Poland & Czech Republic Heritage Tour
Get a first-hand exploration of both Polish and Czech Heritage on our 14-day trip. You’ll witness the history and culture of these two countries and their magnificent cities, some which have been extraordinarily preserved and others rebuilt to near perfection after being ravaged by war. By taking trains and public buses and eating in local eateries, you’ll get a real feel for contemporary life in these countries and their continued transition out of the Communist era. While tourism is deservedly well-established in Prague you’ll be amazed (and baffled) to find that mainstream tourism has left much of Poland untouched.
- Day 1Arrival in Prague.Arrival in Prague. Check into guesthouse. Enjoy meeting fellow travelers during our (included) welcome meal.
- Day 2-3PraguePrague was the only Central European capital to avoid large-scale bombing in the last century's wars. Consequently, it has one of the most well-preserved city centers in Europe. It's hard to match the old-world charm of Prague. Here we'll get a taste of the medieval, the Baroque, and even the Art Nouveau with a touch of Jewish history and Communist-era remnants. We'll pause our sightseeing to enjoy hearty Czech food and their world-famous beer.
- Day 4OlomoucToday we'll take the train across the Czech Republic, from Bohemia to Moravia. Our destination: Olomouc. While other travelers are skipping over this fantastic little city while rushing to Krakow, we will be savoring it. We'll enjoy this "mini Prague" without the tourists. There are only a handful of sights to visit here, but most of all we'll just appreciate strolling around this unhurried historic city.
- Day 5CieszynWe'll continue on the train a short distance to Cesky Tesin. Here comes the fun part: walking across the international border to Poland. Our day's final destination, Cieszyn, is on the other side of the river. So basically, there are two Cieszyns, a Czech one and a Polish one. We'll see a few sites here like the old Romanesque St Nicholas Rotunda, which we'll spot on the 20 zloty (Polish currency) note. There will be some free time to wander around this pleasant Polish border town on a hill.
- Day 6-8Krakow & AuschwitzKrakow is simply one of Central Europe's most splendid cities. Even though the capital moved to Warsaw some 400 years ago, Krakow remains Poland's cultural and intellectual heart. The city grew wealthy from trade in the 10th and 11th centuries and its famed university hosted Copernicus and Saint (Pope) John Paul II. We'll investigate the history of Krakow, including its Jewish past, while we savor this beautiful, old-fashioned city. We'll have two days within Krakow and one day set aside for a sobering trip to Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camp. One of the evenings we'll check for the kielbasi guys who grill up everyone's favorite Polish sausages from their food truck.
- Day 9WroclawLeaving Krakow behind, we'll take the train to Wroclaw. After you're no longer in shock wondering why there aren't more tourists in this handsome city, you'll enjoy walking around its old center, drinking a big Polish beer and sampling the local pierogi. We won't need too much time in Wroclaw for the sites, but we didn't want to take you through Poland and not show off this city to you.
- Day 10-11Warsaw"Warsaw"]After a morning walk around Wroclaw, we'll travel together by train to the country's capital, Warsaw. While some tourists might skip over Warsaw, it's important to get to know this city to understand contemporary Poland. That's not to say Warsaw doesn't have its share of history. It was leveled during World War II and we'll see how extraordinarily its old town was rebuilt. But we'll also spend time visiting museums and tasting more delicious and hearty Polish food as well as pastries. Those who love nightlife can venture out to find more lively bars and nightclubs here.
- Day 12LublinUsing our Warsaw hotel as a base, we'll venture down to Lublin for the day. Lublin's golden age came in the 16th century as it served as a stopping point on the road from Krakow to Vilnius, Lithuania. Lublin also became a melting pot of cultures and religions due to its location near several countries: Ukraine, Lithuania, Belarus, and Russia. We'll walk around the heart of this beautiful city with its narrow cobbled-stone streets, and its old buildings, some decaying, some lovingly restored. We'll visit a couple of important sites and witness more Jewish history, using the rest of our time just enjoying the relaxed atmosphere.
- Day 13-14GdanskFrom Warsaw we'll head north towards Gdansk. But first we stop off at Malbork, home to the biggest Gothic castle in Europe. After this interesting peek into the Teutonic Knights' former headquarters, we'll continue to our final destination on our tour. You might notice how "un-Polish" Gdansk is with its melting-pot history of German, Dutch, and Flemish merchants. But visiting this wealthy city is essential to getting to know the complete Poland. It is a fabulous city, with its many red-brick churches, ornately decorated Hanseatic burghers' mansions and maritime structures. Gdansk is also home to many Solidarity sites, which were the beginning of the end of Eastern European communism. In addition to traditional Polish food, we'll also search for some excellent Baltic seafood: herring, cod, or salmon.
- Day 15Gdansk & DepartureThe last day is free and easy. We'll wander through town and enjoy a leisurely breakfast before catching onward transport or your flight back home.
Packing List for Poland & Czech Republic Heritage Tour (recommended)
- Cash (credit card is widely accepted and ATMs are easy to find, but it’s always a good idea to carry some cash)
- Comfortable shoes for walking. We’ll be walking all around these historic cities, sometimes over uneven cobble stones, so come prepared to spend time on your feet during the day!
- September is a lovely time to visit Poland and the Czech Republic with warm days and cool nights. Also, be prepared in case of rain.
- Use a moneybelt to keep big bills and credit cards safe. Bring some US dollars in cash and at least one ATM card and credit card.
- Remember to pack as light as possible. We will be using public trains and buses to travel in between cities, sometimes walking from the station to our accommodation. Please only pack what you’re able to carry yourself.
- We’ve done our best to arrange as diverse an introduction to Czech and Polish cuisine as is possible, with a preference for small local restaurants that sometimes have limited menus. As such, it’s essential to inform us ahead of time if you have any dietary restrictions that need to be taken into consideration.
- Note that Poland uses the Polish zloty and the Czech Republic uses the Czech koruna.
The accommodation will be in double rooms in mid-range accommodation in family-run guesthouses and small hotels.
You tour leader: Stephen Bugno — I started this company because I wanted to bring you real travel experiences, take you on great adventures, learning about different cultures, trying new foods, and meeting local residents, just as I have been doing myself for the past 15 years. Poland and the Czech Republic are two of my favorite countries and hope you’ll join me in exploring these fascinating cultures.
Cancellations and Refunds
If you must cancel your reservation for a tour and/or its extension, we will refund your payment, less the following fees per tour and/or extension:
|Days Prior to Trip Start Date||Trip Cancellation Fee Per Person|
|31 – 60 days||50% of trip price|
|0-30 days||100% of trip price|
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