Rich cultural heritage, fascinating history, and beautiful landscapes make Poland an interesting place to discover. This brilliant getaway begins in the Polish capital of Warsaw. Explore the port city of Gdansk, capital of Amber, and visit nearby Torun, where Copernicus was born and which boasts an impressive Teutonic Knights’ castle. Spend a night in romantic Poznan, then stop at the historic Jasna Góra monastery with its Black Madonna. Spend two nights in Kraków, with guided sightseeing featuring the Market Square, St. Mary’s Church, and more. Visit the Auschwitz concentration camp, a chilling reminder of the Holocaust, then return to Warsaw for an overnight and the end of this fascinating vacation.
Day #1 Arrive in Warsaw, Poland. Check into your hotel. The rest of the day is free. Later, meet your Tour Director and fellow travelers.
Day #2 Warsaw–Gdansk. Today’s included sightseeing tour with a Local Guide is an excellent introduction to Warsaw, Poland’s vibrant capital and largest city. Magnificently reconstructed after wartime destruction, Warsaw is a rich tapestry of nearly every European architectural style, from gothic to neoclassical, with wide, modern avenues in striking contrast to the narrow lanes of the old section. Continue to Gdansk on the Baltic Sea for two overnights. (B,D)
Day #3 Gdansk. One of the most important shipping ports in Northern Europe, Gdansk (formerly known by its German name, Danzig) is the “Birthplace of Solidarity.” Sightseeing this morning with your Local Guide introduces you to the city’s past and present. Later today, join the optional excursion to the town of Malbork, founded in the 13th century by the Teutonic Knights. Visit its gothic Marienburg Castle, one of the most striking fortified castles in Europe and now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. (B,D)
Day #4 Gdansk–Torun–Poznan. First stop today is medieval Torun on the Vistula River, birthplace of renaissance astronomer Copernicus and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Your Local Guide will introduce you to the many captivating highlights, including the Old Town (Starowka) with the ruins of a 13th-century Teutonic Knights’ castle as well as many gothic churches and houses. Head west to Poznan, one of the country’s oldest cities and a part of Polish history for the past 1,000 years. This afternoon your included city sightseeing with a Local Guide introduces you to the main attractions. (B,D)
Day #5 Poznan–Jasna Góra–Kraków. First to Jasna Góra near Czestochowa, the monastery that withstood the repeated onslaughts of overwhelming Swedish forces during the religious wars of the 17th century. Since then, its Black Madonna has been venerated as the “Queen of Poland” and has become the country’s national symbol. Later, head to Kraków for two overnights. (B,D)
Day #6 Kraków. Dating back to the 7th century, Kraków is held up by many as Poland’s most beautiful city. It was the country’s capital for over 500 years; today, it is its cultural capital. Included sightseeing with a Local Guide shows off ancient Kraków, for centuries the residence of Polish kings. See the Market Square, the Jewish Quarter, Wawel Hill, and St. Mary’s Church. There is also an opportunity to visit the Wieliczka Salt Mine, a renowned mine that produced table salt continuously from the 13th century until 2007. This evening, consider joining an optional polka party. (B)
Day #7 Kraków–Auschwitz–Warsaw. Encounter sobering history this morning on your visit to what is left of the Auschwitz concentration camp, a chilling reminder of the Holocaust. In the afternoon, return to Warsaw for a final overnight. Tonight’s optional farewell dinner is a great way to round out your exciting adventure in Poland. (B)
Day #8 Warsaw. Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (B)