In need of advice. . .

Hey guys!

I've already inquired elsewhere, but I figured that it was worth giving it a shot on the blog as well. After all, I have readers from so many different nationalities. . .:-)

In a few weeks (mid-June), I'll be flying away from here for some well-deserved vacation time. Following the worst winter in memory, I could do no less. For the first time since 2004, I'll be spending a month back in Europe.

The original itinerary also included Croatia and Slovenia, but the logistics involved to get my ass to Poland forced me to rearrange the whole thing. So, as things stand, I'll be visiting Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, and then Finland. I might be able to take the ferry to Stockholm, Sweden, but I'm not sure yet.

Problem is, with Croatia and Slovenia out of the itinerary (man, I really wanted to see Dubrovnik and Ljubljana), that means that I have more time to spend elsewhere. It took a lot of luck to be able to put my 4 weeks of vacation together at work, so I'm staying the whole month, no question!

What I would like to know is if Wroclaw and Gdansk are good bets in Poland. I was planning on spending a few days in both Warsaw and Krakow, but I now have the opportunity to see more of the country. Any suggestions?

As for Finland, I was thinking about something like three days in Helsinki. Is Turku worth it for a side-trip of a day or two? Again, any advice would be appreciated.

As I said, I might end up in Stockholm to end it with a bang, but that bang might blow up my budget so I'm not sure yet. The overnight ferry from Helsinki/Turku is a bit unappealing. I suspect that boredom might drive me to open my own veins!

Warsaw, Krakow, Vilnius, Riga, Tallinn, Helsinki and more -- Can't wait to get there!;-) If I end up flying with British Airways, I'll probably stop in London for a few days, either at the beginning or the end, so I might get the chance to meet a few of my contacts there. . .

24 commentaires:

Anonymous said...

So does this mean you're going to the Tuska Open Air Metal Festival in Helsinki?

Graeme Flory said...

I don't know about all the other places but I'll buy you a beer if you find yourself in London ;o)

Vanin said...

I'd say: drop Warsaw and go to Wroclaw instead. Wroclaw and Krakow are two cities that literally never sleep.

But of course it all depends on what exactly are you planning to see/do. Are you a clubber or a tourist that actually is interested in sightseeing?

Patrick said...

Don't know about that festival in Helsinki...

As for what I do, I could sum it up by saying "everything!" Sightseeing, of course, but I alwasy try to visit the best hang-out spots every city has to offer!;-)

Anonymous said...

As a Finn who happens (at the present) to live in Turku, I really recommend the town. Tampere is also a good choice, but I'll bet you'll probably enjoy Turku more.

If you're interested in music/festivals, you may want to check out the oldest festival in Scandinavia:
http://www.ruisrock.fi/index_en.php
It takes place in the beginning of July.

Tia Nevitt said...

Gee . . . I wish I had your problems. I recommend you close your eyes and throw a dart. It will probably all be fabulous!

Tiste said...

Turku is worth visiting! It's a small town with 175.000 people, but it has 3 universities & lot's of things happening. Helsinki is cool & nice, but maybe it's good that you'll also see another place so you can make comparisons...

Dliwir said...

I have been an exchange student in Helsinki a year ago. I had a great time, so make sure you have one too!!

However, Helsinki has not much to offer sightseeing wise. So instead of spending too much time there, take the time to visit some of Finlands forests and lakes, travel up north! Maybe even up to Rovaniemi, although that might prove to be too big a detour. Summer is great in Finland... the sun hardly ever sets :)

I'd make sure to take the ferry to Stockholm. The ferry can be quite an experience when there are enough students on board, believe me. I'm not sure there will be any freshmen events at that time of the year though. Anyway, as Finns are generally quite crazy (sorry finns, I love you, but you are) and drink more than any living being should be able to, it is something you wouldn't want to miss (ferry has tax free shopping... you see).

Stockholm is a lovely city and has much more of a traditional european town centre than Helsinki. (Which is relatively new... european standards, that is) Speaking of which, you might also want to consider taking a one day trip to Tallinn from Helsinki with a Jetferry. It has a VERY nice town centre. Only do that with a great weather forecast though, otherwise it's pretty boring.

I don't see Switzerland on your list... how can you leave out the most important country of them all? :) haha, I hope you enjoy the stay! I'll be happy to answer any further questions you might have regarding a tourists perspective on Helsinki or Sweden.

Gabriele C. said...

OK, I'm biased since I've lived in Stockholm, but I'd say you should make the trip. And don't miss Riga and Tallinn.

Maurice said...

