Saturday, August 27, 2011


(does not include Warsaw)

Hotel Zubrowka - Ulica Pałacowa 6; 011-48-85-682-9400;; located in the center of Białowieża Białowieża Forest; indoor swimming pool; best option for visit to forest.

GDANSK (Danzig)
Hilton Gdansk – 1 Targ Rybny; 011-48-58-778-7100;; boutique-style; in town center.

Sights & Sites
Gdansk History Museum – 46/47 Dluga; 011-48-58-767-9100;

GDYNIA (includes Sopot)
Sofitel Grand Sopot – 12/14 Powstancow Warszawy Street; 011-48-58-520-6000;; 5-star; on water, “Polish Riviera”; overlooks Baltic Sea’s longest pier; Vladimir Putin stays here.

Sights & Sites
Biskupin – 17 Biskupin (south of Żnin, in north-central (Wielkopolska) region, Kuyavian-Pomeranian Voivodeship); 011-48-523-025-055;; archaeological open air museum; life-size Iron Age fortified settlement model; Lusatian culture relic, situated on marshy peninsula in Lake Biskupin.

KRAKOW (includes Wieliczka)
Bakeries, Coffee, Ice Cream, Juice & Tea
Cupcake Corner – 4 Ulica Bracka; 011-48-12-341-4272;; assortment changes daily so hope for Red Velvets.

Bars & Nightclubs
Alchemia – 5 Ulica Estery (Kazimierz); 011-48-12-51-609-5863;; candlelit and shadowy; good for cool nights; stuffed crocodile hangs above bar.
Fabryka – 23 Ulica Zablocie (Podgorze);; waterfront artist hangout-nightclub.
Makaroniarnia – 3 Ulica Brodzinskiego (Podgorze); 011-48-12-430-0147;; casual bar with live jazz on Wednesdays and Thursdays.
Mleczarnia – 20 Ulica Meiselsa (Kazimierz); 011-48-12-421-8532;; beer garden.
Singer – 20 Ulica Estery (Kazimierz, near Plac Nowy); 011-48-12-292-0622; ersatz tables lining sidewalks actually are sewing machines.
Wodka Café Bar – 5 Ulica Mikolajska; 011-48-12-422-3214;; 100 different vodkas; start with chilled glass hazelnut vodka then settle in with tatanka (apple juice and vodka mixture).

Hotel Copernicus – 16 Ulica Kanonicza; 011-48-12-424-3400;; luxe Relais & Chateaux property on cobblestone side street near Wawel Hill; 29 rooms tucked around glass-roofed patio; period furnishings and rustic wood-beams.
Hotel Unicus – 35 Ulica Florianska/20 Swietego Marka; 011-48-12-433-7111;; in Old Town’s heart; modern, quiet, spacious rooms; plush bedding and black-tiled bathroom.
Stary Hotel – 5 Ulica Szczepanska;; steps from Rynek Glowny, Old Town’s magnificent medieval square; created from 15th Century townhouse; choice between romantic rooms that retain original wall frescoes and racy new Euro urban rooms; all rooms have heated floors and Jacuzzi tubs; beautiful rooftop terrace serves drinks in good weather; May-September best; 5th floor doubles (#s 501-503) have splendid Rynek Glowny views.

Love Krove – 8 Ulica Jozefa; 011-48-12-422-1506; cool burger joint.
Makaroniarnia – 3 Ulica Brodzinskiego (Podgorze); 011-48-12-430-0147;; casual restaurant and bar.
Pierozki u Vincenta – 12 Ulica Bozego Ciala; 011-48-50-174-7407;; sunny pierogi restaurant that offers samplers.
Restauracja Pod Baranem – 21 Ulica Swietej Gertrudy; 011-48-12-429-4022;; hokey furnishings and moody oil paintings border on kitsch; but kitchen cranks out reliable, traditional Polish fare.
Shanti – 24 Ulica Dekerta (Podgorze); 011-48-12-290-0375;; Thai; try tamarind-flavored shrimp curry and sesame-fried bananas.

