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Help with Itinerary - Warsaw and Krakow

NJ
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Help with Itinerary - Warsaw and Krakow

I would appreciate help planning a trip with my husband and 3 kids, ages 18, 15 and 13. We are going to Israel for my son's Bar Mitzvah, and wanted to go to Poland beforehand. Please review my plan so far, and give me your thoughts. I don't want to rush from place to place, looking to spend a few days of sightseeing.

Fly into Warsaw. Dinner and Sleep in hotel.

Day 1:

Visit the Monument to the Heroes of Ghetto

Umshlagplatz

Jewish Historical Institute

Sienna St (fragment of Ghetto Wall)

Nozyk Synagogue

Day 2:

Train to Krakow

Browse, Dinner and hotel

Day 3:

Jewish District

Remuh

Galicja Museum

Eagle pharmacy

Shindlers Factory

Plaszow Camp

Day 4:

Aushwitz

Birkeneau

Back to Warsaw

Leave via Warsaw airport

Warsaw, Poland
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1. Re: Help with Itinerary - Warsaw and Krakow

I understand you might have personal reasons for visiting the mentioned sights and many of these places should really be on everyone's itinerary but you excluded all other places of interest in both cities. The historical centers of both Warsaw and Krakow are well worth a visit, too.

Nowy Sacz, Poland
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2. Re: Help with Itinerary - Warsaw and Krakow

be advised that the monuments can be visited at Plazow but there's little to see at the site of the camp and quarry (more at the quarry, but difficult to access). I'd also say you shoud plan to spend some time in Wawel and the Rynek in Krakow. You could spend the morning in Wawel and head up to the Rynek for a snack before one of the afternoon free walking tours of Jewish Krakow, then branch off in Podgorze to visit the Plaszow remains.

Edited: 12:47 pm, November 01, 2013
Surrey, England
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3. Re: Help with Itinerary - Warsaw and Krakow

When in Warsaw you may also think of visiting one of the largest Jewish cemeteries in Europe, just look up Okopowa Street Jewish Cemetery. It's old and very beautiful.

Also, I agree with a post by FrequentTraveller22 and would like to suggest - if time allows - you add to your itinerary a few other historical places such as the Old Town and the Royal Route.

NJ
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4. Re: Help with Itinerary - Warsaw and Krakow

Thank you your replies. I appreciate your suggestions. If we skip the Plaszow since it sounds like you don't really see that much, I can add the historical center of Warsaw. Are the other sites mentioned by MonikafromSurrey, "Old Town" and Royal Route in this city center? How much time will we need there? Thanks!

Warsaw, Poland
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5. Re: Help with Itinerary - Warsaw and Krakow

Old town and Royal route are both parts of the historical center of Warsaw (and also Krakow). Allow yourself at least 3 hours to walk around and enjoy the place if your time is limited. It would be ideal to spend at least one day in that area. It's also nice after sunset due to illuminations.

Surrey, England
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6. Re: Help with Itinerary - Warsaw and Krakow

Another interesting spot in Warsaw's city centre may be Grzybowski Square (Plac Grzybowski) and it's quite near the synagogue. There's a Jewish theatre there which still offers musical performances in Yiddish.

I've been to Cracow only a few times but I recall the Old Town there is so beautiful and within a walking distance to the Jewish district called Kazimierz. If you have any time to spare in Cracow, I'd like to suggest a visit to an old salt mine. It's so unique it was placed on UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites.

www.wieliczka-salt mine.com

Krakow, Poland
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7. Re: Help with Itinerary - Warsaw and Krakow

You could also drop in on the Jewish Community Centre in Krakow which is on ul. Miodowa - they've always got a lot going on and will be very happy to show you and talk to you about Jewish life in Krakow today.

Warsaw, Poland
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8. Re: Help with Itinerary - Warsaw and Krakow

Some suggestions:

1. once you are at Sienna St (to see the remnants of the ghetto wall) you can walk to the intersection of Chlodna and Zelazna Sts, where the (in)famous bridge connecting "large ghetton" and "small ghetto" was located. within 20m there will also be the "Keret house" (see eg. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keret_House)

2. once you are at the "Ghetto Heroes" monument see also:

i) Museum of the History of Polish Jews

ii) Pawiak Prison

iii) Memorial plague at the "Gesiowka" concentration camp

(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gesiowka)

iv) on the way to Umschlagplatz stop at Mila 18 bunker, last pocket of resistance of the Ghetto Uprising

v) area of Muranowski Sq (not existing anymore) where longest battle of the Ghatto uprising took place

(http://www.israelpost.co.il/mall.nsf/0BB4C8325787B914C2257B2D003AB341/$file/16522_l.jpg)

(eilatgordinlevitan.com/warsaw/w_pages/warsaw…)

3) I agree with suggestion to see the Jewish Cemetery at Okopowa St. It is huge and absolutely amazing.

Even better if you can see it with a guide.

4) Do not limit yourseldf to strictly 100% Jewish-related places. Must see place is for example the "Museum of the Warsaw Uprising".

You will need at least 1.5-2 days to see places mentioned (you can postpone going to Krakow to the late afternoon on the 2nd day). Many of them are within a walking distance, so if you mark them all on a map you should be able to see a lot.

Surrey, England
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9. Re: Help with Itinerary - Warsaw and Krakow

Another tip for Warsaw: look up Freta Street once you get to the Old Town. There is a nice Polish restaurant there which also has Jewish food on the menu. It's called Pod Samsonem.

www.podsamsonem.pl (English language version also available)

If you Google: Poland Jewish Heritage tour, you will pick up even more tips about Warsaw and Cracow (Krakow).

Leicester, United...
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10. Re: Help with Itinerary - Warsaw and Krakow

Don't underestimate how much time that a visit to Auschwitz and Birkenau (*) can take. Might be worth checking flight costs back from Krakow to Warsaw as these can be cost effective and then you'll already be at the airport in Warsaw. Assume you are flying out to Israel from Okecie (Frederik Chopin).

* So much to see

Edited: 8:06 am, November 02, 2013
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