From its rich heritage as a member of the medieval Hanseatic League to its turbulent 20th century history and lively modern-day spirit, this Privately Guided Tour plumbs the history and culture of a fascinating trio of Polish cities – Gdansk, Warsaw and Krakow
Day 1 – Welcome to Gdansk, Poland
On arrival, you’ll be warmly greeted and chauffeured to Hotel Podewils. Our intimate luxury hotel is set in a sophisticated 18th-centry landmark along the Motlawa River across from Old Town. This evening, sit down to a 3-course dinner with wine at Piwna 47, a stylish and cozy restaurant known for its fine Polish and Central European cuisine. Meals D
Day 2 – Walking Tour of Old Town
This morning’s privately guided walking tour explores the rich architectural heritage of this Baltic port, with landmark buildings that reflect the city’s rich maritime history and the influence of the Prussian merchants who came and went. Though it stretches for less than half a mile, the city’s Royal Way boasts some of the city’s grandest facades. Along the waterfront, you’ll see centuries-old buildings that have been finely restored and are now home to lively boutiques, restaurants and cafes. Continuing into Long Market Square, you’ll see the majestic Town Hall, a Gothic Renaissance masterpiece, and Neptune’s Fountain, a symbol of Gdansk since it was erected in 1617. Before returning to your hotel, you’ll have a chance to sample some of the tempting sweets and treats you’ll see along the way. The afternoon is at leisure to explore further at your own pace. Meals B
Day 3 – Excursion to Malbork Castle
After breakfast, you’ll embark on a privately guided full-day excursion to Malbork Castle #WHS#. Built by Teutonic Knights in the 13th to 15th centuries, this impressive fortification is one of the largest castles in Europe. Heavily damaged during World War II, it was meticulously restored using detailed documentation from earlier conservators and is now recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. With insight from your engaging personal guide, your tour plumbs the history of the Teutonic Order and its impact on Poland and the Baltic region. Your visit to Malbork includes the largest amber collection in Poland and lunch at the Gothic Café on the Castle grounds. Meals B+L
Day 4 – By Rail to Warsaw
After breakfast, our car and driver will take you to the rail station where we include our signature To-the-Train Luggage Service. Step onboard and settle in to your comfortable First Class seats for the journey to Warsaw. On arrival, you’ll be warmly greeted and chauffeured to Mamaison Hotel Le Regina, set inside the 18th-century Mokrowsky Palace.
After time to refresh, meet your guide for a private tour of the Old Town #WHS#. Heavily damaged during the Warsaw Uprising in August 1944, a citizen-led reconstruction campaign restored much of this historic district and today its churches, palaces and town squares once again offer an outstanding survey of Warsaw’s architectural development from the 13th through 20th centuries. With illuminating insight from your guide, your tour takes you along the Royal Way and through Lazienki Royal Park, which dates back to the 17th century and served as the opulent summer residence of the last king of Poland. Exploring the Jewish Ghetto, established by the German Nazi authorities in November 1940, you’ll learn about city’s vibrant pre-World War II Jewish population. Though many landmarks are now gone, you’ll see the Nożyk Synagogue, built in 1898, and the remains of the Ghetto Wall. Meals B
Day 5 – At Leisure in Warsaw
After breakfast, this day is at leisure to enjoy as you wish. Our hotel boasts a wonderful location close to the Old Town Market Place and Royal Castle, making it easy to explore, shop and dine at your own pace. Meals B
Day 6 – Excursion to Zelazowa Wola
This morning’s privately guided visit to Zelazowa Wola plumbs the life and work of Poland’s most famous composer. Traveling to the small town where he was born, you’ll tour the Frederic Chopin Museum, set in a handsome 19th-century manor house. With insight from your engaging guide, you’ll explore exhibits including period furnishings and personal possessions that offer a fascinating look into his early years and illustrious career. The museum is surrounded by beautiful gardens and park-like grounds that you can also explore.
In the nearby village of Brochów, the Church of St. John the Baptist stands as a fine example of a fortified Polish church. Chopin’s parents were married in this parish church and the composer himself was baptized here on Easter Sunday, April 23, 1810. After lunch, return to Warsaw where the rest of your afternoon and evening are at leisure to enjoy as you wish. Meals B+L
Day 7 – First Class Rail to Krakow
After breakfast, our car and driver will take you to the station where we include our signature To-the-Train Luggage Service. Step onboard and settle in to your First Class seats for the journey to Krakow. On arrival, you’ll be met and chauffeured to the Wentzl Hotel, wonderfully situated in the historic heart of the city overlooking Market Square. Early this evening, a privately guided orientation walks shows you some of the landmarks close to your hotel, including the 14th-century spires of St. Mary’s Basilica and the Renaissance-era Cloth Hall. Your walk ends at Albertina, where the a la carte menu features gastronomic dishes prepared with fresh, locally-sourced ingredients. Meals B+D
Day 8 – The Glory of Krakow
Having escaped destruction during World War II, the historic heart of Krakow #WHS# stands as a splendidly-preserved example of a merchants’ town of the Medieval and Renaissance eras. It boasts Europe’s largest market square and numerous historical houses, palaces and churches. Exploring this morning with your personal guide in a horse-drawn carriage promises a delightful and intimate experience. In the middle of Market Square, you’ll explore inside the magnificent Cloth Hall with its gallery of important Polish paintings and bustling boutiques and galleries – an excellent place to shop for gifts and souvenirs. You’ll continue along the Royal Route and up Wawel Hill to tour the Cathedral where every Polish King and Queen throughout history was crowned. Inside the Royal Castle, your tour includes the sumptuous private Royal Apartments and a fabulous collection of priceless tapestries.
Following lunch, you can tailor your afternoon with the included guided tour of your choice:
A Tour of Auschwitz #WHS# offers an emotionally powerful experience. This was the largest of the German Nazi concentration camps where more than 1.1 million men, women and children lost their lives. The memorial and museum were created in 1947 and include camp relics that offer raw insight into this tragic chapter of history.
A Tour of the Wieliczka Salt Mines #WHS# takes you far underground where, over the course of centuries from medieval times to the late 1900’s, salt miners carved vast subterranean galleries filled with ornamented chapels and statues. Now extensively illuminated, your guided visit offers fascinating insight into industry, spirituality and art across the ages.
Day 9 – A Free Day with Available Sightseeing
This day is at leisure so you can relax, explore and enjoy as you wish. If you prefer, you can choose to purchase additional privately guided sightseeing. A full-day excursion to Zakopane explores one of Central Europe’s most popular resort destinations. Amidst the beauty of the Tatra Mountains, this tour offers a chance to experience the area’s natural beauty, to shop for local handicrafts and to dine in a traditional highland restaurant.
Another option is to stay in Krakow for a privately guided tour of the Kazimierz district. Once home to the city’s vibrant Jewish population, you’ll visit the Old Synagogue and the innovative Schindler Factory Museum where meticulously staged, multi-media exhibits provide a powerful “you are there” experience of life in Krakow during the Nazi occupation. Meals B
Day 10 – Depart Poland
After breakfast, our private car and driver will take you to the airport or rail station for your onward journey. Meals B