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Comprehensive 10-Day Poland Trip: See The Best of Poland

10-Day Poland Itinerary: The Best Of Poland

Looking for a Poland itinerary and tips to plan your Poland trip? You have come to the right place. A country rich in history, food, and nature, Poland’s popularity is slowly on the rise. Once an oppressed country, the cities are now dotted with charming streets and vibrant vibes. Long gone are the days of communism and the country can finally show its true colors.

Krakow Poland Old Town Main Square during blue hour
Krakow Poland

However, as one of the biggest countries in Europe, tackling it without a thorough itinerary is a bad idea. That is why we have written this 10-day Poland itinerary to help you plan your trip!

Is 10 days in Poland enough?

If you are looking for a Poland itinerary, you must wonder how many days is sufficient to see the best of Poland. After all, is 10 days enough for a country the size of Poland?

The answer is… Yes, 10 days is usually enough for a visit to Poland, unless you are there for an in-depth trip. Though Poland is one of the biggest European countries, its best tourist attractions lie within a few cities.

Krakow Poland main square church photographed through vaulted arched walkway -  Poland Trip
Krakow Poland

10 days will give you enough time for a visit to its historical capital Warsaw, check out the start of World War II at the seaside city of Gdansk, and discover why Krakow is one of the first UNESCO World Heritage Site.

How To Get Around Poland

In our Poland trip itinerary, you will start in Warsaw, then head north to Gdansk, and eventually head south to Krakow. Hundreds of miles separate these Polish cities, so transportation must be arranged promptly and properly.

There are three ways to travel between the cities in Poland: taking a bus, train, or flying. Cheap and plentiful, the bus is the best way to travel around Poland if you are on a budget.

skyline of Warsaw Poland with modern highrises and Palace of Culture and Science Tower - Poland Itinerary
Warsaw Poland

By Bus

Though there are many good bus countries throughout Poland, finding one that speaks good English is the tricky part (Most Polish aren’t exactly fluent in English).

That is why we highly recommend FlixBus, an international bus company that serves plenty of routes in Poland. With its user-friendly app, visitors can select the perfect bus to get them to their next destination! Each bus is also equipped with a toilet and WiFi, perfect for those long-distance journeys you will be taking.

River landscape in Poland during sunrise/sunset with rowing boats iand marshland along the river
Best Places To See in Poland

By Train

If the idea of windy roads and the possibility of getting stuck in traffic leave a bad taste in your mouth, then considering taking the train. As one of the most popular means of transportation in Poland, not only are they affordable, but they are quick and reliable.

There are many railway companies in Poland, and PKP Intercity is one of the most popular options. Visitors can purchase their tickets online or in-person at one of the ticketing counters at the train station.

Colorful rowhouses in Gdansk Poland on the waterfront with reflections in the water
Gdansk Poland

By Plane

If you are made out of money or don’t have much time in Poland (maybe you want to do this 10-day Poland itinerary in 8 days), then consider flying. This itinerary was not designed for people that intend of flying between the cities, so don’t worry if you can only afford to take the bus or train.

Because of the time it takes to get to the airport and the whole airport procedures, sometimes it might be quicker to take a train. The only length you might want to consider flying is from Gdansk to Krakow, a trip that would usually take around 9 hours by train.

Panorama of Krakow main square during sunrise
Krakow Poland

10 Day Poland Trip – Let’s Get Started

3 Days in Warsaw Itinerary

As the capital of Poland, Warsaw is the perfect starting point for your Poland trip and you should spend at least 3 days here. . After escaping communism for more than 30 years, Warsaw has gone from one of the most desolated cities to one of the most popular cities in Eastern (Central) Europe. With its numerous museums and a restored historic center, Warsaw is the perfect introduction to the tumultuous past of Poland.

Read our Guide: Where to Stay in Warsaw

aerial shot of Warsaw old town with royal palace during sunrise
Warsaw Old Town

Things to do in Warsaw

1. Visit Warsaw Old Town

The UNESCO World Heritage Warsaw Old Town is undeniably the biggest attraction in Warsaw. Important historical landmarks, top-notch Polish restaurants, and quaint buildings dot the charming narrow streets. Stroll down these streets and you will stumble upon architectural wonders and treasures around every corner.

Warsaw old town with medieval castle and houses during blue hour - Trip To Poland
Warsaw Poland

However, Warsaw Old Town didn’t always look like that. In fact, for a period of time, it didn’t look like anything at all. In World War II, the German forces destroyed around 85% of the historic center of Warsaw, and it took a total of 5 full years to restore the grandeur it used to have. Because of its rich and complicated history, it is recommended to spend at least one day in Warsaw just for the Old Town! Hire a guide for the full experience!

2. Lazienki Park

At 76 hectares, Lazienki Park (or Royal Baths Park) is the largest park in Warsaw. Considered as the Central Park (like the one in NYC) of Warsaw, Lazienki Park is the perfect place to get some fresh air and enjoy the outdoors. Inside the park are numerous attractions, such as palaces, summer houses, pavilions, mansions, cafes, restaurants, lakes, a theatre on an island, and many more.