Art of Your Travel – 520/4 Melounová (Prague); 011-420-603-481-556; or; private tours; ask for Martina Gregorcova, who is fluent in English.

Bunkier Sztuki Contemporary Art Gallery – 3a Plac Szczepanski; 011-48-12-422-1052;; multistory, experimental art space.
Galeria Plakatu Krakow – 8-10 Ulica Stolarska; 011-48-12-421-2640;; post-WWII graphic-art posters.
Galeria Starmach – 5 Ulica Wegierska (Podgorze); 011-48-12-656-4915;; celebrated, contemporary art gallery; in former synagogue.

Sights & Sites
Gallery of 19th Century Polish Art – 3 Rynek Glowny (Cloth Hall, upstairs); 011-48-12-424-4603;
Historical Museum of City of Krakow – 4 Ulica Lipowa (Podgorze); 011-48-12-257-1017;; in Oskar Schindler’s enamel-ware factory; permanent exhibition is “Krakow Under Nazi Occupation 1939-1945.”
Kazimierz – area surrounding Plac Nowy; former Jewish quarter.
Museum of Contemporary Art – 4 Ulica Lipowa (Podgorze); 011-48-12-263-4001;
Old Synagogue – 24 Szeroka (Kazimierz); 011-48-12-431-0545;; Orthodox Jewish synagogue; in Yiddish, Alta Shul; oldest synagogue building still standing in Poland; until German invasion in 1939, among most important synagogues in city, as well as main organizational, religious & social center.
Oskar Schindler Factory – 4 Ulica Lipowa; 011-48-12-257-1017;
Planty Park – encircles Stare Miasto; 52 and 2.5 miles around; 30 small gardens, designed in varied styles and adorned with numerous monuments and fountains, form chain; scenic walkway popular with Cracovians, sprinkled with ponds and refreshment stalls; most Krakow historic sites located inside Planty Park belt along Royal Road (Droga Krolewska), crossing park from medieval Kleparz suburb through Florian Gate at Old City walls’ northern flank; historic Wawel Castle at Wawel Hill, adjacent to Vistula River meander, forms southernmost border; make sure to see Laetus Bernatek Footbridge, linking Kazimierz and Podgorze districts.
St. Adalbert Church – 3 Rynek Glowny (Old Town, on Main Market Square’s southeast corner); 011-48-12-422-8352;; also Church of St. Wojciech; among Poland’s oldest stone churches; almost 1K year old history; built in 11th Century and named after martyred missionary whose body was bought back for its weight in gold from pagan Prussia and placed in Gniezno Cathedral by Poland King Boleslaus I; demarcated in 1257; floor level is situated under Square’s present level, which reflects subsequent plaza surfaces’ overlaying with pavement; partially reconstructed in Baroque style between 1611-1618.
St. Mary’s Basilica – Rynek Główny; 011-48-12-422-0521; also known as Church of Our Lady Assumed into Heaven; Brick Gothic church re-built in 14th Century on original 13th Century foundations, adjacent to Main Market Square; famous for wooden altarpiece carved by Veit Stoss; on every hour, trumpet signal (called Hejnał mariacki) played from taller of 2 towers; commemorates famous 13th Century trumpeter, who was shot in throat while sounding alarm before Mongol attack.
Sukiennice Museum (National Gallery of 19th Century Polish Art) – 1-3 Rynek Główny (Old Town, in Main Market Square Cloth Hall); 011-48-12-424-4603;; housed in Sukiennice Cloth Hall’a upper floor; largest permanent exhibit of 19th Century Polish painting and sculpture, in 4 grand rooms.
Wawel Royal Castle – 5 Wawel; 011-48-12-422-5155;; Poland’s national art collection; cultural museum.
Wieliczka Salt Mines – Ulica Danilowicza (Wieliczka); 011-48-12-278-7375;; among 1st UNESCO World Heritage Sites; 2.5 guided tour; includes full chapel carved out of salt.

Andel’s Hotel Lodz – 17 Ulica Ogrodowa; 011-48-42-279-1000;; red-brick monument to Polish textile industry’s 19th Century boom years; isolated; improbably grand; within walking distance of Ulica Piotrkowska, main boulevard; flat-screen tvs; onsite restaurant; modern spa and glass-domed swimming pool.

