Poland: ideas and itineraries to organize a low cost trip

byVerónica Crocitti
Top 10 things to do in Krakow Poland

Everything you need to know to organize an itinerary in Poland: ideas, advice, travel, costs and information.


Overlooking the Baltic Sea, emblem of the tragic history of the 1900s, thePolandit is a wonderful land that, too often, is underestimated. If you believe that this is a cold, gloomy and gray country, know that the reality is far different! You would be amazed to discover that Poland, the land of Pope Wojtyla and Chopin, is an extremely colorful and sunny country which, although marked by the atrocities of the Great War, has a heart that pulsates with vivacity, joy and light-heartedness.

DOCUMENTS, MONEY AND LANGUAGE

To travel to Poland you simply need aPassport or a valid identity card for expatriation, unless you are staying longer than 90 days and then you will need a request to the Voivode Prefecture office. Although the country belongs to the European Union, the currency used is not the Euro, but thePolish zloty(1 zloty corresponds to about 23 euro cents). Once you arrive in the country, you will have the possibility to change your money in the exchange offices that you will find in the main cities or at the airport… just be careful of the commissions which, sometimes, are really high! Alternatively, you can always withdraw Polish currency directly from ATM machines.

READ ALSO:What to eat in Poland, the typical dishes

The language spoken in Poland is thePolishand it's not that easy to find someone who speaks English, except in hotels/hotels/extremely touristy areas. In most cases, even the written things (for example the menus) are exclusively in Polish… and perhaps, that of the language, is one of the greatest difficulties. Either way, don't worry! In big cities like Warsaw, Krakow or Gdansk, you will find tourist offices ready to help you. Poles are extremely kind and, in one way or another, they will always be able to help you.

WHEN TO GO TO POLAND

The best months to visit Poland are the ones that gofrom May to September, when temperatures range between 13 and 24 degrees (July and August are the hottest months). Traveling between November and March is not recommended, when temperatures can drop below 0 and the climate is harsh and rainy.

TRAVELING IN POLAND: TRAVELS AND COSTS

Poland is a peaceful country with a high level of security, so solo travel is absolutely recommended (I did it myself!) as well as "do it yourself" trips. The best way to move from one city to another, if you are organizing an on the road, is thetrain. The Polish railway network is efficient, cheap and punctual (much faster than coaches). You can book tickets directly on the official website.

Low cost Poland itinerary

You will immediately realize that traveling to Poland, in addition to being simple, isextremely cheap. Low cost airlines such as Rynair or Wizzair allow you to reach the airports ofWarsaw or Krakowwith really negligible figures (especially if the reservation is made well in advance). Journey times from Italy vary from 2 to 2.30 hours. You can easily find B&Bs and lodgings for 20/30 euros per night (single room) and get away with less than 5/6 euros for lunch/dinner ( eating well and a lot!).

ON THE ROAD ITINERARY IN POLAND

I propose an itinerary through the wonders of Poland which, with a minimum of 8/9 days, will allow you to discover the most characteristic glimpses of this land. “Poland on the road” is a travel project I conceived and created (I traveled alone, traveling exclusively by train and bus) which had the following stops:Warsaw, Gdansk, Poznan, Wroclaw, Auschwitz and Krakow.

ITALY/WARSAW

The best way to reach Poland and start an itinerary in this magical land is by air. If booked well in advance, the direct flight can also cost you 30/50 euros one way, to which, however, you will have to add the price of the trolley if you travel with companies such as Rynair or Wizzair. My journey began at the Catania airportSicily. Know that the two low cost airlines just mentioned operate direct flights to both Warsaw and Krakow.

To reach the center of Warsaw, from Chopin Airport (there are two airports in Warsaw), you will have three ways:

  • Bus: number 175 leaves from the stall in front of the airport exit and stops at Warsaw Central Station. The cost of the ticket is around 4 zlotys and you can buy it directly at the Airport Reception Point;
  • Train: the station is right next to the airport exit. There are two lines that you can take (S2 and S3) to get to the city center and the journey takes around 20 minutes (the cost of the ticket is around 4 zlotys and you can do it directly at the Airport Reception Point – it's the same as the bus );
  • Taxi.

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WARSAW

Sunny and colourful, the capital of Poland has a lively and romantic soul which is mainly expressed in theOld City, the beating heart which has become a UNESCO World Heritage Site. TheStare Miastoit has a charm capable of bewitching, with its picturesque alleys, colorful houses and Chopin's notes that echo almost everywhere.

Between the must-see things in Warsawthe walk in the Old Town (with a visit to theRoyal Castleto the central squareRynek Staregoand to the fortressBarbican), walks in the greeneryLazienki Parkand on the riverfront of theVistula, visits toPrague district with its street art, to the oldJewish ghetto and from Palace of Culture and Science(right next to the Central Station), participation in one ofChopin concerts.

Low cost Poland itinerary

An advice!To freely use the means of transport and have free admission to various museums/attractions, as well as free participation in one of Chopin's concerts, I recommend purchasing theWarsaw Pass (you can choose the one from 24/36/48 hours).

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Gdansk

If you are planning an itinerary in Poland, Gdansk will certainly have to be one of your stops. The fastest way to reach the city from Warsaw is by train: 3 hours and 20 minutes for a cost of 15 euros. Lying on the Baltic coast of Poland,Gdansk(Gdansk in Polish) is a colorful, cheerful and lively city. Everything revolves around the narrow streets of the historic centre, mostly characterized by small shops and restaurants. Absolutely not to be missed is the central square of theLong Market (Dlugi Targ), The Long Street (Ulica Dluga), The Mariacka street (the street of Amber), The St. Mary's Basilica, The Fountain of Neptune, L 'European Solidarity Center and the World War II Museum.

