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History in Krakow

3, 4 & 5 Day Study Experience Tours from £249 per student
Departing: 2018 & 2019
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Krakow is a bustling, vibrant city, with a rich history and well preserved medieval architecture. It also had an established Jewish community until the Nazis arrived in 1939 when it became the capital of Germany's General Government and played a significant part in wartime history.

The city of Kraków lies on the banks of the Vistula River. Its Old Town, along with Wawel Castle and the city’s Kazimierz district were placed on the First World Heritage List, created by UNESCO in 1978. The centrepiece of the Old Town, or Stare Miasto, is Kraków’s Main Market Square, or Rynek Glowny, and its centre is dominated by the Cloth Hall, or Sukiennice, home to the Gallery of the National Museum, the new Underground Museum and numerous arts and crafts market stalls. If you are travelling in December you can visit the wooden stalls of the Christmas Market that surrounds the vast Sukiennice (Cloth Hall). At 40,000 square metres in size, the square is the largest plaza of medieval Europe and one of the world’s finest. The square is lined by grand old houses and is also home to Kraków’s oldest church, St Adalbert and the 15th Century town hall tower, as well as the towering twin spires of the gothic St Mary’s Basilica. Directly to the south of Kraków Old Town is Wawel Hill, where the Royal Castle and Kraków Cathedral are to be found.

Approximately 1½ hours away from the centre of Kraków, Auschwitz was the location of the three largest German Nazi concentration camps and extermination centres. Over 1.1 million men, women and children lost their lives here between 1941 and 1945. Kraków and Auschwitz have since become enduring and deeply moving testaments to the brutality and inhumanity of war.

What the price includes

  • Return flights to Kraków
  • Return airport to accommodation coach transfers
  • 2, 3 or 4 nights’ accommodation
  • Continental breakfast daily
  • Meet & Greet Tour Manager service in Kraków
  • Individually tailored itinerary
  • Educational Visits and Attractions Guide
  • 1 Free Staff place for every 10 students
  • All Government Taxes, City Taxes, Service Charges & VAT
  • 24 hour emergency cover and support

Remembrance Travel for Schools & Young People

A History tour to Kraków can also be booked through our sister brand Remembrance Travel. Accompanied throughout by a Royal British Legion Tour Guide, these dedicated military historians are highly experienced and knowledgeable, and will help bring your tour to life. In addition to your specialist guide, the following is also included at a supplement:-

  • Full Days Coach Excursion (with a packed lunch) to include a guided tour of the Auschwitz & Birkenau Concentration Camps and a visit to the Rakowicki Commonwealth War Grave Cemetery
  • Entrance to Oskar Schindler’s Factory & visit to the Nazi-era Jewish Ghetto (on a walking tour with your guide)
  • Act of Remembrance with a Royal British Legion Wreath & Remembrance Tokens

For more information and a quote call 020 8335 9768 or email team@remembrancetravelschools.org.uk

Tour Highlights

Study Experiences can arrange a wide variety of educational visits and attractions that can be included in an itinerary to support a History tour. Below are just a sample. Click here to see full details of all the options available in our Kraków guide.

Walking Tour of Kraków

An ideal introduction to Poland’s ancient capital, this guided tour includes a visit to Royal Wawel Castle, proudly perched on a rock above the Vistula River with its remarkable Flemish tapestries and cathedral which served as a pantheon. Continuing on to the lower part of the city you’ll arrive in the market square with its elegant buildings and the famous Cloth Hall.

Schindler's Trail - Walking Tour

During this tour you’ll explore the district of Kazimierz, Kraków’s arty neighbourhood characterised by lovely small streets and trendy cafés. Before World War II, Jewish culture flourished in this neighbourhood for centuries. This is however an area comprised of buildings that witnessed Kraków’s Holocaust. Visits include Wolnica Square, the former Jewish district with its synagogues, and the old meat market. Steven Spielberg filmed scenes from his Oscar award winning-movie “Schindler’s List” here.

Continuing on to the district of Podgórze you’ll see remnants of the Nazi-era Jewish Ghetto that survived, the location of Pankiewicz’s pharmacy and the tour finishes at Oscar Schindler’s factory/museum.

Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camps

This authentic Memorial consists of the former camps and the post-camp relics, protected by the State Museum which was created in 1947. Your guided tour is conducted by an Auschwitz Memorial guide which ensures efficient movement around the entire Museum grounds and full information about the museum, the buildings and their history, and the exhibitions.

Your guided tour is conducted by an Auschwitz Memorial Guide which ensures efficient movement around the entire museum grounds and full information about the museum, the buildings and their history, and the exhibitions. The tour lasts approximately 3 hours with a maximum of 30 in each group.

Oskar Schindler’s Factory/Museum

This museum located on the right-bank of Vistula River focuses on life in Kraków pre and post invasion and is located in the former administrative building of Oskar Schindler’s Enamel Factory at 4 Lipowa Street. The permanent exhibition ‘Kraków under Nazi Occupation 1939– 1945’ is primarily a story about Kraków and its inhabitants, both Polish and Jewish, during World War II. It is also a story about Nazi Germans – the occupiers who arrived here on 6 September 1939, brutally disrupting Kraków’s centuries-long history of Polish-Jewish relations./p>

Nazi-era Jewish Ghetto

On March 21, 1941, the entire Jewish population of 68,000 men, women and children, residing in Kazimierz (Jewish District), were marched across the Silesian Uprisings Bridge and crammed into what was to become known as the Podgórze Ghetto. Liquidated on March 14, 1943, the majority of the Ghetto’s residents were murdered there, while others met death in the nearby Liban quarry and Płaszów concentration camp, or in the gas chambers of Auschwitz-Birkenau and Belzec.

