Holi traveler! Poland is a fascinating country that I love very much, every time I talk about it my skin gets bristly. I lived there for more than half a year enjoying my Erasmus adventure and it was the best year of my life without a doubt. I visited many corners and learned many things about their culture.
I won’t tell you that I am an expert in the country, but it took more than 180 days through its colorful streets. So I’ll tell you in this post the best route to travel to Poland for free.
There is a lot to see, the ideal is to dedicate 10 days, but if you go a week is not bad either. I’ll tell you the best route through Poland in a week and a couple of more destinations if you have more time.
What to see in Poland in 7 days
If you are traveling to Poland for the first time, it is best to visit the southern part of the country. Warsaw and Krakow are the two main cities, but which one to fly to?
I propose you to discover Poland in a week starting in its capital Warsaw, following Wroclaw and ending in Krakow.
Cheap flights to Poland
I’ll tell you from experience, I almost always found the cheapest flights to Warsaw, but it all depends on the season and the airline. It is best to compare both options. Here’s how to buy cheap flights.
We will start the route through Warsaw, but if you finally fly to Krakow it can be done the other way around (Krakow-Warsaw-Warsaw).
When you leave Chopin airport you will find the bus 175 that takes you directly to the center. If you are flying to Modlin airport it is best to take a transfer.
2 days in Warsaw
Warsaw is not the city I liked most in Poland, but it is its capital and has things to see. Two days is enough.
Essential in Warsaw
- Stare Miasto or Old Town. It is the historic center of the capital of Poland.
- Jewish ghetto (400,000 people died there).
- Palace of Culture and Science (the most beautiful building I can remember).
- Royal Castle (Stare Miasto)
- The mermaid in Rynek (square in the old town).
- Nowe Miasto (new city).
- Prague district.
- Take a free tour to discover the capital.
- Inciso: I recommend you to see the movie The Pianist to understand the Jewish massacre of this place and if you have time and money this tour through the Jewish quarter of Warsaw could be a plan to know well the history.
2 days in Wroclaw
You can’t miss this city, it surprises everyone who sees it. The most characteristic of this city is its more than 300 statues of gnomes. They are everywhere! I was taking pictures everywhere, they are very funny. And by the way it’s super difficult to pronounce, it’s something like “vrotshuaf”, but you can call it Breslavia.
Things to see in Wroclaw
- Rynek central square (one of the most beautiful squares in Europe). Get ready to take cool pictures.
- Solny Square.
- Ostrow Tumski
- The University of Wroclaw (it is a city full of young people so there is a lot of nightlife).
- Hala Targowa (one of the most beautiful markets I have ever seen).
- Ossolineum Garden.
My advice is to take a free tour of Wroclaw. Yes, I’m a big fan of free tours? It’s an incredible way to get to know the city, the guides tell you many anecdotes and interesting stories.
3 days in Cracow
Krakow is the old capital of Poland and the city I would recommend you spend the most time in. It is P-R-E-C-I-O-S-A. Everything I tell you is little, and there are lots of things to do.
Essential in Krakow
- Stare Miasto (a very picturesque area).
- Rynek Glowny (it’s an incredible square).
- Basilica of Santa Maria
- Wawel Castle and dragon.
- Kazimierz (Jewish quarter).
- The Jewish Ghetto (and in it the Square of the Heroes of the Ghetto).
- The Schindler Factory (Schindler was a German who saved his Jewish employees).
Excursions from Krakow
This continues to enter into the IMPRESCINDIBLES to see in the city. They are excursions that YES or YES you have to do (I put them in order of priority in case you are just in time).
Visit Auschwitz from Cracow
You can visit Auschwitz on your own, but I highly recommend you to do the excursion. I did it twice (once in English and once in Spanish) and the second time I learned new things, each guide explains it in his own way, they are super respectful and it is a visit that opens your eyes a lot.
Auschwitz-Birkenau was the main extermination center in history where more than a million people were killed. It’s creepy, really.
It’s almost a 7-hour tour, it’s worth it. In this post, I explain the Auschwitz tour from Krakow.
Krakow salt mines
It is one of the most visited places in Poland, is super cool and super large, more than 300 kilometers of galleries. You can take the excursion from Krakow or go for free and pay the entrance there. Here I leave you the tariffs and schedules.
Zakopane and the Tatra mountains
You have two options: spend a day doing an excursion from Krakow of about 9 hours or go from Krakow to Zakopane and sleep there. Both plans are fine, but I personally would opt more for the latter. It’s a very different atmosphere, amazing landscapes and a very “cuqui” historical center to enjoy.
What to see in Poland in 10 days
If you travel more days, you can take advantage to see the north. The route would be Warsaw-Gdansk-Wroclaw-Krakow.
For me, the best way to get around Poland is by Polski bus. Quality-price is great (if you catch it in time there are super cheap buses), but you should pay attention to the time it takes to get there. Some routes are much longer.
They call it the pearl of the Baltic, its cobbled streets and colorful buildings are the most. From Gdansk, you can take a train to visit Malbork Castle, one of the largest red-brick Gothic castles in the world. It is incredible, has an exhibition of amber (very typical there) and a collection of weapons. You can go for free and pay the entrance there with audio-guide or hire a tour.
Gdynia and Sopot
Two other unavoidable port locations. Walking around the port is the best plan you can make.
I hope you liked this guide to travel to Poland for free. If you have any questions or comments you can leave it below. And don’t forget to read this article where I tell you what to know before traveling to Poland.