Attractions on the way
- meeting friendly dwarfs in Wrocław
- time for reflection in the Church of Peace in Świdnica
- admiring a miraculous picture of the Virgin in Kalwaria Zebrzydowska
- walking 135 meters underground in a salt mine in Wieliczka
- wooden churches lost in the country side (Binarowa)
- seeing the setting of Steven Spielberg’s ‘Schindler’s List’ in Cracow
- and infamous Nazi death camp in Auschwitz-Birkenau
- visit to the picturesque Old Town in Warsaw
- Chopin’s birthplace (Żelazowa Wola)
- tasting ginger breads in Torun
- the biggest European fortress (Malbork)
Day 1 – WROCŁAW & ŚWIDNICA
Pick up from the airport, transfer to the hotel. Time for refreshment. Transfer to Świdnica. Overnight in Wrocław.
Our first aim would be two Churches of Peace in Świdnica and Jawor, which are the biggest timber buildings in Europe with religious function. Their history go back to XVII c. when Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand III, allowed the Lutheran citizens of this territory to build their own temples. However they had to follow restricted rules, which is visible in their current appearance.
Afterwards we would go back to Wrocław, which in two years would become the capital of Europe – at least the cultural one (European Capital of Culture 2016). It is a lively, developing city, a host of one of the most important Polish film festival (T-Mobile New Horizons), 2012 FIFA European Football Championships. It is also famous for the friendly dwarfs… which you may see walking in the streets!
We would have a guided tour in the Old Town, seeing i.e. market square, city hall, university campus. We would visit Ostrów Tumski – an island, which was the germ of the current city. Following the UNESCO list we would end a day visiting the Centennial Hall built when Wrocław was part of a German Empire.
Day 2 – AUSCHWITZ & KALWARIA ZEBRZYDOWSKA
Checking-out and early departure after the breakfast. Drive to Oświęcim. Arrival to Cracow in the evening. Check-in. Free time (possible night walking tour). Overnight in Cracow.
We would visit the Nazi Concentration and Extermination Camp in Auschwitz-Birkenau, the only concentration camp on the UNESCO Heritage List. The size of the area and the infrastructure standing there (fortified walls, barbed wire, platforms, barracks, gas chambers, cremation ovens) give a strong impression of the Nazi genocide during the WWII. According to historians almost 1,1 mln people lost their lives here.
After the guided tour in the museum we would go to Kalwaria Zebrzydowska. The historic Way of the Cross is beautifully located on the hill and is enriched with small chapels. It’s the only religious centre of this kind on the UNESCO list. We would also see the local church famous for the divine paining of the Lady.
Day 3 – CRACOW
Cracow is a former capital of Poland, which has been listed by UNESCO as one of the World’s most beautiful and historical city. It escaped the ravages of World War II with many monuments and buildings of architectural merit. Discover medieval Market Square, Wawel Castle and the 16th-century Cloth Hall. Innumerable pubs and restaurants, often with live music create a magical and unforgettable atmosphere of Cracow.
It is your first day in Cracow, discover the city during a half-day city tour, which will give you an overall impression of the most significant Cracow sights .Our English-speaking guide will show you the Wawel Hill, a former seat of Polish dukes and kings, Wawel Cathedral – Gothic basilica, where royal coronations took place and where kings and other distinguished Poles have been buried.
You will also visit the largest Market Square in Europe with Cloth Hall and St. Mary Basilica. During a stroll through Planty Park you can admire the Barbican and St. Florian Gate, precious examples of medieval defensive architecture encircling Cracow.
Day 4 – CRACOW – KAZIMIERZ
After breakfast you will set off for a gentle stroll through enchanting streets of Kazimierz district. In medieval times Kazimierz and Cracow were separate towns, where both Catholics and Jews inhabitants lived and worked next to each other. There are a lot of remains of the Jewish diaspora in Kazimierz – synagogues: Remuh, Old and Temple, Jewish cemetery. Each street has its own history and a different character. Szeroka Street is known for a Worldwide famous Jewish Festival of Culture. On Plac Nowy you will eat the best Zapiekanki in Cracow, but also find many restaurants, pubs and galleries, each serving specific charm to the tourists and locals.
Overnight in Cracow.
Day 5 – WIELICZKA & WOODEN CHURCHES
This day you would visit smaller villages around Cracow. After breakfast drive to Binarowa to follow the route of wooden churches. Those churches listed by UNESCO represent outstanding examples of the different aspects of medieval church-building traditions in Roman Catholic culture.
