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Highlights of Poland: Gdansk, Krakow and Warsaw

Duration
9 Days
Prices From:
US$ 2,573

Experience three of Poland’s most beloved cities and learn about the country’s fascinating history on this private tour. Start in Gdansk on the Baltic Sea before continuing to Warsaw to learn about Poland’s reconstruction after World War II and finally Krakow, where you’ll visit Auschwitz-Birkenau and the Wieliczka Salt Mine.


This 9-day Polish vacation showcases the country’s highlights from Gdansk to Warsaw and Krakow. It features first-class accommodations and private tours. 

Your journey begins in Gdansk, which sits on the Baltic Sea and used to be known as Danzig when it fell under Prussian control in centuries past. While in Gdansk, you’ll explore the Tri-City area, which comprises nearby Sopot and Gdynia. A half-day private tour will take you along the flashy main strip of Sopot to see the fancy restaurants and enjoy views of the Baltic. In Gdynia, you’ll admire the modernist architecture of the city and visit the museum ships Dar Pomorza, which was the first Polish ship to sail around Cape Horn, and the destroyer Blyskawica, which survived World War II and took part in Atlantic battles and the evacuation of Dunkirk. Another day, learn about Poland’s medieval past and admire ramparts, fortified gates, and Gothic halls at Malbork Castle, a castle constructed by the Teutonic Knights and painstakingly rebuilt following World War II. 

Ride the train to Warsaw, the Polish capital, which was almost entirely rebuilt following the destruction of World War II. You'll learn about the city’s history and architectural roots on a private city tour that starts at the brutalist Palace of Culture and Science, which personifies Poland’s Soviet 20th century, and continues to the Old Town, which was rebuilt to capture the essence of the medieval past. Cap off the day with a visit to the Royal Castle, where the king of Poland used to rule and the Polish Constitution was signed.

Continue along the rails to Krakow, Poland’s popular tourist city. Centred on one of Europe’s largest medieval town squares, Krakow is an attractive city, with medieval architecture, lively restaurants, and a wealth of historical attractions to visit. Delve into its medieval past with a private tour from the Market Square, which still unites the city, all the way up to Wawel Hill and Wawel Castle, which overlooks the city and the river below. Another day, head to nearby Oswiecim for a sombre tour of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camp, where you’ll learn about the Holocaust and pay respects to the millions who were murdered there. Cap off your time in Krakow with a visit to Wieliczka Salt Mine, which was the oldest operating salt mine in Europe when it closed in 1996. Head hundreds of metres beneath the ground to explore massive caverns, learn about salt mining, and admire the unique subterranean creations, including St. Kinga’s Chapel, which is a church sanctuary carved from the salt. 

At the end of your stay, head to the airport to return home. 


 

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Duration
9 Days
Prices From:
US$ 2,573

Itinerary View Trip Map View Trip Special

Day 1

Gdansk Airport to Gdansk Hotel

Duration30 Minutes

Hotel Hanza

Hotel Hanza is a 4-star property located in the heart of Old Town Gdansk, at the picturesque Motlawa River. It is situated next to the famous Crane and a yacht marina. It takes only a 5-minute walk to reach beautiful Saint Mary’s Church. The rooms are appointed in an elegant contemporary style and offer air conditioning, free WiFi, and other amenities.

Meal Plan Buffet Breakfast
Duration3 Nights
Accommodation

Hotel Hanza

More Info

Location View map
  • starstarstarstar

    Hotel Hanza



    Hotel Hanza is a 4-star property located in the heart of Old Town Gdansk, at the picturesque Motlawa River. It is situated next to the famous Crane and a yacht marina. It takes only a 5-minute walk to reach beautiful Saint Mary’s Church. The rooms …

    Hotel Hanza is a 4-star property located in the heart of Old Town Gdansk, at the picturesque Motlawa River. It is situated next to the famous Crane and a yacht marina. It takes only a 5-minute walk to reach beautiful Saint Mary’s Church. The rooms are appointed in an elegant contemporary style and offer air conditioning, free WiFi, and other amenities.

