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Old 10-13-2007, 11:08 AM   #1
 
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Default Krakow to Prague?

Anyone know anything about getting from Krakow to Prague. Seems like best bet is overnight train but I've heard stories about lack of safety, anyone any opinions on this? Going in a couple of weeks.

Also, any good places to stay and cool things to see and do , for day and night in Krakow...rather than the usual castles, churches, POW camp, salt mines...

cheers
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Old 10-13-2007, 11:40 AM   #2
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i would not think twice about it. the sketchiest things about those trains are the bathrooms...nast-eee lol. ive rode in platzkart (3rd class) overnight on ukranian trains with nothing happening. just keep your wits and valuables about you as you would in any other city and crack a window if you're worried about getting gassed =]

as for krakow, nathan's villa is a great place to stay. it definately lives up to its repuatation. on a repeat visit to krakow everything was booked so i stayed in this place called hostel rynek 7, which from the 12 bed dorm has an amazing view of the main square. there are so many hostels to pick from in krakow!

if you're only going to be in krakow a day i really recommend going to Auschwitz. its something i think everyone should see IMO. grab some food at a Bar Mleczny (milk bar in english). they are cheap places to eat offering traditional polish food, remnants of the communist era. my fav is pierogies. if you're up for some shopping the mall is really great, though more western than polish.

kazmierz, the old jewish district, has all the bars and such. me and my travel companions had a great time wandering the main square and surrounding areas drinking (but thats not legal in poland so be careful! lol)
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Old 10-14-2007, 05:25 AM   #3
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There is a Czech bus company called Student Agency. They're cheap as hell and have movies and free coffee/hot chocolate. I caught them from Prague to Budapest but I'm pretty sure they do trips into Prague also. Look out for big yellow buses and signs.

Tutty Fruitty hostel in Prague was awesome. Overall the standard of hostels there is incredibly high, as is the quality of the beer and kebabs.

If you're going to Auschwitz leave early so you have time to check out Birkenau (spelling?) There is a free shuttle that runs between them as they're only a couple of clicks apart.
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Old 10-14-2007, 10:07 AM   #4
 
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thanks guys, actually ive been to krakow before and stayed in mamas hostel which id didnt like, it was peak of summer and too big and busy for me, loads of american and spanish school kids . I'd heard other people suggest Nathans villa so maybe just go there.

Ive done all the 'touristy' things before so was looking for some alternatives for a few days before going to Prague.
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Old 10-16-2007, 03:37 PM   #5
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if ur trying to avoid the tourists i would definately not recommend nathan's lol

since you've already been to krakow why not pop over to lviv, ukraine? it only takes about 6 hours to get there from krakow. its waaaay less touristed. its such an amazing city. i can try to hook you up with one of my friends there. ill give you his couchsurfing page if ur interested and maybe you can crash with him. we both came to lviv in late april and i left in june but he hasn't left so he knows the city pretty well. if you're not up for couchsurfing there are 2 hostels in the city. anyway if u want more info let me know.
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Old 10-17-2007, 12:35 PM   #6
 
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that sounds interesting, I'd never thought of going to Ukraine. How does that work? Do you need to pay for a visa at the border or something? I'm from UK btw.
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Old 10-18-2007, 07:07 PM   #7
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no if ur coming from krakow its super easy. no visa for us, canadian, or uk citizens (aussies and kiwis have to get a visa but its super easy i think) take a train to Przemysl from Krakow (~15 us dollars), then catch a minibus from the station to the border town (called Medyka). walk across the border and catch a marshrutka (mini bus type thing) on the other side going to lviv (~2 USD). the whole thing should take no more than a day. the only thing about this method is that the marshrutkas might not be running during november, so you gotta email lviv_backpackers@yahoo.com and ask them to find out if they are running. if not, the first time i went i took an overnight bus which was about 30 USD. the only bad thing about it was that the bus was cramped and we spent 4 hours at the border, vs the other method I basically walked straight thru passport control.
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Old 10-21-2007, 01:11 AM   #8
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lizz View Post
no if ur coming from krakow its super easy. no visa for us, canadian, or uk citizens (aussies and kiwis have to get a visa but its super easy i think) take a train to Przemysl from Krakow (~15 us dollars), then catch a minibus from the station to the border town (called Medyka). walk across the border and catch a marshrutka (mini bus type thing) on the other side going to lviv (~2 USD). the whole thing should take no more than a day. the only thing about this method is that the marshrutkas might not be running during november, so you gotta email lviv_backpackers@yahoo.com and ask them to find out if they are running. if not, the first time i went i took an overnight bus which was about 30 USD. the only bad thing about it was that the bus was cramped and we spent 4 hours at the border, vs the other method I basically walked straight thru passport control.
whoa!! i thought it was only an easy straight 6 hr trip, that sounds stressful lol. I think maybe the overnight train to Prague will be easier. Or maybe Ill just check out Warsaw or Wroclow???

Cheers anyway
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Old 10-21-2007, 09:06 PM   #9
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hey its not that bad. for me it was totally totally worth it. taking an overnight train from krakow to lviv would probably be easiest but using the marshrutka is the way locals get around, so i thought it might be interesting to do it that way. i def would not do the bus way again lol!

if you're going to stay in poland and going to warsaw i would definately recommend nathan's villa in warsaw. i was there in shoulder season and it was not overrun with people like in summer. it was very chill (and chilly outside hehe). a place i heard great things about is zakopane which is pretty close to krakow. its in the tatra mountains and its great for skiing ive heard (i guess you will be able to ski at that time of year? i dont know any thing about snow and skiing, ive never even seen snow in my life lol) so if thats your thing you may wanna check it out
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Old 10-27-2007, 12:01 AM   #10
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I loved mama's, but to each his own.

That said...I heard crazy stories about midnight robberies on the night train between Prague and Krakow. Usually I dismiss these kind of stories/rumors, but in this case rather than the usual heard it from some one who heard routine, I heard it from people who it happened to. I never met anyone who had the legendary gassed while sleeping story, but I did meet two people who had been robbed while sleeping on that exact train. One Canadian was actually stuck in Poland for a month because her passport had been stolen. Take this as you will, but I personally found an alternative to the night train from Prague to Krakow (I took the wide awake day train).
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Old 10-31-2007, 11:50 AM   #11
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We stayed at Nathans in Krakow also, it was terrific.

I'd also recommend the Kazimierz area, the Czartorych Museum (you can see a da Vinci, and the place is quiet, friendly and deserted), there's a beautiful park along the river, where you can stop by the Japanese Cultural Centre and play Go. That's a bit out of the ordinary for a visit to Krakow.

I'm not a huge fan of Warsaw, though I've only seen it in it's early post-Soviet days (1991), so hopefully it's changed as much as the rest of the country. My personal favourite city in Poland is Gdansk (Krakow's #2), very different history than Krakow, lots of amazing stuff to see and it's laid back and beautiful.

Wroclaw is also nice, but I like Gdansk better.

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