Poland: Suggested Itinerary

A country with new world cuisine, a bustling nightlife and a haunting past

Days 1-3: Fly into the capital, Warsaw and settle down for your eastern European adventure. As the capital and largest city in Poland, Warsaw is a must-see. Despite being badly damaged during World War II, it is still a pretty city, with a beautifully reconstructed Old Town. The Warsaw Historical Museum in the Old Town is a particularly good museum and shows how Warsaw recovered from the devastation of war. There’s also an intriguing amount of Stalinist-style architecture, including the Palace of Culture and Science which is the tallest building in the country. The Jewish Cemetery and other landmarks of Jewish heritage are yet another interesting side to Warsaw.

Days 4-5: Poland’s jewel is the city of Krakow in the south. A well-kept town with an enormous Old Town Square, Krakow is also home to Wawel Hill where the Wawel Castle and Wawel Cathedral are popular attractions. There’s also the Wieliczka Salt Mine to visit, which includes a vast underground collection of rooms all carved out of salt. Spend your final day here to the Auschwitz and Birkenau concentration camp sites which, while far from a fun day out, do make for a very worthwhile experience.

Days 6-7: Not much further south from Krakow is the small resort town of Zakopane. It’s one of the main bases for hiking or skiing in the Tatra Mountains, on the border with Slovakia, and it’s a nice place to take a break from being in larger cities. You can take a funicular rail up Mt Gubalowka and following various hiking trails, enjoying some fresh air.

Day 8: You might want to spend another day in Warsaw, recapping the sights and you can also fly back home from here.