large family group Krakow 9/14?

Hello everyone, I come from a large family of siblings & cousins. I've been to Krakow by myself once 3 yrs. ago. It was wonderful. Am in the VERY preliminary stage of determining whether siblings & some cousins would like to go Sept. 2014. We would fly from Philadelphia PA or NYC. We will NOT be part of an organized bus tour. If we decide we need a tour guide &/or transportation we'd hire someone based on recommendations from travel sites. I saw several large apartments for rent, and also a few houses. We want to: ::Stay as close to the "middle" of Krakow near the square, Wawel Castle, train stations, etc. so we can walk to many destinations. We'll be visiting Auschwitz. ::Purchase food & snacks so we can eat some meals in the rented flat ::Interested in an honest,professional tour guide we can hire as needed with a mini bus who speaks English (How much did you pay? How much did you tip?) ::Would like to take a day or 1/2 day to visit Warsaw via train. How long will this take? Do you remember the cost of the tickets? ::Any other ideas/suggestion for a large family group traveling together?
Thank you very much for your help! Donna

Posted by Agnes
Alexandria, VA, USA
616 posts

You can find the exact price of the train tickets to Warsaw using the site below. In general, train travel is very affordable in Poland. I'm guessing the trip will take under 4 hours (please confirm though)- if so, it's worth staying overnight (when in Warsaw, check out the Warsaw Uprising Museum if you can, and tour the Old Town) http://www.polrail.com/ I use booking.com to look for rentals - I'm sure you can find self-catering apartments on it with kitchenettes. Small local markets are everywhere. You can scan other postings on this site - there have been several recurring recommendations regarding tour guides in Krakow.

Posted by Kristen
Chicago
268 posts

How big is your group? We had 6 and we stayed in a flat right off the square with a kitchen. You could easily find several flats in very close proximity. There are also grocery stores close to the square. Krakow is small and overall, things in Poland are reasonably priced. So no matter which website/booking agency you use, you will probably find a good deal on an apartment. Tours within Krakow:there are companies that offer guided tours on large golf carts. It was roughly $20 for 6 of us for about 1-1/2 hours and we tipped ten percent. You can pick these up off the square and they are always available. There were several different themes of tours but ours went to some of the main sites off the square, the Jewish quarter, and Schindler's factory. But Krakow is also fairly small so you can walk to most of the sites and do your own tour. Tours outside of Krakow:we arranged for a private tour for some of the big sites, including private transportation. It was VERY reasonably priced and worth it, particularly for the concentration camps. I think for the salt mines, Aushwicz, Czestochowa (each were a day, each included transportation, salt mines were a group tour but the other were private) was around $100/person total. I may be a little off because it was last summer but it was reasonable. The train from Warsaw to Krakow is around 2 1/2 hours so I would recommend at least doing a full day, if not a couple of days. Both train stations are centrally located. Warsaw has a hop on/hop off tour which is probably a good way to see a lot of sites if you are pressed for time.

Posted by Christine
Philadelphia, PA, USA
44 posts

I have an excellent private tour guide who is based out of Warsaw. There were 6 of us in the group, and she picked us up in a minivan and drove us around, which worked out really well. She is extremely knowledgeable, speaks excellent English, and took us everywhere we wanted to go. If you are interested, let me know and I'll send you a PM with her contact information.