Heroes that will never be forgotten and stories that changed the world, Poland was at the heart of World War II. This in-depth tour travels from the 1939 battlefields of Westerplatte to the uplifting stories of Schindler’s Factory and the Warsaw Ghetto, with Hitler’s hideout, Auschwitz, Treblinka and various other tales in between. Spread across Gdansk, Warsaw, and Krakow, it’s an uplifting 11-day story of a country reincarnated upon the sacrifice of its heroes. For more custom trip ideas, visit...
Gdansk – A City Revitalized and Reincarnated After Multiple Wars
Write a tick list of European empires and there’s a good chance Gdansk was in the thick of them all. Prussia’s Teutonic Knights, the Hanseatic League, Napoleon, a monastic military, plus ongoing battles as it sought for Polish independence. Glimpse that history and it’s unsurprising that this was the city where the first shots of World War II were fired. But all that is for later. Touch down, transfer to an Old Town hotel, and go for a welcome drink with your guide. Stop, relax, ease yourself into the Polish atmosphere and admire how such a bloody history can look so beautiful today. The guide will provide an orientation to the streets close to your hotel but there’s nothing too historical today; it’s more a chance to take a stroll and feel the Poland of today.
Gdansk – Relaxed Exploration of Historical Gdansk and its Worldly Importance
Gdansk – The Start of the War: Westerplatte, Wisloujscie, and Solidarity Movement
Masuria – Nazi High Command: Hitler’s Haunting Wolf’s Lair
Warsaw – Remembering Poland’s Jews: The Death Camp and Warsaw’s Uprising
Warsaw – Poland’s Dead Heroes: Powazki Cemetery, the Warsaw Ghetto, and Jewish Histories
Warsaw – A New Future: Exploring the Beautiful Old Town
Krakow – Discovering Krakow, Poland’s Cultural Heartbeat
Krakow – May They Never Be Forgotten: A Day at Auschwitz-Birkenau
Krakow – Uplifting Scenes of Rebellion: Schindler’s Factory and Other Krakow Monuments
Krakow – Departure
- Walk across the battlefields of Westerplatte, where the Second World War in Europe has its origins
- Explore the past and future of Gdansk, a beautiful port city that’s been at the heart of conflict for most of a millennia
- Discover Hitler’s infamous forest fortress, Wolf’s Lair in Ketrzyn
- Remember the atrocities and the names with personal tours of Treblinka and Auschwitz-Birkenau, the two largest death camps
- See how the war changed direction in Warsaw with an intimate journey through the Ghetto and the Uprising
- Honor the uplifting places and stories of rebellion, like the Solidarity Movement in Gdansk and Schindler’s Factory in Krakow
- Base yourself in beautifully restored old towns, Gdansk, Warsaw, and Krakow all with a history much older than World War II
- Spend time amid Poland’s colorful cultural heartbeat, Krakow an idyllic city to finish the vacation
- Admire another side to the country as you journey north to south, surreal phenomenon like Wieliczka and the Masurian lakes part of the journey
A World War II tour can be haunting and heartbreaking, especially when the stories are so intimate and personal. The abiding memories in Poland are incredibly uplifting. There are heroes that paved the way for 21st-century freedom, and their stories are etched into city corners. Cities were revitalized after being razed, and their streets continuing to honor an old-world past, names and the nameless, their sacrifices remembered in stirringly untouched places. On this in-depth tour, you explore both the country at the heart of World War II and the country that’s grown from the ashes. You hear the tales of the heroes. You discover how the country has been reincarnated while honoring a history that’s much older than the war. With 1939 – 1945 as a lens, you stand at the heart of the world’s history, while being immersed in millennia of culture and change.
There are gloomy, tear-evoking scenes of course. Nobody can walk around Treblinka or Auschwitz-Birkenau and not be immensely moved. The history is brutal here, unadorned and unchanged since millions lost their lives. These sites are matched by places of hope, where heroes helped save millions more from the same fate, their actions changing the course of history. Across Poland, you also encounter various scenes of fascination, like Hitler’s Wolf’s Lair headquarters, Westerplatte and Gdansk’s cathedral. The more time you spend, the more you realize that history is never clear-cut.
This handcrafted ten-night tour is based around three contrasting cities: Gdansk, Warsaw, and Krakow. You stay in the old part of each city, where medieval histories paint the walls and there’s a surprising calm to every turn. Gdansk has been sacked and rebuilt countless times, the modern incarnation magnanimous to the influence different empires and rulers imposed. Warsaw was destroyed during World War II, yet its Old Town has also remembered a proud early Polish history. The walls are relatively new, but the style is beautifully old-world. Krakow mostly survived, and continues to be Poland’s, cultural heart. It was the country’s capital for over five centuries.
You enjoy quiet evenings strolling pedestrianized streets, soaking up the atmosphere and style of what is now a very buoyant country. On each day, you explore World War II in depth, always a different focus as you travel north to south through the country. Gdansk is a natural place to start, as it is where the first battles took place when Hitler’s army invaded Poland back in September 1939. Hitler wasn’t the first to fight here; your time provides a strategic backdrop and an overview of the events that would follow. From here you travel to Hitler’s hidden high command in Ketrzyn before a quiet night along the lakeshore in Masuria.
You stop in the death camp at Treblinka en route to Warsaw, where the Uprising gives an upbeat slant on a moving morning. In the capital, you discover the heroes and histories of a city at the forefront of World War II, most poignantly narrated in the Jewish Ghetto, and the Powazki Cemetery. Take a train through Poland, and complete the vacation in the country’s beautiful city, Krakow. Auschwitz-Birkenau is one tale here, Schindler’s factory another, exemplifying how there are two sides to everything in war. Krakow is relaxed with plenty of al fresco terraces to stop and recollect what you’ve experienced. You will have an expert private guide and a boutique hotel in a sublime part of the old city.
Consider reading some of our travelers’ Poland tour reviews for more ideas to perfect your dream Poland vacation.
$2,745 per person (excluding international flights)
Your Zicasso trip is fully customizable, and this sample itinerary is a starting place for your travel plans. Actual costs are dynamic, and your selection of accommodations and activities, your season of travel, and other such variables will bring this budget guideline up or down. Throughout your planning experience with your Zicasso specialist, your itinerary is designed around your budget. You can book your trip when you are satisfied with every detail. Planning your trip with a Zicasso travel specialist is a free service.
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Your final trip cost will vary based on your selected accommodations, activities, meals, and other trip elements that you opt to include.
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