June 30 to July 10, 2019

7 participants max

POLAND

WARSAW - KRAKOW

Poland is an eastern European country on the Baltic Sea known for its medieval architecture and Jewish heritage.

Warsaw, the capital, is vibrant with museums, galleries, gorgeous architecture, great shopping and lively nightlife.  

The Warsaw Uprising Museum, honoring the city’s WWII-era resistance to German occupation is a must to visit to understand the this amazing period of the country's history.

Kraków, Poland' second largest city is known for its well-preserved medieval core and Jewish quarter and rich museums of arts.

This is where you will admire one of Leonardo da Vinci's most famous paintings: Lady with an Ermine.

 

The country has a fascinating and complex history, an amazing array of art works and architectural marvels.

It is the perfect time to visit, it is not yet completely submerged by tourists. 

If you have questions, you can call me at 941-365-5214 

DAY 1 - June 30:

Fly from the US to Warsaw. (Airfare not included)

DAY 2 - July 1 - L1 D1:

Arrive in Warsaw. You will be picked up at the airport and driven to the hotel. Depending at what time you arrive, Jean will have places for you to visit.

In the Evening, we get together for a drink before going out to dinner.

Overnight in Warsaw - Dinner with the group.

DAY 3 - July 2 - B1 L2:

Warsaw is a capital with a long tumultuous history. It is also a European town without a real center like others, where you can just figure out that the market square or the Cathedral square are the center of life in town.  Warsaw is offering many architectural aspects of its history from Medieval and Gothic to rather boring menacing communist buildings made of concrete all the way to modern architecture with short skyscrapers of glass and steel.

 

The Palace of Culture and Science is the tallest building in Poland, the eighth-tallest building in the European Union. It is 778 ft tall. Construction started in 1952 and lasted until 1955. A gift from the Soviet Union to the people of Poland, the tower was constructed, using Soviet plans, by 3,500 to 5,000 Russian workers and 4,000 Polish workers. The Palace contains a multiplex cinema with eight screens, four theaters, two museums (Museum of Evolution and Museum of Technology), offices, bookshops, a large swimming pool, an auditorium hall for 3,000 people called Congress Hall, and an accredited university, Collegium Civitas, on the 11th and 12th floors of the building. The terrace on the 30th floor, at 374 ft, is a well-known tourist attraction with a panoramic view of the city 

Warsaw was almost totally destroyed at the end of WWII and it is its amazing show of resilience and its will of survival that made the city the way it is today. It has some excellent museums, fascinating neighborhoods, great shopping, fabulous drinking establishment and very good restaurants. It has music, great concert halls, after all Chopin was Polish and his music is prominently performed today. 

The past was grim but today Warsaw knows how to entertain and amaze its visitors.

Overnight in Warsaw

DAY 4 - June 3 - B2 L3:

Continuing our visit of an old city containing many gems for us to discover.

​Overnight in Warsaw

DAY 5 - July 4 - B3 L4 D2:

Continuing our visit of an old city with many gems to discover.

Overnight in Warsaw - Dinner with the group.

DAY 6 - July 5- B4 L5 D3:

We are driving to Krakow. It takes about 4 hours. But we will stop to visit sites and also for lunch.

We will arrive in Krakow in mid-afternoon.

After settling into hotel, we will have a walk around town and dinner.

Overnight in Krakow - Dinner with the group.

DAY 7 - July 6- B5 L6:

Wawel Hill

Wawel was the site of prehistoric times' settlement because of its strategic advantages, perched on a natural limestone hill overlooking the Vistula river.

We will learn about the legend of a very bad dragon hiding in one of caves on Wawel Hill and how he was defeated by a smart shoe-maker.  

