The Grand Tour of Poland offers a detailed introduction to a country with an eventful and many times very painful history. From a thousand year-old kingdom to the eastern showcase of the EU, this country offers the best of West and East with highlights like Krakow, Warsaw, Gdansk and Wroclaw as some of its most attractive medieval cities.
14 days to visit Warsaw, Częstochowa, Auschwitz, Krakow, Wadowice, Wroclaw, Rydzyna, Poznan, Torun, Gdansk, Gdynia, Sopot, and Malbork
2020 Saturday departures: July 11 and September 5
DAY 1 Saturday WARSAW
Individual arrival and transfer to Warsaw hotel. Rest of the day at leisure at your downtown hotel. At 6 p.m. meet your guide and fellow group members and embark on a panoramic tour of Warsaw through the beautifully renovated Royal Route with its historical monuments and residences. We will disembark near the Castle Square and take a short walk to a typical restaurant in the old town to introduce you to some of our Polish dishes during our welcome dinner accompanied by the famous Polish vodka, Zubrowka. After dinner coach transfer back to the hotel for overnight. (D)
DAY 2 Sunday WARSAW
After breakfast we will join a sightseeing tour of Old Warsaw, the beautifully rebuilt colorful town restored to its former Medieval splendor. See the Royal Castle, seat of the kings of Poland. Here the Constitution of May 3rd was proclaimed in 1791, the second oldest constitution, after the US Constitution, in the world. We will walk through some of the 300 rooms among them the Canaletto Room with 23 of his original paintings, the Throne Room, the magnificent Knight’s Hall with six large paintings by Marcello Bacciarelli, the Marble room with its 22 portraits of Polish kings and the largest and most impressive of all the castle’s chambers, the Ballroom.
After a refreshing lunch at one of the local restaurants we will drive to the area of the former Warsaw Ghetto passing by the National Opera House and Town Hall. In the afternoon we drop into the famous Warsaw chocolate confectionery Wedel to taste a delicious hot chocolate at the elegant 19th century cafe. Tonight will have a piano recital concert for you with the most popular compositions of the famous Polish composer, Frederic Chopin. (B.L.)
DAY 3 Monday WARSAW – CZESTOCHOWA – AUSCHWITZ – KRAKOW
After breakfast departure to Czestochowa, site of Jasna Gora and the Black Madonna, venerated as Poland’s holiest icon. Lunch will be served at local restaurant in Czestochowa. En route to Krakow, we also stop at Auschwitz, site of the concentration camp, where millions lost their lives in the crematoria during the Holocaust. Arrival Krakow. Dinner on your own tonight. Overnight in Krakow. (B.L.)
DAY 4 Tuesday KRAKOW
Start the sightseeing tour of Krakow with a visit to Wawel, the Royal Castle, once the stately home of three different dynasties of Poland’s monarchs. Its halls and exquisite chambers are filled with priceless art, valuable period furniture and rare ancient objects. The collection’s highlights are the priceless 16th century tapestries and the Canaletto paintings. You will also visit Wawel Cathedral, the place of the cult of St. Stanislaus and St. Jadwiga, Queen of Poland. Its 18 chapels are true architectural masterpieces. The giant bell, Zygmunt from 1520 ranks with the world’s largest. This is the place where Polish kings were crowned and buried.
Following a short break for coffee and a mouthwatering cake at the famous Krakow cafe we visit the Old Town with its interesting main square of magnificent patrician houses and palaces. There, you will stop at St. Mary’s Basilica to see the magnificent wooden altar by Wit Stwosz. In the middle of the square is Cloth Hall built before 1349, but renovated in the 16th century with many shopping stalls inside. The afternoon is at leisure for shopping or discovering the city on your own. Tonight’s dinner will be served at a local restaurant in Old Town. (B.D.)
DAY 5 Wednesday KRAKÓW – WIELICZKA – ZAKOPANE
After breakfast, we drive to Wieliczka Salt MInes, where we walk down to the belly of the earth and visit its halls, chapels Grottoes and statues all carved from rock salt. After lunch at a local restaurant we continue to Zakopane, a resort high in the Tatra Mountains, located among valley surrounded by the Tatra mountain ranges. It is a great palace for walking and hiking and shopping for local folk art. Zakopane is Poland’s most popular resort and one of the most attractive places owing to its picturesque location. Once, a small mountain village, Zakopane has become a fashionable winter resort as well as summer resort and also a hub for local artists.(B.L.)
Note: The Lift service at Wieliczka Salt Mine is subject to confirmation on spot; service depends on lift technical conditions.
