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Advice for Itinerary ....no idea!!

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Advice for Itinerary ....no idea!!

Hi Guys, We are starting to plan our next trip to Europe for May/June 2014. We have never been to Poland before (have no knowledge of these areas), travelling on from Prague then Berlin (on the train/no car) we are thinking of doing a circle starting at Szczecia/Poznan/Torun/& into Gdansk probably over 10 days or so.

We prefer smaller places rather than big cities(particulary after just leaving Berlin... for variance), love natural scenery & prefer not to struggle with crowds, more likely to sit in a cafe watching the crowd go by... rather than going to Muesums/Art Gallery.

Would really appreciate any feedback on these towns .

Thank you

Missy

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1. Re: Advice for Itinerary ....no idea!!

Planning a trip for May/June and wanting to avoid crowds don't work together! But seriously, I have only been to Krakow and I am planning a trip this summer to Warsaw, Torun, and Gdansk (4, 2, 3 days respectively), which seem to be the best geographically viable route. If you're coming from Germany, Poznan is a good idea to break up the long distance. Judging from what I read so far, rail in Poland seems unreliable so buses are the way to go. Check the website of PolskiBus for distances and ticket prices -- it's 3.5 hours between Warsaw and Torun and 2.5 hours between Torun and Gdansk.

I suggest you do a bit more research on exactly what you want to do and see in Poland so you can have more specific questions that folks here can help with.

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2. Re: Advice for Itinerary ....no idea!!

From Berlin you can easily get to Gdańsk, Poznań, Wrocław and Warsaw by train, or by plane also to Krakow (low-cost AirBerlin). If you don't want to visit big cities then you can cross Warsaw off the list. Polish big cities are nowhere near those in Australia or the US but if any of the Polish cities resembles big metropolis then it's Warsaw.

The most important must-see in Poland is definitely Krakow. It will be full of tourists in the summertime just like Gdansk or Wroclaw which are also two very important and interesting places to visit. But hey, you are planning to go to Poland in May/June - it's not a summertime yet! Children are at school and crowds are significantly smaller! :) Other interesting towns are also Toruń and Poznan, Malbork as a day trip from Gdansk. And one more time, don't worry too much about tourists - Polish cities are not as much touristy as Venice or Barcelona so you will be able to sit in a market square in some nice peaceful coffee shop.

I don't agree with the opinion that Polish trains are so unreliable. Just don't choose cheap regional trains for long distances (longer than 2 hrs) - rather take TLK, InterCity, EuroCity or Express trains which can be booked through the internet. Of course delays happen but when I was travelling by trains in England almost half of my trains were delayed (and two were canceled without any warning), so I guess Polish rail is not that bad after all. You can also take buses, like the above mentioned PolskiBus, or Link-Bus on the route from Wroclaw to Krakow.

LOT Polish Airlines frequently offer some bargain domestic flights so it's good to check their website also.

Edited: 29 May 2013, 10:56
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3. Re: Advice for Itinerary ....no idea!!

Thank you for your help, Zakopane looks like somewhere we would enjoy as well. I will keep on planning !!

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4. Re: Advice for Itinerary ....no idea!!

from where do you depart?

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5. Re: Advice for Itinerary ....no idea!!

Hi,

If you like to sit in cafe and watch a crowd please consider visit in Gdansk at the beginning of August.

During te first 2 weeks Dominic's Fair are held and town is full of people, traders and events.

You need 2-3 days to explore Gdansk, Sopot, Gdynia and region (Kashubian district, Hel Peninsula).

Visit in Malbork, distanced 1 hr by train is highly recommended.

If you start from Berlin you can go to Gdansk via Poznan or via Szczecin.

Kind regards

Malgorzata Mazur

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6. Re: Advice for Itinerary ....no idea!!

Hi,

it's me again.

From Gdańsk you have goog connection to Warsaw, Toruń and Kraków.

Kind regards

Malgorzata

Edited: 30 May 2013, 10:10
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7. Re: Advice for Itinerary ....no idea!!

Thanks guys for your help....we are travelling mid-late May, probably finish in Krakow

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8. Re: Advice for Itinerary ....no idea!!

berlin,poznan, (daytrip to wroclaw from there),torun,gdansk,warsaw,krakow,zakopane....

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9. Re: Advice for Itinerary ....no idea!!

Missy, if I were to travel from Prague to Berlin, I would stop in Dresden along the way. How are you getting from Prague to Berlin?

I don't see how our railways are unreliable. They may be slow (but the timetable will tell you so frankly), with outdated stock and sometimes quite disgusting stations if you get off in the middle of nowhere (even if both have been improving markedly), but I would say unreliability is the least of possible concerns here, unless there is a sudden natural disaster.

I would actually advise you to travel by rail over short distances to maximize your experience - move from city centre to city centre with minimum effort, a chance to see the landscape and relax rather than hurry to the airport and to the gate and worry about your, presumable sizeable, luggage. Timewise, you will probably be just as well off unless you want to traverse the country across in one go.

How about this itinerary:

* Berlin -> Poznań

* Poznań -> Toruń

* Toruń -> Gdańsk

* Gdańsk -> Warsaw (the only really long train ride - 5 hours, so you can check EuroLOT for your flight options)

* Warsaw -> Kraków

Kraków may be a good bet to finish at, as their airport has the number of European connections second only to Warsaw. Do note, however, that you still may not be able to get a convenient connection to an Australia-bound flight from Kraków.

I am assuming you would be flying in from Australia, so if you are doing the kangaroo route the Emirates way, Warsaw has a daily flight to Dubai - and one to Qatar as well with Qatar Airways. If you are doing it the traditional BA+Qantas / only Qantas way out of London, Warsaw is the only Polish city with a BA connection. Alternatively, airBerlin is also a oneworld member and is owned by Etihad Airways, so they have a frequent connection to Abu Dhabi out of Berlin, to which you can connect on airBerlin flights from Warsaw of Kraków.

Do check your inter-continental connections (if you have not already), as wasting time and stress on long or complicated connections will surely not be either a good start or a nice finish to your trip.

Edited: 31 May 2013, 07:53
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10. Re: Advice for Itinerary ....no idea!!

We are visiting Poland this summer too. The seats on the Berlin- Warsaw Express are now booked, on bahn.de (39€ each).I was planning to do the rest by train too: Warsaw-Torun (1night)-Gdansk (5 nights)-Poznan (2 nights, stopping off a few hours in Bydgoszcz) Train back to Berlin from Poznan. Hotels are all booked, Krakow and the southern half of the country deliberately being left for another trip (possibly then with a car)

I have seen comments on forum about upgrading on the Warsaw-Gdansk rail line. Is that now finished or would we be better going by bus to Torun and on to Gdansk?

btw my experience of German trains over the last couple of years or so is that their punctuality isn't what it used to be (Prague-Berlin, I've been affected by delays on that route twice). That's worrying when you have connections (or in one case a plane to catch in Hamburg and your train is coming from Prague!!)

Airberlin isn't a budget airline as such, it's just that from the start its fares structure was like budget airlines but they always said they were a full-service airline (luggage included, food etc). In fact these days flights within Europe withh airberlin are not very cheap most of the time, you may well get a better deal with Lufthansa (for example)

Edited: 31 May 2013, 11:51
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