Wawel Castle is a mix of many different buildings: cathedral, small chapels, parts of old palaces  in different architectural and decorative styles going from Romanesque to the Baroque. In 1000 CE the cathedral was built, becoming 300 years later the site for the first coronation of a Polish king.  It was then, that the current castle and the current cathedral were built. In the Cathedral the decor of the Russian murals is impressve. Wawel Hill is a beautiful place that cannot be missed, with many things to look for like the Royal apartments and a somptuous collection of art as well as the Crown Jewels and the Royal tombs,   

Overnight in Krakow

DAY 8 - July 7 - B6 L7 D4:

We are going to visit the Memorial and Museum of Auschwitz-Bikernau, the infamous former German Nazi Concentration and Extermination Camp. It is a very moving and upsetting site to visit and although I wish everyone would want to go there, I will not force anyone to do so, and will plan visits for those staying in Kracow for the day.

Overnight in Krakow

DAY 9 - July 8- B7 L8:

The Rynek, is probably the most beautiful medieval market square in Poland and one of the top in Europe. It is surrounded by beautiful pastel colored buildings which were restored to their original looks, after being demolished during WWII. It is a very pleasant area to not only visit, but to just hang-out for lunch or to sit in one of the cafes for a drink.

The Cloth Hall (Sukiennice) sitting in the middle of the gigantic market square, Rynek, was a trading post in medieval times and is perhaps the world’s first roofed shopping mall. It is still a place to shop through lot of stalls selling mostly souvenirs you absolutely would want to bring back home. On the second level there is a gallery of 19th-C Polish Art and the tower. after a healthy climb, will give you a well rewarded view of one of most beautiful European cities.

On the upper floor of the hall is the Sukiennice Museum, a division of the National Museum, Kraków. It holds the largest permanent exhibit of the 19th-century Polish painting and sculpture, in four grand exhibition halls arranged by historical period and the theme extending into an entire artistic epoch.

 

On the southeast corner of the Rynek stands a church, St Mary’s Basilica, with its very different looking spires. The church from the outside, build out of bricks, seems a bit boring or not especially interesting. But you have to forget that first impression and enter the edifice to be astonished by the amazing Baroque decor, mixing gold and marble and painted ceiling and decorated walls. The altar piece is huge and its complex carving will fascinate you. It was the work of a famous sculptor, Veit Voss, finished in the 15th Century. 

Krakow has one of the highest concentrations of drinking places  per square miles and per capita in the world. Amazingly, when considering that quantity may not be synonymous to quality, the Old Town collection of drinking holes offers many really excellent places to have a drink and relax while appreciating a very friendly atmosphere.  There are many different types of establishment from the "cellar bar" to the the tiny, even minuscule place where not more than six or seven people could stand to have a drink.  I have a list of the good places that I will share with you when in Krakow.

Overnight in Krakow

Day 10 - July 9 - B8 L9 D5

We are driving back to Warsaw by another road to have a better look at the country side. Farewell Dinner with the group.

DAY 11 - July 10 - B9:

You will be driven to the Warsaw airport to catch your flight home.

INCLUDED:

5 nights in Warsaw

4 nights in Krakow

5 dinners - 9 lunches - 9 breakfasts

Books - Entrances to all sites visited including spur-of-the-moment ones

Guides Fees

Accident/Illness insurance

Transportation while with the group

$ 4150 per person in double occupancy

$ 4850 per person in single occupancy

Leonardo da Vinci's Lady with ermine

Lady with an Ermine is was painted by Leonardo da Vinci around 1490. It is one of Poland's national treasures. The portrait's subject is Cecilia Gallerani, who at the time was Ludovico Sforza, Duke of Milan's mistress. Leonardo was in the Duke's service.

Palace of Culture and Science.jpg
Congress Hall in Palace of Culture and Science.jpg
Royal Castle Sigismund's Column.jpg
Warsaw Spire.jpg
Złota bldg.jpg
Rondo bldg.jpg
Wilanów_Palace.jpg
Jabłonowski_Palace.jpg
Staszic Palace & Copernicus Monument.jpg
Wawel Castle and th Cathedral
Słowacki Theatre
A Krakow subway station
train track going throught the gate
Barracks
"work sets you free"
Rynek with St Mary Basilica
Cloth Hall (Sukiennice)
Sukiennice Museum
Decor St Mary Basilica
St Mary Basilica on Rynek Square.jpg
Saint-Mary Basilica.jpg