Poland is one of the European countries that I’ve always wanted to visit but couldn’t make a plan somehow. Of course, the biggest factor is that the country is not very popular and the plane tickets are not the cheapest. When I found a ticket from Georgia for a very affordable price, I immediately made my travel plan. I can say that it is much more beautiful than I expected, it is definitely an underrated destination. Now it’s time to share my experiences with you and to make you include Poland in your plans. 🙂 Ok then, here is the Poland travel guide and itinerary for you.
Poland Travel Guide
First of all, I will give general information such as transportation, meals, budget and then I will share my own travel itinerary in detail.
Poland transportation guide
I have always used trains for transportation between the cities within the country. The train network is really well developed, I think the trains pass almost everywhere in the country. Here is my transportation experience… I flew from Kutaisi, Georgia to Krakow by Wizz Air.
I took the train from Krakow airport to the central train station, it takes 20 minutes, 17 zt. You can buy the ticket either from the ticket machines or from the staff inside the train. You can easily reach everywhere in Krakow city by trams and it is an easy city to explore by walking. I used the tram only once, other than that I always walked. I took the night train from Krakow to Gdansk, 93 zt. You get on at 00:09 pm and arrive at Gdansk train station at 07:59 pm. I toured everywhere on foot in Gdansk.
I again took the night train from Gdansk to Wroclaw, 79 zt. I got on at 22:43 and arrived in Wroclaw at 04:45. Since I couldn’t go to the city at that time, I spent some time at Starbucks at the train station. I walked around Wroclaw, but at the end I took a tram to get back to the center from a point where I was quite far from the city center. From Wroclaw I took another train to Katowice, since my return flight was from Katowice, 37 zt. Finally I took the AP bus from Katowice train station to the airport, 6 zt. There is a bus every half hour during the day and every 1 hour from night to morning and it takes about 45 minutes to get to the airport.
When to go to Poland?
Since Poland is located in the North, the weather conditions are generally colder than most of Europe. However, the seasons are now so messed up that I can’t really make seasonal predictions even for the city I live in. I went in the middle of May. There was a lot of rain in Krakow, it was sunny in Gdansk and in Wroclaw it was cloudy even though it wasn’t raining, I managed with a sweatshirt over a coat.
How many days to spend in Poland?
My trip lasted 3 nights and 4 days and I visited 3 cities in that time. I could have stayed longer in Krakow instead of visiting these 3 cities or I could have visited 2 cities. But I wanted to see more places in the country and have an opinion. I am actually planning to go to Poland again since flights from Georgia are very affordable. During this time I saw many important places in each city. There are still other cities I want to visit. According to my research, if you are planning a big vacation in Poland, at least a 9-day vacation is appropriate to visit most of the important places. Speaking about Krakow, if you want to visit concentration camps and salt mines, I think you should spend at least 2 nights and 3 days. The advantage of being alone was that I could visit each of the other cities in 1 day. I was going out to explore at 8 in the morning and touring for at least 12 hours without stopping.
Polish Cuisine – What to Eat in Poland?
Polish cuisine is not a popular cuisine that is widely spoken about. As in many Eastern European countries, Polish food is based on sustainability in cold weather. Also, since it has been invaded many times, we can say that some of the dishes have come from the invading countries. In general, Polish cuisine is similar to its neighbors such as Russia, Hungary, Germany, Belarus and Romania. Now I will tell you about the most famous Polish dishes that I have tried and seen. I will also recommend places in the travel route section below.
There is a Milk Bar concept in Poland, let me tell you about it. These are state-run restaurants from the communist era that serve hearty, traditional meals. In the post-war period, they usually served meat, potatoes, soups, vegetables, dumplings and, as you can guess from the name, dairy products. Don’t expect anything fancy, you can try them for cheap, simple, and nutritious meals.
Pierogi: A dish similar to ravioli, with dough on the outside and different types of filling inside.
Zapiekanka: This is one of the famous street foods. You can think of it like pizza on bread. The traditional one is with mushrooms and cheese, but there are many other variations. You can also put ketchup and other sauces on it, I didn’t like it with ketchup, but onion crisps was very good.
Obwarzanek: I can say that this is a street food similar to Turkish bagel and German pretzels. You can have it for breakfast.
Golabki: Polish stuffed cabbage
Bigos: Also called hunter stew, is made with chopped meat, sauerkraut and fresh cabbage.
It is also possible to see options such as Hungarian goulash and Russian borsh soup on the menus.
