Day 1 - Arrive in Poland
Depart Dublin for your flight to Poland. Arrive in Warsaw and transfer to your hotel for check-in. Welcome dinner and overnight at your hotel.
Day 2 - Warsaw
Breakfast at your hotel. Today enjoy a sightseeing tour of Warsaw, Poland’s biggest city. Walking along the Royal Way you will see the most beautiful sites in the Old Town, including St. John’s Cathedral and the Royal Castle - once home to the Polish royal family and seat of the Polish parliament the castle now houses the Castle Museum.
In the afternoon visit Lazienki, Royal Baths Park – one of the most beautiful parks in Warszawa city centre. Formerly a hunting ground, in the 18th Century it was turned into an English style park with formal gardens, and a neoclassical Lazienki Palace was built on the park’s lake. Other sites include the Orangery, Myslewicki Palace, the Observatory, Belvedere Palace, a Greek-style amphitheatre & the Frederic Chopin Statue.
After Lazienki continue to Wilanów Palace and Park. In the early 17th Century this Baroque palace and garden was turned into summer royal residence. After the war, it became a museum with a rich collection of Polish portraits, original furniture and interior decor. Finally visit the Poster Museum, the world's oldest poster museum, housed in the Wilanów Palace. Return to your hotel for overnight.
Day 3 - Wroclaw
Breakfast at your hotel and check-out. Today you will travel to Wroclaw in southwest Poland where you will enjoy an afternoon sightseeing tour of the city. Due to its location, the history of Wrocław is closely bound up with European history. The city’s uniqueness lies in its canals, local tributaries of the River Odra and more than a hundred bridges which have earned it the title - The Polish Venice. Visit picturesque Ostrów Tumski - Cathedral Island - where the city began, the baroque University and the gothic City Hall. Transfer to your hotel for check-in. Dinner and overnight at your hotel.
Day 4 - Ksiaz Castle & Church of Peace in Swidnica
After breakfast depart for a full-day excursion to Ksiaz Castle and the Church of Peace in Swidnica. Ksiaz Castle is one of the best-preserved castles in Poland and the largest hilltop fortress in the country. During War World II it was partially transformed into a bomb-proof bunker for Hitler until 1945, as a part of the Project Riese – a Nazi German mining and construction project. The castle was later occupied by the Red Army and most artefacts were lost or destroyed.
Continue to the Church of Peace in Swidnica, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and one of the largest wooden structures used as a place of worship in Europe. The church was built out of straw, clay and pieces of wooden board, because according to the resolutions of the Peace of Westphalia of 1648, a church could not be made out of durable materials like stone or brick. It also had to be located within canon shot of a town’s walls. Return to your hotel for overnight.
Day 5 - Auschwitz-Birkenau & the birth place of Pope John Paul II
Breakfast at your hotel and check-out. Depart for Kraków & visit Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camp en route & experience one of the most memorable lessons of modern European history. The flower strewn Death Wall, national memorials, the railway line and ramp and the remains of hundreds of barracks, form a moving testimony to the number of lost lives as a result of Nazi atrocities across occupied Europe.
Next visit the small city of Wadowice, the birth place of Pope John Paul II, where there is now a museum exhibiting the Wojtyla family’s former possessions. Also see the Gothic church where John Paul II was baptised, served as an altar boy and prayed daily. The left aisle contains a baptismal font where the baby Karol Wojtyla was baptised. Continue to your hotel in Kraków for check-in. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Day 6 - Kraków & the Wieliczka Salt Mines
Breakfast at your hotel. In the morning enjoy a sightseeing tour of the Old Town to discover the beauty of magical Kraków. As you walk along the Royal Way you will see how Polish culture was shaped over time. Marvel at the Market Square, the biggest of its kind in Europe, the Sukiennice Cloth Hall, St. Mary’s church, the Jagiellonian University, the Sigismund Bell and Wawel Hill. At exactly noon you will hear the Kraków Hejnal - Bugle Call - played by a fireman trumpeter, who can be seen in a gothic window in the highest tower of St. Mary’s Church.
In the afternoon visit Wieliczka to visit the Salt Mines, the home of the world’s oldest continuously operating company. Salt has been mined in Wieliczka since the 13th Century. The tour of the mine will pass through 20 chambers on three underground levels where you will see lakes, chapels with salt figurines, bas reliefs and chandeliers. Return to your hotel for overnight.
Please note: At the beginning of the Salt Mine tour you must walk down approximately 370 steps. The way out is by lift.
Day 7 - Kraków
This morning you will be given a half-day tour of Kazimierz Jewish district. Since the 16th Century it is the main cultural centre of the Jewish community in Poland with its unique oriental atmosphere. Some buildings with Yiddish inscriptions survived WW2 and today the revival of Jewish life in Kazimierz is evident in the number of restored buildings, fashionable cafes, restaurants and bars.
Free time in the afternoon and overnight at your hotel.
Day 8 - Depart
Breakfast at your hotel and check-out. Free time in Krakow in the morning. Transfer to the airport for your return flight.