For the New Year’s Eve of 2020 I decided to go back to Poland (after my 2018 trip to Gniezno) and take the chance to explore the country a bit more.
Because I tried to do the most of the trip and visited different cities, I decided to divide this article in 3 different posts you can find linked along this article or in the articles’ main page.
Poland is an East European country that I would recommend for at least 3 reasons: the food, the architecture and the history that marked its lands.
Beside this, something to keep into consideration is that, like its neighbouring countries, Poland is really cheap in terms of flights, transports, restaurants and accommodation, thing that makes it the best destination even for such a popular period of the year like the New Year’s Eve, when prices usually bump up.
If you have the opportunity to go for about 10 days, which is what we did, you can probably manage to visit more than one town, we chose Krakow, Zakopane and Warsaw, in this order, but you can easily adjust the itinerary in the way that best suits you.
Now let’s be a bit more specific so that I can give you some general advice for visiting the country.
In Poland there are many international airports that you can fly to, but the main ones (closer to the larger cities) are in order:
- Warsaw Chopin
- Warsaw Modlin
- Saint John Paul II in Krakow–Balice
From any of these you can easily get into town by bus, train or shuttle depending on which one you choose, you will find all the necessary information on the airport website or on Google Maps, that will tell you exactly what means of transport is more convenient for you to use depending on the time you want to depart/arrive and on the destination you want to reach.
Not having a driving licence we always used local transports to get around, and as I said before, Google Maps has been our best friend in finding them.
Using the “Directions” function on Maps you can in fact set the points of departure and arrival and set the time you want to leave or at what time you want to arrive, then Google will automatically look for all the available alternatives you can choose between.
Larger cities like Krakow and Warsaw have plenty of trains and busses to bring you basically anywhere, while for example Zakopane has been a bit more tricky, but I will explain everything in more details in the relative posts so that you will be more prepared than we were.
For longer transfers, like to go from Krakow to Zakopane or to Warsaw, we used Flixbus, which has been absolutely amazing, always in time and super cheap (like €4 per person per trip), the only downside is that the trips are quite long and if you are not a big fan of busses it can be a bit stressful, especially if bringing your luggages around.
Because of the quite cheap prices of accommodations, we didn’t have to choose any shared accommodation and we always went for b&bs or apartments. When in Krakow and Warsaw we had plenty of choices, we found our rooms on Booking.com and we were 100% satisfied, even when we had quite a big inconvenience in Warsaw (I will speak about it in more details in the related post) the customer service has been absolutely helpful and accommodating.
Of course you have to keep in mind that if you go for the New Year’s Eve you have to book quite early to be sure to find plenty of choices and good deals, but in general, even if you have to change your plans at the last minute, you will probably find a solution anyway because there are hundreds of different hosts in such big cities.
Another really good thing about Booking, which I love, is that you don’t always have to pay when you book.
Indeed some accommodations give you the option to choose if paying in different instalments, when the arrival date gets closer or sometimes even at the property upon your arrival.
Regarding Zakopane, finding the right place to sleep has been a bit more complicated, it is the winter capital of Poland and this is why it gets really busy at this time of the year, also you will have to choose between different areas of the city and you will find slightly higher and more touristic prices.
Food-wise Poland has a lot to offer, I personally love how their hot soups can warm up a cold day, especially when dining in one of the heated areas you can find outside many restaurants.
The top things to try (from my personal point of view) are the handmade noodles in chicken soup, the pierogi dumplings and the cutlet, and of course the local vodka!
Lastly, here I will add the links to the more specific posts regarding each city I visited as soon as they will be available 🙂