The Ohio State University Alumni Association

Poland - Kraków

July 19 – July 27, 2019

Details

Explore beautiful Kraków, an off-the-beaten-path treasure, on a 7-night program. Discover its history, architecture, cuisine, culture & more!

Beautiful Kraków is a delight to explore. Discover its merchant past in Rynek Gówny, Europe’s largest market plaza, and the 16th-century Cloth Hall, where traders once hawked spices, textiles and goods from around the world. See St. Mary’s Basilica and its exquisite wooden altar, and listen to the song played by a lone trumpeter from its highest tower. Visit Kraków’s historic Jewish Quarter and Oskar Schindler’s factory. If you choose, learn more about Poland’s tragic wartime history at Auschwitz; as an alternative, join an excursion to a nearby model post-war communist community. Just outside the city, descend into the amazing Wieliczka Salt Mine. Take a walk in Ojcow National Park to see the unusual limestone rock formations and visit the 14th-century Pieskowa Skala Castle. Take a scenic train ride to Warsaw to explore the capital city.

Tour highlights and included features

  • Seven nights in Kraków, Poland, at the deluxe Hotel Unicus Palace.
  • Seven breakfasts, three lunches and four dinners, including Welcome and Farewell Dinners; tea or coffee with all meals, plus wine with dinner.
  • Sample authentic regional specialties during meals at local restaurants.
  • Discovery excursions highlight the local culture, heritage and history.
  • Expert-led Enrichment programs enhance your insight into the region.
  • Free time to pursue your own interests.
  • Clearly hear your English-speaking guide with your VOX headset.
  • Tipping of guides and drivers.
  • Complimentary travel mementos.

Dates July 19 – July 27, 2019

Cost $3,095* (Airfare is not included. All prices are per person, based on double occupancy, and early booking deadlines. Dates, itineraries, and prices are subject to change.)

Type Land

Region Europe

Activity level

Host

Operator

Contact Addie Natalie
natalie.6@osu.edu
614-292-2372
800-852-TOUR (8687), ext. 3

Map

Experiences

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Itinerary

Appropriate in-flight meal service

AHI FlexAir passengers depart for Kraków, Poland.

Appropriate in-flight meal service and dinner

Arrive at John Paul II International Kraków-Balice Airport. Proceed through immigration to the baggage claim area and retrieve your luggage. After completing customs, AHI FlexAir passengers traveling on flights that qualify for the group arrival transfer and Land Program passengers who have purchased seats on the group transfer should exit the baggage claim area and proceed to the designated meeting spot, where an AHI Travel representative will meet them. The meeting location will be provided with your final documents.

Transfer to Hotel Unicus Palace. Please note, if you arrive before check-in time, your room may not be immediately available.

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Breakfast and lunch

A full American-style buffet breakfast will be served each day in the hotel.

Enrichment: Historical Heritage of Kraków. This delightful city was the royal capital of Poland for more than five centuries and the only major Polish city to escape the destruction of Hitler’s armies. Join a local expert and hear stories of its turbulent past and present-day role as a living museum of historic architecture.

Discovery: Highlights of Kraków. Climb Wawel Hill to view the Renaissance castle’s arcaded courtyards, and step inside Wawel Cathedral to view royal sarcophagi in the soft glow of stained glass windows. Cross Market Square’s cobblestones and listen for the hourly bugle call that rings over rooftops from the nearby church’s northern tower. Evoke medieval times while browsing the 13th-century wooden shopping stalls of Cloth Hall, and trace the steps of Copernicus with a visit to Collegium Maius, the oldest building of Jagiellonian University.

Discovery: Savor Kraków’s specialties during lunch in Old Town.

Following lunch, see the 14th-century St. Mary’s Basilica which houses an exquisite 42-foot-tall altarpiece carved by Veit Stoss.

Free Time: Your afternoon and evening are at leisure. Perhaps visit the Kraków National Museum, settle in a café for an afternoon of coffee and people watching, or stroll through Planty Park.

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Breakfast and dinner

Discovery: Wieliczka Salt Mines. Discover the secrets of the Wieliczka Salt Mines, a unique UNESCO World Heritage site. Descend into its vast labyrinth of tunnels where incredible statues, monuments and altarpieces have been sculpted from salt blocks by 13th-century miners and contemporary artists. The sparkle from salt-hewn chandeliers illuminates the mine’s crown jewel, The Chapel of St. Kinga. The daughter of King Bela IV of Hungary, Kinga is a patron saint of salt miners, and her chapel took nearly 67 years to carve between 1896 and 1964.

