18187
Poland
Independent Warsaw and Krakow: Capitals Past and Present
Experience the wonders of Poland as you stroll cobbled paths and enjoy the country’s rich social and cultural history, discovering a trove of museums, monuments and cafes at every turn.
Rating (5)
Program No. 18187RJ
Length
9 days
Starts at
1,399
Flights start at
850
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9 days
8 nights
10 meals
7 B 1 L 2 D
Getting There
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DAY
1
In Transit to Program
In Flight
DAY
2
Welcome Dinner, Introduction to Program
Warsaw
D
Polonia Palace Hotel

Activity note: Check-in available from 2:00 PM.

Dinner: Enjoy a 3-course set menu Welcome Dinner at a local restaurant. Please note that water is included in the program cost at all included meals.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
3
Expert-Led Excursion of Warsaw Old Town
Warsaw
B
Polonia Palace Hotel

Breakfast: Hotel dining room. On this program, breakfasts will offer a typical European style breakfast buffet with breads, cheeses, cold-cuts, yogurt, fruit, cereals, juice, milk, coffee, tea and water.

Morning: Take an expert-led excursion, including the Old Town and the Royal Route, by bus and on foot. See such sites as the Chopin Monument and the Palace on the Water, before driving along the Royal Route to the city center to see the Ghetto Monument.

Lunch: Explore local fare on your own.

Afternoon: Self-guided Excursion: Choose your own destination for the afternoon. For art lovers we recommend the National Museum - a house of art from ancient to contemporary. Warsaw's historic center is home to the Royal Castle, a symbol of Warsaw and of Poland herself. Former residence of Polish kings and the seat of parliament, it was deliberately razed to the ground by the Nazis during WW II, yet subsequently reconstructed with extraordinary painstaking care, thanks to the generosity of the Polish public. The charming Palace on the Water with richly designed Classicist interior is picturesquely located in the Royal Lazienki Park.

Dinner: Explore local fare on your own.

Evening: Chopin concert. Further details will be provided on the program.

DAY
4
Lectures on Polish Economy, Society, and Democracy
Warsaw
B
Polonia Palace Hotel

Breakfast: Hotel dining room.

Morning: Discussion and Lecture: "Current Polish Economic and Social Challenges." Then take in a second lecture: "Catholicism, Communism, and Democracy: the unique Polish experience of the second half of the 20th century."

Lunch: Explore local fare on your own.

Afternoon: Self-guided Excursion: Choose your own destination for the afternoon. Suggestions include the Wilanow Palace, a precious monument of the Baroque, which happily escaped destruction during World War II. A city landmark is the Warsaw Rising Museum, an expression of homage to the heroes of the Warsaw Uprising in 1944. The Polish spirit and pride has never been better represented than what can be seen in the displays there. The Museum of the History of Polish Jews will immerse you in the world of Polish Jews, from their arrival in Po-lin as traveling merchants in medieval times, to today.

Dinner: Explore local fare on your own.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
5
Transfer to Krakow
Krakow
B,L
Novotel Krakow Centrum

Activity note: Please note that during the train transfer, your luggage will be transferred via van directly to the hotel. You will only need to carry your hand luggage on the train. Also note that you will walk from the hotel to the train station, which is about .3 miles.

Breakfast: Hotel dining room.

Morning: Transfer via train to Krakow, which retains the largest concentration of historical monuments and cultural treasures in Poland. Upon arrival in Krakow, enjoy an expert-led walking excursion of the old town including the Market Square and St. Mary's Church.

Lunch: Light lunch at a local restaurant in Krakow. Unless otherwise noted, lunches on this program are typically a two-course set menu.

Afternoon: Settle into the hotel. Then attend an orientation meeting at the hotel.

Dinner: Explore local fare on your own.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
6
Krakow - the City of Art and Culture
Krakow
B
Novotel Krakow Centrum

Breakfast: Hotel dining room.

Morning: Discussion and Lecture: "Krakow - the City of Art and Culture." Then take in another lecture: "Jewish Renaissance in Contemporary Poland." After the lectures, enjoy an expert-led excursion to Kazimierz, the ancient heart of Jewish Krakow via public transportation.

Lunch: Explore local fare on your own.

Afternoon: Self-guided Excursion: Explore Kazimierz – the ancient heart of Jewish Krakow. For almost 700 years, Krakow was home to a large Jewish community. In the past, Kazimierz was a distinct town with its own Market Square and Town Hall, as well as thriving culture, which blossomed in the 16th century. That period witnessed the foundation of Poland's oldest Judaic shrine, the Old Synagogue - now presenting an exhibition of the history of the Jewish community of Krakow. Following the tragedy of the WW II, Kazimierz was deserted. It found its way to the silver screen thanks to Steven Spielberg, who came here to shoot Schindler's List, and is enjoying a far-reaching renaissance today.

Dinner: Explore local fare on your own.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
7
Great Polish Masters of Art
Krakow
B
Novotel Krakow Centrum

Breakfast: Hotel dining room.

Morning: Discussion and lecture: "Great Polish Masters of Art." After the lecture, enjoy an expert-led excursion to Wawel Hill via public transportation. This fortified architectural complex is a testament to the golden times in the "City of Kings."

Lunch: Explore local fare on your own.

Afternoon: Self-guided Excursion: Set off on your own to further explore the topics from the morning lecture. Suggestions include the Mehoffer House Museum, Matejko House Museum, the Gallery of Polish Art of the 20th Century, and Royal Castle and Cathedral. Visit the Gallery of Polish Art, an exhibition that is provocative, and both challenging and traditional at times. The core of the exhibition focuses on the exploration of mainstream 20th century Polish art, and is made up of works by Wyspianski, Malczewski, Pankiewicz, Stanislaw Ignacy Witkiewicz, and Kantor. Or, let yourself become acquainted with Jan Matejko, the master of Polish history painting. Evoking a home-like atmosphere, the authentic furnishings and decoration of Matejko's house are a definite strength of the museum. Another delightful exhibition is organized in the former house of Josef Mehoffer, one of the leading artists of Polish modernism. Wawel Castle and Cathedral was the political and cultural center of Poland until the early 17th century. Besides other medieval treasures, you may admire magnificent woven painting-like pictures, some of them designed by Michael van Coxcie, “the Flemish Raphael."

Dinner: Explore local fare on your own.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
8
The Great Personalities of Poland Presentation
Krakow
B,D
Novotel Krakow Centrum

Breakfast: Hotel dining room.

Morning: Discussion and Lecture: "The Great Personalities of Poland - People Who Changed Poland and the World."

Lunch: Explore local fare on your own.

Afternoon: Self-guided Excursion: Take the afternoon to explore various sites related to the prominent Poles who lived or worked in Krakow. There are many people for whom the remembrance of Karol Wojtyla is a life goal. True papal enthusiasts will enjoy visiting the Archdiocesan Museum located in the former home of Pope John Paul II. The Collegium Maius was one of Europe's first universities and boasts astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus among its alumni. Here you can see Polish film director Andrzej Wajda's Oscar and poet Wislawa Szymborska's Nobel Prize. There is a room dedicated to Copernicus' stay at the University with facsimiles of the Italian doctorate he earned, his enrollment records, and also the piano that once belonged to Chopin.

Dinner: Farewell dinner at a local restaurant.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
9
Departures
Krakow
B

Breakfast: Hotel dining room.

Morning: Departures to the Krakow airport (KRK). This concludes our program. Please join our Facebook page and share photos of your program. Visit us at www.facebook.com/rsadventures.






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