The well-preserved city of Krakow is a popular destination throughout the year, but at Christmas time the main square becomes home to an inviting festive atmosphere, that makes it all the more appealing. Join this holiday to one of the oldest cities in Poland and spend your time exploring two of the twelve sites on the first ever UNESCO World Heritage list - the beautiful Old Town, filled with arches, spires, monuments and gargoyles; and Wieliczka Salt Mines, where a stunning chapel fills one of the many chambers of glistening rock salt. One of the most important Jewish communities in the world lived in the district of Kazimierz, and on the other side of the river is Schindler’s Factory, both of which are on our list of included excursions, collated to show you the many sides to this medieval gem.
5 nights in hotel (accommodation as specified or similar)
Titan’s VIP door-to-door travel service collects you from home, for the journey to London Heathrow Airport and your direct, scheduled British Airways flight to Krakow. On arrival we transfer to the Holiday Inn Krakow City Centre (4T+) and are greeted with a welcome drink before dinner.
Day 2 Krakow
Krakow has belonged to five different countries, yet the Old Town has not changed much since the 15th and 16th centuries, when it was the capital of Europe’s largest country. It may not have such a grand title anymore, but Poland’s second city is flourishing once again and a walking tour highlights a superb medieval legacy. One of the city’s great treasures is Wawel Castle and Cathedral and we take a tour of this ancient seat of royalty. Within its fortified walls, the castle contains Poland’s crown jewels, while the cathedral, the grandiose scene of almost every coronation in Polish history, protects the remains of many kings, queens and statesmen. Your afternoon is at leisure in this city that is so lovely to explore at Christmas time, as you wander past the impressive Christmas tree and grand buildings adorned with twinkling lights. Dinner is included at the hotel this evening.
Day 3 Christmas Eve - Krakow
On a guided walking tour of Kazimierz, Krakow’s Jewish Quarter, we’ll learn the story of the Jewish communities that have chosen to live here for over 500 years. We also visit Schindler’s Factory, a museum about Krakow and its citizens during the German occupation, housed in the former enamel factory of Oskar Schindler. The afternoon is at leisure to explore more of this city, or spend the afternoon in one of the many cafés, to soak up the festive atmosphere. From the main square it is only a short walk back to the hotel, where Christmas Eve dinner will be served tonight.
Day 4 Christmas Day - Krakow
After a leisurely start to the day, join a guide for a stroll amongst the Christmas markets, and enjoy a mulled wine tasting. Old-fashioned hand-painted glass baubles, wooden sculptures, village pottery, embroidered tablecloths and heart-shaped gingerbread fill traditional stalls. We return to the hotel for a Christmas lunch, and then an afternoon at leisure. This evening dinner will be at a local restaurant, with the meal accompanied by a local band, who will treat us to some classic Polish carols.
Day 5 Boxing Day - Wieliczka
Deep underground, just a few miles outside Krakow, lie the Wieliczka Salt Mines, A guide takes us into this unusual world containing over 20 chambers of chiselled rock salt, amazing underground saline lakes, unique salt statues and the stunning Chapel of St Kinga, dedicated to Princess Kinga whose actions led to finding the salt. It was mined by hand in the 13th century and so, finally closing in 2007, illustrates the development of mining technology over time. You have the afternoon to make your final discoveries of Krakow - perhaps return to the markets for some last-minute shopping, or while away the afternoon enjoying drinks in a local bar, before our final dinner this evening.
Day 6 Krakow - London
We transfer to Krakow Airport for our direct, scheduled British Airways flight to London Heathrow Airport. On arrival you will be met and guided to your Titan vehicle, for the journey home.