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Best of Poland in 10 Days Tour
Starting in the colorful port city of Gdańsk, you'll escape the crowds and embrace the understated elegance of ready-for-prime-time Poland for 10 days. With an expert Rick Steves guide at your side, you'll experience mighty Malbork castle, the cobbly-cute village of Toruń, Poland's contemporary capital of Warsaw, the spiritual Jasna Góra Monastery, and charming Kraków — Poland's finest city. In this land of surprises — so trendy and hip, yet steeped in history — there's so much to discover. Join us for the Best of Poland in 10 Days!
Dates & Prices
Sorry, we're unable to access departure availability at this time. This information will be available at the end of the summer. Please try again later or contact us at 425-608-4217 (Monday–Thursday between 9 am and 5 pm).
- A small, friendly group of 24–28 people — half the size of most tour groups
- The services of a professional Rick Steves guide and local experts who will make the fascinating history, art, and culture of Poland come alive for you
- All tours and admissions — at no extra cost — covering at least 19 group sightseeing events • Historic Gdańsk walking tour • Gdańsk Shipyard • European Solidarity Center • Malbork Castle • Toruń Gingerbread Museum • Polish open-air museum • Warsaw's Palace of Culture and Science • Historic Warsaw walking tour • Vodka tasting • Warsaw Ghetto walk • Museum of the History of Polish Jews • Chopin music concert • Jasna Góra monastery • Historic Kraków walking tour • Wawel Castle and Cathedral • St. Mary's Church • Pierogi-making class • Kazimierz walking tour • Schindler's Factory museum…and more
- All group transportation from Gdańsk to Kraków
- 9 nights' accommodations in memorable, centrally located hotels
- All breakfasts and half your dinners
- All tips for guides and driver
- A tour kit including a guidebook (or books) and a moneybelt
- Guaranteed tour price, locked in the moment you make your deposit
- Tour alum discount of $50 for each tour you've taken prior to 2021
- 50% discount on a consulting appointment with our in-house experts to assist with your pre- or post-tour travel plans
- Flexibility should you need to transfer or cancel your tour
Group sightseeing events subject to change.
Daily Activity Key
- Light = 2–4 miles of mostly level walking throughout the day.
- Moderate = 2–6 miles walking throughout the day with some hills and stairs.
- Strenuous = 2–8 miles of walking throughout the day with lots of hills, stairs, and uneven terrain.
Day 1: Welcome to Poland
We'll meet at our hotel in delightful Gdańsk at 5 p.m. for a preview of our upcoming adventure. Then we'll take an orientation walk through our neighborhood and get acquainted over a "Welcome to Poland" dinner together. Sleep in Gdańsk (2 nights). No bus. Walking: light.
Day 2: Gdańsk's Golden Age and Solidarity
This morning we'll take a walking tour of the beautiful city once called "Danzig" — Poland's historic main port and gateway to the Baltic, and still slathered in handsome Hanseatic architecture. We'll finish at the Gdańsk Shipyard, where Lech Wałęsa's Solidarity movement took hold in 1980, challenging the communist regime for the first time — a stirring story that we'll hear inside the European Solidarity Center. Your afternoon is free to wander more of Gdańsk's charming back streets, dip into its many museums, or side-trip to the sandy beaches of Sopot. No bus. Walking: moderate.
Day 3: Red Brick and Gingerbread
Today we'll drive through Pomerania to tour the Teutonic Knights' Malbork Castle, one of Poland's Gothic jewels and the largest brick castle on Earth. After lunch, we'll continue to Toruń, a town so cobbly-cute you'll think you've stepped into a storybook — right down to the heavenly scent of its gingerbread bakeries. This afternoon we'll roll up our sleeves at the Toruń Gingerbread Museum to experience this sweet souvenir up close. The evening is yours to wander the traffic-free old town and soak in the atmosphere that was, for a time, the center of Copernicus' universe. Sleep in Toruń (1 night). Bus: 3 hours. Walking: moderate.
Day 4: Poland's Countryside and Capital
This morning we'll drive through the Polish countryside and stop at an open-air folk museum to learn about traditional life in rural Poland. After lunch, we'll leave the farm fields behind and head for the heart of contemporary Poland: Warsaw. On a walk around our neighborhood, we'll begin to explore Poland's sprawling capital, including the towering, communist-style Palace of Culture and Science (a "gift" from the USSR that Poland couldn't refuse). We'll end our evening with a traditional Polish dinner together, followed by a concert featuring the music of Warsaw native Chopin, whose melodies stoke national pride in Poles of all ages. Sleep in Warsaw (3 nights). Bus: 3 hours. Walking: moderate.
