|Airport City||John Paul II Kraków-Balice International Airport, Port Lotniczy Olsztyn Mazury, Rzeszów-Jasionka Airport, Katowice Airport, Lodz Airport|
|Offical Languages||Polish, Mazovian, Silesian,|
|Food||Bigos (Hunter's stew), Polskie naleśniki (Polish pancakes), Pierogi (Polish dumplings)|
Autumn : Sep - Nov
Summer : Jun - Aug
Winter : Dec - Feb
Sprint : Mar - May
Krakow is the second largest and one of the oldest cities in Poland. Situated on the Vistula River in the Lesser Poland region, the city dates back to the 7th century. Kraków was the official capital of Poland until 1596 and has traditionally been one of the leading centres of Polish academic, economic, cultural and artistic life. Cited as one of Europe's most beautiful cities its Old Town was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
is the third-largest city in Poland and a former industrial hub. Located in the central part of the country, it has a population of 685,285 (2018). It is the capital of Łódź Voivodeship, and is located approximately 120 kilometres (75 mi) south-west of Warsaw. The city's coat of arms is an example of canting, as it depicts a boat (łódź in Polish), which alludes to the city's name.
Lublin is the ninth-largest city in Poland and the second-largest city of Lesser Poland. It is the capital and the center of Lublin Voivodeship with a population of 339,682. Lublin is the largest Polish city east of the Vistula River and is about 170 km to the southeast of Warsaw by road. One of the events that greatly contributed to the city's development was the Polish-Lithuanian Union of Krewo in 1385. Lublin thrived as a centre of trade and commerce due to its strategic location on the route between Vilnius and Kraków; the inhabitants had the privilege of free trade in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania.
The Lublin Parliament session of 1569 led to the creation of a real union between the Crown of the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, thus creating the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Lublin witnessed the early stages of Reformation in the 16th century. A Calvinist congregation was founded and groups of radical Arians appeared in the city, making it an important global centre of Arianism. At the turn of the century, Lublin was recognized for hosting a number of outstanding poets, writers, and historians of the epoch.
As with many places around Poland, the Warsaw Jewish Ghetto (Getto Zydowskie) serves as both a reminder of and a glimpse into the horrors inflicted by the Nazi regime during World War II.
Established in 1940 and featuring walls up to three metres high, the ghetto was the largest in Nazi-occupied Europe. By 1942, it contained over 400,000 Jews from Warsaw who were forced to live in squalor. In combination with atrocious living conditions, deportations to concentration camps, and the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, at least 300,000 of the ghetto’s Jewish inhabitants perished.
Cultural and theme tours paint a haunting picture of what it must have been like to live here during the height of the Nazi regime. Today, three sections of the wall that once segregated the Jewish population remain intact, which visitors can see on walking tours of the area. Other landmarks worth seeing on guided tours include the Warsaw Uprising Monument, the Monument to the Ghetto Heroes, and the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews.
More a palace than a castle, this building is the pride of Warsaw, reconstructed from a pile of rubble at incredible cost between 1971 and 1984. Much of the furniture was donated by now deceased commie buddies such as the GDR and USSR, and much of the money for rebuilding came from generous donations from exiled Poles. Dating back to the 14th century, the castle has been the residence of Polish kings, then of the president and then the seat of parliament. The prescribed tour will take you through the Kings' apartments and chambers, heavily adorned with paintings of famous Polish moments. Maps on the wall reflect Poland's greatest days, when it stretched from the Baltic to the Black Sea. The apartments of Prince Józef Poniatowskiare also open to the public, although a separate ticket is needed, and includes his surprisingly cerulean bedroom and grand collection of paintings.
If you're dreaming of a quiet drink in a cobblestone square, basking in the shade of ornately painted townhouses and listening to the gentle bustle of passersby and horse-drawn carriages, Warsaw's Old Town Market Square is about as good as it gets. Here you can easily feel yourself transported to another world. The renaissance architecture surrounding the square has been exquisitely reconstructed, while the square itself is surprisingly small and quiet, a refreshing change from the rush of the surrounding modern city.
Ringing the square are several charming little cafés and restaurants, most of which set up tables in fenced-off seating areas during the summer. In the evening, the square is filled with the subdued noise of clinking glasses, laughter and music, as diners relax and enjoy the beautiful surroundings late into the evening, often entertained by street performers. By day, stands selling handmade trinkets, paintings and other souvenirs are often set up.
The site and general outline of the Market Square date back to the 13th century, and until the end of the 18th century and the gradual expansion of the city into a modern metropolis, this remained Warsaw's heart and soul, its most important meeting point. The city thrived on the trade that went on here; fairs and city festivities were held here, as well as public executions. Famous victims of these executions include Piekarski, the madman who attempted to assassinate King Zygmunt III (the one whose monument stands atop its high column in front of the Royal Castle), and a pile of outlawed Lutheran texts.
