Made it to Hungary and Poland this year. Definitely a harder place to travel on your own. The languages are so different, trying to type any street name in Google Map is a challenge, compounded by Google Map didn't know how to use Trams in Krakow or where is underground Pass in Gdansk, causing it to give us the long / hard way to get to places. And the locals pretty much didn't speak English at all, and the lack of signage or confusing signage ... It was very stressful at times. Plus all the sad stuff about WWII in Poland. I think it is important we visit Poland once in our life but I am not sure I want to come back.
Day 0: Fly out in the afternoon.
Day 1: Arrive Budapest, Hungary in the afternoon.
Day 2-5: Budapest sightseeing.
Day 6: Travel to Krakow, Poland by FlixBus (7.5 hrs).
Day 7: Krakow sightseeing.
Day 8: Krakow sightseeing and visit Wieliczka Salt Mine.
Day 9: Day trip to Auschwitz-Birkenau.
Day 10: Travel to Gdansk by train (5.5 hrs).
Day 11-12: Gdansk sightseeing.
Day 13: Day trip to Malbork Castle.
Day 14: Travel to Warsaw by train (2.5 hrs). Old Town Warsaw Walking Tour.
Day 15: Jewish Warsaw Walking Tour and POLIN (Museum of the History of Polish Jews).
Day 16-17: Fly home from Warsaw. Missed connection at Toronto, ended up getting home one day later.
A few notes about this trip:
1. All the Euronet ATMS at Budapest aiport (and later in Poland) are so bad (poor exchange rates high fees) even the airport workers told us not to use it. Instead of getting cash at airport and bus station when we first arrived, we went to city center and found bank's ATM to get cash (good rate and no fees).
2. We were in Budapest for 4 days, instead of getting a 72 Hour Budapest Card (12,990 Ft) + 24-hour Travel Card (1,650 Ft) like we did, I think a 7-day travel card (4.950Ft) would be a better choice because:
3. Whenever they swipe your credit card, always tell them upfront as clear as possible that you want to be charged in local currency because several occasions they didn't bother to ask me at all, they just charged me in USD (with bad rates of course). Once at Malbork Castle ticket office the guy pretended he didn't understand I said '[charge me in] Zolty' and charged me in USD anyway. It is so tiring to watch out for ripoffs like that.
(To be continued)