Krakow City Breaks
Once a royal capital with an extraordinary history, and now a lively university town with fashionable bars and restaurants, Krakow is a fascinating city with beautiful monuments and an exuberant atmosphere.
Submerge yourself in a little piece of Krakow history at the Singer pub in Kazimierz. Dark, candlelit and atmospheric, the bar is named after the singer sewing machines and trestle tables dotted about the rooms.
Rynek Glowny Known as the Main Market Square it is Europe's largest medieval square, the size of four football pitches and the centre of the city.
Wawel Hill Poland's storehouse of national identity, home to the Wawel Castle, an impressive blend of Gothic original architecture and a Renaissance Palace.Read more
Kamienica townhouses The historic architecture to be found throughout the Old Town and one of the most distinctive elements of Krakow.
Cloth Hall One of the city's most recognisable icons was once an important focal point for international trade. Now restored and glorious in the centre of the Main Market Square, it contains stalls laden with local crafts, artefacts , jewellery and couvenirs.
Explore Kazimierz The Jewish district of Krakow from the 14th century up to the Second World Way. Although buildings have been restored and the area has seen a growth in Jewish-themed restaurants, bars, bookstores and souvenir shops, many buildings were not repaired after the devastation of the war so a wander through this part of town is thought provoking and atmospheric.
Descend the 360 steps in to the Wieliczka Salt Mines and be amazed at the devotion of the miners who carved the incredible Chapel of Salt. A well-deserved place on the UNESCO World Heritage list.
See for yourself the site of Auschwitz-Birkenau; this former concentration camp is now a poignant museum.Read more
Make the trip across the River Vistula to Podgorze, site of the Jewish Ghetto in Krakow and home to the Schindler factory - much of the fild 'Schindler's List" was filmed here. Now a real emerging district it is spotted with hip, bohemian cafes, bars and restaurants.
Food & Drink
There is a huge amount of choice around the Main Market Square, from pavement cafes, pizzerias and restaurants to numerous cellar bars and pubs. Venture down any alleyway or street however, and you will be rewarded by a cosy eatery or welcoming underground bar. Establishments range from the cheap and retro bars mleczny (milk bars), relics from communist times to modern gourmet treats and fine dining. Traditional dishes such as pierogi, delicious stuffed dumplings, and borchst, a beetroot soup are offered alongside more international menus so all tastes are catered for. The cafes are renowned for their delicious cakes and desserts.
Poles are famous for their beers so it is essential to try the local brew, from the pilsner to the dark and full-bodied porter. Vodka is also part of life here so your trip would not be complete without sampling from the huge array of flavours and strengths. Try Kazimierz for a lovely selection of chic and bohemian bars and cafes.
At Rynek Glowny, the largest medieval market square in Europe, you'll find a variety of shops selling jewellery and souvenirs. Dolls, lace, amber and silver jewellery make excellent gifts, and the regular flower and flea markets of Cloth Hall are great places to pick up some bargains.
Krakow City Tour
Explore Krakow by bus and foot, taking in Kazimierz - the Jewish District, Wawel Hill, the Royal Castle and cathedral, the Market Square, Gothic Cloth Hall and St Mary's Church.
Departs: daily. Duration: 4 hours.
Adults from £29.
6 million Jews, including 3 million Poles, perished in Nazi concentration camps between 1940-45, over 1.5 million at Auschwitz alone. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Auschwitz Memorial Museum is a moving, thought provoking yet important monument to the Holocaust.
Departs: daily. Duration: 6 hours.
Adults from £31.
Wieliczka Salt Mines
Earning a place on the UNESCO World Heritage list, this 800-year-old salt mine is a vast underground city of tunnels, caverns and lakes. Carved out of the walls up to 135m underground figures, monuments St Kinga Chapel magically lit with salt crystal chandeliers. This tour may not be suitable for customers with mobility difficulties.
Departs: daily. Duration: 4 hours
Adults from £31.
Communism Deluxe Tour - Discover the secrets of the Communist Parade
Can you imagine sharing your bathroom with a fish for a week? Or standing ten hours in a queue to buy toilet paper? Poland after the Second World War was a communist country where terror and sorrow mixed with the comic and the absurd. Visit Nowa Huta, the city which was a communist paradise, and at the same time a fortress, prepared to defend its citizens in case of an attack on the Soviet Bloc from the West. You will have a unique chance to see modern houses and squares created according to Leonardo da Vinci's plans, experience the taste of vodka and herring, admire the size of the Steelworks Complex or visit the church which is the symbol of freedom. You will be told of the realities of everyday life in communist Poland, while seeing the most significant places connected with its recent past.