After the last of the Dukes of Mazovia died in 1526 (or was poisoned, according to local legend) and the Warsaw area passed to the Polish Crown, a Town Hall (long since pulled down) was built here, and the market square became even more important, the centre of city administration. City leaders and wealthy families built their homes around this important city centre, creating the beautiful display of colour and form that we see today.
St. John's Cathedral (Polish: Katedra św. Jana), located in Warsaw's Old Town, is one of 3 cathedrals in the Polish capital. St. John's stands immediately adjacent to Warsaw's Jesuit church, and is one of the oldest churches in the city and the main church of the Warsaw archdiocese. St. John's Cathedral is one of Poland's national pantheons. Along with the city, the church has been listed by UNESCO as of cultural significance. /source: en.wikipedia.org/ Model made in Building Maker and SketchUp.
The Royal Route connects three former residences of Polish rulers: The Royal Castle, Łazienki Królewskie and Wilanów Palace. It is the city’s most famous route. Among the buildings lining the streets Krakowskie Przedmieście and Nowy Świat are the Presidential Palace, the Warsaw University campus, as well as beautiful churches and townhouses. The Route continues along the elegant and green Aleje Ujazdowskie, with embassies and ministries situated along the way. The historical route ends at Wilanów Palace. The Route is not to be missed in the wintertime when it is illuminated with thousands of lights as part of the Great Illumination.
Spice up your stay in the Polish city with a visit to the Wieliczka Salt Mines! Experience the underground labyrinth down up to nine levels at 210 to 1,073 feet below the surface of the Earth. Join your guide as they led you through a number of chambers and dark underground lakes, shrines, and salt monuments. Learn about the traces of mining activity from generations past that evoked preservations of sacred art, rock formations, and theme compositions that conjured up years of mining myths in recent history. Finish your trip with a revealing elevator ride back to the surface.
The vast Main Market Square is the focus of the Old Town, and is Europe's largest medieval town square (200m by 200m). Its most prominent features are the 16th-century Cloth Hall at the centre, a 15th-century Town Hall Tower and a striking bronze statue of Polish 19th-century romantic poet Adam Mickiewicz on the square's eastern side.
Learn about the history and gain a deeper understanding of the Holocaust and the Nazi concentration camps on a full-day tour of Auschwitz-Birkenau from Krakow. An English-speaking driver will pick you up from a pre-arranged meeting point in Krakow (please note that pickup is only at the meeting point) and transfer you in a comfortable vehicle. Upon arrival at the Auschwitz Museum, a local guide and educator can be provided in one of five available languages.
Visit both Auschwitz I and Auschwitz II-Birkenau to acquire a proper sense of the place that has become the symbol of the Holocaust as well as Nazi crimes against Poles, Romas, and other groups. Become more educated about the UNESCO World Heritage Site as you visit the remaining prison blocks, gas chambers, and crematoria buildings. See the remains of the railway ramp in Birkenau, where the prisoners would be transported.
You will spend between 1 hour and 20 minutes and 1 hour and 45 minutes in Auschwitz I then you will have a 10-minute break for lunch (please bring your own lunch) and then you will spend between 40 minutes and 1 hour in Auschwitz II Birkenau. The exact duration depends on the weather conditions and the size of the group. The ride between Krakow and the Museum is 1 hour and 20 minutes.
The popular skiing area at Mt Gubałówka is easily accessible from central Zakopane on this funicular railway. The railway travels 1.3km in 3½ minutes and climbs around 300m. Hop on just north of ul Krupówki. Operating hours vary considerably throughout the year, but are reliably posted online.
Stretching for 57 corrugated kilometres, the Tatra Mountains have a restful side, too: unwind in spa-and-lake getaway Štrbské Pleso, or make merry at the lesser-touristed eastern edge of the range, the Belá Tatras, where highlander folk culture is vividly expressed.
It’s hard to overstate the majesty of the Tatras, whose 300-plus peaks form the loftiest section of the Central Carpathian Mountains. Together with the Polish national park of the same name, Slovakia's Tatra National Park is a Unesco-protected biosphere reserve. The Slovak side has the lion's share of the reserve, 740 sq km of beech and spruce forests, deep-blue glacier lakes and alpine meadows spangled with wildflowers. It's a vast playground for native fauna like marmots and chamois (mountain goat-antelopes); also at play are human hikers tackling hundreds of kilometres of trails, and skiers who flock to High Tatras resorts in winter.
