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Medieval glories and moving memories
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Krakow is one of Europe's must-see 'new' destinations - one of only a handful of major Central European cities to survive the centuries unscathed. Our escorted break lifts the veil on this visual masterpiece, full of UNESCO-listed architectural treasures, and also pays a visit to the preserved remains of infamous Auschwitz-Birkenau.
Krakow is not a museum piece, but a bustling, lived-in city. It is especially lively in the evening, when it offers up a wide and enticing choice of foods, from traditional Polish, Russian, German, Lithuanian and Jewish dishes to some of the latest culinary fads and fashions. And your city-centre hotel will offer you the perfect base from which to explore.
Your Base: Hotels in Krakow
Krakow City Break Itinerary
Fly to Krakow, meet your Tour Manager and transfer to your city-centre hotel. After check-in, head out to take your first look at this city that boasts the State Rooms of Wawel Castle, the stunning wooden altarpiece of the Mariacki church and the treasures of the Czartoryski Palace. Why not head to a cafe for hot chocolate, or to a local beer cellar to try the local brew?
Day One: Fly to Poland from the UK
Discover Krakow on our included guided walking tour. This seat of Polish kings was also the former home of much-loved Cardinal Karol Wojtyla (later Pope John Paul II). Admire the medieval and Renaissance splendour of the city's great central square, Rynek Glowny, and its centrepiece the Sukiennice (Cloth Hall).
Day Two: Included Krakow city tour
Here, behind the many-arched facade, you'll find market stalls to browse, cafes where you can sit and relax, and even an art gallery on the upper floor.
Today we'll head to Auschwitz-Birkenau, 70km southwest of the city. On this harrowing and thought-provoking pilgrimage you'll tour the buildings of the death camp and gain a sense of the horrors of the "Final Solution".
Day Three: Included day trip to Auschwitz
Later we'll return to Krakow and you'll be free to explore. Visit the Kazimierz quarter - once the historic centre of Jewish culture in the city - or the 'Pharmacy under the Eagle' museum across the river in the Podgorze district - the cramped wartime ghetto.
Today you're free to discover more of the city's sights, or to join an optional excursion to see the vast underground chambers, full-sized chapel and stupendous concert hall of Wieliczka's astonishing salt mine. Find out about life in the mines at the on-site museum, and browse the subterranean gift shop and cafe before catching the lift back to the surface.
Day Four: Optional salt mine excursion
Depending on your flight time, you may have time to catch a final glimpse of the majestic city before we transfer you to the airport to check in for your flight home.
Day Five: Fly back to the UK