Poland in winter
Replies: 5 - Last Post: Jun 25, 2012 1:44 PM Last Post By: Piotr1981
Jun 24, 2012 1:25 PM
Poland in winterHi guys,
My friend and I are planning to go to Poland sometime this year and in particular Krakow and Auschwitz. We were initially going to go in the Summer but I think money and timing wise this might have to change to winter. Has anyone been to Poland during the winter and particularly to Krakow? Is it a good time to go and is everything still open and operational? I know that sometimes there can be a lot of snow fall.
Also, is there anywhere in Poland that is slightly off the beaten track maybe that anyone recommends? We usually try to make a good crack at a country so any hidden gems would be awesome if you had any!
Jun 25, 2012 1:17 AM
1I've been to poland twice in the winter and it was absolutely fantastic. (although i haven't been in summer so can't compare). I think the best time in winter to go is december, as the old towns are full of christmas markets and festivities which are really nice. Everything is still open, so i wouldn't worry about that at all.
Krakow is very much catered for winter, as the old town and especially the jewish quarter is full on quirky indoor bars and cafe's. A also think Auschwitz would be a better experience in winter as there would be less people there. I went to wroclaw last decemeber and really loved it. not nearly as touristy as krakow, really really cheap, and still has lots of really cool cafe and bars. There are also about 200 gnomes spread out through the city which make an interesting day to go and find them all (if you're looking for something random to do). I haven't been there myself but i've heard Zakopane is a really cool town (even if you're not into skiing) and quite easy to get to from krakow.
Basically in my opinion there is absolutely no issue with going in winter. My thoughts are that it may even be a better experience than summer (especially krakow) as its becoming a very popular tourist spot.
Jun 25, 2012 3:56 AM
Jun 25, 2012 11:34 AM
3Man, I'm Polish and every winter I run away to South America. Days are short. Lack of sunlight. Sometimes gets colder than -20. Sometimes parts of the country are paralysed by snow. Want it cheaper? Go in september, up to middle october. Or may - june. Zakopane - just a short trip from Kraków is a good option for winter BUT you must know a lot of Polish people (and, unfortunately some russians too) will go there. Will be crowded but still much cheaper than UK (2 pound for pint of lager in good pub, 5 pounds for all you can eat breakfast (Stek Chałupa at main street), Around 10 pounds for a very good, large meal). And a lot of drunk girls :)
Jun 25, 2012 11:36 AM
4Please, keep in mind you can never predict the weather in Poland, especially in winter. For example this January/February one week the temperature was plus 5 degrees centegrate, whereas next week wa sminus 20(!). So you should be prepared for that.
I agree with Jeroen, you should remember that days are shorter in winter (it is dark at 4 pm) when you plan your itinerary.
But definitely Poland is worth to visit during winter. It is completely different than in summer.
Have nice days in Poland during winter.
Jun 25, 2012 1:44 PM
5#5 is right, the weather is very much unpredictable. I'd avoid visiting between mid-January and the end of February, that's when you're most likely to encounter the lowest temperatures.
I can't recall a winter when it would be below -5 degrees around Christmas and New Year's Day (and often above zero). In contrast, the first 2 months of the year are sometimes pretty mild (minimum temperature -10 degrees on the very coldest day, and between -5 and +3 on other days), and sometimes insanely cold - below -25 degrees for 2 or 3 weeks the last 2 winters.
While a temperature of -5 cannot stop you from taking even very long strolls, at -10 your strolls are just shorter. At -20 or -30 if you wear usual street clothes (winter clothes!) you won't notice the temperature at first, but after 10-15 minutes you'll just want to go inside a warm building. Even if you put on warm tights, skiing trousers and so on... it won't be a pleasure to walk through the cities. Different case in the mountains, as climbing warms up a lot. I would recommend Zakopane in winter, just make sure you check the weather conditions and avalanche warnings before you head out to the mountains.
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