DAY 6 Thursday ZAKOPANE
After breakfast we will have a sightseeing tour of Zakopane, whose typical wooden Alpine-style architecture blends with the natural mountainous surroundings. The wooden type of local architecture is known as Zakopianski Style. We visit the Jaszczurowka Chapel, a great example of wooden architecture in Zakopane, and the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fatima at Krzeptowki, which was built by the people of Zakopane to thank the Lady of Fatima for saving the Pope after an attempt on his life.
Admire the breathtaking view from the top of Gubalowka peak, then have time to shop for souvenirs of arts and crafts of the Highlanders (Gorale) in the local shops. There are many restaurants offering mouth watering delicacies made from ingredients typical of the area. After lunch on your own you will have free time. Tonight’s dinner will be served at a typical Highlanders’ inn with a folkloric show. (B.D.)
Note: The Funicular to Gubalowka Mountain is subject to confirmation on spot; service depends on the weather and funicular technical conditions.
DAY 7 Friday ZAKOPANE – WADOWICE – WROCLAW
Today we depart for western Poland and the historic city of Wroclaw. Known as “Venice of the North”, it is one of the oldest cities in Poland, capital of Lower Silesia, with a beautiful location along the Odra River. En route, we stop in Wadowice, the birthplace of John Paul II. After lunch at a local restaurant, we will see the house where he was born and grew up. From the window of his bedroom he used to see a clock with the sign “Time flies, eternity awaits”. In the Basilica of Wadowice, where Karol Wojtyla, Pope John Paul II, was baptized you can still see the special plaque that commemorates this fact as well as a stone font where the Pope prayed during His first pilgrimage to Poland in 1979.
We continue our journey to Wroclaw and other charming old town with many beautiful historical buildings like Town Hall in Market Square is recognized as a gem of urban Gothic-Renaissance urban architecture. (B. L.)
DAY 8 Saturday WROCŁAW – POZNAŃ (Breakfast, Dinner)
After breakfast, we visit Panorama Raclawicka – a single painting of 360 degrees displayed around the walls of a rotunda building as one unbroken circle. You can view the historical painting from a platform depicting the Battle for Freedom at Raclawice from 1794 between the Polish insurrectionist army led by Tadeusz Kosciuszko against Russian occupying troops. From here, we drive to Poznan for dinner and out overnight. (B.D.)
DAY 9 Sunday POZNAŃ – TORUŃ (Breakfast, Lunch)
After breakfast we drive to Torun, the city of Copernicus. Enroute we stop for a city tour in the historic city of Poznan. The city is famous for it beautiful Renaissance town Square with an attractive Jewelry box style town hall. The first settlement here can be traced back to the early 9th century. The first ruler of Poland, Mieszko I, who baptized the country, founded his church right here. The most interesting part of the city is Old Town with its famous Renaissance Town Hall, now housing the Historic Museum. In the middle of the attic, above the clock, you can see two metal goats butting their horns 12 times every day at noon. After lunch at a local restaurant, we continue to Torun. (B.L.)
DAY 10 Monday TORUN – GDANSK
In the morning, take a tour of Torun, the birthplace of Nicolaus Copernicus and one of the most magnificent historic cities of Poland. Its Old Town has been included in the UNESCO’s list for its impressive 13th century Town Hall, superb churches and streets that recall Torun’s past glory. There are the remains of a pink castle once belonging to important Teutonic Knights. Lunch will be served at a local restaurant in Torun. In the afternoon, we drive to Gdansk where we will get acquainted with the city on a brief evening walk through its Old Town. (B.L.)
DAY 11 Tuesday GDAŃSK – GDYNIA – SOPOT
Today, we tour Gdansk, this striking town, once a very important and rich center in the Hanseatic League controlling maritime trade in the Middle Ages. We start from the Upland Gate – a fragment of the city’s former fortifications and one of its main gates. Just behind it, we pass by a baked-brick construction consisting of the Prison Tower and the Torture House in the 15th century Gothic defense walls. The Golden Gate, situated next to the Prison Tower, opens onto Long Market – a magnificent street, with grand mansions decorated with late Renaissance and Baroque facades. It is here where the richest burghers of Gdansk once lived.
