Travel to Poland 2020-2021 - Plan Your Trip (DIY)
Plan your holiday to Poland and visit the best places. Discover all you need to know in order to plan a great trip. Save money on transport and see more. Using this page you should be able to plan for a week or more.
Are you going to Travel to Poland in 2020-2021?
Ideas and How to Visit the Best Places in Poland
This is a DIY to help you Plan 2-14 Days
In case you need an Organized Tour around Poland, please contact me
For the Greeks, please read Trip to Poland - Greek
Ready to Discover the Four Capitals of Poland?
Former Capital = Krakow -- Religion Capital = Czestochowa
Winter Capital = Zakopane -- The Capital = Warsaw
How to Travel around Poland
First of all, I would like to mention how to exchange money in Poland, in case you are not going to do it in your country.
In any case, the transfer to the city center from the airport may cost only 1 euro per person if you want to stay in budget.
You will find how to get to the city center from Warsaw's and Krakow's airport in my Transport Guide.
If you are looking for convenience, you can just take a taxi from the queue just outside the airports.
A cheaper method is either to use Bolt (use discount code: DRB9U) or UBER (Take Discount). But try to be in a good place for a pickup.
For example in Warsaw Chopin airport, you should go up to the departures and order from there.
In case you prefer to see also some else, then feel free to check some more good options for Airport Transports in Poland.
We are then going to focus on the main budget options for traveling around in Poland.
- Use the intercity fast trains between different cities and the JakdoJade application inside the cities.
- Buses are slower but much cheaper and more comfortable in most of the cases. You can Try FlixBus.
- It is best to rent a car in Poland in case you would like to travel a lot and you are more than 1-2 people together.
When using public transportation in Poland, it is suggested to try to optimize the ticket values.
For example, we know that a 20 minutes ticket cost 3.40 PLN in Warsaw, while a 75-minute costs 4.40 PLN.
It's just 1 zloty different but if you are going to need 2 x 3.40 PLN to go somewhere and return, you can use only one 4.40 PLN instead.
Also, check day, three-day, weekend, and group options and find the best solution for your case.
You can find all the ticket options and other information about the public and other transport in the Transport Guide.
Start your Travel from Warsaw
Warsaw is the capital of Poland and it is more likely when you travel to Poland, to land either in Modlin or in Frederick Chopin airport.
Due to the location, it is considered as the best starting point for taking day tours around Poland.
In case you are going to travel a lot, it might be the best starting point for your Holiday to Poland trip.
Explore the city's historic Old Town, the Royal Castle, and world-class shopping centers.
Warsaw is a city full of life, restaurants, bars, and clubs making it a must in world travel.
Accommodation in Warsaw
As Warsaw is a very wide city, you might prefer to stay within walking distance from all the important tourist attractions.
The best areas to stay in Warsaw are Śródmieście, around Centrum, and Old Town (Stare Miasto).
If you like to be a bit outside of the very center area, you can take a look at the Radisson Hotels, which are value for money options.
When booking and in case you have a car, it might be best to check the parking price, as parking in the center of Warsaw is a bit problematic.
We recommend booking a hotel or an apartment without breakfast for two main reasons.
- Good chance to try different places and food variety.
- Save on breakfast with amazing places offering breakfast for 1 zloty in Warsaw.
You should also check the Airbnb Apartments option as they are one of the best budget options in Poland.
Not only this but if you are not already registered, I am giving you a discount on your first booking to register for Airbnb.
Apartments are considered as the best budget option when you travel as a family or a bigger group of people.
Finally, another great option is to look at the price map below and find the accommodation on your budget.
Things to Do in Warsaw
Now that you found your hotel in Warsaw, its time to plan your time in Warsaw. Don't book it yet, as you need first to decide on how many days.
There are so many things to do in Warsaw which makes it very hard to recommend all of them.
I am going to send you to different pages to view places and activities so you can make your list.
Warsaw is a big city with a lot of green areas, museums, and history to discover.
For sure visiting the Warsaw surroundings, forests, and parks is a great idea if you have the time.
Let's start from inside the Warsaw city. Here is my list of things to do in Warsaw.
Searching around you might find a lot more things. I suggest to also visit the Warsaw Uprising Museum and the POLIN museum which are not on the list.
In case you tried and loved the Polish cuisine, you might have the burning desire to learn how to cook Polish food.
But in case you only like to eat rather cooking, then maybe a Polish Food and Vodka taste in Warsaw might be just for you.
If you are Greek, I have a very special article for you about Warsaw to read -- Βαρσοβία.
