Oh Poland I adore you. Some countries I just wanted to see. Not for any particular reason, something just clicked inside and said you know what I can’t wait to see Poland. The 10 hour over night bus ride from Vilnius almost killed me but Poland put it all right. With just a one night stay in Warsaw (wish it had been longer) and a few days spent in Krakow with a traveller I met in Stockholm it was only the rain that got in my way.
|Day||Transport||Hostel||Attractions||Breakfast||Lunch||Dinner||Misc||Total PLN||Total $AU|
Transport in Poland…. Well for one my Global Eurail Pass was allowed and then it wasn’t (only country specific Eurail passes work for Poland). Turns out it should never have been allowed but oh well you get that. Not so much fun frantically trying to find some money to pay for a ticket as you are exiting a country so here is a tip, always carry some Euro’s for emergencies it saved me getting kicked off a train and into the rain at a train station in no mans land.
Krakow was also my first time ever catching a taxi abroad. Normally I just wander around lost for hours until finding my way but when it’s pouring rain and I don’t even know the right direction to be heading you just hop in the taxi parked right in front of you, was 20 Zloty well spent if you ask me.
I’m always reluctant to name hostels I’ve stayed at on my blog but I do want to mention the hostels I used in Warsaw and Krakow because they were great. If you are in either I suggest you look up Nathan’s Villa Hostels in both locations.
In Warsaw as I arrived dog tired and all but slumped on the reception counter the beautiful receptionist took pity on me and upgraded my room to one that was empty so I could grab 40 winks. Everything about the place was great from the gated entry to the super hot showers.
Krakow was even more off the hook. Drinking sessions with the aussie lads in the bar and even sharing a few vodka’s with the man himself of Nathan’s Villas. The hostel just says party with the bar/pool table/mini cinema all downstairs in the basement and vodka served straight from the freezer like it should be.
My only gripe was the wifi wouldn’t work for my Mac but did for everything else. Still I’d stay there again without even questioning it, sometimes its about more than the free wifi.
In Warsaw I stomped my way up Royal Road, grabbed a massive meal (with 1 Litre Beer) in the center of the Old Town, climbed St Anne’s Tower (4 Zloty) and finished off with a tour through the Castle (5 Zloty). Not bad for a day’s activities if I do say so myself.
Krakow saw me visit Auschwitz. Getting there yourself is much cheaper and its a breeze to do so you’d be silly to book a tour. It was 4 Zloty for the return bus trip from the local bus station and 20 Zloty for the tour of Auschwitz and Birkenau.
I also visited the Old Synagogue (15 Zloty which included charge to takes pictures) in the Jewish Quarter and strolled around the grounds of Wawel Castle. Unfortunately Schindler’s Factory was having restoration work done so I couldn’t visit but I’d love to make the time on another trip.
Warsaw opened my eyes to 1 Litre beers but that was about it. Krakow on the other hand was a different story. I had a feast cooked up by the hostel my first night and then went on to have dumplings, some hotdog concoction, a lovely restaurant meal and finally a very interesting dish from the small cafe at Auschwitz.
The masterpiece was the Zapiekanka which I only discovered on my final day there. I’m going to blame the boys in the hostel bar for not informing me about that one.
Oh dear I don’t even know how to start here. Warsaw was a few beers with the Dutch girls I met in Vilnius. We crashed this party they had heard about which turned out to be a complete waste of time and then couldn’t find anything open after midnight to serve us booze so called it a night.
Krakow… oh how you tested my liver more than anything in my life. I’d only been there about 4 hours and already I was playing drinking games with an English stag party. It only went down hill from there really. More beer, strip clubs and a vague recollection of a cash machine run driven there by a patron at one of the strip clubs. My tip avoid English stag parties at all costs because as you can see from my table above I spent nothing the day after due to severe hungoverness.
Total Cost for Warsaw & Krakow
If someone said lets go to Poland this weekend I’d find the money even if I didn’t have it. I was won over by the people I met and everything I saw. In the end I needed to leave so my poor liver could survive otherwise I’d have stayed even longer.
With a total cost of 1270 Zloty or $453.54 AUD (at an exchange rate of 2.80 Zloty = 1 AUD) I stuck to an average of $75.59 AUD a day which had it not been for that bender with the English lads would have been much less. Still you have to go crazy in the cheaper places, image what that would have cost me in Paris or Stockholm of all places.
Had I travelled to Poland now (November 2014) the total cost for the 6 days would have been $429.40 AUD.
I really enjoyed my time in Poland and having a friend to tour around with in Krakow was an extra bonus as Auschwitz wasn’t a place I’d really have wanted to see solo (Read my post about Auschwitz here). If I was to do the time again I’d allow more time for Warsaw as well. Nothing was expensive and I missed out on some sights that I had never even known about till I got there.
Even with a good few days in Krakow I missed seeing the Salt Mines and spending enough time in the Old Town area. Again I’ll blame the booze for some of that but the rain also played a part. I know there are some countries I’ll go back too because I just didn’t stay long enough for but Poland I’d go back just because.
Nothing at all to do with the vodka…..
Why don’t you normally like naming hostels on your blog? BTW – Benders with British lads are always lethal!! Did you stand the pace?
Hey Natalie cheers for the comment. I started out not wanting to mention hostels as I had planned to do a review section on the ones I stayed at. Now to be honest I’m not really sure, think I’ve just kept thinking that way in case I do post a reviews section 🙂
As for keeping pace well I was still standing at the end so that counts for something right?
LOL. Day 2 = $443 misc. Not too shabby. ‘Shout’ a few rounds then?
Ian it wasn’t dollars but was a proper session that’s for sure. My default line for what transpired… what happens in Krakow stays in Krakow 🙂
Look at Day 2’s misc! 😀
Yes Karen if it wasn’t for day 2 my budget would have looked so much better.
“Sometimes it’s about more than the free wifi…” Never thought I’d hear a travel writer say THAT. 🙂
hahahaha Jennifer this is true. While it annoyed me to begin with by the end I had enjoyed being disconnected from the world for a few days.
So happy to hear you loved Poland! I’ve never been but am dying to go, in large part because that’s where my dad’s side of the family is from. I was raised Jewish, so it would definitely have a lot of meaning for me. And it sounds like a fun place to boot 🙂
Emily you will have to make time to go especially with the family link. I wish I had planned more time for Warsaw instead of just using it as a stop over.
Still I loved my time there and found it fairly cheap.
This is a good series, Chris. I always picture Europe as really expensive, but it’s not that bad.
Hopefully by the end of this series jeannie I can show that if you pick your spots it’s not as expensive as everybody thinks.
It’s never good for the budget when the owner or employees of strip clubs are taking you personally to the ATM. You’ve definitely opened my eyes to Poland.
Well, i live in poland and i think we’re very cheap country 🙂 You must try “zapiekanka” in Radom 🙂 Greets 🙂
great 😀 I love to read that people enjoyed Poland and wanna come back, you still have loads to see though, Trójmiasto, Wrocław and my Poznań – oh and they’re even cheaper actually