Departs: Tuesday & Friday. Duration: 4 hours
Adults from £50.
Zakapone and the Tatra Mountains
Zakone is the winter capital of Poland, thanks to its splendid natural scenery, hiking trail and a rich folk culture. Begin your exploration of the area by taking the funicular railway to the top of Mount Gubalówka for views over the granite and limestone peaks of the Tatra Mountains. Following your return to the oldest part of Zakapone you will visit the charming old wooden parish church and the most unique cemetery in Poland. To complete your experience, you have a chance to visit the enormous regional market and may want to even enjoy the local specialities served in a regional restaurant. If you wish to experience more of the region you can visit the Tatra Museum or you may want to take in the serene atmosphere at the village of Chocholów, which is famous for its 150 year old wooden log cabins.
Departs: Wednesday & Saturday. Duration: 9 hours.
Adults from £65.
Częstochowa - the Black Madonna
Visit Poland's spiritual heart on a tour of the town of Częstochowa. Follow in the footsteps of millions of pilgrims as you gaze upon the 'Black Madonna' at Jasna Góra Monastery. When arriving at the monastery you will visit the chapel of the miraculous painting of the black Madonna, this is the embodiment of the attachment to the Cult of Mary which is so typical of the Catholic faith in Poland. Next visit the Basilica which is the main church of the monastery. Following this you have free time where you may wish visit the 600th-Anniversary Museum and the Treasury, attend Mass or take a lunch break and visit the souvenir shop. On the way back the route is slightly altered to admire the most spectacular limestone rock formations, typical of the Krakow-Częstochowa Uplands and also visit the only remaining castle of the so called Eagle Nest Trail at Pieskowa Skala.
Departs: Tuesday & Thursday. Duration: 8.5 hours
Adults from £65.
In the Footsteps of John Paul II
Follow in the footsteps of the man who became one of the greatest Popes and human beings in history
You begin with a visit to Wadowice 'the place where it all began' as it was once referred to by the Pope in 1999 during the visit to his hometown. Here you will see the places dearest to Karol Wojtyla during his childhood and adolescence, included the parish church he was baptised at and the house where he was born. The journey to and from Wadowice will give you a chance to view the peaks of the Pope's beloved Beskidy mountain range. In the place of pilgrimage you can pay homage to the holy relics of St. Faustyna Kowalska, who was canonised as the first saint of the Third Millennium by John Paul II and also admire the impressive modern basilica consecrated by the pope in 2002. After travel to the foot of the Royal Castle to visit the Archdiocese Museum located in the most picturesque street in Krakow. In the museum you can see the flat Karol Wojtyla lived while working as a lecturer. Your final visit will be at the Archbishop's Palace which was Wojtkyla's last residence before leaving for the Vatican in 1978. Here you will see the famous 'papal window' where John Paul II would show up to chat and chant with the youth of Krakow during his visits and were thousands of people lit candles and prayed during his last days.
Departs: Tuesday & Thursday. Duration: 8.5 hours
Adults from £45.
Dunajec River Gorge and Niedzica Castle
Often referred to as 'the raft trip down the Dunajec river' however in actual fact it is a leisurely drift in large wooden punts and is a great way to admire the amazing scenery in the Polish highlands. You guide will keep you informed of the sights you see and the history of the trips dating back to 1840s. The voyage down the winding Dunajec offers breath-taking views of limestone cliffs plunging into the water as well as stunning native vegetation. You may even have the chance to spot some rare bird species such as the Black Stork. You will also visit the Niedzica Castle originally build in the 14th century by the Hungarians to protect the important trade through the Dunajec Valley. The castle now towers over the large water reservoir and dam build in the mid-90s. While visiting the castle you can admire the delightful view over the lake and learn about the Inca refugees found sheltering there. After the Niedzica castle you will continue onto the wharf in Sromowce Nizne and Szczawnice.
Departs: Daily (01 Apr – 31 Oct only). Duration: 8 hours
Adults from £90