I recently returned from a two-week odyssey through Poland.
I visited (in this order) Warsaw, Gdansk, Malbork, Torun, Wroclaw and Krakow, with a couple of stops in some smaller towns along the way.
I hope you don't mind that I only provide bulletpoints in my report below. I saw a LOT of stuff over these epic two weeks and it'd be hard to provide everything justice in a trip report without writing a novel.
Just know that if you have any questions about cities, particular sights, etc., I'm happy to answer them in a response.
Let's do this.
WARSAW (3 nights, October 19-22)
-- Stayed in an Airbnb on Aleja Jerozolimski near the Palace of Culture and Science in Srodmiescie, which is like Warsaw's downtown. Lots of energy, tons of restaurants and bars, fantastic views and very noisy. The whole area felt more authentic than your ordinary tourist spot. There are trams that arrive every few minutes than can whip you anywhere. I would recommend staying around here, but bring earplugs if you're a light sleeper.
-- Met a Canadian friend staying in a neighboring Airbnb. She had just arrived from Budapest and we shared some wine, cheese and sausages at nearby (and recommended) Bibenda.
First full day
-- My Canadian friend joined me on the Royal Way Walk.
-- Delicious paczki from A. Blikle (the rose-flavored jam ones are phenomenal)
-- We did an impromptu tour of the elegant Hostel Bristol. The interior are stunning, particularly the incredible bar hidden way in the back. A gentleman scared the living daylights out of me by yelling at me when I entered, but he was just an extremely enthusiastic hotel employee who wanted to describe the many celebrities and dignitaries who have stayed in the hotel over the years. Ask one of the hotel's employees for a quick history lesson if you stop by!
-- Saxon Garden, very lovely when the weather is nice. This was in the middle of October, so it was quite warm and sunny, the leaves had just changed to bright orange and there were kids chasing bubbles blown by a nearby street entertainer. Well worth the side trip to explore this lovely park.
-- Witnessed some type of military ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier; I have no idea what that was about.
-- Royal Castle (decent, but not spectacular)
-- Old Town Market Square/New Town (nice but touristy)
-- Zurek (sour soup) and dumplings at one of the restaurants in the New Town (I can't remember which restaurant though...)
-- My Canadian friend and I walked to the nearby Museum of the History of Polish Jews. This museum, simply put, is a must-see. One could easily spend hours in here (and we did). It's the best sight in Warsaw and one of the top museums in Poland.
-- Warsaw Uprising Museum (nice but confusing and extremely detailed)
-- Neon Museum (very small, not worth going to unless you're already over in Praga)
-- Lazienki Park was lovely, with more warm, sunny weather and gorgeous autumn trees. The Chopin statue and Palace on the Water are well worth checking out.
-- Restauraja pod Samsonem in the Old Town. The food was good but the atmosphere is wonderful. I sat near this table of a dozen or so older Polish men who were slinging back shots of vodka between courses.
-- Hot chocolate at E. Wedel Pijalnia Czekolady. This is the melted hot chocolate you can (seemingly) only find over in Europe. It's delicious.