It's best to Discover Warsaw during the warm months on a Bike Rental.
Day Trips from Warsaw
Gdansk, Gdynia, Sopot and the Malbork Castle [Stutthof] - Trip 1
The ideal is to make this trip by car rental, but if you do not have a car it is still possible.
It might be also a great idea to stay for a night in Gdansk or Sopot and add the very interesting Stutthof Nazi Camp in your travel list.
If you are staying for a night, then you can see in one day Gdansk, Gdynia, and Sopot and the next day the Stutthof and the Malbork Castle on your way back.
Otherwise, you can choose to see Gdansk, Sopot and the Malbork Castle on your way back to Warsaw.
You can also do the trip by train. Check the times and make your plan according to train schedules.
Read the related article with all the information about how to visit Gdansk and Malbork Castle (optionally Sopot).
Definitely, you can trade the Malbork Castle with the Stutthof Nazi Camp if you prefer.
You can use the map below to find your hotel in Gdansk according to your budget.
If you want to see Sopot, then here are the most important points of interest:
- Sopot’s wooden pier or “Molo” - try the famous Polish “Gofry” waffles
- The famous Heroes of Monte Cassino Street.
- Crooked house
- Lighthouse - built between 1903 and 1904 as a part of the Balneological Institute.
Olsztyn - Wolf's Lair - Mamerki - Sw. Lipka - Trip 2
This is a very interesting trip to do from Warsaw. Especially if you are studying or interested in WWII.
Wolf's Lair was the place where Adolf Hitler spend around 800 days during WWII.
Also, the place where one of the major assassinations against him took place.
Have you seen the famous movie Valkyrie's operation? Then this trip is a must-do.
Unfortunately, this is a bit difficult trip, especially if you do not have a car rental, but it is possible.
You will find all the information about how to make this trip here: How to visit Wolf's Lair from Warsaw.
The tour can be combined with a lot of interesting nearby places like Mamerki and Swieta Lipka monastery.
Again, if you have the time, we highly recommend that you stay for a night in Olsztyn to see more in the area.
Olsztyn is a very beautiful place and also a great option to spend 1-2 days to relax, enjoy nature, go fishing, and swim in a lake.
Bialowieza Forest (UNESCO) - Trip 3
This is an interesting forest as it is listed on the UNESCO list.
If you like nature at it's best, then a visit to Bialowieza forest from Warsaw is a must-see in Poland.
The Białowieża Forest World Heritage site is on the border between Poland and Belarus.
It is an immense range of primary forests including both conifers and broadleaved trees covering a total area of 141,885 hectares.
Situated on the watershed of the Baltic Sea and the Black Sea, this transboundary property is exceptional for the opportunities it offers for biodiversity conservation.
It is home to the largest population of the property’s iconic species, the European bison (Polish Zubr).
Thanks to several ages of protection the Forest had survived in its natural state to this day.
The Bialowieza National Park, Poland, was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1979 and extended to include Belovezhskaya Pushcha, Belarus, in 1992.
There is also a way to cross the borders between the two sides, so this is very interesting but requires some planning in advance.
It doesn't matter which time of the year as every season has it's own beauty. It is also recommended to stay at least one night in the forest.
Always suggested staying for a night as there are many interesting things to see around the area.
Find your Hotel in Bialowieza Forest using the map below.
Lublin and Majdanek Nazi Camp - Trip 4
The city of Lublin is called also the “little Krakow” and it is an amazing city in Poland.
Lublin is a cultural and academic center in Eastern Poland. There is a lot of worth seeing in the city.
Lublin has two universities which give the city a vibrant nightlife as well, so why not staying for a night to discover the nightlife?
Majdanek, on the other hand, is located on the city's outskirts and you can easily get there by public transportation.
The German concentration camp in Lublin, called Majdanek, was initiated by Heinrich Himmler’s decision.
Visiting Lublin in July 1941, Himmler entrusted Lublin district SS and police commander, Odilo Globocnik, with building a camp “for 25-50,000 inmates who would be used to work in SS and police workshops and at construction sites”.
The camp was going to be the source of a free workforce for the realization of the plans to build a German empire.
The camp, built from autumn 1941, was initially called Kriegsgefangenenlager der Waffen SS Lublin – a camp for prisoners of war, and in February 1943 was renamed Konzentrationslager Lublin – a concentration camp.
Prisoners came from nearly 30 countries. Polish citizens dominated (mainly Poles and Jews) but there were also prisoners from the Soviet Union and the Czech Republic (Jews).