Next stop is Wieliczka, where you will visit the Salt Mine. The tourist route is a complex of about 20 chambers, narrow tunnels, galleries, chapels and lakes. The tour starts with 378 steps to the shaft bottom – 64 meters depth.
Day 6 – WARSAW
After breakfast check-out from the hotel. Transfer to Warsaw. Dinner on a way between Cracow and Warsaw. Overnight in Warsaw.
On this day we would go to the buzzing capital of Poland. Once called “Paris of East” and the World’s capital of Jeddish culture, Warsaw lots its ‘old’ beauty in the WWII. Nowadays the reconstructed Old Town is listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. With the population exceeding 2 million people, Warsaw offers all the attractions which a European metropolis has to offer.
After the arrival to Warsaw, we would have some time for the refreshment. Walking tour with our local tour through the streets of the Old Town (UNESCO site) located on the high bank of Vistula River: Royal Caste, the column of King Sigmund III, Market Square, city walls, Maria Curie’s house. Coach tour: the Monument to the Warsaw Uprising, Presidential Palace, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Warsaw University, New World Street, Parliament.
In the end of a day we would see the best panorama of Warsaw when we’ll visit the gift from the Soviet Union – the Palace of Culture and Science, the highest building in Poland.
Day 7 – WARSAW
Morning walk in Łazienki, the Royal Garden, former residence of the last king of Poland, Stanisław August Poniatowski. We would see the Monument to Chopin, the site of Sunday concerts in the summer. Afterwards drive to Wilanów Palace, often called ‘Polish Versailles’, built in the 17th century and surrounded by a beautiful park.
High time to for a short history lesson. We would start this day following the footprints of Jewish Community in Warsaw, which before the WWII was the second biggest in the World (right after New York City). That period was shown in the Oscar movie “The Pianist” by Roman Polański. We would see the remnants of the monument to the Ghetto Heros, breathtaking Museum of the History of Polish Jews and Umschlagplatz – a place from which Jews were transported to Treblinka extermination camp. Visit to the modern and interactive Rising Museumcommemorating the civil uprising in 1944, one of the most tragic event in the city’s history.
Overnight in Warsaw.
Day 8 – ŻELAZOWA WOLA & TORUŃ
After breakfast check-out from the hotel. Drive to Żelazowa Wola nearby Warsaw.
Visit to the birthplace of the World famous composer, Frederic Chopin. We would see the house where his parents lived and have a stroll through the park. Transfer to Toruń.
Welcome to the most medieval city in Poland, Toruń. It owes its origins to the Teutonic Order, which made it a base for the conquest and evangelization of Prussia. We would stroll through the charming streets of the Old Town. City Hall built in a Gothic style is one of the biggest brick buildings of its type in Europe. St Johns Cathedral furnished with precious pieces of art. One of its biggest treasure is a 16th –century bell which weighs 7 tons! Crocked Tower served for a long time as a prison. According to some legends this is the place where you can check your rightness. Once you visit Toruń do not forget to try original ginger breads which are famous for the whole country. With our tour you will not only try them, but also have a chance to bake them!
Toruń is also a birthplace of Copernicus, the astronomer, whose house was transformed into a museum.
Overnight in Toruń.
Day 9 – MALBORK
After breakfast check-out from the hotel. Transfer to Malbork.
Visit to one of the best examples of a Gothic fortress in Europe. Built in the 14th century Castle in Malbork served as a headquarters of Teutonic Order more than 150 years. Afterwards it was occupied by Poles, Prussians and Nazi Germans. Following the severe damage of World War II, the castle was restored and since 1997 is listed by UNESCO.
Drive to Gdańsk. Welcome to our final point, Gdańsk. Here we would see an untypical UNESCO object. This time it is a list of 21 demands of the Interfactory Strike Committee issued on 17 August 1980. Their aim was to improve the conditions of the workers working in shipyards in Gdańsk. It was an important moment in the Polish fight for independence, which eventually led to the fall of Communism and the first democratic elections in 1989.
An evening walk through the Old Town in Gdańsk.
Overnight in Gdańsk
Day 10 – GDAŃSK
For centuries Gdańsk was the most important seaport in Poland. Thanks to its importance city grow rich and independent, representing different kind of society than Cracow or Warsaw. We would visit the Old Town to see the reminiscent of a former importance of a city as a port.
Another treasure of Gdańsk is amber. Visit to Amber Museum.
Overnight in Gdańsk
Day 11 – DEPARTURE