Central & East Europe

Essential Poland

Photo credit: Filip Kwiatkowski / Stołeczne Biuro Turystyki / Warsaw Tourist Office

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Flexible Private Trip — Book Your Dates for You & Yours

Warsaw and Krakow: Two of Poland’s Finest Cities


Modern Poland is one of Europe’s most exciting countries, brimming with lively urban centers, beautiful countryside, saw-toothed mountains, cultural treasures, and deep beliefs. Survey Poland’s capital, animated Warsaw, and the former royal city of Krakow, with its medieval town square and underground pubs. On this focused tour, visit four Polish UNESCO sites in six days – Warsaw’s Old Town, Krakow’s Historic Center, the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp, and the Wieliczka Salt Mine.

Travels to: Poland


Essential Poland Map 2020.


  • Days 1-2: Warsaw (Poland)

    In the capital, take a walking tour of the reconstructed Old Town, passing the powerful Royal Castle, home of Poland’s kings from the 16th century up to the country’s partition. Visit elegant Lazienki Royal Gardens and, in the summertime, enjoy an outdoor concert of Chopin’s music.


    • Poland’s capital, Warsaw, with its UNESCO-listed Old Town and Market Square, rebuilt from the ground up after WWII
    • Lazienki Park along the banks of the Vistula River, landscaped in 1764 as part of the king’s residence
  • Days 3-6: Krakow

    Board a day train to Krakow, Poland’s royal capital from the 11th to the 16th century. Wander the largest remaining medieval town square in Europe, Rynek Glowny, the Main Market Square, laid out in 1257. Explore Wawel Castle, the seat of Polish kings for hundreds of years. Pay your respects at Auschwitz-Birkenau, the concentration camp where over 1.1 million people, primarily Jews, were systematically murdered by the Third Reich. In the Wieliczka Salt Mine, admire the Chapel of the Blessed Kinga, where everything, including statuary and chandeliers, is carved from salt.


    • UNESCO-listed Krakow, Poland’s royal capital from the 11th to the 17th century
    • Wieliczka Salt Mine, a UNESCO Site with beautiful chambers and chapels carved out of salt
    • Pay a visit of remembrance to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Auschwitz-Birkenau, a ghastly reminder of the atrocities committed during WWII

Dates & Prices

Please note:

  • Private trip prices vary by season and are subject to hotel availability for your travel dates.
  • Listed prices below are based on double occupancy and a 2-traveler minimum.
  • Hotel upgrades, additional nights, and solo traveler prices are available on request.

Land tour price, per person, starting from:

  • 2024 Dates
    Available: January - December
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What's Included

  • Tour Includes
    • Accommodations per the itinerary. All room types, even in upgraded properties, are standard entry-level doubles or twins; please call for room category upgrade pricing and information.
    • Meals, as noted in the itinerary: breakfast daily. Lunches and other dinners are left open to allow independent exploration.
    • One arrival and one departure airport transfer. (Additional arrival and departure transfers available at additional cost.) MIR will arrange for travelers to be met upon arrival and seen off on departure, whether we make your air arrangements or not.
    • Ground transportation throughout itinerary by private vehicle (size of vehicle depends on number of travelers in your group).
    • Evening cultural performances per the itinerary.
    • Guided sightseeing tours and entrance fees as outlined in itinerary.
    • Services of experienced, English-speaking local guides, drivers, and other staff.
    • Complete pre-departure electronic document that includes detailed packing suggestions, reading list links, country-specific information, maps, travel tips and more.
    • Assistance booking your custom flight arrangements (on request; please note that international airfare is not included in the land tour cost).
    • Electronic final update bulletin, with any late news, updates and important information.
  • Not Included
    • International airfare or taxes/fuel surcharges.
    • Meals not specified as included in the itinerary.
    • Single supplement charge, if requested or required.
    • Baggage handling.
    • Items of a personal nature (phone calls, email, laundry, alcohol, excess baggage, etc).
    • Gratuities to local guides and drivers.
    • Visa/passport fees, airport departure fees.
    • Expenses incurred as a result of delay, modification, or extension of a tour due to causes beyond MIR’s control.
    • Travel and trip cancellation insurance.

Activity Level

Level 2: Moderate, but Customizable

This ‘Essential’ itinerary in modern and cosmopolitan Poland, which is designed for private travel, features long days walking and standing, and some possibly long days in the touring vehicle. Only those fit to travel and who accept the local conditions should consider joining this program.

There is a significant amount of touring on foot, and those travelers planning to take the program as written should be able to walk one to two miles a day comfortably. Footing can be an issue and travelers should be able to negotiate cobblestones, uneven surfaces (possibly steep and/or wet), and deal with situations without handrails or ramps. Please note: Wieliczka Salt Mine is accessed by a 10-story descent by stairs only. (Elevator access for the descent may be possible at additional cost, but cannot be guaranteed due to the logistics in the mine.) Expect crowded conditions and a long climb down. The elevator is used for the ascent at the end of the tour. Touring at Auschwitz/Birkenau and at Wieliczka Salt Mine is done with a mixed public group of other travelers, with expert site guide and personal ear piece, rather than as a private excursion.

Some attractions are only accessible via steep staircases. Museums rarely have elevators and hotels may not have elevators as well.

Past travelers have also encountered challenges with plumbing, bureaucratic service, variety of locally available foods, and availability and quality of public restrooms.

Accommodations in the basic program are generally three- to four-star hotels, some quite small with basic amenities and services. Upgrades may be available, please call for details.


Traveler Reviews

  • "Both guides were the highlight of the trip. That one of them lived during the Nazi occupation was extraordinary. They made the cities, art history and culture come alive. Their enthusiasm and pride in their country was inspiring. We loved them both."

    L. Thatcher

    Alexandria, VA

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