    Facilities

    • Fitness Room
    • Meeting Rooms
    • Restaurant
    • Sauna
    • Spa
    • WI-FI

    More Details

Day 2

City Tour to Sopot and Gdynia including Oliwa Cathedral

Enjoy a privately guided, half-day excursion to the lovely Baltic seaside towns of Sopot and Gdynia, which combine with Gdansk to make what is called the 'Tri-City', today a metropolitan area with over one million people. Although Sopot is considered the 'junior' partner it has plenty of charm, being swanky and incongruous in equal parts. On one hand, you can admire elegant villas, yet they are often just minutes away from communist-era buildings covered in soot. Similarly, the flashy buzz from the town's main strip, Ulica Bohaterow Monte Cassino, showcases glamorous restaurants right next to old-styled Polish literary-themed cafes. All of this makes it a decidedly interesting place, including a pier that invites you to walk along its beautiful sandy beach and gaze across the Baltic Sea. Gdynia is one of the youngest Polish cities, also sporting long sandy beaches and even coastal forest. It features a lot of Modernist and early Functionalist architecture and it is hard to believe that today's lively maritime town was a small village just some eighty years ago when it was built virtually from scratch just after World War I. On this tour you'll come past two of the city's star attractions, the frigate Dar Pomorza and the destroyer Blyskawica, both museum ships today. Dar Pomorza, which means Gift of Pomerania, is a Polish full-rigged sailing ship with an illustrious history becoming the first ship to sail under Polish Colours around the famous Cape Horn in 1937. The destroyer Blyskawica, which means Lightning, is the oldest preserved ship of its kind in the world, originally commissioned in 1937. To save it from the destruction it was maneuvered out of the Baltic on the eve of WWII but had, nevertheless, a busy war taking part in the evacuation at Dunkirk in 1940 and various battles in the Atlantic. The final part of your trip is a visit to the Cathedral in nearby Oliwa, originally built as a simple wooden structure in the 12th century. Today's towering building is, perhaps, best known for its massive organ, comprised of over 7,000 pipes and decorated with movable angels and brightly painted stars. The sound, when played, is said to be magnificent. This is a great outing for travelers of all ages, introducing one of Poland's most delightful seaside settings.

Duration4 Hours
Day 3

Tour to Malbork Castle

If history is your thing, especially when it involves knights and castles, then this privately guided excursion to Malbork Castle is a great choice. Your guide will pick you up from your hotel and it is an easy 60 km to the small town of Malbork, to the southwest of Gdansk. Malbork Castle is, without question, one of the most impressive sights in Poland and during its long history, it changed hands many times. It was built in 1274 by an order of the Teutonic Knights, in what was then part of Prussia, and named Marienburg after the Virgin Mary, the patron saint of the Order. Its headquarters were originally in Acre (in today's northwest Israel) but when this last stronghold of the Crusades fell, the Grand Master moved the Order to Venice and in 1309 to today's Malbork. The castle was expanded several times to host the growing number of Knights and became the largest fortified Gothic building in Europe. Different wars brought turmoil and a revolving door of 'owners'. Polish kings held sway from 1457-1772, twice interrupted by the Swedes in 1626 and again in 1656, each time for a few years. The Prussians occupied it in 1772, curiously letting it fall into complete disrepair until German architect Conrad Steinbrecht completed an extraordinary reconstruction between 1882-1921. Finally, in 1945 the castle was turned into a place of last resistance by German forces fighting the Red Army, which led to the complete devastation of the eastern part of the upper and middle castle, the main tower and the castle's church. A major reconstruction effort by the Polish authorities began after the war that led to Malbork Castle earning a UNESCO World Heritage Site designation in 1997 and being named one of Poland's official historic monuments. Castle enthusiasts will be in their element. While the exterior of the three castle buildings, encircled by strong defensive walls with huge gates and mighty towers, is a breathtaking sight, your tour through interior spaces is equally impressive. The Great Refectory, where the Grand Masters entertained guests, is fascinating and be sure to look up to admire the three tree-like pillars, branching up to a stunning vaulted ceiling. The castle's kitchen, chapel, dormitory, stately halls, and the sentinel points on the battlements are all areas that demonstrate the sheer size of the place. Apart from its fine Gothic design details, the castle contains a collection of amber jewelry, artifacts, porcelain, sculptures, coins and weapons of historic value.

Duration7 Hours
Day 4

Gdansk Hotel to Gdansk Train Station

Duration10 Minutes

Warsaw Train Station to Warsaw Hotel

Duration10 Minutes

Polonia Palace Hotel

Polonia Palace Hotel offers several accommodation options, which include a choice of rooms, suites and an exclusive English Apartment featuring a unique view of Warsaw and modern amenities.

Polonia Palace rooms are the perfect blend of luxury and comfort. After a day of work or leisure in the Polish capital, treat yourself in the carefully designed and furnished rooms and suites of Polonia Palace Hotel in Warsaw.

