My wife and I have traveled all over central Europe but have never made it to Poland. (My Polish father and grandfather are probably angry with me.) We're finally looking to book a trip in mid-May 2019. We're thinking about 3 nights each in Gdańsk, Wrocław, Kraków and Warsaw. Thoughts? Too much in one city over another? Thanks in advance!
Is your allocation based on what you want to see in each city and expectation of how long it would take, or is it just an easy shortcut (divide total time by number of cities)? I allocate based attractions I want to see (and transit time to each), city size (bigger cities get more time), and any side trips I want to take from a given city. Are you far along in your planning that you have some ideas on what specifically you want to see in each place? I would start there first, and then make some estimates on how long you need in each place based on your list of interests.
Except maybe for Wrocław, the others could definitely use at least 3 full days each (I realize that 3 nights is less than that). Warsaw is the most spread out of the three, the others are fairly compact and can be seen entirely on foot. There are many worthy side trips: Auschwitz and Wieliczka Salt Mines (from Kraków), Marlbork (from Gdańsk), etc. You will have no problem at all filling 3 full days in any of these cities.
I would drop a day from Wroclaw and add it to Krakow. There’s so much to do in Krakow (especially if you want to go to Auschwitz, which I highly tecommend), and it was my favorite city of the four.
How exciting! Since you have Polish heritage, are you also planning on visiting your ancestral homelands? I think three days in each is a bit much. I'm going to assume that at least one of your ancestral cities/villages will be visited. Please do that. I have been Poland three times: to Krakow twice, and Warsaw and Gdansk once. Krakow is utterly amazing, but each of the others has much to offer but Krakow is the shining jewel. I consider my grandparents' village also a jewel so PLEASE try to go there. I am sending you a personal message on this board, so please check it out.
I was just there in May, 2018, so I can give you first hand very good advice to make it a super special trip.
All of the above advice is good! My husband and I took a similar tour in 2016. My grandfather was born in Poland, and I wanted to visit the place where he was born. Getting to see the church where my great grandparents were married and my grandfather was Baptized was the highlight of the trip for me! Your allocation of time sounds about right, but I would also take a night from Wroclaw and add it to Krakow, especially if you want to take day trips to Auschwitz and/or the Salt Mines. We also spent two nights in Gizycko in the northeast lake area, a night in Torun from which we took a day trip to my ancestral town, and two nights in Zakopane. Poland was wonderful!
Agnes / Carroll / Kathy: I initially had one less day in Wrocław but added it back. Lots of advice on adding another day in Kraków - I'm leaning that way. We do plan on what we want to see in each city but like to leave at least one day to serendipity. We travel to Europe once or twice a year on holiday; that approach has worked for us well over the years. We don't worry about missing something as we'll go back to somewhere we enjoyed.
Donna: Thanks for the PM, I will reply directly as well.
Really appreciate the assistance and replies!
Ed, we are doing the same cities this summer, leaving July 6, we are 4 adults. Our itinerary is
Kraków - 6 nights - 6 days including arrival day
Wroclow - 2 nights - half day and one full
GDANSK - 3 nights - 1 evening and 3 full days
Warsaw - 4 nights - 1 evening and 3 full days
We hired a driver from Kraków to Wroclow with a stop in Czestochowa.
Training it to GDANSK and Warsaw. Taking a day trip from GDANSK to Marlbork.
Just like you, we like to leave one day with no specific bookings, but open for anything we missed or want to return to.
In Kraków we booked a pierogi cooking class, a dinner with a local woman through eataway.com, Schindler's factory, the salt mine. Will go to the sanctuary of Divine Mercy one morning. Will probably go to a dinner/folk dance show one evening too.
I will definitely do a trip report when we return. If you have any ideas you would like to share PM me.
Barbara - can't wait to hear about your trip!
Me too Ed. I do journal every evening so I can remember places, restaurants, sequence of events etc. will definitely write a trip report and answer any questions you may have upon our return. We have been talking about Poland for the past 3 years, can't believe it is next week.
I know one of Rick's groups will be in Kraków while we are there, maybe we will run into them.
I found Rick was right that one can spend a lot of time at POLIN (Museum of the History of the Jews in Poland) and at the Rising Museum in Warsaw. Both were all-day affairs for me, though I split my visits over two days. I like art and spent probably 5 hours at the National Museum. I also visited three political-history memorial-museums that each took about 2 hours, if not more. Warsaw is turning out to be like Berlin--hard to squeeze everything in, and I'm spending over a week here.
I haven't been to any other Polish cities yet so am not sure about the comparative timing, and of course I'm an unusually heavy consumer of museums.
Both of those Warsaw museums are on our list. Since Warsaw is our last stop, i haven’t finished my research yet. Work just ended for me yesterday (school secretary) so i have time now to complete my Warsaw itinerary.
So excited! We booked our airfare and first three nights in Gdansk. Working on the rest of the itinerary.