Apart from Poles and Jews, the Russians, Byelorussians, and Ukrainians constituted the largest groups of inmates.
From the very beginning of their stay at the camp, the prisoners were inevitably accompanied by hunger, fear, backbreaking work, and diseases.
Prisoners' lives were constantly threatened. They died in the aftermath of wretched living conditions, they were executed and murdered in gas chambers.
Among an estimated 150,000 prisoners who entered Majdanek, 80,000 people were killed according to the most recent research.
The tragic history of the Lublin concentration camp came to an end on 22 July 1944.
Soon, a Soviet NKWD camp was organized for members of the Polish Secret State on the grounds of Majdanek.
Germans soldiers were also imprisoned for some time in the barracks of the former camp.
Source: History of Majdanek
All you need to know in order to plan your visit to Lublin and Majdanek from Warsaw.
The map below might help you to find your hotel in Lublin or just note the price ranges for your trip planning.
Treblinka Nazi Camp from Warsaw - Trip 5
In case you would like to see more Nazi Sites from Warsaw and there is still some time, then you can visit Treblinka from Warsaw.
This is the closest Nazi Camp to Warsaw and you can see it only in a half-day.
The tour to Treblinka can be combined with one or more awesome places outside Warsaw.
End of Warsaw, We now Travel to Krakow
Next City, the Amazing Krakow
Welcome to Krakow, one of the most beautiful and cultural cities in Poland. Until 1596 it was the capital of Poland.
The city has grown from a Stone Age settlement to Poland's second most important and largest city.
It began as a hamlet on Wawel Hill and was already being reported as a busy trading center of Central Europe in 965.
Not sure how many days you choose to stay in Krakow. But you definitely need at least two full days to see the basics.
You can start plan according to what you like from my awesome list of things to do in Krakow.
I am sure you will find a lot of interesting places to visit and very interesting things to do.
In order to plan the basics in Krakow, which are Krakow City, Wieliczka Salt Mine, Auschwitz, and Zakopane, please read this article.
Finally, for the one who likes, take a look at How to have Fun in Krakow.
Day Trips from Krakow
Czestochowa - The religious capital of Poland - Trip 1
In the Polish Defensive War of 1939, Częstochowa was defended by the 7th Infantry Division, part of the northern wing of Kraków Army.
After the Battle of Mokra and other battles, Polish forces withdrew, and the Wehrmacht entered the city on Sunday, September 3, 1939.
Częstochowa was renamed into Tschenstochau, and incorporated into the General Government.
The Monday, September 4, 1939, became known as Bloody Monday or also Częstochowa massacre.
After the collapse of the Warsaw Uprising, Częstochowa briefly was the capital of the Polish Underground State.
In autumn 1944, Germans fortified the city, preparing for a lengthy defense. On April 9, 1941, a ghetto for Jews was created.
During World War II approximately 45,000 of Częstochowa's Jews, almost the entire Jewish community, were killed by the Germans.
Auschwitz I and II Birkenau - Trip 2
The primary symbol of the Holocaust.
Auschwitz (June 1940 - January 1945) was the first German Nazi camp to be established on Polish soil.
After the expansionist policy and the need to exterminate more and more people, it became the largest extermination camp in history.
I am sure it is already in your plans if you haven't seen it already. Together with Wieliczka Salt Mine below are the main attractions from Krakow.
All the necessary information on how to plan your trip to Auschwitz from Krakow.
For Greek people, we organize Greek-speaking tours to Auschwitz.
Wieliczka, Salt Mine with a Character - Trip 3
Wieliczka Salt mine is not just another salt mine. It has its own character and it is something you are not going to find in any other place in the whole world.
There are 3 different routes someone can take and each route has its own character.
The most beautiful sight of the Mine is the tourist route but you can also choose to see the dark site in Miner's route.
The access to Wieliczka Salt Mine is very easy from Krakow. The easiest way is to take Bus 304 just outside Galeria Krakowska.
You can find all the information on the Wieliczka Salt Mine website and you are also able to book your tickets online.
For the Greek people, we organize Greek tours to Wieliczka from Krakow.
Bochnia Salt Mine - Trip 4
Have you seen the Wieliczka Salt Mine and you are looking for something else?
Do you know that The Bochnia Salt Mine is Equal to Wieliczka and is also in the UNESCO list? It can be visited on foot or by boat. Isn't this interesting?
It was opened in the 13th century under the reign of Duke Bolesław the Chaste and his wife Kinga, 40 years before the mine in Wieliczka.
Chapels sculpted in stone can also be admired there.
