Discover one of Europe’s best kept secrets
With rich culture, a dizzying blend of architectural styles and poignant history, Poland is perhaps one of Europe's best kept secrets. Discover Poland on a tour which showcases this evocative mix of past and present.
Your adventure begins with a flight to the vibrant city of Warsaw, the capital of Poland since 1569. Transfer by coach to your hotel, the 3* Hotel Warszawa Ibis Stare Miasto.
Your exploration of Poland's dynamic capital begins this morning with a guided sightseeing tour, introducing you to the cultural highlights of the city.
Your afternoon is free to explore Warsaw, a place where stylish glass structures and elegant Baroque mansions sit beside the Stalinist architecture of communist Poland; a juxtaposition of styles that tells a captivating story about the city's history. You could visit the Old Town with its cobbled streets, pastel-shade buildings, and excellent coffee shops. Amid the charming, historic streets is the grand St John's Cathedral, a striking architectural wonder reconstructed after World War II to reflect its original, 14th-century appearance.
There are a wealth of fascinating museums you could visit, including the Muzeum Fryderyka Chopina, which provides a unique behind-the- scenes glimpse at the life and works of one of Europe's most famous composers, Frédéric Chopin. Among the displays are some of Chopin's letters and sheet music, as well as his last piano. For a touch of tranquillity, why not venture to Łazienki Park, one of the most beautiful green spots in Warsaw? The centrepiece of the park is Łazienki Palace, the Palace on the Water, a white Neoclassical palace set on an island in the centre of a dazzling lake.
Journey to Krakow today, travelling on the high-speed Pendolino train, Poland's premium rail service. Your hotel here is the 3* Hotel Wyspiansk. Enjoy a guided sightseeing tour of the city on arrival, heading to the atmospheric Old Town to see St Mary's Basilica, one of the finest examples of Polish Gothic architecture. You also visit the 14th-century royal Wawel Cathedral, a beautiful Renaissance chapel that has served as the coronation site of almost every Polish king and queen throughout history.
The rest of your day is at leisure. Perhaps take a stroll through the magnificent Old Town, further discovering its charms. The historical centre of Krakow boasts UNESCO World Heritage status thanks to its medieval buildings, Gothic churches, and opulent façades. At the centre lies Rynek Główny - Europe's largest market square and an incredible hub of cafés, shops and bustling activity.
Today's excursion takes you to Oswiecim, more commonly known by the German name of Auschwitz, for a moving tour of the Auschwitz- Birkenau museum. This infamous former concentration camp now serves as a permanent memorial site, and a poignant reminder of the tragic loss of life here. After a guided tour of the original Auschwitz I camp, transfer to Auschwitz II-Birkenau, where the instantly recognisable railway and platform remain to this day.
We appreciate that this excursion may not be for everyone, so you are free to spend a day at leisure in Krakow if you choose.
This morning, visit the UNESCO listed Wieliczka Salt Mine for a guided tour of the intricately carved underground chambers. Dating back to the 13th century, the mine is the oldest of its kind in Europe. Its labyrinthine tunnels and halls are uniquely beautiful, filled with incredible works of art including historic and contemporary sculptures, all painstakingly carved out of rock salt.
Return to Krakow where the rest of your day and Day 6, are at leisure. Soak up the captivating architecture and history of the city as you walk through its medieval streets, or take the opportunity to indulge in some traditional Polish cuisine. A mixture of European and Eastern influences, food here is delicious, hearty, and unpretentious.
You could grab a bite to eat in a Milk Bar, or bar mleczny; an important part of the Poland's traditions that harks back to its days as a communist state. These no-frills, canteen style restaurants were popularised during the depression of the 1930s, when they provided government-subsidised food to workers, and are now enjoying a resurgence thanks to their affordable, homemade food and retro ambience.
One must try dish for visitors to Poland is pierogi - doughy dumplings that can be served savoury or sweet, but are most commonly filled with cheese, potato, and onion.
Transfer to Krakow airport for your flight to London.
Provisional departure and return times, where available, can be found together with dates and prices by clicking on the 'Prices & Availability' button. We will write to you around 10 weeks before your departure date with the precise meeting times for your tour group.
Due to the nature of our tours they are generally unsuitable for those with restricted mobility. If you’d like to discuss any particular holiday with us in this respect, then please don’t hesitate to call us.
Discover one of Europe’s best kept secrets