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Alps, Central & Eastern EuropeRegional Journey
Duration: 10 days Visiting: Poland
Welcome to Kraków.
Transfers to your hotel depart Kraków airport at 12:30 and 15:00. Meet your Travel Director at 18:00 for a walk around the Rynek Główny, Europe's largest and most beautiful town square. See the famous Sukiennice Cloth Hall, St. Mary's Church and the many historic townhouses, palaces and churches. Be sure to listen for the trumpeter's call! Later, enjoy getting to know your fellow guests over a fabulous Welcome Dinner.
The Damsels and Dragons of Kraków.
In the morning, why not join an optional to visit the Wieliczka Salt Mine? Alternatively, relax until your ascent of Wawel Hill to see the Renaissance castle with a Local Expert. Then visit the cathedral, the final resting place of the Kings of Poland and the former seat of Archbishop Karol Wojtyła, later known to the world as Pope John Paul II. Head across the former Jewish Quarter of Kazimierz to Podgórze to see Ghetto Square. The rest of the day is at leisure. Perhaps spend time browsing the shops for traditional folklore products? By night, don’t miss the chance of enjoying a Polka Party with dinner and wine.
Across the High Tatras Mountains to Zakopane.
Journey into the Tatras, the highest range of the Carpathian Mountains. Stay in the resort town of Zakopane, famous for its wooden houses and winter sports. On arrival, join your Travel Director for an orientation of the city. Spend free time shopping for local specialties in the markets of Krupówki Street or ascend a nearby mountain for panoramic views across the Tatras into Slovakia. In the evening, enjoy a rousing Highlight Dinner accompanied by Goral Highlander folklore entertainment at a local restaurant.
Reflect on Auschwitz then on to Wrocław, the Venice of Poland.
Travelling past the birthplace of Pope John Paul II, your first stop will be the city of Oświęcim, better known throughout the world by its German name, Auschwitz. With a local historian, experience a moving visit to the memorial and museum of Auschwitz and a stop at Birkenau. Travel along the Oder River to the city of Wrocław, known in Polish as Miasto Spotkań or the meeting place. During its long history, Wrocław has belonged to Poland, Bohemia, Austria, Prussia and Germany. See the brightly coloured facades of the noble mansions and the flower markets on the Plac Solny. Take in the Baroque splendour of the Rynek, and be introduced to Wrocław's cheeky gnomes.
Poznań, Cradle of the Polish nation.
With a relaxed start to the day, perhaps join a Local Expert on an Optional Experience to ride a historic 1900s Breslauer tram? Drive out to Ostrów Tumski, known as Cathedral Island. It's considered as the birthplace of Poland in the 10th century and is a fascinating place of legend, often overlooked by other visitors. Journey to the region of Wielkopolska to meet a local resident of Poznań who knows every nook and cranny of the Old Town. Learn the secrets behind the St. Martin's croissant, a local delicacy of Poznan with a special history, and enjoy a tasting.
Toruń, the Gothic Glory on the Vistula and Gdańsk.
Stop at Gniezno to visit the cathedral and see the famous winged bronze doors. Then continue to Toruń, founded by the Teutonic Knights in 1233 and birthplace of astronomer, Nicolaus Copernicus. Join a Local Expert to discover this outstanding example of medieval architecture, now a living museum and UNESCO World Heritage Site. Spend time exploring at your own pace. Why not shop for traditional gingerbread? Follow the Vistula River north to the Baltic Sea and Gdańsk a beautiful seaside town, with a lovingly restored Old Town. As evening descends, a dinner of Baltic specialities is highly recommended, followed by a walk through Gdańsk's illuminated historic district.
The Baltic Belles of Gdańsk.
Spend the morning with a Local Expert. See the Westerplatte, scene of the first fighting between Polish and German troops in 1939, and the Gdańsk Shipyards where Lech Wałęsa formed the anti-Soviet Solidarność in 1980. Continue through the medieval city, where buildings date back to the time of the Hanseatic League. Enjoy a free afternoon and perhaps choose to visit the elegant seaside town of Sopot?
Malbork Castle and Warsaw.
With a Local Expert, visit the Castle of the Teutonic Order in Malbork, founded in 1274 by the Teutonic Knights on the banks of the Nogat River. The castle is a stunning example of a medieval fortress and the largest brick Gothic castle in the world. Next, travel south across the beautiful Masuria Lake District, passing Iława on the way to the capital of Warsaw. With the rest of the day at your leisure, perhaps attend an evening concert of Poland’s best-loved composer, Frédéric Chopin?
Exploring the Proud Polish Capital of Warsaw.
See the Palace of Culture and the Chopin Monument in Łazienki Park with a Local Expert. Visit the Monument to the Ghetto Heroes and the Historical Museum, followed by a walk through Warsaw’s Old Town, entirely rebuilt since World War II. The afternoon is yours to enjoy at leisure. Perhaps visit Wilanów Palace, once the home to Poland's most famous King Jan Sobieski III? At your Celebration Dinner, enjoy a fine selection of local dishes with wine at a cosy Warsaw restaurant.
Your journey comes to an end with your departure transfer arriving at Warsaw airport at 07:30 or 10:00.
