Poland Poland

Essential Poland

Sail down the beautiful rivers
Sail down the beautiful rivers

A private tour of Gdansk, Warsaw and Krakow with your personal English-speaking guides.

For custom luxury travel and tours to Warsaw, Krakow and Poland, please contact one of our travel experts.

Download a PDF itinerary here.

Day 1
Arrival | Gdansk Gdansk, Poland

This morning you will arrive into Gdansk, where you will be met by your driver for your transfer to your hotel in the center of the city and in the heart of the historic district.

Gdansk, or Danzig, as it was formerly called, is a city of charm and elegance, even though it is most known for its industrial shipyards and the popular movement by Lech Walesa that marked the end of Communism in Poland. While Gdansk was mostly German before WWII, the Poles expelled all remaining Germans at the end of the war and left the city to become truly Polish. Gdansk was an important city of the Hanseatic League for centuries.

The remainder of your day is at leisure. We recommend heading on your own to the fantastic new WWII Museum. September 1, 1939 was the date that WWII began and it started right here with shots fired over Westerplatte. This massive museum is divided into three areas – past, present and future. You’ll have a timed entrance ticket today and the use of an audio guide, if you like. With even a casual interest in WWII, you’ll behard pressed to see everything in two hours here. There are over 2,000 exhibits from the road to war to effects of the war post-1945. All exhibits are in English and the audio guides give greater detail wherever you would like it.

Exeter Services: Arrival Transfer

Hotel: Radisson Blu

Day 2
Gdansk | Gdansk Gdansk, Poland

This morning meet your guide in your hotel lobby at 10AM. Today you will start with a visit to the European Solidarity Center. The permanent exhibition is dedicated to the Solidarity Movement and the opposition, which led to the overthrow of communism in Central and Eastern Europe. It’s like a walking timeline ofcontemporary history in Gdansk and really all of Europe. It’s a fascinating look into this turbulent time leadingup to the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Afterward head to Oliwa. This is a complex of Cistercian abbey buildings and the highlight is the cathedral. It’sbuilt in the Romanesque and Gothic styles and is best known for its organ, which includes moving angels, stars and the sun. Today there is an organ concert at noon and you can attend.

Continue on to Gdansk where the rest of your touring is on foot. Your guide will take you on foot Gdansk’s Royal Route. Around every corner of Old Town you’ll find an important building or historic monument and your guide will show you the most important of them. You can also step inside St. Mary’s Church, founded in 1343, and one of the largest churches in Europe and is best known for its extraordinary Gothic sculpture. At the picturesque Motlawa River bank you will see the massive, 15th century Old Crane, which is now a museum containing a wooden elevator and granaries used at the port during its heyday.

Note: Some touring is on foot. Please be prepared to be outside and walking over cobblestones.

Exeter Services: Vehicle & Driver (4 Hours); Guide (8 Hours)

Hotel: Radisson Blu

Day 3
Gdansk | Gdansk Gingerbread - Gdansk, Poland

This morning your guide will meet you in your hotel lobby at 10AM for your journey outside of Gdansk to Malbork Castle. First begun by the Order of the Teutonic Knights in the late 14th century, Malbork Castle was once the capital of one of the most powerful states on the southern Baltic coast. Malbork Castle is a classic example of a medieval fortress and is the world’s largest brick castle and certainly the most impressivein Europe. The Teutonic Knights were an order of German crusaders and their rich history dates to the 12th century.

Your visit today will take you inside the castle walls, where you can visit a variety of rooms that have been restored to their former grandeur. The castle is also home to temporary exhibitions. One of the most striking features of Malbork is its existence. The castle has been under continuous reconstruction for nearly 230 years!

Exeter Services: Vehicle, Driver & Guide (6-8 Hours)

Hotel: Radisson Blu

Day 4
Gdansk-Warsaw | Gdansk-Warsaw POLIN Museum, Warsaw, Poland

This morning your driver will take you directly to the station to meet your high-speed train to Warsaw. First class tickets are included and will be given to you locally.

Upon your arrival in Warsaw you will be transferred to your hotel, where the remainder of your day will be at leisure.

Often overlooked, Warsaw is a phoenix that has risen out of the ashes of immense carnage to emerge as a vibrant, contemporary and edgy European capital. Its eclectic architectural style reflects the different influences throughout the ages. In Old Town Warsaw, tall church steeples, colorful houses, and narrow cobble-stoned lanes give way to the newer part of the city and a larger more contemporary skyline. Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque buildings have been exquisitely restored to their former glory in the post-World War II era, whilemore recent construction reflects Warsaw’s cosmopolitan vibe.

Exeter Services: Station Transfers with Assistants

Day 5
Warsaw | Warsaw Warsaw Uprising Monument

Today your guide will meet you in your hotel lobby at 10AM for a half-day walking tour of Warsaw’s Old Town. On the tour with your guide have a stroll through Warsaw’s renowned Castle Square. In this square, you’ll find street artists, small cafes and shops among the rebuilt gothic mansions of Warsaw’s nobility. View Zygmunt Column, built to honor King Zygmunt III Wasa, who moved Poland’s capital from Krakow toWarsaw in the 17th-century.

Next, your guide will take you to the Royal Castle, which boasts one of the most magnificent art collections of the city, including famous views of Warsaw by Bellotto, the nephew and student of the famous Venetian painter Canaletto. Bellotto was the court painter of King Stanislaw August and his paintings of Warsaw were used for rebuilding the city after its near complete destruction in World War II.