Day 5: Historic and Contemporary Warsaw
Today we'll start with a walking tour through Warsaw's historic center and revisit the city's prewar grandeur and its risen-from-the-ashes postwar reconstruction. Together with our local guide, we'll explore grand boulevards, communist relics, and bustling squares, tracing the ebb and flow of a city that remembers a tragic past while looking ahead to an optimistic future. The rest of the afternoon and evening are yours to explore more of modern-day Warsaw, from its top-notch museums (art, science, history, Chopin) to its trendy food and nightlife scene. No bus. Walking: light.
Day 6: Polish Pride and Jewish Culture
This morning is dedicated to the resilient spirit of a city that was, by the end of World War II, destroyed to its foundations. Our local guide will start with a sobering look at Warsaw's Ghetto Uprising, a valiant Jewish resistance against the Nazis. Then we'll tour the world-class Museum of the History of Polish Jews, spanning the complex and fascinating Jewish experience from the Middle Ages through today. We'll set you free for the rest of the day to stroll through idyllic Łazienki Park, sprinkled with elegant gardens, royal palaces, and proud peacocks. No bus. Walking: moderate.
Day 7: Pilgrims' Path to Kraków
We'll leave Warsaw behind this morning and trace the path of pilgrims to Jasna Góra monastery in Częstochowa — home to the revered icon of the Black Madonna, the most important symbol of Polish Catholicism. Then we'll set our sights on colorful, charming Kraków ― Poland's finest city — where we'll get our first look at the majestic main square (one of Europe's best) and enjoy dinner together. Sleep in Kraków (3 nights). Bus: 5 hours. Walking: moderate.
Day 8: Historic Kraków
This morning we'll meet a local guide and wind our way through the story of Kraków, from its prestigious university to the landmark St. Mary's Church. We'll follow traffic-free streets to Wawel Hill, home of Poland's historic royal residence and national cathedral. Along the way, we'll learn about the life and legacy of St. John Paul II, who began his career as a Kraków parish priest. After a break for lunch, we'll meet some locals for a trip to the farmer's market to gather ingredients for making pierogi. We'll put your cooking skills to the test, then sit down to enjoy our homemade Polish dumplings. Your evening is free to discover more of Kraków on your own. No bus. Walking: moderate.
Day 9: Schindler's Factory and Contemporary Kazimierz
Today we'll explore Kraków's once-thriving Jewish quarter, Kazimierz, and learn how, for hundreds of years, Poland was the center of Jewish culture for all of Europe. Across the river in Podgórze, we'll visit the museum that best captures Poland's shattering WWII experience: Oskar Schindler's factory. The afternoon is yours to enjoy the modern side of Kazimierz — with its food trucks, artsy boutiques, and student vitality — or to catch up on any sightseeing you missed in Kraków. Tonight, we'll share travel memories and toast to new friends over our farewell dinner together. No bus. Walking: moderate.
Day 10: Tour Over After Breakfast
Breakfast is provided, but there are no group activities today. John Paul II Kraków-Balice airport and Kraków Główny ("main") train station can connect you to practically anywhere in Europe or to your return home. Whatever your plans, your guide will help you get on the right track. Na zdrowie!
This tour does not include Auschwitz-Birkenau. If you want to visit the memorial site and museum, we recommend extending your trip one night and booking a day trip in advance with one of the companies recommended in the Rick Steves guidebook.
Itinerary specifics subject to change.
Our tours are physically active! It's an essential part of the Rick Steves tour experience. On our Best of Poland in 10 Days tour — among other things — you'll need to happily…
- Carry/roll your luggage over uneven pavement (possibly several blocks) and up stairways to reach your hotel, then up several flights of stairs to reach your room.
- Be on your feet, walking and standing, for up to four hours, indoors and outdoors, in all weather conditions.
- Sleep with street noise and no (or weak) air conditioning.
- After orientation and transportation lessons, be able to navigate towns and cities on your own.
When To Go & Weather
Any time between April and October is a good time to visit Poland. However, the months of April, May, September, and October are best for combining the convenience of peak season with mild weather. In general, Poland has lighter crowds than other parts of Europe even during summer months.
Poland / Kraków
Hotels & Flights
In case you wish to book pre- or post-tour hotel accommodations, the contact information for the tour's first and last hotels is included in your tour confirmation email, as well as in the Itinerary section of your tour account. One month prior to the tour departure, you'll find the directions to your first tour hotel and a complete list of hotels where we'll be staying in the Documents section of your tour account.
Our tours don't include airfare, so your flight arrangements are completely up to you. Most tour members arrange to fly into Gdańsk (GDN) and out of Kraków (KRK) — choose "multicity" on flight-booking websites. Booking round-trip to one city will require a connecting flight, train trip, or additional overnight stay in Europe. We suggest arriving a day or two before your tour begins to allow ample time to get over jet lag and be well-rested for the first few days of your tour. For more information about transportation options for getting to and from your tour, see your Rick Steves Kraków, Warsaw & Gdańsk guidebook.