Is Poland cheap? Poland travel budget
First of all, I should note that Poland’s currency is Zloty and its short name is zt. They use their own currency but sometimes they accept Euro as well. Since I always used my credit card, I calculated the prices in Euros. I think Poland was the cheapest trip I have ever made in my life 😀 Transportation, accommodation and all other expenses cost 240€ in total. Poland is a budget friendly country, eating and drinking is really affordable. If you eat in places like Milk Bars, you can have a very satisfying meal with a drink for 6-7€. I ate here only once, I usually went to popular restaurants and I paid around 12-13€ for really satisfying meals with drinks. Coffee in cafes is around 3€. Accommodation was also cheap because I spent 2 nights on the train and 1 night in a hostel. When I am on my own, it makes sense to stay in hostels with female dormitories. I travel until I am exhausted and go to sleep. I go straight to sleep without seeing anyone and go out very early in the morning. In short, since I also bought the plane ticket for a very cheap price, the total budget was very reasonable. To divide the total trip cost item by item, here is my trip budget…
3 Nights 4 Days Poland Travel Budget
Flights from Kutaisi to Krakow and back to Katowice 57€
Domestic transportation: 3 train rides, 2 trips to the airport and 2 trips on the city tram cost a total of €52.
Accommodation: 15€ in a female hostel for 4 people
Safety Deposit: Since trains were my home, I left my luggage at the train stations 3 times and it was 8€ in total.
I went to nice cafes and restaurants, I also tasted street food and it was 98€ in total.
As for sightseeing, I visited only 2 paid places and it was 10€ in total.
Krakow Things to Do
Rynek Glowny: This is the main square of Krakow. A UNESCO world heritage site, it is located in the old town of Krakow.
St. Mary’s Basilica: Built in Gothic style, it is one of the most important churches in Poland. The trumpet is played every hour from the higher of the two towers.
Sukiennice: One of the oldest shopping centers in the world, dating back to the 14th century, similar to Turkish Grand Bazaar but smaller.
Rynek Underground Museum: Under the main square, a museum about how this place used to look, exhibiting items from the 12th century and onwards.
Maly Rynek: This is another small square in the Old Town.
Church of St. Anne: It’s an 18th century church, I guess it’s not very popular, I didn’t read much about it, but I really liked the inside of this place, so I just wanted to mention it.
Planty Park: A very beautiful park surrounding Old Town.
Florianska Street: A photogenic street with colorful houses, restaurants and shops.
Wawel Castle: The place where the royal family used to live, can now be visited as a castle complex and art museum. Just below the castle there is a statue of a dragon that spits fire out of its mouth every 5 minutes.
Schindler’s Factory: In 1939 Oskar Schindler bought an enamel factory in Krakow and hired many Jews living in the Krakow Jewish ghetto. Thus, he saved these Jews from going to concentration camps. This factory can now be visited as a museum.
Kazimierz: Until the Second World War, there was a large Jewish community living here, so it’s called the Jewish quarter. Now it is a colorful area with very nice cafes and vintage shops. Schindler’s List Passage, which was featured in the movie Schindler’s List, is also here.
Jewish Ghetto Memorial: There are 68 empty metal chairs in a square. It was built in memory of 68000 Jews killed by the Nazis in Krakow.
I decided to leave them for my next visit, but the Auschwitz and Birkenau concentration camps of the Nazis, located near Krakow, are one of the most important activities here. One of the options is to arrange a tour from Krakow, but I will tell you other options in case you want to go by yourself. There are buses from Krakow MDA bus station directly to the camp museum, you can take them, this seems to be the easiest way. The other way is to take the train to Oswiecim and from there take the local bus or walk to the camps, the walk takes about half an hour. You can also visit Wieliczka Salt Mines.
These are the main places to visit in Krakow in my opinion.
My only stay in Poland was in Krakow and I stayed in a hostel, but while I was researching I also found some affordable tiny studio apartments and hotels. I will share with you the accommodation options for different budgets as a result of my detailed research on reviews and locations. When I go alone, I don’t go for luxury accommodation, but when I’m with my family, I prefer nice places, so I look for all kinds of accommodation in my research.
Where to Eat and Drink in Krakow?
The first place I went as soon as I arrived in the city was Pierogarnia Krakowiacy. They make many kinds of pierogi here, I had the half pierogi with sun-dried tomatoes and half with mushroom. It is a very touristic, chain restaurant but I loved both the interior design and the dumplings. Camelot Cafe is a very sweet place, the interior is very photogenic, the food looked good but I just stopped by for a coffee. You should definitely go to Singer for a drink, they have made the tables from the old Singer sewing machines. Eszeweria was one of my favorite cafes too. You can taste vodka at Wodka Bar. For a quick bite to eat, you can have Zapiekanka at one of the kiosks in Plac Nowy, I had it at Endzior. Dawno Temu na Kazimierzu is a restaurant made of 4 nostalgic shops side by side. The iconic old-style shop signs of the Jewish quarter are still there, so this is also a photo spot. The name of the restaurant means “Once upon a time Kazimierz”. Ariel is a very famous restaurant where you can enjoy Jewish cuisine. I had Obwarzanek at a place called Live Bagel Museum of Krakow, it’s not very special, you can also get it from the street.