READ ALSO: Top 10 things to do and see in Gdansk

An advice! To freely use the means of transport (especially if you have to move towards the European Solidarity Center and the Museum of World War II) and have free admission to various museums/attractions, as well as free participation in walking city tours, I recommend buying theGdansk Tourist Card(you can choose the one from 24/36/48 hours).

Find all the offers for accommodation in Gdansk

POZNAN

Don't make the mistake of excluding Poznan from your on the road itinerary in Poland, you might regret it bitterly! The fastest way to reach the city from Gdansk is by train: 3 hours and 25 minutes for a cost of around 15 euros. Lying on the sides of the Warta River,Poznanit maintains the characteristics of all Polish cities and shows itself to travelers with a particularly colorful and attractive historical centre. ThereCity of the two goats(so called for an old legend) revolves around the greatOld Market Square(Old Market Square), in the center of which stands the tallcity ​​Hallin the Renaissance style.

What to see Poznan Poland Europe

Among the things not to be missed in the city, the walk in the historic centre, visits to theRoyal Castle, To Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul in Poznan (located on the island of Ostrów Tumski) and atSt. Stanislaus Church(Fara Church).

Curiosity! If you are in Poznan, make sure you stay there until at least 12. At that exact moment, in fact, a curious fact takes place on the Clock Tower of the city's Town Hall (located in the Old Market Square): the bells solemnly announce the half past and, from a small window, two goats peep out and… start to butt each other!

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WROCLAW (BRESLAW)

The fastest way to reach Wroclaw (Breslau), from Poznan, is by train: 2 hours and 20 minutes for a cost of about 10 euros. Nestled on either side of the Older River,Wroclaw(Wroclaw in Polish) is a large and eclectic city and it too is one of the unmissable stops on an itinerary in Poland. The beating heart is characterized byCentral market squareoverlooked by colorful and elegant residences, as well as the two famous houses called "Hansel & Gretel”. This is, without a doubt, the core of the tourist and university soul of Wroclaw. In the area you will find the majesticUniversity, with the Museum and the Baroque halls, theCathedral of Santa Maria Maddalena with the Ponte dei Penitenti (great place to take photos from above) and the hundreds ofbronze statuettes depicting friendly Gnomeswhich, in addition to making Wroclaw a "playable city", give it the famous name of "City of Gnomes".

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To visit Wroclaw you will need at least two days since, beyond the historic center, there are many areas that deserve a thorough visit. Among the unmissable stand out theWroclaw Cathedral(located on the island of Ostrów Tumski), the riverside walk (recommended at sunset) and the crossing of the bridges that connect the mainland to the central islets.

What to see Wroclaw Poland Europe

An advice! To freely use the means of transport and have free admission to various museums/attractions, I recommend purchasing theWroclaw Tourist Card(you can choose the one from 24/36/48 hours).

Find all the offers for accommodation in Wroclaw

AUSCHWITZ & BIRKENAU

The fastest and cheapest way to reach theConcentration camps of Auschwitz and Birkenauis to take one of thedirect busesdeparting either from Krakow or Katowice. In following my on the road itinerary in Poland, once I left Wroclaw, I headed to Krakow by train (2 hours 30 minutes for a cost of 15 euros) and, at the bus station (located right next to the train station) , I bought the ticket ofLajkonik vector (15 zlotys one way) direction Auschwitz. I leave you the link towebsite where you can find the timetables of the rides to/from Auschwitz: remember to ask for the ticket for the Auschwitz Museum and not for the Oświeçim station (it is located 2 km from the entrance to the concentration camp).

To be able to access the Auschwitz concentration camp isneed to book a ticket online: daily admissions are limited and, if you haven't already secured a place, you risk being left out. You can block an Entry Pass directly on theofficial site, by clicking on "Visit for Individuals" and then choose the time and language for the visit.

Being a memory site, you can also enter for free (without a guide) but online booking is always mandatory and, in this case, entry is only allowed between 7.30am and 10am, and then after 4pm.No ticket is needed for Birkenauand access is totally free. To reach the site, which is located 3 km from Auschwitz, just take the free shuttle that runs between the two museums every 20 minutes.

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KRAKOW

Set in the south of the country, almost on the border with the Czech Republic and Slovakia,Krakowit is perhaps the most loved and visited city in all of Poland, an unmissable stop on your itinerary. ThereOld City, with its medieval center guarded by high walls, revolves around the very livelyMarket Square (Rynek Glówny), in whose core arise theFabric Market and the Gothic Basilica of Santa Maria.

READ ALSO:10 things to do and see in Krakow

Among the unmissable things stand out theJewish quarter, L 'Jagiellonian University, The Wawel Castle, The Barbican(access point to the old city), theOskar Schindler's factory and Wieliczka Salt Mine.

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Note well! Per arrivare da/all’aeroporto di Cracovia basta prendere l’autobus numero 252 (potrete fare il biglietto direttamente a bordo, il costo è di circa 90 centesimi).

Note 2! Nella città di Cracovia potreste avere difficoltà ad utilizzare Google Maps poiché il servizio non include i tram (non li riconosce neanche). Per questo vi consiglio di scaricare l’app gratuita Jakdojade.

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