Poland was a great country to visit with a lot to see and do. I travelled here for 5 days which was enough time for what I wanted to do.
I flew from my local airport straight into Kraków Airport which was around a 4 hour flight. Not too bad at all. When I arrived at the airport I located the train station which is based in the airport and well signposted.
Here I bought a ticket from the machine. It wasn’t in English so I asked a local man who spoke English, I told him where I needed to go and he helped me buy the ticket!
Before going to Poland I pre-booked tickets to go to Auschwitz on this website – https://www.krakowtrip.com/zakopane_tour_trip/. It was really clear to see which trips were available. This provided me with a coach transfer to both places and a guide for both of my visits.
The first day I had on my itinerary was to go to Auschwitz. I walked to the coach station from the apartment, the station is located opposite the Sheraton Grand Hotel. The journey to Auschwitz was about an hour from here. Auschwitz is split into two camps, Auschwitz 1 is the first camp and Birkenau is the second camp.
Auschwitz gives you a good understanding about what happened here in World War 2 however it won’t be the best trip you have been on in your lifetime. I wanted to visit because it’s an important part of our history. Some people do struggle to look at what is here but I think it is important not to forget this terrible time. Auschwitz 1 was the first camp we went to – Our guide was knowledgeable about Auschwitz, we had headphones provided for the tour. We did skip quite a few buildings which I would of liked to of seen inside, therefore be aware of this if you choose to take a tour because you would be able to go around without a tour if you wanted to take more time as everything is clearly labelled.
Auschwitz 1 has a lot of buildings therefore you are inside and out quite a lot. I went in December and it was really cold so this was good! There is a small place where you can get a coffee and something to eat if you need to. It is quite a big place so you would need around 3 hours here to see everything, maybe more.
The tour guide gave us around 30 minutes to get some food and a drink, then they ask you to all get back onto the coach to travel to Birkenau which is the second camp.
Birkenau is all outdoors so wrap up warm if you go in the winter months. This was good to see and hear about the history although it is terrible what happened here in World War 2. Here you will see the railway line which took the Jews straight into the camp as well as more buildings which were used. A lot of these buildings were all destroyed by the German’s but you can still see the remains showing you what it looked like.
Day 2 I went to Zakopane to the Tatras Mountain range which was on a coach trip with a guide again, a different guide. He was friendly and very upbeat 👍. It took around 3 hours to get here on a small minibus.
Once we arrived at Zakopane our guide showed us around the area which had some local market shops, he then took us to the top of the mountain range on the cable car. We then had all day to do whatever we wished, we walked around the local villages and went to some of the market shops. We went to a cafe and had a cold drink and a cup of tea. Whilst we got our cup of tea we had a slight incident! Everything was fine, we picked up our cup of tea, there was a bowl which was on the side which we presumed was sugar! This was in fact salt! We then had to buy another cup of tea straight away. Watch out for this one, haha.
You must go to Zakopane for the day, you will love it guys!
Day 3 I decided to go to visit the Wieliczka Salt Mine. This one I didn’t book with a tour, I decided to find my own way there. I got an Uba there which was quick, easy and cheap. Once I got there I bought my tickets, you have a selected time to go in as a small group.
The Wieliczka Salt Mine is so worth going to. The guide took us down and explained so much to us all. In total, we were down there for around 2 hours. They tell you all about the history of the Salt Mine and you get to see amazing structures down there such as the small chapel and larger wedding venue where they hold weddings. When the tour guide spoke to us about the Wieliczka Salt Mine she gave us a few minutes afterwards to have a look around ourselves before moving on.
Once the tour is over there is a small shop at the end where you can buy small gifts which is full of different things you wouldn’t buy anywhere else. 😁. This place is 100% worth the visit.
The fourth day I decided to walk over to the ‘Ghetto Wall Fragment which is where all of the Jews were originally told to stay before they went into the concentration camps. This was walking distance from my apartment, it was around a 30 minute walk there.
The ‘Ghetto Wall Fragment’ was interesting to see, although most of it is not there now there are still original parts of the wall left. There are some buildings which are there that do look original. The wall was built in the shape of tombstones to symbolize the Jews future whilst living in the ghetto. When I was there I realised I wasn’t that far from ‘Schindler’s Factory Museum’ so I decided to walk a little further to see that too. It is about a 15 minute walk from the ‘Ghetto Wall Fragment’.
I decided once there to buy a ticket to go into ‘Schindler’s Factory Museum’. Schindler had a hugely positive role which he played during World War 2. Schindler gave many Jews jobs here, he took Jews from the concentration camps and placed them here to work in his factory. He saved many lives which they were forever grateful for.
The museum was really interesting with lots of facts, photos and items to see. If you are interested in the history of Poland with World War 2 I would really recommend you go to see this. Everything was labelled clearly, I would suggest you need a couple of hours to walk around this museum. This museum tied in well after seeing the concentration camps to give more details about the events which took place.
This was my 5 day trip to Poland :). There are many more things to do and see in Krakow. Many outdoor markets which we went to, as well as eating in different restaurants every evening. Hope this has helped you all out for your own itinerary. Let me know how you get on. Feel free to contact me with any questions. Enjoy!