The Wawel Castle used to be a home and a fortress of Polish kings while Krakow was the capital of the country. It has been a pride of the nation and a symbol of the regnant.
Wawel Castle is one of the most important, the most beautiful, and the biggest Polish castles. Located on a hill, it is a complex of buildings surrounding a majestic yard.
Rebuilt and renovated many times due to fires, thefts and wars, it encompasses many different architectural styles. This incredible diversion lets us leave modern days behind and enter time machine while discovering the castle and admiring it’s striking beauty.
Today the Wawel Castle is a museum in which you can marvel at the highest class works of art – stunning paintings, beautiful scultpures, sophisticated tapestries and many more.
The castle also houses an important art conservation centre.
Among the many Krakow historic monuments and memorial sites there is a very unlikely one. Almost everyone asks about when they first see it. Unfortunately, not many people can give them the right answer. So let’s try to do so here.
It is the Ghetto Heroes Square with its 33 memorial chairs of iron and bronze. These chairs symbolize the tragedy of the Polish Jews. These inhabitants of Krakow were imprisoned in the Krakow Ghetto during the Second World War and the German occupation of Poland. And then afterwards losing their lives to the Germans on the premises of the ghetto and in several German death camps.
The square was erected around 1838 as the second market square for Podgorze, which was a separate town. After 1880 it bore the name of Maly Rynek (Little Market). In 1917 it saw another name change to Plac Zgody (Concord Square). This was because of and in memory of the incorporation of Podgorze to the city of Krakow in 1915. So the present name of the square dates from 1948. It commemorate the Polish Jews who were to lose their lives in the Krakow Ghetto between 1941 and 1943.
As can be seen the Ghetto Heroes Square is in the center of the old Krakow Ghetto. The main gate to the ghetto once stood where the present entrance to the square is, coming up from the Wisla river. In March 1941 the Germans locked up all the Krakow Jews inside the recently-built ghetto. Over 20,000 people were living within the ghetto walls, where previously only 3,000 people had lived.
The Cathedral Hill in Frombork is one of the highest class monuments. Many times destructed and reconstructed, it retained the basic elements of the Middle Age architectural conception. The exceptional importance of this place is raised by the historical traditions and the person of Nicolaus Copernicus. Many of the gathered monuments of splendid past attract people from all over the world.
Wishing to serve to all interested, the hosts of the Frombork’s hill open to the visitors numerous buildings and exhibitionThe Cathedral Basilica under the invocation of Ascension of Our Lady Mary and St. Andrew Apostel – the eldest building on the hill, built in years 1329-1388. It has a few additions, including two chapels: of St. George (known as the Polish Chapel) – built around 1500, and of the Saviour ( Szembek’s Chapel) – baroque, built in 1735.
The Varmian Cathedral is a gothic, hall-like, three-aisle structure. It is around 97 m long, its width is from 12 m in the presbytery to 22 m in the main part, and the distance from the floor to the keystone of the vault is 16,5 m.
GOjump at ul Długosza 59 in Wrocław is Poland’s largest trampoline park (3,500 sqm).
Featuring a variety of trampolines (750 sqm), the main arena is surrounded by a slam dunk zone, a sponge pool, a 40-metre massive springboard, a dodge ball court and a 1.8-metre-tall pneumatic bouncing cushion.
GOjump also boasts an acrobatics and circus zone and Lower Silesia’s largest bicycle, snowboard, roller-skate and scooter jump.
Top quality equipment (a gym floor, mirrors, ladders, acrobatics tackle, an airtrack) provides secure training conditions for both professionals and non-professionals.
1 ) International Street Art Festival
Festival Month - July
July’s International Street Art Festival is a magnificent way to experience local culture in Warsaw. It is one of the most unique celebrations in Europe, with the streets of the capital the backdrop of many displays and performances happening right before your eyes.
2 ) Crossroads Festival
Festival Month - July
The Crossroads Festival is held in the city of Krakow every year in July. The event is famous for bringing a range of music from around the world, including the unique likes of Mongolia, Israel, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East.
3 ) Warsaw International Film Festival
Festival Month - October
Thousands flock to the Warsaw Film Festival every year in October, a great way to extend the boundaries and reach movie lovers and genres across the globe. The films and showings are offered in a number of different venues, and plenty of parties are held on the weekends for visitors to the event.
4 ) Independence Day
Festival Month - November
Arguably the biggest and most important celebrations on the Polish calendar, Independence Day in November is the memorial of Poland’s emancipation from Russian occupation. Since the early 1990's, this marvelous festival has seen the major cities and towns celebrate in their own way. Warsaw is the place to be though for fireworks, performances, food and rides throughout the capital.