Discovery: Flavors of Poland. Enjoy a traditional Polish dinner and folkloric performance.

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Breakfast and lunch

Discovery: Ojcow National Park. Descend into a valley of breathtaking beauty at Ojcow National Park. Poland’s smallest but loveliest park spans woodland, gorges and lush meadows peppered with castle ruins and quaint villages. See the park’s Tolkien-esque limestone formations including the 80-foot-tall wonder of nature known as Hercules’ Club. At the park’s northern end, visit 14th-century Pieskowa Skala Castle, a masterpiece of Renaissance architecture.

Relax over lunch and conversation in the castle’s restaurant.

Enrichment: Poles — Citizens of the World. With a local lecturer, discover the cultural contributions of Poland’s most famous residents and their impact on the world beyond their home country’s borders.

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Breakfast and lunch

Personalize Your Journey | Choose one of the following excursions:

  • Auschwitz and Birkenau. Although Nazis tried concealing their worst atrocities at Poland’s first concentration camp, evidence remains among the site’s more than 40 red brick buildings. View footage of Poland during World War II, then pass through the gateway inscribed with the famous words, “Work Makes Freedom.” Witness powerful exhibits and inmates’ stark living quarters. Continue to Birkenau, known as Auschwitz II. The site spans four hundred acres and once held one hundred thousand prisoners.
  • Nowa Huta. This section of Poland, outside of Kraków city, was designed as the ideal Communist community. Created by the Soviet Union after World War II as an attempt to reshape Polish society, this district was once a center of revolution and resistance. Explore the area, built in the 1950s from concrete-block buildings. Learn more about this communist period during a visit to the Museum of Poland under Communist Regime.

Enjoy lunch at a local venue during your excursion.

Breakfast and dinner

Discovery: Wonders of Warsaw. Journey by train to the capital city of Warsaw. More than 80 percent of the city was destroyed during World War II, but like a phoenix rising from the ashes, the city meticulously resurrected its beautiful Renaissance, baroque and neo-classical buildings. Travel along Old Town’s Royal Route and admire the elegant façade of St. Anne’s Church. In Lazienki Park, witness the bronze Chopin statue recast from its original mold. See the moving Warsaw Ghetto Monument. Built from granite intended for a Nazi victory tower, it commemorates the Warsaw Uprising of 1944. Pass by two-time Nobel Laureate Madame Curie’s reconstructed former home, and the splendid Royal Castle, rebuilt from the original castle remains.

Free Time: Enjoy time to choose a local restaurant for lunch.

Discovery: Warsaw Uprising. Visit the Warsaw Uprising Museum. Opened in 2004, the 60th Anniversary of the Warsaw Uprising of 1944, the museum commemorates the brave freedom fighters that challenged the Nazi’s occupation of their beloved city. Learn about how the intended three-day rebellion turned into an intense, deathly battle as the Home Army fought to claim back Warsaw. Witness their resilient spirit through an inspirational and emotional series of exhibitions, photographs and interactive presentations.


Return to Kraków by train, and enjoy dinner with your group this evening.

View on map

Breakfast and dinner

Discovery: Kraków’s Jewish Quarter. The storied Jewish Quarter of Kazimierz features many scenes from Spielberg’s Schindler’s List. Visit Wolnica Square, and explore the historic Jewish neighborhood, which flaunts the Old Synagogue and meat market. This now artsy neighborhood is characterized by lovely, small streets and trendy cafes. In the district of Zabłocie, visit Oskar Schindler’s factory, now turned into a museum that chronicles life in Kraków before and around WWII.

Free Time: Your final afternoon in Kraków is at leisure. You may wish to shop for treasures in the Cloth Hall or at the boutiques in Old Town. Taste fresh pierogi, delicious Polish dumplings, or discover bigos, a Polish stew. For an afternoon treat, grab an obwarzanek, a giant pretzel-like bread sold on many street corners.

This evening, gather with fellow travelers for a Farewell Reception and Dinner at a local restaurant.

Breakfast and appropriate in-flight meal service

After breakfast, AHI FlexAir passengers traveling on flights that qualify for a group transfer and Land Program passengers who have purchased seats on the group transfer depart for John Paul II International Kraków-Balice Airport for your return flights home. Your Travel Director will provide the details.

*Itinerary subject to change due to local conditions.

Contact

Contact Laura DeRose at Ohio State Alumni Tours:
Phone: 614-292-2372 or 800-852-TOUR (8687), ext. 2
Email: derose.25@osu.edu

Space is limited. Book your tour now!