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Where to stay in Northern half of Poland

Hi All! I've gotten some great information already and booked my flight in and out of Krakow. I have 4 nights planned in Krakow, where I plan to venture out from for some day trips, including to the mountains down South. Then I'd like to find a second location to stay in for the next 4 nights, before going back to Krakow and staying the night before my flight home. I'm thinking of a central location from which to do day trips that's not a particularly large city (as I'm not fond of those), but big enough so that I don't get bored in 4 nights. I will have a rental car. I'm foodie and enjoy a good beer, vodka, etc. Also a nature-lover. Not big on shopping. Just want to get the best feel for the country that I can in my 9 nights I have there.

Any suggestions for a second home base?

Thanks!

Posted by
1863 posts

Hello, for a northern-ish city, on the smaller side, with plenty of day trips, I think you can do no better than Toruń. The medieval architecture of the historic district managed to escape bombing in WWII, and has been designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. A very manageable yet fascinating town. Toruń is also the birthplace of the famous astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus, one can visit a museum dedicated to him as well as his 15th century house. Don't forget to try some of their famous medieval gingerbread!

For some potential day trips from Toruń consider:

Grunwald Battlefield/Museum - The Battle of Grunwald was one of the most significant battles during the Middle Ages. One can visit the preserved battlefield and adjacent small museum. A bit off the beaten-path but the atmosphere of the place is really something.

Malbork Castle - The headquarters of the Teutonic Crusader Knights, one of the largest castles in the world, very ahead of its time when first built. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Gniezno - the historic and legendary birthplace of Poland, the first capital before even Krakow. Home to the impressive Gniezno Cathedral, one of the oldest religious buildings in Poland, filled with all manner of interesting art and relics.

Biskupin - Iron Age fortified settlement of the early Slavic and Lusitanian cultures. Nicely reconstructed with a great adjacent archaeological museum.

Posted by
1863 posts

Glad it's on the list! The only other northern city option that comes to mind, with good potential day trips, is Gdansk, but I have never been a big fan of the town, and the weather can get quite windy and unpleasant there during the autumn months....

Posted by
73 posts

Yes, I'm excited after reading more about it. Was originally planning to stay half of the time in Krakow, and half the time around Zakopane, but realizing Zakopane is only 1.5 hours from Krakow, I realized I may be able to do a daytrip or two there pretty easily. Wasn't happy that I was originally leaving out the North, so I love this new plan!

Posted by
661 posts

There are also some nice Romanesque churches near Gniezno and Biskupin.

Posted by
12091 posts

If you want to stay in small place undamaged by the war, escaped Soviet rocket and artillery barrages, etc. up north, say in the lower Vistual area, I heartily suggest Gniew. The former German name was Mewe in West Prussia.

Another undamaged place ca one hour from Torun, also on the Vistula as is Torun is Chelmno. I went there in July 2005 by bus as a day trip from Torun...well worth it, enlightening, an eye-opener.

Not all places experienced the horrors of war in 1944 in the Soviet onslaught during the "Battle for Prussia." Some suffered horrendously, other places like Chelmno, Gniew, etc escaped basically unscathed, intact since their armoured spearheads bypassed these towns.

Posted by
73 posts

Interesting. Will add these areas to my list to visit. Looks like Torun is mostly intact as well. Thank you!