Meal Plan Buffet Breakfast
Duration2 Nights
Accommodation

Polonia Palace Hotel

More Info

Location View map
  • starstarstarstar

    Polonia Palace Hotel



    Polonia Palace Hotel offers several accommodation options, which include a choice of rooms, suites and an exclusive English Apartment featuring a unique view of Warsaw and modern amenities. Polonia Palace rooms are the perfect blend of luxury and comfort. After a day of work or …

    Polonia Palace Hotel offers several accommodation options, which include a choice of rooms, suites and an exclusive English Apartment featuring a unique view of Warsaw and modern amenities.

    Polonia Palace rooms are the perfect blend of luxury and comfort. After a day of work or leisure in the Polish capital, treat yourself in the carefully designed and furnished rooms and suites of Polonia Palace Hotel in Warsaw.

    Facilities

    • Bar
    • Lobby
    • Meeting Rooms
    • Restaurant

    More Details

Day 5

City Tour with Royal Castle

Enjoy an enlightening, privately guided tour of Warsaw, Poland's capital and the country's commercial center. A city with a stormy history, it felt the touch of Napoleon who officially created the Duchy of Warsaw on his way to Moscow, lived through national uprisings and tsarist repressions, and barely survived the Second World War. All these events left their individual imprints on the city. This includes the towering Palace of Culture and Science, a Stalinist behemoth built by Soviet architect Lev Rudnev, and a stark reminder of Warsaw's days under communist rule. Today, it is occupied by rather more sociable institutions such as two museums, a university, four theatres, a multiplex cinema, and a swimming pool. The city's Old Town, dating back to the 13th century, was almost entirely destroyed during WWII but has been meticulously reconstructed and is on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Here, everywhere you go, are evocations of Warsaw's tempestuous past, as much as its reconstruction. Without abandoning its past, today's Old Town has also ushered in an exciting new era. It's a bustling hub with cobblestone alleys and medieval buildings, at the heart of which is the Old Town Market Place, a busy square lined with burgher houses, boutiques, bars, and upscale Polish eateries. Nearby, St. John's Arch cathedral dates to the 14th century and hosts all kinds of concerts during the summer while next to the manicured gardens of the Royal Castle, there are now many restored contemporary apartment buildings. The city's contemporary, creative and even quirky side has, quite naturally, led to the development of trendy neighborhoods, of which Praga, across from the historic center on the other side of the Vistula is, probably, the most popular. On a more curious note, outside some of downtown's subway stations and next to pedestrian crossings, street-sellers have established a thriving business selling, guess what, doughnuts. Your private guide can elaborate on many of the historical and current topics. One of the most fascinating stories is how Varsovians, the name for residents of Warsaw, reconstructed their city. Partially this was done based on cityscapes by the Venetian painter Bernardo Belloto, the nephew of the more famous Canaletto. Belloto had been appointed a court painter to the King of Poland and created very accurate scenes of Warsaw's buildings and squares in 1768. Since 1984 they have been exhibited in the Royal Castle's Canaletto room, which you will visit during your tour. During today's sightseeing, you'll also see the famous site of a row of buildings, cut in half by the war, near the former ghetto and the Presidential Palace where the Warsaw Pact was signed in 1955. The drive along the Royal Route culminates with a visit of the Royal Castle, once the residence of the Polish kings, seat of the Senate and the place where the Polish Constitution was signed.

Duration4 Hours
Day 6

Warsaw Hotel to Warsaw Train Station

Duration10 Minutes

Krakow Train Station to Krakow Hotel

Duration15 Minutes

Queen Boutique Hotel

The Queen Boutique Hotel is a unique place where tradition meets modern, in the heart of Krakow. The hotel has stylish, yet comfortable interiors for guests. The hotel offers 30 elegant and spacious rooms that have been designed for comfort, rest and relaxation.

Meal Plan Buffet Breakfast
Duration3 Nights
Accommodation

Queen Boutique Hotel

More Info

Location View map
  • starstarstarstar

    Queen Boutique Hotel



    The Queen Boutique Hotel is a unique place where tradition meets modern, in the heart of Krakow. The hotel has stylish, yet comfortable interiors for guests. The hotel offers 30 elegant and spacious rooms that have been designed for comfort, rest and relaxation.

    The Queen Boutique Hotel is a unique place where tradition meets modern, in the heart of Krakow. The hotel has stylish, yet comfortable interiors for guests. The hotel offers 30 elegant and spacious rooms that have been designed for comfort, rest and relaxation.