Manufaktura – 5 Jana Karskiego; 011-48-72-372-3567; in former 19th Century weaving mill.

Sights & Sites
Lodz Art Center – 3 Tymienieckiego; 011-48-42-684-2095;; art incubator in 19th Century industrial complex.
Ms2 – 19 Ogrodowa; 011-48-42-633-9790;; contemporary art museum.
Museum of Art – Ulica Wieckowskiego 36; 011-48-42-633-9790;; specializes in avant garde art.

LOWICZ (includes Nieborow)
Sights & Sites
Nieborow Palace – Nieborow (Lowicz, 50 miles west of Warsaw); 011-48-4638-5620;; built in 1694 for cardinal and owned by Radziwills in 1700s; long history as artists’ haven (where artists in residence stay); lovely park.

Hotel Marina – 1 Gryfa Pomorskiego; 011-48-9-1328-0449;; offering massage treatments & sauna; spacious rooms with private bathroom (shower); breakfast is served every morning at hotel restaurant, which specializes in Mediterranean & Polish dishes; in summer, enjoy terrace; 400 meters from beach.

Sights & Sites
Wolin National Park – 3A Niepodległości; 011-48-9-1328-0737;; situated on Wolin Island, in West Pomeranian Voivodeship; 42.23 sq miles; attractions include sea cliffs of Gosań & Kawcza Góra, and wisent (European bison) sanctuary.

Bars & Nightclubs
Graciarnia Pub & Café – 39 Ulica Kazimierza Wielkiego; 011-48-71-795-6688;; recreates Wroclaw’s glory days; bric-a-brac decorated rooms, each boasting vintage furniture.
Szajba – 2-4 Ulica Swietego Antoniewo; 011-48-60-611-6092;; hip and young.

Art Hotel – 20 Kielbasnicza; 011-48-71-787-7100;; charming boutique hotel in building dating back to 1520.
Hotel Monopol – 2 Modrzejewskiej; 011-48-71-772-3777;; top of line European luxury for half what would pay elsewhere.

Armine – 83 Wojciecha Boguslawskiego; 011-48-71-367-1531; great service and Armenian food; considered among city’s best restaurants.
Chatka at Jatkach – 7 Odrzanska; 011-48-71-342-7220; well-prepared Polish specialities served in fake thatch hut.
Graciarnia Pub & Café – 39 Ulica Kazimierza Wielkiego; 011-48-71-795-6688;; recreates Wroclaw’s glory days; bric-a-brac decorated rooms, each boasting vintage furniture.
Hotel Monopol – 2 Modrzejewskiej; 011-48-71-772-3777;; try foie gras with fried apple and rye toast.
Mleczarnia – 5 Wlodkowica; 011-48-71-788-2448;; in old Jewish Quarter; popular among students.
Sarah – 5 Wlodkowica; 011-48-71-792-4956; in old Jewish Quarter; traditional Jewish comfort food.

Stare Jatki – street lined with boutiques and galleries.

Sights & Sites
Old Jewish Quarter – hippest town portion, currently.
Ostrow Tumski – oldest part of city; means “Cathedral Island.”
St. John Baptist Cathedral – 18 Plac Katedralny; 011-48-71-322-2574;
Stare Jatki – street lined with boutiques and galleries.
White Stork Synagogue – 5 Wlodkowica; 011-48-71-782-8123;; provides overview of local Jewish history.

Grand Hotel Stamary – 19 Tadeusza Kosciuszki; 011-48-18-202-4510;; situated in center, 300m from Krupowki Street; built in early 20th Century; inspired by Maria Budziszewska, singer, hotel owner, society patron, and politician; appeared under pseudonym Stamary; famous architect Eugeniusz Wesołowski’s work; grand opening in May 1905.
Villa Marilor Hotel – 18 Kosciuszki; 011-48-18-200-0670;

Sights & Sites
Karol Szymanowski Museum – Villa Atma, 19 Kasprusie; 011-48-18-201-3493;

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