Lazienki Park in Warsaw with lush greenery around a pond and a white building on the other side of the lake
Lazienki Park

However, the most breathtaking of which is the Palace on the Island a 17th-century private bathhouse for Stanisław Herakliusz Lubomirski (owner of most of Poland at the time). Seeing the exterior facade will surely impress, but its lavishly-decorated interior will blow your mind!

3. Warsaw Uprising Museum

Do you wonder why the historic center of Warsaw was almost destroyed completely? That is because of the Warsaw Uprising of 1944. Considered as the biggest resistance movement in World War II, the Warsaw Uprising of 1944 is an attempt by the valiant Warsawians to liberate Warsaw from German occupation.

The plan failed because the Soviet forces stopped advancing just a few kilometers outside of Warsaw. Without the help of the Soviet Army, the Warsaw resistance forces were eventually crushed.

Warsaw Uprising Memorial sculpture - Medal Soldiers pushing up large concrete columns
Warsaw Uprising Memorial

In retaliation, German forces destroyed more of the historic center of Warsaw. In the end, it is estimated that 85% of Warsaw’s historic center was destroyed. Visitors can learn more about this important event in Poland’s history at the Warsaw Uprising Museum.

4. Frederick Chopin Museum

Warsaw is the home of the famous composer and pianist Frederick Chopin. Having spent the first 20 years of his life in Warsaw, Chopin is regarded as one of the most famous figures from Poland.

In the Frederick Chopin Museum, visitors can admire an incredible collection of his musical scores, photographs, and recordings. Fifteen Chopin Benches are also scattered throughout Warsaw. Each plays a short segment of his work, allowing visitors to enjoy his musical genius without going to the museum!

5. Royal Castle Of Warsaw

No visit to Warsaw is complete without visiting the Royal Castle of Warsaw, arguably the most famous landmark in Warsaw. Completely destroyed in World War II, it wasn’t rebuilt until 1980. Nowadays, when you step inside this historical landmark, the fancy walls don’t exactly tell that story.

Panoramic view of the red brick building that is the royal castle in Warsaw Poland
Warsaw Royal Castle

As the former royal residence for many Polish monarchs, the Royal Castle is the home to the utmost luxury and elegance. Spend some time exploring the pristine rooms and drool over the ornate decor. Don’t miss the exquisite paintings by artists such as Rembrandt and Bacciarelli!

6. Palace Of Culture and Science

The Palace of Culture and Science is one of the most architecturally impressive buildings in Warsaw. A building like that should earn the praise and admiration of the Polish people, but that is far from the case.

Tower and building of the Palace Of Culture and Science photographed at night
Palace Of Culture and Science, Warsaw

The Palace of Culture and Science was a gift from Stalin during communist rule, and many Polish people view it as a symbol of oppression. However, that doesn’t stop it from being one of the best viewpoints there is in Warsaw. Visit during sunset and you will be blessed with panoramic views from the 30th-floor-high observatory deck!

7. Popular Tours and Activities in Warsaw

3 Days in Gdansk Itinerary

A Historical Seaside City Gdansk is one of the most overlooked destinations in Poland, but we’ll show you how to fill 3 days there and you’ll see that it is worth it.

Historic wood sailboat anchored on the waterfront in Gdansk with colorful row houses
Gdansk Poland

Located next to the Baltic Sea, most visitors mistaken this seaside city as a weekend destination to relax by the beach and party hard. While that is certainly one of the top things to do in Gdansk, there is a whole lot of history that many people miss.

Gdansk was the place where the Germans invaded Poland in 1939, consequently starting World War II. Not only is the city doted with the history of World War II through its museums and historical sites, but there is also plenty of medieval history.

Due to Gdansk’s geological location, it was a melting pot of culture during the early times. This hotspot created plenty of wealth for the residents of Gdansk, and examples of that can be seen in the charming Old Town. We recommend 3 days in Gdansk, two for exploring its Old Town attractions and one for a small day trip to the beach town of Sopot!

Aerial shot of Gdansk Poland during sunrise
Gdansk Poland

Things to do in Gdansk

1. Explore Gdansk Old Town

The Old Town of Gdansk suffered a worse fate than Warsaw’s, with about 90% of it destroyed. However, like most of Poland, the reconstruction brought out the glory it once had. In the early modern age, Gdańsk was a royal city of Poland. It was the wealthiest and largest city in Poland, before Warsaw’s rapid growth in the 18th century.

Fountain on the main square in Gdansk with red, orange, and yellow historic buildings in the background
Gdansk Old Town

Stroll down the famous Dluga street and take in all the glorious architecture. Climb the Basilica of St. Mary to see Gdansk from a new and better perspective, especially at sunset! Admire the 17th-century Neptune’s Fountain and learn why it is the symbol of Gdansk! There won’t be a dull moment in Gdansk Old Town.

2. Visit Westerplatte

Westerplatte is a small peninsula located next to mainland Gdansk. It was the point of invasion by the German forces in 1939, thereby officially starting World War II.

Nowadays, there isn’t much left to the site (because most of the infrastructure was destroyed), but visitors can learn about its history through a small nature walk and see the remnants of the war! At the end of the walk, there is a grand stone monument that honors the events that happened here.

