Poland & Germany by First Class rail
Prices from $1,850 per person
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With its rich and chequered history, diverse architectural heritage (Gothic spires and Communist tower blocks stand side by side) spectacular scenery and wonderful culture – Poland has much to recommend it. Explore its highlights on this marvellous 11-night vacation, which also includes stays in the German cities of Berlin and Dresden. Your vacation also includes time in Prague, the beautiful capital of the Czech Republic.
From $1,850 per person
Day 1 – London to Berlin
Start your vacation at London St Pancras International. Take the time to admire the impressive architecture of this beautifully restored station with its sweeping glass roof before you board the Eurostar service to Brussels. Sit back in your spacious Standard Premier Class seat as you reach speeds of up to 186 mph. Enjoy a light meal and drinks, served at your seat, as you emerge from the Channel Tunnel and continue towards Brussels. In the Belgian capital you change trains and continue on the Inter City Express (ICE) service to Cologne, where you join another ICE train for the final leg of the journey to Berlin. On arrival in Berlin, make your way to your hotel for tonight, the stylish Adina Berlin Mitte (4 star).
Day 2 – Free-time in Berlin and Berlin to Warsaw
Make the most of a morning to discover more of the German capital. Highlights include the Brandenburg Gate and the nearby Reichstag which is still the seat of the German government. Alexanderplatz and its TV tower are also worth a visit, as are the poignant remains of the Berlin Wall. Later you return to the station and take the train directly to Warsaw. Let the train take the strain as you continue eastwards through Germany and across the Polish border. On arrival in Warsaw, you are within easy reach of your hotel for the next three nights, the popular Polonia Palace Hotel (4 star).
Days 3 and 4 – Exploring Warsaw
Enjoy two full days to take in the many attractions of Warsaw. The best way to view Warsaw is by taking a walk through its new ‘old town’ centre. Start in the cobbled Old Town Market Square surrounded by rendered façades in ochre, olive green, sienna and pale yellow. Then stroll down Swietojanska, a street lined with antique and craft shops to St John’s Cathedral with its unusual brick-pinnacled gable. As the most important church in Poland, it has many royal, political and clerical monuments and carved choir stalls. Warsaw’s historic square in front of the Royal Castle is the focal point of the Old Town.
The Royal Route gets its name from the respective start and end point, The Royal Castle and the suburban royal residence of Wilanow. The Royal Castle itself is a reconstruction, with its gilded and marbled rooms, a symbol of Poland’s determination to claim heritage after the war. On the left in the broad, semi-pedestrianised Krakowskie Przedmiescie, is the Presidential Palace, which survived the Second World War, and the Warsaw Pact was signed here in 1955. Warsaw’s principal promenade continues along the plant-lined pavements of Nowy Swiat (New World), edged with small shops and cafès, behind handsome restrained façades. End the walk among irresistible cakes and patisserie in one of Warsaw’s many cafès.
Alternatively, find some peace and tranquillity at the Lazienki Park which includes a superb central lake, an amphitheatre, stately residences, an orangery and free Chopin concerts during summer.
Day 5 – Warsaw to Krakow
Today you make your way to the nearby Warsaw Centralna station and bid farewell to the city as you join the rail service to Krakow. Sit back and admire the views as you travel southwards through the changing scenery of Poland. On arrival at Krakow Glowny station, make your way to your hotel for the next three nights, the popular and welcoming Queen Boutique Hotel (4 star).
Days 6 and 7 – At leisure in Krakow
You have two full days to discover the charming city of Krakow and its surrounding region. You might start by taking a stroll through the Old Town which contains soaring churches, impressive museums and the vast Rynek Główny, Europe’s largest market square. The glorious ensemble of Wawel Castle and Cathedral is widely regarded as the most important collection of buildings in Poland, perched on the top of a hill, immediately south of the Old Town and is a must-see attraction.
Krakow is the base to visit the UNESCO listed Auschwitz-Birkenau German Nazi Concentration and Extermination Camp, a sobering tribute to the people that perished there during the Holocaust. The camp was originally designed for Polish political prisoners but became the most notorious camp of World War II because an estimated 1.6 million people of 27 nationalities were killed by the Nazis here.
Another option during your time in Krakow is the Wieliczka Salt Mine, the oldest operational mines in Europe and now a UNESCO World Heritage site. You can take a tour of the site with an English-speaking guide. Highlights here include the intricate carvings in the underground chambers, such as a cathedral and perhaps Krakow’s most famous son, Pope John Paul II.
Day 8 – Krakow to Prague
After breakfast, today you leave Krakow as you join the direct rail service to Prague. Watch the world go by as you travel westwards across the border into the Czech Republic. On arrival at Prague HL N station make your own way to your hotel for the next two nights, the luxurious Hotel General (5 star). Why not take a stroll this evening to discover one of Prague’s welcoming restaurants for dinner?
Day 9 – Discovering Prague
Take today to discover the attractions of the magnificent city of Prague. Why not head for the lovely Old Town with its attractive squares and narrow streets? Among the highlights of this beautiful city are the Old Town Square, Charles Bridge, Prague Castle, the Josefov Jewish Quarter and Wenceslas Square. Tonight you might like to experience some of Prague’s vibrant nightlife and famous Pilsner beer.
Day 10 – Prague to Dresden
After a relaxed start to the day, you make your way back to Prague’s main station. Here you board the Euro City service and travel into Germany bound for Dresden, a lovely city in the Saxony region situated in a valley on the River Elbe. On arrival at Dresden station make your way to the welcoming NH Dresden Altmarkt (4 star) for a two-night stay.
Day 11 – Free time in Dresden
With a full day to explore Dresden, you will want to make the most of the many and varied options available to you. You might like to start by exploring Dresden’s attractive old town or perhaps with a stroll along the River Elbe. During your time in this contrasting city take the opportunity to explore on foot and discover some of the city’s highlights, including the Baroque Zwinger Palace, the magnificent Cathedral, Theatre Square, the Royal Palace, the Frauenkirche (Church of Our Lady), Bruehl Terrace and the Old Market Square.
Day 12 – Dresden to London – homeward bound
This morning you leave Dresden as you take the high-speed ICE train to Frankfurt. Here you change trains and continue on another ICE service to Brussels. At Brussels Midi station make your way to the Eurostar terminal to board the Eurostar service back to London. Stretch out and savour the meal and drinks included in your Standard Premier service. At 186mph the landscape is a blur at times, though memories abide as you return to London St. Pancras International ahead of the final leg of your journey home.