The mine houses an Underground Multimedia Exposition presenting the history of salt production.
Next to the guide, stories are told by Polish kings, Genoa żupniks (managers of mining districts), as well as the ghost of a Cisterian monk, with whose order the establishment of the mine in Bochnia can be associated.
Wieliczka and Bochnia Royal Salt Mines selected as one of 34 World Heritage sites in the EU featured in ‘World Heritage Journeys’ sustainable travel web platform.
Coinciding with the European Heritage Days celebrations, UNESCO will launch the first-ever web platform dedicated to World Heritage and sustainable travel.
Supported by the European Union, the platform features 34 selected World Heritage sites spread across 19 European Union countries and has been developed in collaboration with National Geographic.
The Bochnia Salt Mine Website: http://bochnia-mine.eu/
Zakopane - The winter capital of Poland - Trip 5
Zakopane is one of the most beautiful mountain sites in Poland.
Krakow is the closest biggest city, but still, the trip to Zakopane is a bit hard without a car.
I can offer you private transport from Krakow to Zakopane and back and also a drop off if you plan to stay for a night or more which is suggested.
You can find more information for planning a trip to Zakopane and Tatra Mountains from Krakow.
Poland's Hidden Gems - Travel
Some of you might already see most of those places and thinking about what else I can see in Poland.
Also, you might have a lot of days and look for something different or something interesting, something out of the box.
Poland has a lot of strange and interesting places to see in every corner.
Those two cities are also a must-see for your trip to Poland.
Actually Torun might be the most beautiful city in the whole of Poland, but some people do not agree.
Let's see some more unknown to most of us but beautiful cities in Poland.
Zamość - Hidden Gem 1
Old City of Zamość (UNESCO) in southeastern Poland is an outstanding example of a late 16th-century Central European town designed and built in accordance with Italian.
Renaissance theories on the creation of “ideal” cities.
This innovative approach to town planning was the result of very close cooperation between the town’s enlightened founder and the distinguished Italian architect Bernardo Morando.
The Old City of Zamość today retains its original rectilinear street plan and its unique blend of Italian and Central European architectural traditions, as well as parts of its encircling fortifications.
It might be easier to combine a visit to the beautiful city of Zamosc in Poland together with the visit to Lublin and Majdanek we have seen above.
The city is just 1,5 hours drive from the city of Lublin.
Kazimierz Dolny - Hidden Gem 2
Kazimierz Dolny is a considerable tourist attraction as one of the most beautifully situated little towns in Poland.
It enjoyed its greatest prosperity in the 16th and the first half of the 17th century, due to the trade-in grain conducted along the Vistula.
It became an economic backwater after that trade declined, and this freeze in economic development enabled the town to preserve its Renaissance urban plan and appearance.
Since the 19th century, it has become a popular holiday destination, attracting artists and summer residents.
Kazimierz Dolny is an art center in Poland. Many painters retreat to this small town to paint and sell their work.
Galleries can be found in almost every street, offering for sale sculptures, stained-glass, folk art, and fine art.
Finally, a visit to Kazimierz Dolny is also very convenient to be combined with the visit to Lublin and Majdanek, as It is just 1 hours drive from Lublin.
Travel to Poland - The Lower Silesia
We already mentioned the awesome city of Wroclaw, but let's see some more very interesting places.
In case you are a fun of the history of WWII, this might be your area of interest.
Let's take a short trip to the Lower Silesia in Poland and discover some more hidden gems of Poland.
We are talking about the area close to the city of Wroclaw.
First destination, the old small city of Swidnica. The birthplace of my wife.
The very small and very old city of around 65,000 inhabitants, 64,999 after my wife left, is located around a 1-hour drive from Wroclaw.
The city's name was first recorded as Svidnica in 1070.
Świdnica became a town in 1250, although no founding document has survived that would confirm this fact.
After the defeat of Nazi Germany in 1945, the town, like most of Silesia, became part of Poland under border changes promulgated at the Potsdam Conference.
Points of interest in Swidnica
- First of all, the main attraction is the Church of Peace (UNESCO),
named after the Peace of Westphalia of 1648.
- From the 14th century has the highest tower in Silesia, standing 103 meters tall. The amazing St. Stanislaus and St. Wenceslaus Cathedral.
- Τhe old town with the Stary Rynek (square).
- The 16th-century town hall has been renovated numerous times and combines Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque architectural elements.
After we have seen the beautiful city of Swidnica, we can now move to something very interesting close in the area.
The Project Riese (Giant) - Owl Mountains
Riese (Giant) is the code name for a construction project of Nazi Germany during 1943-1945. It is located only 35 minutes' drive from Swidnica.
