Full buffet breakfast daily; 7 three-course dinners, including dinners at a local restaurant in Warsaw, Dresden and Nuremberg
Inside visits and special features are shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description.
ARRIVE IN WARSAW, POLAND. Welcome to Warsaw! At 6 pm, meet your Tour Director and traveling companions, and leave the hotel for a welcome dinner at one of Warsaw’s excellent restaurants.
WARSAW. Your Local Guide will tell you about the tormented, often tragic history of this important gateway city between East and West. See the medieval Stare Miasto (Old Quarter) with its market square and 14th-century CATHEDRAL OF ST. JOHN, the “wedding cake” Palace of Culture and Science, neoclassical Lazienki Palace, and the remnants of the Jewish ghetto. Later, maybe join an optional excursion.
WARSAW–AUSCHWITZ/BIRKENAU–KRAKOW. Visit Auschwitz and Birkenau, and see what is left of the notorious World War II CONCENTRATION CAMPS, chilling reminders of the Holocaust. Then, continue to Krakow, for centuries the residence of Polish kings.
KRAKOW. This morning, consider an optional excursion to the Wieliczka salt mines. Back in Krakow, [LF] follow your Local Guide for a stroll through Kazimierz, the old Jewish quarter, then visit the REMUH SYNAGOGUE and ST. MARY’S CHURCH, with its wooden altarpiece. In the afternoon, visit the OSKAR SCHINDLER FACTORY, made famous in the movie Schindler’s List. Perhaps join tonight’s optional Polish dinner and folklore show.
KRAKOW–WROCLAW. Guided sightseeing in ancient Krakow features the 14th-century Jagiellonian University, and a walking tour to the Market Square. Next is Wroclaw, historical capital of Silesia. Through the ages, this impressive city belonged to Bohemia, Austria, Prussia, Germany, and (after 1945) to Poland. Hear about its turbulent history during your guided tour, and admire its highlights, such as the cathedral and the MARKET SQUARE with its fine patrician houses.
WROCLAW–DRESDEN, GERMANY. Cross the border and arrive in Dresden, former capital of Saxony. Badly damaged by Allied bombing in February 1945, the city has since been restored to its baroque splendor. During your guided walking tour, visit the Zwinger Palace COURTYARD to admire its impressive architecture; the magnificent baroque Semper Opera, originally built in 1841, once destroyed by fire, then destroyed by bombing, and finally restored in 1985; and the newly rebuilt Frauenkirche. Afterwards, [LF] a great dinner with local specialties awaits in Dresden’s well-known Am Pulverturm restaurant.
DRESDEN–TORGAU–BERLIN. Hear about Joe Polowsky on your way to Torgau then, see the monument commemorating the meeting of US and Soviet forces during World War II. Visit the COURTYARD at magnificent Hartenfels Castle. Continue to Berlin, capital of reunited Germany. Sightseeing with a Local Guide in the once divided metropolis includes the boulevard Unter den Linden with its historical buildings like the Berlin Cathedral and State Opera House, the Museum Island, a picture stop at monumental Brandenburg Gate, the restored Reichstag, the 210-foot Victory Column in the vast Tiergarten Park, Charlottenburg Palace, and the elegant Ku-Damm. Visit the KAISER WILHELM MEMORIAL CHURCH with its bomb-damaged bell-tower, have a picture stop at the Holocaust Memorial, and pass the former Allied Checkpoint Charlie.
AT LEISURE IN BERLIN. A full day at leisure offers the opportunity to join an optional excursion to Potsdam.
BERLIN–WEIMAR. EXCURSION TO BUCHENWALD. Weimar has always been an important city for Germany in many ways, politically and culturally. During your walking tour see the theater where the Weimar Constitution that governed Germany between the two World Wars was drafted. It was also the city where great poets like Goethe and Schiller lived and the birthplace of Weimar Classicism, a humanistic cultural movement. In the afternoon, a visit has been included to Buchenwald at the site of the former CONCENTRATION CAMP. Return to Weimar.
WEIMAR–NUREMBERG. Arrive in Nuremberg and [LF] visit the MEMORIUM NUREMBERG TRIALS and COURTROOM 600 (if available), followed by visits to the impressive DOCUMENTATION CENTER and ZEPPELIN FIELD. In the afternoon, walk through the pedestrian area of the charming Old Town, known for children’s toys and gingerbread. Admire the impressive medieval ramparts; St. Sebald Church, painstakingly reconstructed as a monument to peace from the rubble of near-total wartime destruction; and the Schöner Brunnen, a 14th-century fountain dedicated to the Holy Roman Empire. It is said that it brings good luck to spin the two brass rings. Tonight, during [LF] dinner taste the traditional Nürnberger Bratwürste at Bratwurst Röslein restaurant.
NUREMBERG–DACHAU–MUNICH. Visit the site of the former Dachau CONCENTRATION CAMP, which started out as a work camp for German dissidents. Then, continue to Munich, Bavaria’s capital, and explore MARIENPLATZ with the Old and New Town Halls, and the gothic Frauenkirche.
MUNICH. Today is your chance to join an optional excursion to spectacular Berchtesgaden and Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest. This evening, look forward to a farewell dinner to say auf Wiedersehen to your travel companions and to share your feelings about this intriguing and emotional encounter with World War II historic sites.
MUNICH. Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning.