I will be traveling solo to Poland the 3rd week of September. Likely going to Posnan, Kracow, Czestochowa. Still deciding on Warsaw. How much time to budget for for the above. Tips on places to stay/things to do? Thanks.
We spent 5 weeks in Poland in 2006. What a great place. Oue favorite was Krakow ( we stayed at the King Hostel, which we highly recommend)and ate at Milk Bars
( we think they were spelled "Mlecky") aside from using our kitchen there. Be sure to go to Zakopane, to the hills surrounding it called Cyhrlla. There is a hotel called Dom Wycasowa (Vickasova) that we loved.
Torun is the birthplace of Copernicus and has the added attraction of medieval walls along its river and good location. The Polish people are wonderful.Spend time in parks , where you will find many of them.
If you are going to Krakow and Poznan, be sure to stop in between at Wroclaw. It was one of our favorites--the central square area is nearly as large and elaborate as that in Krakow, without nearly the number of tourists. The cathedral there is built on an island connected to the rest of the city by bridges. Because commercial development is not allowed there, it's a lovely peaceful respite from the cafes and shops of city life.
If you are in Poznan on a Saturday, be sure to stick around in the main square after the noon time clock performance (a clockwork set of billygoats headbutts 12 times, to the amusement of the assembled crowd). Afterwards there is a military mounted house exhibition--colorful and far more interesting than the billygoats, honestly.
If you like cheese, watch in Krakow for oszczepek, a smoked sheep chees that is baked and served with cranberry jam. I wish it were available in the US, but it can't be imported because the milk isn't pasteurized. It's absolutely delicious.
I had 4 days in Krakow and had more than plenty of time to see what I wanted to see. Those days included coming in and leaving on a night train, but I have no problems sleeping on them and didn't waste days because I was too tired.
I stayed at Greg Toms Hostel and it was great and super cheap. It is also one of the top rated hostels there. It cost me around 12 dollars/night and it included free interenet/wifi/breakfast/supper/laundry. Plus it was only a few minutes away from the train station which was nice.
I also did a crazy guides tour which was great and it took you to tons of different sites in one of those trabants.
How long will you be there? Just 1 week? Yikes! So much to see, so little time. Krakow is a must; you can see all of the must-sees in 2 days, but it's a great place for the Polish version of "La Dolce Vita". There's not much to see in Czestochwa aside from the Jasna Gora Monastery and The Black Madonna, but it's a moving experience. Never made it to Posnan, but I know they have a thriving art scene. Though many people dismiss Warsaw,I think it is well worth at least a full day. The "Old Town" and "New Town" and Nowy Swiat are really pretty, and even some of the Soviet-era stuff is impressive even if a lot of the rest of Warsaw is kind of a Soviet suburban hell. Plus, it's extremely inspiring to think how the historic areas have been rebuilt after being decimated during the war. I agree with others about Wroclaw and Zakopane; the Tatras mountains around Zakopane are breathtaking. And I would like to add Gdansk to the list of cities for your consideration. Maybe best known as the home of the Solidarity movement in the shipyards, it's not just a dreary industrial town; it's beautiful, charming, and interesting.---Be sure to check out inyourpocket.com city guides. They have lots of helpful information on history, transportation, special events...with great, concise reviews of all sorts of accomodations, restaurants, clubs etc.