The project consists of seven underground structures located in the Owl Mountains in Lower Silesia, previously Germany, now a territory of Poland.
During World War II, from 1943, the Germans were undertaking large-scale construction works known as the Project Riese in the region of the Owl Mountains.
The construction was never finished and what remains today is a number of constructions, the purpose of which is still uncertain.
The Walimskie Drifts is a place of remembrance. Thousands of innocent people from various European countries died here.
The tickets cost 20 PLN per person + 12 PLN per person for an audio guide (English, German, Czech, French). See more info.
It is recommended that you buy the combined ticket: Walimskie Drifts + Grodno Castle (9km distance between the two attractions).
The combined ticket cost 34 PLN (€8).
The Grodno Castle (formerly Kynsburg) is a castle located in the southern parts of the Wałbrzych Mountains, on the Choina Mountain (450 meters).
You can buy the combined ticket together with the Riese project + 8 PLN for renting an audio guide at the castle.
Why don't you stay for the night at the castle as well?
The location and surroundings of the fortress make it a fairylike place.
The wildlife on the castle hill was appreciated in 1957 when a nature reserve “Choina Mountains” was created here.
Climb the castle tower to admire the landscape seen from the observation deck.
Finally and in connection with the Riese project above, we are to see the underground city of Osówka.
The underground city of Osówka
The work was commenced in the middle of 1943.
It led to the creation of a huge system of concrete corridors, fortifications, and halls. The purpose of this work was kept secret.
The underground city of Osówka is located just 22 minutes drive from the Grodno castle above.
Some claim it was meant to be Adolf Hitler’s secret headquarters.
Others say these halls were built for underground armament factories designated to produce the secret weapon.
Compulsory workers and prisoners from the concentration camp Gross-Rosen were used to this work.
The surface part of the Osówka complex constituted the external infrastructure of the object.
Complex Osówka is situated within the administrative borders of Głuszyca town in Wałbrzych county.
It is the most interesting and the longest accessible complex built in the Owl Mountains.
There are 4 different routes someone can take in the secret underground city
- Historical Route (1 Hour) - 21 PLN per person.
- Extreme Route (1,5 Hour) - Historical Route plus, additionally, rafting in a military landing boat, passing through the gangway of treasure hunters.
- Educational Route (1 Hour) - 25 PLN per person
- Route Expedition Riese (approx. 3 Hours) - Price is 70 PLN per person. More info and Booking
Książ Castle in WAŁBRZYCH
This is the last we are going to see in the area. I am sure that by driving around this area, you are going to see a lot more interesting places to visit.
The castle is located just 17 minutes drive from Swidnica.
BOLKO I "THE STRICT", PRINCE OF ŚWIDNICA AND JAWOR FROM THE PIAST DYNASTY, ORDERS THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE "KEY TO SILESIA", TODAY'S KSIĄŻ CASTLE.
1943 - 1945: "Todt", a Nazi paramilitary organization, occupied Książ Castle. Intensive works were carried out including, apparently, what was meant to be one of Hitler's main quarters.
The changes brought about by Hitler's soldiers are called the third castle reconstruction, though owing to their barbaric character, this reconstruction is not designated as "great".
Read more about the Ksiaz Castle.
A few more points of Interest
- Visit the paper museum, the only one in Poland
- Take a trip and discover the beautiful city of Kłodzko. For its historical monuments, it is sometimes referred to as "Little Prague"
- Time to visit the Złoty Stok. The name Złoty Stok means "golden slope" in Polish and is a reference to the fact that a gold deposit was mined here in the Middle Ages. Now a museum.
Do you know about Hitler's Gold Train?
All the above places are somehow connected with the Nazi Gold Train. The train was not found yet. Is this truth or just a myth?
The train is believed to be near the Polish city of Wałbrzych, which until 1945 was the German city of Waldenburg.
According to local legend, the train left Breslau (now Wrocław) laden with gold and other treasures.
It was driven into a system of tunnels under the Owl Mountains that were part of an unfinished Nazi secret Project Riese ("giant") near Wałbrzych.
Finally, it was buried in a warren of tunnels and mines created by the Nazis.
The train is rumored to hold up to 300 tones of gold, jewels, weapons, and masterpieces.
In 2016, a group of enthusiasts began construction of a full-size replica of a Nazi armored train in an old paper mill located about 15 km from the site of the Koper and Richter embankment dig.
It is designed to become a tourist attraction. Interesting?
Let's See you in Poland Soon!
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