Please sign in to post.

Ideas for Gdansk/area prior to Best of Poland Tour and after

We have booked the 2024 Best of Poland June 18-27th. Would appreciate suggestions for what to see & do before the tour starts and when it ends in Krakow.

Posted by
60 posts

I was in the area summer 2015 - so it’s been a while - to visit places and homes of family history significance.
I don’t know what the tour includes but -in addition to Gdańsk center - I’d recommend a visit to nearby Sopot and attending an organ concert (only about 20 min long) at the Oliwa cathedral if they still offer those . Incredible historical organ and church. Wonderful seafood at restaurants near the sea and also in Gdańsk proper.

Posted by
565 posts

I agree with a visit to Sopot. We had an excellent meal on the pier at Meridian Molo. Our server was a bit indifferent, but the food was excellent. As it was October, no outside seating was available-that would be a lovely addition to a meal there.
Try to spend at least 2 days prior to the tour in Gdańsk. There is so much to see that your days there on the tour will just hit the high spots. Wander-it’s fascinating.
I have to say the same about Krakow. It was a favorite of ours when we went to the Eastern countries. Two or 3 days extra there will be well worth your time.

Posted by
8069 posts

We had to cancel our tour, but were planning to do one or more of the WWII related sights in Gdansk - the Museum, Westerplatte, the Post Office, etc. From Krakow, I think Auschwitz is the obvious choice. Your hotel can probably arrange a tour (mainly transport). But also Zakopane, the mountain resort town is major attraction, worth an overnight.

Posted by
31 posts

Thank you for the meal suggestion in Sopot!
We were thinking of 2 nights early, but will probably add one more.

Posted by
24850 posts

Although the tour includes the Solidarity Center in Gdansk, it seems to spend only a couple of hours there (my interpretation from reading the itinerary; it's not explicitly stated). It took me 8 hours to absorb that entire museum, so folks really interested in the subject matter would perhaps want more time there.

Also in Gdansk, the WWII Museum is excellent and even larger. I'm very interested in that period of history and made multiple trips to the WWII Museum, totaling close to 20 hours. On one occasion there was something of a ticket line, so buying a ticket online in advance might be smart. My trip was in 2018.

There's a small amber museum I also enjoyed. Be aware that Gdansk (reconstructed after WWII) has a beautiful historic center, but it is very touristy.

The itinerary specifically notes that the tour doesn't go to Auschwitz during its stay in Krakow. If you want to go there, it's possible to do so on your own via public bus; all tickets to the camp/memorial include a tour conducted by camp personnel. Online tickets sell out in advance, so if you want to take the DIY approach, buy your camp tickets now.

Another often-visited sight is the Schindler Factory in Krakow. Tickets sell out early, so that's another one you'd want to buy ASAP if this sight is of interest.

Rick's sightseeing suggestions from this very website; click on At a Glance:



Posted by
31 posts

We are very interested in WWll, so we appreciate your suggestions & ticket advice!

Posted by
375 posts

The Oliwa cathedral was fun if timed for the little show (the priest will come around with a collection bowl so be ready if you’re inclined to donate), and there’s a well known pierogi place nearby that isn’t so well known that I remember the name. I had a little trouble getting there but probably took the wrong train/trolley. Get good directions from your hotel.

If you like art, the Zaspa area, accessible from the tram, has large murals on the sides of the apartment buildings. You should be able to look these up online.

And if you’re active and want a little different view of the town, there was a kayak tour from an area just up from the WW2 museum. The lead tailored the trip length to the people paddling and we got to see some interesting views and get a little more history. There are also little boats that you can rent if you don’t want to do that much work. I don’t know where they’re rented from but they look like little cars. :)

Posted by
565 posts

Schindler Factory-I can’t exactly remember how this went, but….we went one afternoon-no tickets. We asked about tickets for the next day. Clerk said be here by 8 and it is free. We really didn’t’t think we understood-asked again. Be here by 8-it’s free. Okay—this may have only been that day of the week and I don’t remember which day-oh! Found my notes. It’s free on Mondays, but only for the first couple of hours. My notes for our eastern trip are sparse. May not help you for Schindlers Factory. Oh goodness, probably shouldn’t even have posted this rambling. Do go-it is eye opening.

Of course, Auschwitz-Birkenau is close to Krakow. As far as I’m concerned it is an absolute must see/do. We took a van tour, but then Auschwitz has their own guides that take you through the compound.

If you can find Pracownia Cukiernicza Roman Cyran at Plac Wolnica 3, a bakery, hopefully they still make the yogurt fruit kuchen. It is one of the best morning cakes I’ve ever had. In fact, we ate our first order and prior to leaving Krakow that day, returned to purchase more for our breakfast the next morning in Warsaw.

Posted by
3640 posts

If you have a few days pre/post Best of Poland tour, I can heartily recommend these sites:

Gdansk Pre Tour
Westerplatte Monument/Museum - site of the first battle that started WWII

Sopot/Gdynia - charming seaside towns, long sandy beaches and esplanades

Słowiński National Park - primeval coastline, giant shifting sand dunes and rich biodiversity

Hel Peninsula - pristine beaches, quaint fishing villages, and Hel Fortifications from WWII

Grunwald Battlefield - site of most important battle in Polish history, onsite museum

Krakow Post Tour
Zakopane - spa town nestled in the Tatra Mountains, wide range of outdoor activities

Pszczyna - baroque town dominated by a large 17th century chateau, former capital of German Duchy of Pleß

Trail of the Eagles' Nest Castles - route of 25 medieval castles, can be done hiking, cycling, or driving

Polish Aviation Museum - well preserved airplanes from WWI, WWII, and the Cold War. Including Hermann Göring's personal WWI airplane collection

National Museum of Art - best art museum in Poland, home to da Vinci's painting "Lady with an Ermine"

Hope these give a few ideas :-)

Posted by
31 posts

Many thanks to each of you for your great ideas & suggestions!
We will definitely include as many as we can squeeze into 3 weeks.

Posted by
77 posts


If you haven’t found it already, make sure you read my detailed RS Poland trip report from our tour in Sept 2022. I included a ton of detail about every aspect of the tour and mapped out all the “extras” we did in our 2 nights pre-tour in Gdansk and 2 nights post-tour in Krakow. We also spent 3-nights in Wroclaw after Krakow. Enjoy!


Posted by
31 posts

Your trip report sealed the deal for us!! It convinced us to put Poland at the top of our 2024 travel plans! Thank you for sharing!
I even "pdf'd" the report!