    Facilities

    • Babysitting Services
    • Business Centre
    • Car Rental Available
    • Concierge
    • Internet Access
    • Laundry Service
    • Lounge Bar
    • Luggage Storage
    • Multi-lingual Staff
    • Parking
    • Porters
    • Reception (24 hrs)
    • Restaurant
    • Wakeup Calls Available

    More Details

City Tour with Wawel Castle

Poland's former capital is, beyond question, one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. On this privately guided tour, you'll experience many of its highlights after meeting your guide in the lobby of your hotel. A UNESCO World Heritage site since 1978, it is often compared to other medieval Central European cities but has always had a flair uniquely its own, combining a little bit of Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque styles. While avoiding the almost total destruction of Warsaw, it still suffered greatly during WWII and the post-war communist regime tried its best to eradicate the soul of the city which they considered middle-class and a hotbed for intellectuals. In the end, communist neglect protected it from modernity, allowing a revitalization effort which created a young city that regained its vibrant colors. Today's Krakowians are proud of their city, its heritage as well as its intellectual and artistic life, cultivating a wonderful nonchalance that some compare to an almost Viennese spirit.

On this half-day excursion, you'll start at the Market Square, one of the biggest in Europe, and a reminder of the power and wealth of medieval Krakow. With houses displaying Renaissance and Baroque facades, the famous Cloth Hall and oodles of pavement cafes, the Rynek, as it is known, is one of the most beautiful squares in Europe. Close by, it's the towering edifice of St. Mary's Cathedral - originally built in the early 13th Century - that awaits your visit. The exterior is impressive for sure, but the interior is, possibly, the most amazing you have ever seen. Virtually every square inch is ornately decorated, painted, carved, frescoed, or otherwise covered in the most fabulous colors imaginable, the piece de resistance being the 15th-century altar. Krakow's multicultural heritage and huge student population make it a vibrant city all year round, its Jagiellonian University, a research institution founded in 1364 by Casimir III the Great, is the second oldest university in Central Europe, and one of the oldest surviving universities in the world.

On your way to reach Wawel Hill, you'll pass the Planty, a vast leafy promenade that surrounds the historic center on the site of the city's old ramparts. Crowned by its royal castle and cathedral, Wawel is the crucible of Polish identity and a place that is highly symbolic since it was used for the coronation of kings. Built on the remains of a 10th-century settlement it features magnificent Renaissance interior spaces together with the famous Wawel Tapestries, considered by art historians to be a priceless and unparalleled collection of woven artworks. An important part of the historic structure is the Cathedral and you'll have a chance to see the Royal Chambers, the underground necropolis with tombs and sarcophagi, as well as the famous bell tower. The Royal Sigismund Bell is the largest of the five bells hanging in the Wawel Cathedral, named after its patron, Sigismund I, King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania, who commissioned it. It weighs 13 tons!

Finally, at the end of your tour, you'll come down to the Vistula River where you can admire the statue of a fearsome dragon from Polish folklore, not exactly well known around the world. Let your guide tell the story about Smok, the Wawel dragon.

Duration4 Hours
Day 7

Tour to Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camp

Krakow is a beautiful city with a population that is characterized by its youth and dynamism, looking back on an illustrious past as a cultural center, bringing back its rich and artful facades that have recovered their pastel shades. Nevertheless, for those that choose to make the journey, the proximity of Auschwitz-Birkenau, 75 km away, is not only a stark reminder of horrific events in the recent past but also adds a profound sense of a raw and terrifying history that is difficult to confront emotionally or intellectually. On this privately guided tour, the struggle many travelers have with the question as to whether it is right to visit may not be fully answered to everyone's satisfaction. The, perhaps, most important point to remember is that those who survived the camps or saw family, friends or neighbors perish, were unwavering in their determination to ensure that Auschwitz should be preserved as a memorial for future generations. Many of the images will be haunting and, yes, nobody returns from this tour unaffected. It is, however, also true that the majority do not regret having done it. The area is well preserved and houses the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum, which is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site, originally constructed in the suburbs of the Polish city of Oswiecim, later renamed to Auschwitz. The first and oldest part of the camp became known as Auschwitz I, established on the grounds of prewar Polish barracks, where the number of prisoners fluctuated between 15,000 and 20,000. The second installation was the Birkenau camp, also known as Auschwitz II, the largest part of the Auschwitz complex, where over 90,000 prisoners were held in 1944. Your tour includes a visit to the brick-mortar barracks in Auschwitz I, and the extensive area of the large wooden buildings of the extermination camp at Auschwitz II - Birkenau. Please note that your driver-guide will only provide the private return transfers, and explanations about the history prior to entering the site. Due to local regulations, once inside Auschwitz -Birkenau, you will be joining a shared group tour led by an officially licensed local guide. This tour is not suitable for children under 14.

