Poland Wrap-up Part II: Transportation and Accomodations

Still thinking about planning a trip to Poland? My last post gave some itinerary help. Today is about some other logistics to account for as you start putting the wheels in motion. The other two big things to figure out when putting a trip together is transportation and accommodations. Here’s what we did, and learned along the way.

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Poland Wrap-up Part I: Make Your Own Poland Itinerary

Poland was an amazing country to visit, and truly one of my favorite trips I’ve taken during my three years living in Europe. But you know what the funny thing is? The trip almost didn’t happen. I have always wanted to visit Poland because when I look at my varied European ancestry, I’m more Polish than anything else. I’ve always wanted to step foot in Poland and connect to my roots on some level. But each year, for some reason the trip seemed daunting to plan, so we kept putting it off. Until Michael just put his foot down and booked round trip airfare to Krakow, knowing that this commitment would motivate us to pull it together.

If you’re interested in going to Poland but are in the same boat, I want to encourage you to put your reservations aside and plan a trip! The hardest part for me was putting together an itinerary that captured the highlights of this large country. Here are some ideas to help give you a head start.

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An Insider's Guide to Poland: Guest Post by Joanna of "Me and My Itchy Feet"

If you’ve been following along for the past few weeks, you know that I’m in middle of doing a series on Poland. I loved my time in Poland last year and have been having so much fun reliving the trip and sharing all about it. But the reality is, as much as I did and experienced, I was only there for 16 days. So today I’m happy to introduce you to Joanna, who I have bonded with over Poland. Joanna has spent MUCH more time in this country than me, so I asked her to give an insider’s perspective on where to visit while in Poland. So without further ado, I’ll let Joanna take it from here:

Hi. My name is Joanna and I’m Polish, living practically all my life in Poland (apart from a semester in Finland followed by a few months in England). I’m a wife and a mother of two (six year old boy and almost two year old girl), trying to show the diversity of the world to our kids. I love discovering new things, be it discovering new places, new tastes, or something else. My first trip abroad without any members of my family was when I was almost eleven. London and Oxford were the places we got to see. And that’s how it all started. “It” meaning my love for travel (though previous trips with my parents also added a lot to it). I married a wonderful guy who shares my passion or, at least, is willing to follow me. Now, together with our little ones, we’re trying to discover the world our way, what I’m describing on my little piece of the Internet – Me and my itchy feet

Oh boy, that’s a long introduction and you’re probably wondering what I’m doing here on Sara’s blog. As you have probably noticed, Sara is writing a series of posts on her trip to a not-so-well-known European country, yet one that is so close to my heart: Poland. Sara asked me to write a few words on Poland as a sort of insider’s view. And I was over excited to do it, because I truly believe that Poland has a lot to offer. Sea, lakes, rivers, higher and lower mountains, historic spots, lowlands, dessert (yes, we have one). You name it – we’ve got it. Ok, I’ve gone a bit too far here, but there is a wide variety of things you can see, do, and experience in Poland.

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Baltic Beauty: Gdańsk, Poland

It’s no mistake that I started to talk about our time in Gdańsk, and then diverted over to the side trips we took to Sopot and Malbork Castle. Every time I sit down to try to tackle what we did and saw in Gdańsk, I get overwhelmed. There was a lot to see and do, yet it was charming and picturesque enough to just sit back and enjoy without an agenda or plan. 

Part of what I appreciated about Gdańsk is that there’s variety. There are boats to see and even ride, museums to visit, churches to wander into, lots of history to study, easy access to the beach, amber to shop for, plus good food and hang-out spots when the time comes just to relax. Let me try to unpack the city a little more by its elements:

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Daytrip from Gdańsk: Malbork Castle

I have to apologize. I’ve done a bait-and-switch of sorts. Here I was last week, giving a teaser of our time in Gdańsk, and the only thing I’ve revealed so far is one of the side-trips we took from Gdańsk to the beach town of Sopot. The Jersey Shore parallels excited me, what can I say? (If you missed it, read more in my post on how Sopot is the Atlantic City of the East.) 

My apology is going to seem a bit empty in a moment though, because instead of getting to Gdańsk, I’m again going to divert over to our other day trip we took while in the area: to Malbork Castle. The truth is that as I try to grasp all we did in Gdansk, there are so many elements and facets to this city that I want to share, and it is overwhelming! But I will get to it soon, I really will.

Today though, it’s all about Malbork Castle. It is easily accessible from Gdańsk - it’s about 30-minutes via train, and then a 15-minute walk to the castle from the station. There’s definitely no way you can miss finding this when you get to town:

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Northward Bound to Gdańsk, Poland

Bon lundi!

We're heading up to the north of Poland, to a notable city on the Baltic Sea. After Krakow and Warsaw, this was always the third city that people mentioned as a must-see in Poland (and often encouraged visiting it more enthusiastically than Warsaw).

This week is about Gdańsk - the sea, amber, my love of boats, and everything in between. I'll give away a little spoiler - I concur with my Polish friends who offered trip advice beforehand. Gdansk is a great place to spend a few days and should inch towards the top of any Poland to-do list. More on why coming soon! 

View of Gdańsk from the tower of St. Mary's Church 

The 10 Most Memorable Experiences in Poland

I just got back from a two-week trip traveling throughout Poland. Yup, you read that correctly. Poland. I've gotten many quizzical looks, and even questioning natives asking why I chose Poland for a long vacation. The short answer is I have always wanted to go due to my largely Polish ancestry. That, coupled with my mounting desire to explore more of Eastern Europe after I fell in love with Prague (my only prior experience in the general area), led Michael and I to book a 16-night adventure in this country. These ten moments/places/things left an impact on me and convinced me that Poland is such an underrated destination for tourists. So when are you planning to visit Poland?!

Here are the top ten things (in no particular order) that stood out to me on my trip:

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