been to Europe at all. Wedding festivities would be a Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
At this point we are gathering information. Keep it coming! :-)
Your options are practically endless. Poland is a large country and you can spend easily one month there and see just a fraction. Or you can go to nearby (relatively) tourist magnets: Budapest, Vienna, Prague. As Ken says you gave us too little feedback to give you a relevant information. Just for illustration: I am going to devote to Poland about one week. if I like it it could become one week plus. Because I already have visited Krakow it will be Warsaw, castle Malbork, Gdansk, Sopot, maybe some other Baltic resorts; it all depends on weather among others. Good way to travel in Europe? It all depends: great distance - plane. Significant distance and between cities - train. Shorter distance, smaller towns - bus. Traveling around countryside and more people - car.
michele, when I answered your reply was not there yet. But anyway I think I don't have to change anything on my reply. You can decide on Poland only or on tourist magnets, or combination of both and only some tourist magnets or completely something different like Dresden, Berlin, etc. As I already said your options are endless.
Most tours that go to Krakow as part of something larger will group Krakow with Vienna, Prague and Budapest; partially because of the transportation infrastructure, partially because of proximity, partially because of a common historical thread and partially because of the high reviews from travelers with regards to each of these locations. Also not to be discounted are some wonderful points in between.
I visited Kraków and Warsaw for a week, then spent almost a week in Vienna, wish I had had more time in each city. Poland alone could easily take two weeks. I would stick with Poland, or maybe Warsaw-Kraków-Vienna or Prague/Budapest. Flying to Paris for a few days and departing from there might be a good option, too.
Edit: Didn't mean to imply that seeing Poland can be done in two weeks, but a few cities could fill two weeks easily.
One thing you might do is to poll your group and find out which places everyone is most interested in seeing. From that you should be able to get some idea on where to spend your "post wedding" time. It's important to consider the distances between the locations you choose, as greater distances will have a higher cost in both time and money.
You may find a common thread with the destinations favoured by your group, with several people wanting to see the same place. When you've determined which cities are most important to your group, one method you could use is to compile a list of cities ranked in order from most desired to least desired. That will give you a place to start. Once you have a list of cities, post the top four (or so) here, and I'm sure the group will have lots of good suggestions.
Which cities you choose will also have a bearing on your air tickets, assuming you're using open-jaw flights.
To answer your question, many cities in Europe are a "great place to see".
I was in Poland 5 times. In Europe it is one of my favourites country. In my trips I visited: Krakow, Warsaw, Sucha, Zakopane and Gdansk. The first time I went to Sucha. My friends advised me this place and Czocha Castle Hotel (Hotele Wam Group). I wasn't know that in Poland are so many interesting old buliding. I accommodated in this hotle and I was living for about 2 weeks in thematic room, high standart, very comfortable and It was amazing. I felt like a medieval princess:) There were a lot of atraction, for example: military integration activities , night fire shows, rappelling from the Castle Tower. This is really a great place :) http://hotelewam.co.uk/
The more you read about Poland the more you will want to see there! And since it's not really on the way between most other European tourist destinations, this trip seems like the time to see everything that interests you. See also http://www.ricksteves.com/europe/poland for some sightseeing starting points. The capitols of neighboring countries are not as close by train as they might seem; Warsaw to Berlin is shortest at 5.5 hours; see also Rick’s Train Travel Time & cost Map for an overview of train travel times in hours.