Perfectly preserved or painstakingly restored, Poland’s cities are evidence of the nation’s chequered past and undaunted pragmatism. From Baltic ports to Baroque streets, shops, bars, and restaurants bring a new verve to old-world buildings.
From northern Gdansk on a gulf of the Baltic Sea, to Warsaw on the central plain, and Krakow in the foothills of the southern Tatra Mountains, Poland combines its busy cities with beautiful scenery and haunting history. Milestones in time, terrain, and cultural heritage make a tour in Poland fascinating, astonishing, and affecting, often all in one day.
The jewel in the country’s crown is Kraków, the royal capital for 500 years, and the hub of Poland’s artistic and academic culture across the centuries. Now the nation’s ‘second city’, it was spared from the ravages of World War II, so its centre still stands proud, the picture-perfect, UNESCO listed Old Town is a vibrant enclave of bars and eateries, and dozens of parks complement countless historic buildings.
In the city and its surrounds, remarkably diverse landmarks tell the tale of Poland’s ancient, medieval, and more recent history, from the Royal Castle chambers, coronation cathedral, and Renaissance-era Cloth Hall, to Schindler’s Enamel Factory and the cobbled streets of the Jewish Quarter, where “Schindler’s List” was filmed.
The Wieliczka Salt Mine, 1,000 feet deep, and 1,000 years old, is now a subterranean ‘city of salt’ and a UNESCO World Heritage site, where miles of tunnels and stairways link lakes, shops, a lively tavern, and the chandelier-lit Salt Cathedral.
In a dramatically different pairing, several centuries and just a few short miles separate the haunting horrors of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp from a peaceful place of pilgrimage, beloved by Pope (now Saint) John Paul II, the serene sanctuary of Kalwaria Zebrzydowska Monastery.
Although the country has four distinct seasons, the climate, in general, is a moderate one. Winters hover a few degrees either side of freezing, and snow is not unheard of in early spring, but by May temperatures rise to 16-20°, with similarly comfortable climes in autumn; and summers, from June to August, average a warm 24°. In the shoulder months of May/June and September/October, the weather is pleasant for touring and sights are often less crowded.
An excellent choice for city sightseeing, with its rich culture on show in centuries of grand façades, royal and religious sites, and unique historic landmarks, Poland puts contemporary life in a characterful old-world setting, and Jules Verne’s arrangements leave you free to choose your own venues for lunch, dinner, and local cuisine.
On our small-group tours of singles, couples and friends, you will be travelling with people who share your interests, and enjoying the personal service which only small groups can offer.
With 45 years’ experience and a passion for creating extraordinary adventures, Jules Verne takes you to iconic landmarks and lesser-known sites, with expert tour guides who share their local knowledge, and show you hidden gems. Our journeys in Poland reveal the culture and character of the country, and offer an opportunity to get into the spirit, literally, with a tasting of different vodkas/liqueurs.
Our guided tours to Poland are ABTA and ATOL protected, and we offer a 100% price guarantee, so you can book with complete confidence.
An intriguing, astonishing, affecting introduction to Kraków and its surrounds, this short break spans its historical and cultural spectrum, from an ancient salt mine to a royal palace, medieval old town, spiritual sanctuary, Schindler’s factory, and Auschwitz Museum