Afterward, your driver will meet you for an overview city tour. You’ll stop at the Palace of Science andCulture – a gift from Stalin to Poland and mimicking the design of Moscow’s Seven Sisters. Today you can headto the top for a panoramic view of the city.

On your overview, you can also stop at Łazienki Park, one of the most beautiful and serene areas of Warsawand a favorite of the local residents. Take a stroll through the park to see the Palace on the Water beforeheading down Warsaw’s most elegant street back to your hotel.

Note: Some touring is on foot. Please be prepared to be outside and walking over cobblestones.

Exeter Services: Vehicle & Driver (4 Hours); Guide (8 Hours)

Day 6
Warsaw | Warsaw Details, Royal Castle, Warsaw

Today you will meet your guide and driver at 10AM to continue your exploration of Warsaw. Today you willhead across the river to the Praga district. This area was not destroyed during WWII and today it’s a rapidlygentrifying and vibrant part of the city, with the largest market, galleries and more.

Today you can stop at the Neon Museum. This is a small private museum features hundreds of neon signsthat were found in Poland between the 1950s and 1970s. It’s a unique glimpse into Cold War era Poland.

Afterward, stop at what was once the factory of Koneser Vodka that has now been revitalized and reopened as the Polish Vodka Museum. This gorgeous space is a huge complex that is now bars, apartments a hotel and more. Today your visit will be a privately guided experience in the Vodka Museum, complete with a tasting.

Back in central Warsaw this afternoon, you will have the chance to explore the fascinating Museum of the Warsaw Uprising. The exhibition displays all aspects of the battle as well as everyday life in Warsaw against the background of the German Nazi occupation. More than 500 exhibit items, plus about 1,000 photographs, films and sound recordings, depict the days leading up to the outbreak of the uprising, its day-by-day development, the forced evacuation of the fighters from Warsaw, and their ordeal after their heroic fight wasover. Don’t miss the short film, City in Ruins, at the end.

Exeter Services: Vehicle, Driver & Guide (8 Hours)

Hotel: Bristol Warsaw

Day 7
Warsaw-Krakow | Warsaw-Krakow Krakow, Poland

This morning, depart by express train to Krakow, the architectural gem of Poland. First class tickets are included and will be given to you locally.

Upon your arrival in Krakow you will be transferred to your hotel, where the remainder of your day will be at leisure.

The untouched medieval splendor of Krakow is a miracle for having survived unscathed during World War II, and in fact, some locals believe that Krakow has been divinely blessed with an aura of peace. Medieval buildings surround the cavernous market hall and the central square, where street musicians serenade you in the evenings with folksongs.

Exeter Services: Station Transfers with Assistants

Hotel: Unicus Palace Krakow

Day 8
Krakow | Krakow Krakow, Poland

This morning meet your guide in your hotel lobby at 10AM for the short walk to Wawel Hill to visit theRenaissance Royal Castle and Cathedral. Converted from a Gothic style in the early 1500’s by a Florentinearchitect, the tiered courtyard of the castle is reminiscent of an opulent Italian palazzo. Inside the castle, view the State Rooms, which feature the splendid assembly of Flanders tapestries, scattered throughout the first and second floors.

There is also an amazing ceiling with woodcarvings of 30 human heads, which is worth a look. A highlight of visiting the castle today will be the opportunity to see Leonardo da Vinci’s Lady with an Ermine. This rarepainting is usually exhibited at the Czartoryski Musuem, which has been closed for renovations for a few years.

You may also visit Wawel Cathedral. The cathedral, as in few cathedrals of the world, speaks the history of Poland. Adorned with a mass of side chapels, endowed by subsequent Polish monarchs and aristocratic families too, the present brick and sandstone basilica is essentially Gothic, dating from the year 1306.

This afternoon, your guide will introduce you to Krakow’s Old Town. The Gothic houses of the 13th-century burgesses still remain, although they were rebuilt and given Renaissance or neoclassical facades. You will see the medieval Sukiennice, rebuilt in the 1550’s, is one of the most distinctive sights in the country – a vast cloth hall, topped by a sixteenth-century attic dripping with gargoyles. Its commercial traditions are perpetuated by a covered market, which bustles with tourists and street sellers at almost every time of the year.

Note: All touring today is on foot through mostly pedestrian areas. Please wear appropriate footwear.

Exeter Services: Guide (6 Hours)

Hotel: Unicus Palace Krakow

Day 9
Krakow | Krakow Auschwitz, Poland

This morning your driver and guide will meet you for your visit to the memorial at Auschwitz–Birkenau. Timing today is pending an appointment time at the camp. Auschwitz-Birkenau is located approximately 90 minutes outside of Krakow, near the industrial town of Oswiecim. Today it’s made of a series of barracks –each with its own displays – from luggage collected from prisoners, to seized prosthetics and more. You will see the somber and sometimes shocking exhibits located throughout the camp.

After your tour of Auschwitz, you may also visit Birkenau, where the majority of captives lived and died. A few barracks remain, as well as the railroad track that brought the prisoners to the selection process. Do not miss the monument to the dead, inscribed in ten languages, located between the ruins of the gas chambers and crematoria.

Finally, your guide will take you to pay a visit to one our favorite historical museums. The actual factory of Oskar Schindler has been opened as a branch of the Krakow History Museum. It’s now a moving timeline ofthe history of Krakow from 1939 through 1945. You will see the changes in the city brought on by the Nazi occupation.

Exeter Services: Vehicle, Driver & Guide (8 Hours)

Hotel: Unicus Palace Krakow

Day 10
Departure | Krakow Krakow Exeter

You will meet you driver this morning to transfer to the airport to meet your departing flight.

Exeter Services: Departure Transfer

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