Duration6 Hours
Day 8

Tour to the Wieliczka Salt Mine

Over one million people travel to the small town of Wieliczka, just 25 minutes outside Krakow, every year to, voluntarily, go underground. Well, just for a couple of hours. You can find out why during this tour to the Wieliczka Salt Mine. Meet your English-speaking driver in the lobby of your hotel for the short, private transfer to the mine, however, please note that the actual tour of the mine is a shared experience led by a local Wieliczka guide. The mine is thought to have been operating since the 13th century, making it the oldest salt mine in the world that was still operating, until a few years ago. While commercial salt mining ended in 1996, small-scale mining of salt continued until 2007. Included in the UNESCO World Cultural and Natural Heritage List in 1978, it is an amazing experience. For over 700 years Polish miners hewed rock and hollowed out space, creating over the centuries a labyrinth that extends across 287 kilometers underneath the Polish countryside. That is, however, not the reason it attracts such huge numbers of visitors which, by the way, has included such notables as Nicolaus Copernicus, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Alexander von Humboldt, Fryderyk Chopin, Robert Baden-Powell, former U.S. President Bill Clinton, Pope John Paul II and many others. Aside from mining salt, generations of miners also carved Baroque sculptures and entire chapels from the softly glowing walls of their subterranean workplace. The result is a fantastic underground world, full of cavernous spaces and winding passages, some of which are works of great intricacy, while others appear roughly hacked. Your journey begins with a descent down the Danilowicz Shaft to Level I of the mine. It is situated 64 meters underground, which means you'll have to walk down 380 stairs. The next levels lead you down even deeper, to a level of about 135 meters. Your tour includes the Tourist Route, located on the first three levels of the mine and the Museum Route, located entirely on Level III. Sightseeing of the 2-kilometer long Tourist Trail takes about 1.5 hours, while the Museum version is a slightly shorter 1.5 kilometers. Since you'll be walking something like 3.5 km and negotiate, altogether, 800 steps along the whole route, make sure to wear comfortable shoes. Please remember too that it is quite cool in the mine (between 17 and 18 degrees Celsius) and you should consider taking warmer clothing even in summer. What unfolds in front of you, once you enter the mine, ranges from the fantastic to the enchanting. In parts, it's like a small town with a restaurant, post office, cinema, and theater hall. The miners slowly turned the mine from a dark cave into a majestic, royal location and by the 19th-century giant salt-crystal chandeliers illuminated the underground complex. Prepare to be dazzled by salt sculptures, tree bridges, crystal grottoes, chapels and altars, underground ponds and many more magic details along the way. On the Museum Route portion, highlights include the world's largest wooden mining machine, called the 'Polish' and several monumental and beautiful chambers, including the Maria Teresa Chamber. Leaving the mine is facilitated by a brief, but rapid, an ascent in an authentic miners' elevator. This is a fabulous excursion for reasonably fit travelers of all ages, including families.

Duration4 Hours
Day 9

Krakow Hotel to Krakow Airport

Duration30 Minutes

Other Information

DEPARTURES:

Daily

PRICE INCLUDES:

  • Private arrival and departure airport transfers
  • 3 nights in first-class accommodations in Gdansk
  • 2 nights in first-class accommodations in Warsaw
  • 3 nights in first-class accommodations in Krakow
  • Private guided Gdansk city tour with Gdynia and visit to Oliwa Cathedral
  • Private guided tour to Malbork Castle
  • Private train station transfers in Gdansk and Warsaw
  • Private guided Warsaw city tour with visit to the Royal Castle
  • Private train station transfers in Warsaw and Krakow
  • Private guided Krakow city tour with visit to Wawel Castle
  • Private guided tour to Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camp
  • Private guided Wieliczka Salt Mine tour
  • Breakfast daily (excluding Day One)

PRICE EXCLUDES:

  • Travel insurance
  • International and domestic airfare & airfare taxes
  • Rail tickets
  • Visa fees, if applicable
  • Meals and beverages not explicitly listed as included
  • Entrance fees not explicitly listed as included
  • Gratuities
  • Items of a personal nature

TERMS AND CONDITIONS:

Prices are "from" per person based on twin/double shared accommodation and for travel in low season. Seasonal surcharges and blackout dates may apply. Limited seat/spaces and all pricing is subject to change and availability. Rates for single or triple travellers are available on request - please inquire.

DP GDATPK9DKRAPL
12 Nov 2021
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