Poland & Czech Republic Heritage Tour
Experiencing the best of Polish & Czech Food, Culture, & History
September 11 – 25th, 2016
(15 days & 14 nights)
Get a first-hand exploration of both Polish and Czech Heritage on our 15-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 1 | Sept 11
Arrival in Prague. Check into guesthouse. Enjoy meeting fellow travelers during our (included) welcome meal.
Day 2-3 Prague | Sept 12-13
Prague 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 4 Olomouc | Sept 14
Today 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 5 Cieszyn | Sept 15
We’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 6-8 Krakow & Auschwitz | Sept 16-18
Krakow 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 9 Wroclaw | Sept 19
Leaving 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 10-11 Warsaw | Sept 20-21
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 12 Lublin | Sept 22
Using 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 13-14 Gdansk | Sept 23-24
From 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 15 Gdansk | Sept 25
The 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.
*Based on sharing of twin/double room in a good quality and comfortable guesthouses.
**Important. Note that tour begins in Prague, Czech Republic on the evening of Sept 11, and ends in Gdansk, Poland on the morning of Sept 25th
- Admissions to all included attractions and sights.
- Fourteen (14) nights of accommodations.
- All transportation within Czech Republic and Poland except airport transfer.
- Welcome meals; at least one meal per day.
- You will be responsible for 1-2 meals per day. Budget between $5-10 per meal.
- Air tickets to/from Czech Republic and Poland
- Visa if necessary.
- Travel/health insurance (we recommend World Nomads)
- Personal spending
* $200 Non-refundable deposit required to secure place on tour
* Remainder of tour fee ($1499) due by July 11th, 2016
* Full refund -$200 before July 11th, 2016
* 50% refund before August 11th, 2016
* No refund after August 12th, 2016
register here –> Join the tour
Packing List for Poland & Czech Republic Heritage Tour (recommended)
- Comfortable shoes for walking. We’ll be walking all around these historic cities, sometime 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 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.
Who is this trip for?
Travelers looking to appreciate the history and experience the culture of Poland and the Czech Republic will love this tour. We’ll spend a lot of time exploring the highlights of these cities, admiring architecture, exploring narrow streets, visiting museums and houses of worship, as well as tasting lots of hearty local food and beer. Though low intensity, many of our days will involve a lot of time walking from site to site and getting on and off public transport with our luggage. Come to Poland and the Czech Republic prepared to wander and explore with an open mind, and you’ll find it a very rewarding travel destination. Hope to see you there!
Questions about the tour? Please contact Stephen Bugno ([email protected])