Traces of the Nazi-era Jewish Ghetto still exist; in the south of the square at Lwowska Street there is a fragment of the ghetto wall with a commemorative plaque. Ghetto Heroes Square, the scene of mass deportations, is dotted with large metal chairs – one for every thousand Kraków Jews. The chairs represent possessions discarded by the deportees and remind today’s passers-by of the displacement of Jews.

Kazimierz (Jewish District)

Located south of the Old Town, Kazimierz was the centre of Jewish life in Krakow for over 500 years, before it was systematically destroyed during World War II. In the communist era it fell into disrepair and gained a reputation for being one of the city’s most hazardous districts. However following the fall of the regime in the 1990’s and worldwide exposure through Steven Spielberg’s film “Schindlers List”, it has continued to develop into a fashionable, bustling district where historical sites, numerous synagogues and Jewish cemeteries reflecting traces of Kazimierz’s Jewish history sit alongside trendy cafés and art galleries, popular among tourists and locals alike.

Galicia Jewish Museum

Located in the heart of Kazimierz, the Galicia Jewish Museum is one of Poland’s most visited Jewish museums and cultural centres. It was established to commemorate the victims of the Holocaust and to celebrate the Jewish culture of Polish Galicia, presenting Jewish history from a new perspective.

The Permanent Exhibition - The Traces of Memory: A Contemporary Look at the Jewish Past in Poland - this core photographic exhibition pieces together a picture of the relics of Jewish life and culture in Polish Galicia that can still be seen today, interpreting these traces in a manner which is informative, accessible, and thought-provoking. The exhibition is divided into five sections, corresponding to the different ways in which the subject can be approached; Jewish Life in Ruins, Jewish Culture as it Once Was, Sites of Massacre and Destruction, How the Past is Being Remembered, People Making Memory Today.

Other options for a visit to the museum:-

  • Guided Museum Tour
  • Interactive Guided Museum Tour
  • Meeting with a Holocaust and concentration camp survivor or Righteous Among the Nations award recipient
  • Educational workshops on Jewish culture and tradition or Holocaust-related topics

St Mary's Church

Situated in the north east corner of Kraków’s central main square, St Mary’s Church (Church of Our Lady of the Assumption) is considered to be the most famous of all Poland’s churches. Following the Tartar raids in the 13th century the original church was left in ruins but was then rebuilt in Gothic style on the existing foundations and consecrated in 1320. In 1365 a chancel was added followed by large and impressive stained-glass windows, three of which are still in place. By the end of the 14th century the body of the church got its current form of a basilica.

The exterior of St Mary’s Church has two towers. In the early 15th century the towers took the iconic form they have today, when the northern “Excubiarum” tower was raised to 80m high and made into a watchtower for the city. The church bells are located in the lower tower at a height of 69 metres. This is the only tower in the world from which a trumpeter has played the Heynal (bugle call) to the four quarters of the globe every hour throughout the whole day for over 600 years.

Royal Wawel Castle

The Royal Castle on Wawel Hill has been home to three dynasties of Poland’s monarchs, at the political and cultural heart of Poland through the 16th century, and is an important symbol of Poland. It sits above the city at a bend in the Vistula River, flanked by grassy banks and wide boulevards, with the cobbled paths of the medieval city at its feet. Forming part of the Wawel complex the Cathedral built in the early 11th century whose towers dominate the castle hill, was the coronation site and burial place of almost all of Poland’s monarchs and rulers.

A walk up to the complex is recommended, if only to take in the impressive architecture of the buildings and the views across the city and river.

Rynek Undeground Museum

This museum is located in the east corner of the Cloth Hall. Opened in 2010 the museum was built on the site of an archaeological excavation that took place over five years. Situated four metres below the main market square, visitors can explore the excavated medieval merchant stalls that predate today’s Cloth Hall and are taken on an interactive journey through the city’s entire history from its first settlers right up to the death of Pope John Paul II via high-tech multimedia exhibits.

Further Information

Travel Arrangements

We use the services of airlines such as Easyjet and Jet2. Please see approximate timings below for flights from London (please note that these times are purely for guidance). Flights are also available from a range of UK regional airports for a supplement.

Outbound: Depart London 0920hrs, Arrive Krakow 1245hrs
Inbound: Depart Krakow 1845hrs, Arrive London 2015hrs

Your Accommodation

Your group will stay in one of our carefully selected properties. Our range includes properties such as the Hotel Logos, the Blue Aparthotel and the Hotel Wilga.

Your Meals

Your package price includes continental breakfast each morning. For lunches and dinners you can choose to make your own arrangements, alternatively your Study Experiences Tours Specialist can pre-book packed lunches or arrange affordable, value for money meals from a selected number of restaurants in and around Kraków.

Your Study Experiences Tour Manager

A Study Experiences Tour Manager will meet your group at the airport, transfer with you to your accommodation for check-in and provide a half day's service/guidance. Additional Tour Manager services can be added to your quote depending on your group's requirements.

Group Size

The prices shown are based on a minimum group size of 20.

Your Choice of Travel Dates

As our Kraków trips are available throughout the year you are able to select travel dates that suit you and your students. Please note that certain dates may carry a supplement to the prices shown. In particular, tours during the Easter Holidays can be prohibitively expensive.

Your Educational Visits & Attractions

To ensure that you make the most of your trip to Kraków your Tours Specialist is able to arrange a wide choice of educational visits, activities and dining options. Full details of everything you might wish to see and do are available in our Kraków ‘Educational Visits and Attractions Guide’.


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