This morning your guide will meet you in your hotel lobby for a walking tour of Warsaw’s Old Town. Warsaw, the capital of Poland, was almost completely destroyed during World War II. Its rebuilding was an act of determination and self-belief. Today the city again features fine views of Castle Square, the Royal Castle and King Zygmunt III Vasa. On a walking tour with your guide have a stroll through Warsaw’s renowned Castle Square. In the Castle 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 to Warsaw in the 17th-century.
Today 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.
This afternoon your driver will meet you to continue your touring. Begin with a brief overview drive as you leave Old Town. Today you will have the chance to explore the fascinating Museum of the Warsaw Uprising. This new museum has garnered raves for its unflinching view of Warsaw’s darkest time. The museum, which opened on Aug. 1, 2004 to mark the 60th anniversary of the outbreak of the fight for Warsaw, is a tribute paid by residents of the city to those who fought and died to bring freedom to Poland and its capital. The exhibition displays all aspects of the battle as well as everyday life in Warsaw against the background of the German Nazi occupation. It also explains the complicated international situation of that time, including the communist terror after the end of World War II and the persecution of insurgents in communist Poland. 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 was over.
We also recommend a visit to Wilanow Palace, known as the Polish Versailles. This late 17th-century palace features extensive grounds, two small museums and the palace itself. Touring the palace will bring you into the lives of Polish royalty. The palace interiors still hold much of the original furniture, as the palace somehow managed to survive both World Wars intact.
If time allows, make a stop at the interesting Poster Museum, located in the palace’s former stables. Two large halls feature superb posters from all over the world.
Exeter Services: Half-Day Vehicle & Driver; Full-Day Guide
Hotel: Bristol Warsaw