Black and white photo of Old bunker ruins in Westerplatte Poland
Westerplatte Bunker Ruins

3. Museum of the Second World War in Gdansk

The Museum of the Second World War in Gdansk is an unmissable attraction, even if you are not a history fan. This is one of the biggest and most comprehensive museums on World War II. With their extremely realistic and well-made exhibits, visitors are going to leave with newfound knowledge about WWII.

Most visitors spend at least 4 hours in this museum and still not see everything. If you really want to, you could easily spend half a day at the Museum of the Second World War! And if you want to learn more about the WWII history of Gdansk, take a look at this tour: Gdańsk: World War II Tour

4. Take a Day Trip To Sopot and Enjoy the Beach!

While Gdansk is located next to the sea, there aren’t any beaches for visitors to indulge in. Worry not! Located about 20 minutes away from Gdansk is one of Poland’s best beach towns, Sopot.

Aerial view of Sopot Poland - Upscale beach town in Poland near Gdanks
Sopot Poland

This quaint beach town is a popular summer destination for international and Polish tourists, as it offers long stretches of soft-sand beaches and some of the best nightlife in the area.

If you are visiting Poland in the summer (or even late spring or early autumn), visiting the beach in Sopot is a must. However, if it is too cold for the beach, enjoy the legendary pier in Sopot. It is the longest pier in Europe at 511.5 meters long!

5. Popular Tours and Activities in Gdansk

4 Days in Krakow Itinerary

This city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and by far the most popular city in Poland, you should spend at least 4 days there. As the former royal capital of Poland, Krakow is one of the most popular destinations in Poland. Rich history, important historical landmarks, and architectural masterpieces flood the charming streets, earning Krakow a spot in the first UNESCO World Heritage Site list.

Read our guide: Where to Stay in Krakow

Main square in old town Krakow with Church and historic buildings
Krakow Poland

How many days should you spend in Krakow? 4 days is the recommended number of days to spend in Krakow, especially since one day will be spent traveling from Gdansk to Krakow. This will leave you about 3.5 days to explore the Old Town and visit Auschwitz!

Things To Do In Krakow

1. Explore Krakow Old Town

Similar to the other Polish cities, the jewel of the city lies in the historic center. However, unlike the Old Towns of Warsaw and Gdansk that were nearly obliterated during World War II, Krakow’s Old Town remained unharmed due to a timely surrender. Many of the historic buildings remain in their original form, minus some minor restorative efforts here and there.

Historic Buildings on cobblestoned street in Old Town Krakow
Old Town Krakow

The Main Square in Krakow Old Town is the largest medieval square in Europe. Dating back to the 13th century, it is a square that has some of the most important landmarks in Krakow, such as the St. Mary’s Basilica and the Cloth Hall.

We recommend you to spend 2 days in Krakow just for the Old Town, exploring its numerous attractions such as Wawel Castle, Kazimierz historic Jewish quarter, the Main Square, and its famous vibrant nightlife!

2. Explore Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum

If you are visiting Krakow, you mustn’t miss the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum. This UNESCO Heritage Site is the largest German Nazi concentration camp and extermination center in World War II. Over 1.1 million men, women, and children lost their lives here.

Mountain of shoes of the victimes of Auschwitz Concentration Camp Poland
Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camp

Visitors can learn about the Holocaust, the largest genocide in the world, through the numerous solemn exhibits at the memorial. Visitors will find numerous tour agencies in Krakow Old Town that offers tours to Auschwitz. Tours tend to sell out fast, so you might want to reserve your ticket online!

3. Check out Wieliczka Salt Mine

Wieliczka Salt Mine is often overshadowed by the other incredible attractions of Krakow, such as Auschwitz or the Old Town, but should definitely not be missed on your Poland trip. Dating to the 13th century, this was one of the first salt mines in Europe. It was one of the oldest operating salt mines in the world until it was discontinued in 2007, concluding its approximately 800 years of operation. Book your tickets here>> Wieliczka Salt Mine: Skip-the-Line Ticket and Tour

Turquoise pool inside Wieliczka salt mine in Poland
Wieliczka Salt Mine in Poland

Though no longer used for salt mining, the Wieliczka is now open for tourism. Visitors can learn about the historic development of the mining techniques and admire the statues, chandeliers, and chapels that are made from salt!

4. Popular Tours and Activities in Gdansk

This is the end of our 10 days in Poland itinerary! We hope you found this information helpful in planning your Poland trip!

Comprehensive 10-Day Poland Trip: See The Best of Poland was written by Sean Lau for Europeupclose.

About the author:

Hey, I am Sean of LivingOutLau. In 2018, I left the comfort of my home and job in New York City to find out what truly inspires me. Since then, I have trekked through the Andes, tested my lungs at over 5,000 meters above sea level, encountered the world’s deadliest spider in the Amazon Rainforest, and explored the world’s most catastrophic nuclear disaster. On LivingOutLau, you will find personal information, guides, and travel tips as I share my discoveries of the world. Follow me on Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook.

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Tuesday 8th of December 2020

Thanks for the great summary for a short trip to Poland

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