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Krakow - 2.5 days

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California, USA
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Krakow - 2.5 days

Hi!

I am planning itinerary for our June trip to Krakow as part of a 14 day Central Europe Sojourn. We will be in Krakow from Jun 15-17 arriving on Jun 15 on night train from Budapest and leaving on 17th to Warsaw on evening (6 PM) train.

Day 1: (Saturday)

Upon arriving from Budapest, our hotel will likely not have our room ready. After keeping bags at hotel concierge (Hotel Novotel Krakow Centrum), we plan to use 24 hour tickets to go to bus station, and then buy ticket to Wieliczka Salt Mine. Upon return to Krakow, walk to Rynek Glowny and eat in one of many cafes and eateries in old town. Then walk or take tram back to Hotel Novotel to check-in and relax. In the afternoon, the rest of family can go back to old town while I plan to visit Auschwitz. We meet up in evening for dinner somewhere in old town and retire for the night at the hotel.

Day 2: (Sunday)

Use 24 hour ticket from previous day and take tram to bus station, Catch early morning bus to Zakopane. Take mini-bus to Lysa Polana, then carraige ride up and down to Morskie Oko, walk and see the lake, back to Zakopane and then go up Gubałówka funicular to hill, enjoy Tatra views, and come down the opposite side via chair lift. Browse Krupówki street, early dinner and then bus back to Krakow. Buy a 24 hour ticket, take tram to Hotel Novotel and retire for the night.

Day 3: (Monday)

Use 24 hour ticket and take tram to Wawel castle, tour the castle rooms, cathedral, bell tower. Take tram back to Hotel before Noon, check-out, leave bags at Concierge, take Tram to Rynek Glowny, eat, browse around or take one of the free walking tour of Jewish Quarter, take tram back to hotel around 4 PM, pick up bags and tram back to station for ~6PM train to Warsaw.

Is this rough plan doable? Any challenges you see with transport ticket or ability to do the planned visits? Anything you would change or add?

Thanks in advance and looking forward to your informed opinions and advise.

Nick

London, United...
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1. Re: Krakow - 2.5 days

Have you checked the timings on days 1 and 3?

Day 1 : By the time you've been to the salt mine, returned and had lunch, I doubt whether there'll be much afternoon left. And for a trip to Auschwitz, you'd need to allow around 6 hours with a tour company. By public bus or train it would take longer.

Day 3 : There are now two companies doing free walking tours, with tours starting at 2:30pm or 3pm. I'd guess you'd need to allow around 3 hours for the full tour (though you can leave the group any time you feel like it). Leaving you a bit tight for catching the 6pm train.

I've no idea on the timings of day 2, though I think it's at least two hours by bus to Zakopane. Personally, unless you have a specific reason for the visit (family from there, for example) I'd just cut it out. To be honest, it sounds much like the sort of things you could easily do in northern California .

You'd then have an additional, full, day for Krakow. Which makes things much easier - you'll have time for Auschwitz, salt mine, two free walking tours and just general wandering around.

A minor point - since you intend to use trams for more than two 24 hour periods, it's probably best to buy a 72 hour ticket.

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2. Re: Krakow - 2.5 days

john s:

Thanks. On Day 1, we reach Krakow at 6:24 AM on a night train from Budapest. Our hotel check-in time is 1:00 PM and I am assuming the room won't be ready when we reach the hotel. After relaxed breakfast somewhere, plan is to drop the bags at hotel (assuming that can be done) and take Bus # 304 from Jubilat (close stop to the Novotel Krakow Centrum) to Wieliczka and take the 8:55 AM English tour of the mine. So we should be back at hotel by Noon time. If I take the 2 PM bus to Auschwitz, reaching at ~3:30 PM, can I do a shortened tour of Auschwitz I and Birkenau. I don't want to miss it however this is something my wife and kids are not interested in doing as they just can't control themselves emotionally based on our experience in Hiroshima during our Japan visit a few years back). The rest of family may just relax in the hotel after night train/busy morning or walk to Rynek Glowny for the afternoon. What time does the Auschwitz site close? Can I do 3:30 to 4:30 and be back in Krakow by 6:30 or so?

Re: Day 3, we will probably just roam around Rynek Glowny and Jewish Quarter ourselves so we can leave on time for the train station.

Nick

Krakow, Poland
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3. Re: Krakow - 2.5 days

Day 1

--------

if you want to do Aushwitz and the Saltwine in 1 day i would recommend you pre book and organised tour.

This would give you much more time as you won't need to get back into krakow and back out again.

Day 3

--------

You will be as quick walking to the castle from the Nowotel centrum than catching a tram!! Its a short walk along the side of the river.

I would suggest rather than the castle then the free walking tour of the jewish area that you instead do the free walking tour of the old town at 11. this takes you into the castle and then finishes at the dragon cave under the castle so you then have time to explore the castle yourself after and its a short walk back to your hotel to pick up your bags

Edited: 13 March 2013, 17:19
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4. Re: Krakow - 2.5 days

you will not tour auschwitz I and II in one hour

its about 3 hours

the site closes at 6 or 7pm

http://en.auschwitz.org/z/

Edited: 13 March 2013, 17:23
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5. Re: Krakow - 2.5 days

scottishpoet:

Thanks. Will change the Day 3 order as you suggest and we are very comfortable roaming around and soaking in Old Town and Jewish Quarter ourselves without any tour .

Re: Day 1 suggestion to take a pre-booked tour, I had thought about that. However when I checked on the tour, most of them start at 10 and the combined tour is 9.5 hours. After a night train from Budapest that will be a rather long day for my 2 kids and wife. Further, because we will be traveling with a 10 and 14 year old who along with my wife are not interested in Auschwitz given the emotional impact and plus it is not recommended to take kids to Auschwitz. Given that constraint, perhaps I can limit myself to Auschwitz I only. I just don't want to miss going there even if a short visit will most certainly not give me a full understanding of everything that happened there. Not sure the timing of my next visit to KrakowI plan to get a guide @ Auschwitz and browse through certain areas myself.

Alternately I could have done Auscwitz on Day 3 (starting early and taking 7:10a bus) but that would be cutting it too close to check out time on my return so not a safe bet I think.

Thoughts?

Nick

Krakow, Poland
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6. Re: Krakow - 2.5 days

Personally, I think after a 9.5 hour overnight train, doing the salt mine and auschwitz in the same day would kill me

Doing it by public transport even more so.

To then have another long day traveling to zakopane the next day ...

in such a short time, I would drop something and enjoy relaxing and enjoing more of krakow itself

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7. Re: Krakow - 2.5 days

Scottishpoet:

You are probably right, but the itinerary is just a guideline. If we don't get any sleep in the couchette on the train from Budapest and are wiped out when we arrive in Krakow, we will probably just relax in the hotel in the AM and see Old Town after lunch. But always helps to know what my options are if we all feel rested and ready to go. I don't want to have to find out "what to do" once I am there. Thanks for your help! Greatly appreciate it.

Nick

8. Re: Krakow - 2.5 days

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