We continue to the Main Town and the Artus Court – a building used for Hanseatic League meetings. Just behind it stands the tower of St. Mary’s Basilica, a part of the most precious and largest red-brick Gothic church in Gdansk. On our way back we pass by Mariacka Street, with its gabled terraced houses and elegant boutiques. From here we drive to Gdynia, youngest of the tri-city complex, which also includes Sopot a trendy former sea resort with the longest wooden pier in Europe. At the Oliwa Cathedral famous for its one-of-a-kind pipe organ, to enjoy a concert. After lunch at a local restaurant we return to Gdansk. The rest of the day is free for shopping for Baltic arts and crafts, including unique amber jewelry and trinkets, or you can stroll around the enchanting town center and try some special beer at local pubs. (B.L.)
DAY 12 Wednesday GDANSK – MALBORK – OLSZTYN
After breakfast, we drive to Olsztyn. We stop at the red Teutonic Knights Castle in Malbork. The impressive castle is the largest brick building in Europe and one of Poland’s greatest tourist attractions. Lunch at a local restaurant. In the afternoon, we
continue to Olsztyn, a town located in a region of lakes and forests. The most attractive part of the city is the old town, encircled by a set of fortified walls. In the evening, take part in an open-air picnic with folkloric entertainment in Gietrzwald. (B.L.D.)
DAY 13 Thursday OLSZTYN – OLSZTYNEK – ŁOWICZ – WARSAW
After breakfast, we drive back to Warsaw. On the way, we visit the Ethnographic Park in Olsztynek, site of the Museum of Folk Architecture, one of the oldest open-air museums in Europe. The Museum contains many interesting examples of folk architecture, including houses, barns, windmills and other traditional buildings. A particular attraction of the Ethnographical Park are the interiors of old houses, the evangelical church, a smithy, a pottery stand, a Dutch windmill as well as various temporary displays representing items of traditional craftsmanship and modern folk art and handicraft from the region.
In the afternoon, as we continue our drive to Warsaw, we will stop in Lowicz, a typical Mazovian town famous for folk art: especially noteworthy are the colorful costumes and beautiful paper cut-outs. You will be invited for a home-hosted dinner by a local family, whose charming cottage is located at the foot of the former Lowicz Castle. You will be welcomed in a typical Polish way, with bread & salt, and enjoy your home cooked meal served by the hosts of the cottage in their lovely house. After dinner, we continue your drive to Warsaw. Arrival and overnight. (B.D.)
DAY 14 Friday WARSAW
After breakfast this morning, end of services.(B)
Prices in Euro:
- € 1883 per person in twin/double room
- € 499 per single supplement
- ($ rate fluctuates based on exchange rates)
Transfers from Chopin Airport, Warszawa Station or Hotel:
- Private Car (Max 2 People) – €50
- Private Minibus (Max 5 People) – €100
- Private Minibus (Max 12 People) – €115
Grand Tour of Poland Includes:
• First class hotels
• English-speaking tour escort assistance
• Services of local guides
• Private air-conditioned motor coach/minibus/car (depending on the group size)
• Meals as per itinerary: breakfast daily, 8 lunches, 6 dinners
(one dinner with folkloric show in Zakopane, one picnic with folklore entertainment in Gietrzwald, and one home-hosted dinner in Lowicz)
• Cake & coffee/tea at famous Warsaw cafeteria
• Cake & coffee/tea at famous Krakow cafeteria
• Sightseeing tours as per itinerary
• Entrance fees:
- Warsaw – Royal Castle
- Czestochowa – Jasna Gora Monastery and the Black Madonna Shrine
- Auschwitz- Birkenau
- Krakow – Royal Castle and Cathedral on the Wawel Hill, St. Mary’s Church
- Wieliczka Salt Mine
- Zakopane – cable car to Gubałówka Hill
- Wroclaw – the Panorama of the Battle of Raclawice
- Gdansk – organ concert in the Oliwa Cathedral
- Malbork – Malbork Castle
- Olsztynek – Museum of Folk Architecture
- Chopin concert
Hotels (or similar):
- Warsaw – 3 nights at the 4 star hotel Mercure Warszawa Centrum
- Kraków – 2 nights at the 4 star hotel Novotel Kraków City West
- Zakopane – 2 nights at the 3 star hotel Mercure Kasprowy
- Wroclaw – 1 night at the 4 star hotel Novotel Wroclaw
- Poznań – 1 night at the 5 star hotel Sheraton
- Torun – 1 night at the 3 star hotel Mercure Centrum
- Gdansk – 2 nights at the 4 star hotel Novotel Gdansk Centrum
- Olsztyn – 1 night at the 3 star hotel Omega
* Hotels do not have standard triple rooms. For families, we may provide twin bedded room with extra bed (usually it is a roller bed or sofa) which can accommodate a child less than 7 years old.
Book This Tour with Blue Danube Holidays.