History tour to Kraków by air: 4 days, 3 nights

This tour to Kraków is a perfect choice to aid students’ understanding of WWII, along with visits to sites such as Wawel Cathedral and the Salt Mines, which will give your young historians a valuable window into other areas of Polish history.

Suggested itinerary

Day one
Fly from the UK to Poland
Transfer to accommodation
Jewish Quarter, Kazimierz

Day two
Auschwitz and Birkenau

Day three
Schindler’s Factory
Wawel Cathedral with the Royal Tombs and Sigismund Bell
Royal Chambers
St Mary’s Basilica

Day four
Depart accommodation
Salt Mines
Transfer to Airport
Fly back to the UK

Excursion locator map

Excursion Ideas

  • Schindler’s Factory

    Subject range: History WW1

    What you’ll experience: This is an experience not to be missed. Housed in the former factory of Oskar Schindler, this museum’s well-organised and innovative exhibits tell the moving story of the city from 1939 to 1945. Urban elements are recreated such as a tram carriage, a train station underpass and a crowded ghetto apartment. Oskar Schindler, his factory, and the fate of its Jewish workforce feature prominently being around a sixth of the museum’s permanent exhibition.
    Select says: Look out for Schindler’s exactly preserved office.

  • Wieliczka Salt Mine

    Subject range: History

    What you’ll experience: Situated some 13km south east of Kraków, salt was extracted here for 700 years. Spread over nine levels there is much to see. Visit the St Kinga Chapel which took 30 years to carve. Altars and statues are sculpted in the salt, making a fascinating pilgrimage into the past of a major industrial undertaking. It is also possible to book a miner’s tour so students can become miners for a few hours!
    Select says: After sightseeing you can take a break in the chamber complex 125 metres underground where there are also souvenir shops.

  • St Mary's Basilica

    Subject range: History

    What you’ll experience: This a Brick Gothic church adjacent to the Main Market Square in Kraków. It was re-built in the 14th century (originally built in the early 13th century). The church has an impressive interior especially the stunning Gothic Altarpiece by Veit Stoss.
    Select says: On every hour, a trumpet signal called the Hejnał mariacki is played from the top of the taller of St. Mary’s two towers. The tune breaks off in mid-stream, to commemorate the famous 13th century trumpeter, who was shot in the throat while sounding the alarm before the Mongol attack on the city.

  • Royal Chambers

    Subject range: History

    What you’ll experience: The beautiful Gothic Wawel Castle in Kraków was built by Casimir III the Great, who reigned from 1333 to 1370. The Wawel Royal Castle and the Wawel Hill are the most historically and culturally important sites in Poland. For centuries the residence of the kings of Poland, the Castle is now one of the country’s best art museums.
    Select says: There is a collection of Italian Renaissance paintings, prints, sculpture, textiles, goldsmiths’ work, arms and armour, ceramics, Meissen porcelain, and period furniture.

  • Wawel Cathedral

    Subject range:

    What you’ll experience: The first cathedral church at Wawel, probably built around the year 1000. An audio-guided tour around Wawel Cathedral and up the Sigismund Bell tower takes around 30 minutes, the Royal Tombs 10 minutes, and the Cathedral Museum around 20 minutes.
    Select says: Although admission to the cathedral is free, tickets need to be bought to visit Sigismund Bell, Royal Tombs, and the Cathedral Museum.

  • Sightseeing tour to Jewish Quarter

    Subject range: History

    What you’ll experience: This was the centre of Jewish life in Kraków for over 500 years, before it was systematically destroyed during World War II. Also known as Kazimierz, this was the area of the Jewish ghetto. Over 50,000 Jews from the city and surrounding areas were confined to 320 buildings around the Pac Zgody. A fragment of the original six foot high wall still remains. Many synagogues that were destroyed have since been replaced.
    Select says: Rediscovered in the 1990s, thanks to the fall of the regime and worldwide exposure through the lens of Steven Spielberg, this is now Krakow’s most exciting district.

  • Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial

    Subject range: History

    What you’ll experience: The camp is split over several sites, including Auschwitz-I, the original, smaller site, and Auschwitz-II Birkenau, the purpose-built death factory. Your guided tour will cover both sites and students will have headphones so that they can hear the commentary at every stage of the tour. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and State Museum is located in the Polish town of Oswiecim, just an hour’s drive from Kraków. At this site, chosen by the SS for no other reason than its convenient location at a railway junction, some 1.3 million people were systematically murdered between 1940 and 1945.
    Select says: Morris Gleitzman’s series of books Once/Then/Now/After provide wonderful insights into this time through the eyes of children – we recommend these pre-tour to aid understanding through story.

  • Obozow Jenieckich Museum - Stalag Luft 3

    Subject range: History

    The site of the former POW camp is now the ‘Stalag Luft III Prisoner Camp Museum’. Famously known as the site where ‘The Great Escape’ happened back in 1944, a fictionalised version of the escape was depicted in the film The Great Escape (1963), which was based on a book by former prisoner Paul Brickhill. The camp was liberated by Soviet forces in January 1945.

History trip to Kraków by air: 4 days, 3 nights Accommodation

Hotel Wyspianski

Our rating:

Location: Krakow

Capacity: 516

In a great location 8 minutes’ walk from the old town and main square.

Rooms: Rooms: All rooms have en-suite facilities.

Facilities: Facilities: Restaurant, free Wi-Fi, games arcade.