Discussion in 'travel and world' started by moonsi til, Sep 16, 2018.

  1. moonsi til

    moonsi til worked it out now!

    The last Poland threads are about 10 yeas old so thought wise to do a new one.

    My partner parents were Polish (both now deceased). Mum was from Gdańsk & Dad we need to confirm. Their family scattered due to WW2 but they were the only ones to settle in the UK. There is family in Poland & Germany. He has not visited since he was a teen & has never taken his son & it would be wise to visit as some of the relatives are getting on a bit.

    So where to visit? What time of year? How long to go for? My first thoughts are summer and for 10-14 days give time to travel about, visit where his parents were born/met etc, visit relatives & have a good wander.

    We went to Berlin last year & whilst on a guided walking tour about WW2/Berlin Wall we came to a train station & my partner had vivid memories of coming through the train station in the 80s with his dad & shared that his mum received a pension from Germany due to being a PoW.
    mr steev likes this.
  2. Callie

    Callie Pivoting

    Gdansk would be a summer trip I've gleanded from various recommendations here and elsewhere. I was considering going there earlier this year but as it was Winter decided against it.

    Krakow is beautiful and definitely worth a visit, kits going on, lots to see and do (buildings, culture, general bumbling around). I think you must go here if you don't go anywhere else but it is possible and easy to go to a few places.

    Train travel is pretty good, trains are reasonably priced and if not luxurious! It's easy to get from city to city by train.

    South of Krakow in the Tatra mountains in Zakopane which is a great winter destinatiin. We took a coach from Krakow to get there which seems to be the main way to access the area. It was amazing but I'd never really been anywhere with mountains :oops: probably nice for walking in the summer but was nice with snow everywhere. It's a small place so not tonnes going on but plenty of restaurants, bars, ski lifts/cable cars if you do that sort of thing.

    Warsaw is much more modern and bustling, kinda like visiting many other European cities. Plenty to see and do but even in the old town I would say Krakow trump's it on aesthetics.

    I had a short stay in Wroclaw many years back for a couple of nights, it had a nice central square but I was a bit list and didn't adventure around much as I was only there to catch a coach back to the UK after my plane was grounded by a flipping volcano :D I would like to go back and have a proper look.
  3. Callie

    Callie Pivoting

  4. Supine

    Supine Rough Like Badger

    I have a polish surname but no connection to family due to WW2. I've never been, but really should visit. I'll be watching this thread carefully for places to go.
  5. Manter

    Manter Lunch Mob

    There is enough in Krakow alone to keep you going for a 2 week holiday! I'd start with key family locations and build a holiday from there, and go there for as much time as you can. I love gdansk, poznan, lubin, krakow, the bielewska forest (spelling?). I go to Warsaw a fair amount for work- the old town (actually New because it didn't survive ww2) is fab, but it's not my fav city.

    I love spring and autumn- the colours up in the north in autumn are stunning. And easter there are painted eggs and flower festivals and dances and general semi-pagan frivolity everywhere. I was in Krakow just before Christmas one year and there were hundreds of hand crafted tin nativities on the steps of the cross. So beautiful- is an annual a competition, I later discovered

    It is a country full of stuff like that imo- you can tick off big sites, but some of the best stuff is what you just wander past or stumble across, or spot as you sit drinking coffee and eating (excellent) cake.
  6. Manter

    Manter Lunch Mob

    Badgers likes this.
  7. QueenOfGoths

    QueenOfGoths Fuck you Dave!

    Krakow is beautiful and there is loads to do there

    In the city itself are various museums and galleries ranging from medieval to modern art. A lot of Polish art doesn't seem as well known outside the country as i feel it should be. The country has produced some fine artists both classical and modern.

    History wise there is the Castle Schindler Factory, museum of Jewish History and then outside the city but very accessible the Wieliczka Salt Mines (as featured in "Go Jetters") and, of course, Auschwitz.

    Food is brilliant, varied cuisine and for every budget. Traditional Polish is well worth having (pierogi and bigos especially). Nightlife is great, especially around Kazimierz where there are some interesting and quirky bars.

    It's very easy to get around. Public transport is cheap but it's also way to walk within the city.

    It's also a year round city. Summer is lovely, open air bars and walks in the Planty which is the park which surrounds the city. Winter is hot chocolate and cellar beers. As Manter said before Christmas is a lovely time to visit.

    I would highly recommend visiting. It'd move there tomorrow if I could!
  8. FabricLiveBaby!

    FabricLiveBaby! Live Baby Fabric!

    Hey there! Moonsitil. I am located in Krakow and have been settled here for 7 years. Can confirm it is BEAUTIFUL with plenty to do here and the weather is pleasant most of the year, just stay away in winter. Its really smoggy and very cold.

    Poland's quite massive, and as with all countries different regions have got their different things going on.

    If you're doing a whole "reconnecting with your roots" thing. I would go to ancestral homes.

    Kraków suffers from an awful lot of tourists, and while there are hidden gems and whatnot, I'd try to stay away from the mass market. If you do end up coming here I'd be more than happy to show you the ropes and stay off the beaten track.

    If you're after nature, the lake district is beautiful, and relatively quiet and "authentic" (compared to very kitsch Zakopane).

    If you're into "up and coming" I can thoroughly recommend Wrocław. Massively vibrant BUT like Gdańsk used to be a German city before the border change. So the architecture there is much more German IC influence where as Krakow and the South are more grandious Austro Hungarian / Italian.

    Also culturally, the east and west are quite divided, with the west being more modernised and liberal and the east being more traditional and therefore untouched (I really liked Przemyś, Lublin, Sandomierz, Kazimierz Dolny - but they are quite small compared to west).

    What exactly are you interested in? Two weeks isn't that much for a whole country.

    If you hire a car, I can recommend some really nice road trips (depending on what you're into).
  9. moonsi til

    moonsi til worked it out now!

    Thank you all for such detailed replies.

    Part of reason of starting if this thread was to make sure the trip happens, kinda I have said it so it will kind of thing. We were at a family wedding yesterday (on my partners side) & I realised that for some of the relatives I hear about we need to go soon. We said last summer we would go this year but we didn’t as we had other trips planned and due to finances it hadn’t happened. But now we are free to plan for 2019.

    I’m a fan of guide books so shall purchase one & get more information on family geography as that will dictate much of the trip. I like the sound of trains for travel.

    We are hopeful that my partners brother & wife might join us for some of it. Well we will tell them they are welcome at least.
  10. davesgcr

    davesgcr Reading books

    An absolute great welcome to Poland is the Berlin - Warsaw train , has a great dining car , with proper local cuisine. They are really proud of it , deservedly so.
    Riklet likes this.
  11. krtek a houby

    krtek a houby Share knowledge, don't weaponize it


    You got great food, the Jewish quarter, Wyspianski art, good transport, trip to Auschwitz (if you are up for it - it's traumatic) and some quality bars - Propaganda being a standout.
    Badgers and moonsi til like this.
  12. Badgers

    Badgers Mr Big Shrimp!

    Am off to Warsaw tomorrow for a week. Staying at the Varsovia Apartamenty Kasprzaka in Wola district in Warsaw.

    At a conference so not going to have a lot of free time (in the day at least) but first time there so interested if any tips/places to see?

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