Most Insight trips already include a host of bonus highlights and comprehensive sightseeing. There may also be an exciting array of Optional Experiences which will turn an already amazing experience into the trip of a lifetime! These are entirely optional and can be booked through your Travel Director/Local Representative at the commencement of your trip. Please note, many Optional Experiences are operated by independent third party suppliers, not Insight Vacations.
Prices and availability of Optional Experiences are subject to change.
A visit to the 600 year old salt mines on the outskirts of Krakow, where we view an underground world of chambers filled with absolutely unique salt sculptures, sculpted by the miners themselves (placed by UNESCO on the World Heritage list).
Adult Price: EUR 55.00
Enjoy a generous selection of traditional Polish cuisine and drinks in the countryside outside Krakow. A local, beautifully-dressed folk group and live band will entertain you with songs and dances and you might even get to join them for a polka or two! Don't miss this enjoyable evening.
Adult Price: EUR 59.00
Join your local expert for a visit to the wooden shepherds' huts called ‘bacówka’ where the traditional sheep’s cheese ‘oscypek’ is made. This is followed by a tasty lunch in a mountain ranger restaurant. Next, we'll visit the Papal sanctuary at Krzeptówki, the Old Church and the nearby cemetery with its sorrowful Jesus and wooden statues. On the way back, travel through the Tatra National Park to experience the beautiful mountain panoramas and the famous Jaszczurówka Chapel.
Adult Price: EUR 51.00
Join our local expert and step back in time as we climb aboard an historic early 1900's Breslauer tram to discover the Wroclaw of the past. Be introduced to many of the highlights of Stare Miasto, learn about the ‘Battle of Breslau', one of the last major actions of WWII, and visit the moving Katyn memorial. Enjoy a leisurely stroll through the Centennial Park to see the UNESCO Heritage listed Centennial Hall, considered an early landmark of reinforced concrete built by German architect Max Berg in 1913. Cross the various branches of the famous Oder river & pass by Wroclaw's islands, the area known as ‘Polish Venice’, and home to the city's symbol the 13th Century Cathedral of St John the Baptist. A great way to enjoy this historic city!
Adult Price: EUR 39.00
This evening join us in one of Gdansk’s best dining venues, located in a former 17th-century granary on the bank of the Motława river. We'll enjoy a superb dinner of local Baltic specialities and be introduced to the thousand-year-old brewing tradition of Gdansk by tasting several of the restaurant's very own micro-brewed craft beers. In the Middle Ages, Gdansk was one of the wealthiest ports of the powerful Hanseatic League, and its fine buildings continue to be painstakingly rebuilt following WWII. After dinner enjoy a short walk through the illuminated old city.
Adult Price: EUR 63.00
Join our local expert for a relaxing trip to Sopot, Polands beach capital. Famous for its Art Nouveau cafes and grand turn of the century resorts, we'll enjoy a walk along the longest wooden pier in Europe, stretching into the Bay of Gdańsk. Then enjoy a performance of the famous Oliwa Cathedral Organ. Built between 1755 and 1780 by organ master Johann Wulf, the Oliwa Cathedral Organ was at the time the largest organ of its type in Europe. It features moving cherubs, trumpet-playing angels and has a staggering 7,896 pipes and 110 registers allowing for an incredible range of pitch and sounds including rippling water, animal cries and human voices; hear it for yourself to believe it!
Adult Price: EUR 38.00
To the Polish people, Wilanów is more than just a palace – it's a national treasure, the embodiment of an era from which much has been lost. Join a local expert for a guided visit to the ‘Polish Versailles’. Walk within the baroque royal residence to admire the stunning collection of furniture, portraits and china which forms part of the National Museum.
Adult Price: EUR 34.00
The spirit of Warsaw and the music of Chopin go hand in hand. In a concert venue located in the centre of Warsaw, enjoy an exclusive private recital of his music performed by a celebrated Polish pianist. Champagne is served during the intermission.
Adult Price: EUR 46.00
Krakow (Contemporary) - Poland
The stylish Mercure Kraków Stare Miasto is conveniently located at the heart of the city, just a 15 minute walk from the city's Old Town Square. Its trendy interiors are a reflection of how this historic city is evolving in modern times. Rooms are tastefully designed with a splash of colour, the perfect retreat after a day of exploring.
Zakopane (Traditional) - Poland
With incredible, breath-taking views of the Tatra Mountains, Radisson Blu Hotel & Residences offers unique designs with traditional wood and stone finishes, complimenting the cities known winter atmosphere. Free to enjoy is a fully equipped fitness centre or why not rejuvenate with the wellness and spa facilities.
Wroclaw (Contemporary) - Poland
Ideally located in the heart of the city, the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Wrocław is perfectly situated a short walk from the Old Town. It's unique architecture houses sleek, modern interiors and comfortable rooms, with free WiFi available throughout the hotel.
Poznan (Traditional) - Poland
A five-star hotel located in the centre of the dynamic city of Poznan. The hotel offers perfect mix of top quality service, comfort and friendly atmosphere.
Gdansk (Traditional) - Poland
Situated in the heart of historic Old Town, just minutes from the shores of the Baltic Sea, this Gdansk hotel invites visitors to enjoy this charming accommodation and all the comforts of home.
Warsaw (Traditional) - Poland
Centrally located in Warsaw's business district, The Westin Warsaw hotel is a convenient base to explore the city throughout your two-night stay. Spacious rooms with traditional-style furnishings will ensure a comfortable stay.