Things to do in Gdansk
I spent a full day in Gdansk from morning to evening and now I will write you a route of places to visit in Gdansk in one day.
Dluga: The famous Long Market street, which starts with the Golden Gate and is full of beautiful houses, each of which you will want to photograph. Main Town Hall is also located on this street.
Dlugi Targ Square: This is the main square of Gdańsk Old Town. Neptune Fountain, Artus Court, colorful houses, nice cafes and the Green Gate leading to the river are all here.
Motlawa River Embankment: The road along the riverbank. There are nice cafes and bars.
St. Mary’s Church: You can go up to the tower of the basilica and watch the city from above, it’s a really spectacular view.
Mariacka: A street lined with colorful houses with shops selling amber jewelry underneath. One of the popular streets of Gdansk. The main feature of this street is the animal sculptures made to camouflage the water pipes.
Piwna: This is a sweet street with lots of cafes and bars lined up side by side.
AmberSky: Ferris wheel and the neon Gdansk sign in front of which you can take a photo.
World War II Museum: It is a nice museum about the beginning, development, aftermath, Nazi massacres, etc. of the Second World War. I stayed for about three hours even though I traveled quite fast. If you are interested in the history of the period, I recommend it, but keep in mind that you need to spend a long time.
Gdansk Food and Beverage
I had one meal at a Milk Bar, Bar Mleczny Stągiewna. Bar Neptun on Long Market street is also quite popular. For coffee and dessert Len was friendly and nice, the other alternative on my list was Kawiarnia Drukarnia. I had dinner at Mandu, where the menu consists mainly of dumplings and I loved their dumplings. Other places on my list for dinner were Familia Bistro and Mono Kitchen.
Things to do in Wroclaw
Wrocławski Rynek: Market Square is one of the most important places to see in Wroclaw, it’s a really beautiful square. Wroclaw Old Town Hall is here and it is surrounded by colorful and sweet houses. When I was there, the Summer Fair was organized here, so keep that in mind between the end of May and the beginning of June. The Christmas market is probably also held here.
Mostek Pokutnic: The Bridge of the Penitent, a bridge between the towers of the Church of Mary Magdalene, is a must if you want to look at Wroclaw from the top.
Ostrow Tumski: The oldest district of Wroclaw, which is called Cathedral Island. You should visit St. John the Baptist Cathedral and the tumski bridge, which has become a lovers’ bridge with the locks on it.
Jas i Małgosia: Two houses connected to each other by a tiny bridge are called Hansel and Gretel, as if they were holding hands.
Kolorowe Podwórka na Nadodrzu: They filled the courtyards of several housing estates with murals and turned it into a huge open-air exhibition.
Uniwersytet Wrocławski: The university building is beautiful and you can go up to the Mathematicians Tower and look down on the city from above, the botanical garden of the university is also very beautiful.
Hala Targowa: 19th century covered market. If you like to visit markets while abroad, you can check it out.
Wroclaw Dwarfs: It is said that there are around 700 dwarf statues in Wroclaw. You can see them everywhere. Finding these dwarves has become a touristic activity. In the 1980s, a political protest called “Orange Alternativ” started to show dissatisfaction with the communist regime. The symbol of this movement was dwarfs. A dwarf statue was built in the city to represent this and it is still going on.
I can say that Wroclaw is a paradise for Wes Anderson lovers. There are buildings in front of which you can shoot videos, “accidentallywesanderson” website even has a map for that, you can check it out.
Wroclaw Food and Drink
I went to Gniazdo for breakfast, Iggy Pizza for dinner and had dessert at Nanan, all of them were very good. Since I only had 1 day, I couldn’t try many places, but I would like to share with you the places I saved in my list from the suggestions and research. I mark the places I want to go on the map, when I get hungry or want to take a coffee break, I go wherever is closest to me.
Let me first note the oldest restaurant in Wroclaw, even in Europe, Piwnica Swidnicka Wroclaw, which has been around since 1273, maybe you want to go here.
Breakfast places: Dinnette, Charlotte
Traditional cuisine Kurna Chata, Conspira
Coffee Houses Cafe Rozrusznik, Vinyl Cafe
Milk Bar Bar mleczny Mis, Bar Mleczny Mewa
Beer tasting Browar Zloty Pies, Szynkarnia
Italian: Ragu Pracownia Macaron
I hope my Poland Travel Guide article will be useful for you and you will have a nice trip to Poland. There may be something I missed, if you have any other questions, please leave them in the comments. If you have any extra suggestions, I would like to hear them in the comments as well. Have a nice trip!
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