I second skipping Warsaw. I was there last week and enjoyed just spending time with my friends as there weren't any real sights to see. You can easily see everything within one day.

ThRiNiDiR said...

Well Pat...I'd buy I a beer or seven if you came to Ljubljana...another time then :)

polishgenius said...

While I don't live in Poland, despite the moniker, I've liked Poznan when I've been there. Nice town, nice atmosphere to it. Don't know properly what it's like of a night but seems okay.


Also, it has the best-designed shopping center I've laid eyes on. It's a work of art. >_>

Yeah, anyway. Me oddness aside, my shout.
It's probably more interesting than Warsaw anyway. Never been to Wroclaw myself.

Adam Whitehead said...

You're going to Poland? After dissing Sapkowski?

You're a brave man, Pat :-D

Jebus said...

What is your day job anyway, Pat?

isis said...

If you do pass through unexciting London, the BwB would be pleased to take you drinking. :)

Erik said...

Chances are good that you won't get bored on the ferry to stockholm. The partying can be fearsome.
As somebody else said, Stockholm is a more traditional city than Helsinki. I think you shouldn't miss Stockholm but then again, I live there.

Dark Wolf said...

Well definitely worth seeing Rovaniemi. And in Poland a incursion in history will be Auschwitz & Birkenau.

And if by chance you will get to Romania, give a sign maybe will meet.

Anonymous said...

Well, I admit that I'm a Croat and therefore a bit subjective, but, you really don't want to miss Croatian coast in the summer! Especially as it is getting more expensive every year...

Sini said...

Pat, if you're in Finland on 26-27th of July, you just have to come to Finncon - it's in Tampere this year http://2008.finncon.org/en/index.htm

Hey, next year GRRM would have been here in Helsinki! Hope you enjoy your stay and if you want to meet local fans, just tell us so before leaving!

Patrick said...

Tiste: Looks like Turku might be a good bet. I'll keep this in mind as I budget everything.

Dliwir: Oh, I would love to visit Stockholm. It's just so damn expensive compared to Eastern Europe, which is why I might not make it there this year. No worries, I'll be back! Nice to know that the ferry crossing might not be as boring as I first believed!

Switzerland isn't part of the list because I've been there already. Spent about 3 weeks touring around the country a few years back, visiting Geneva, Lausanne, Luzern, Interlaken (hiking in the Swiss Alps was bliss!) and Zurich.

Gabriele: Fear not, there's no way I'm missing Riga and Tallinn! Heard too many good things about both!

Maurice: Can't possible skip Warsaw, but I don't intend to take roots there!

Thrinidir: I'll take you up on that offer when I'm in Slovenia!

Adam: I'm just a vulgar blogger. What the hell do I know, anyway!?!

Jebus: As I haven't yet done my Law internship, which will make me a true lawyer, I earn my keep working in a home improvement center. Yes, quite the glamorous life, no question!:p

Isis: If I'm in London, a night out with the BwB will be a must!

Sini: Sadly, I'll be flying back home on July 17th, regardless of where I'm at, because I have a wedding to attend on the 19th. One of my best friends is getting hitched, and she'll have my balls if I'm not there. Though I'll be so tired and jet-lagged that I won't be the life of the party, the more so because I resume work on the following day...:-(

The Monk said...

Gdansk is actually a really nice little city with a LOT of history -- the Shipyards and Solidarity, the Post Office and the start of WWII. It's small and easily walkable, and is the home of Goldschlager. And only one hour away by train is Malbork Castle, which is really cool and well worth the side trip.

In Krakow, if you have enough time take a tour with Mike's Crazy Guides to see Nowa Huta, the Commie "paradise" Stalin planned. Make sure they take you to the Arka Pana -- the Ark Church -- and tell you the impressive story behind it.

We didn't go to Warsaw and don't feel like we missed anything.

Tiste said...

If you happen to wander in Turku & want local guide (or maybe a place to stay), please don't hesitate to email me. I hope you have a good trip & lots of fun!

Adam Whitehead said...

Oh yeah, and I'll be back in the UK in less than a month, so definitely give us a shout if you are passing through London!

Ellestra said...

I somehow managed to miss this post. Probably because I was out in the wild and then been very busy when I got back.
Anyway here are my tips:
Wroclaw, Krakow and Gdansk are all very much worth seeing. I like my city and I think Warsaw is worth seeing too. However if you find time try also go to Lodz – it’s really close to Warsaw. And be sure to go and see Malbork castle on the way to Gdansk.
I hope you’ll have fun.