Krakow

  • Krakow school trip
    Krakow is one of our most popular destinations for a history or religious studies school trip.
  • Krakow school trip
    Any Krakow school trip should undoubtedly include a visit to the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial & Museum.
  • Krakow school trip
    Schindler's Factory is another must-see on a Krakow school trip.
  • Krakow school trip
    A short distance outside Krakow, the Wieliczka Salt Mines are the oldest of their kind in Europe.
  • Krakow school trip
    The stunning interior of the Mariacki Cathedral, officially known as St Mary's Basilica.

Your experience was invaluable in making us such an interesting and full visit to Poland. Eva, our guide, was superb. She really connected with our students, who completely adored her. She was so knowledgeable about her city and kept our attention by telling us her legends about the city… And in addition, when we were talking about Schindler’s List (film) she took us to the place where one scene was filmed and to Schindler’s Factory – the children were so moved by the experience and her gentle encouragement all the time. She was so sensitive to our needs. RK, Bishop Fox’s Community School

For centuries, Krakow (Cracow) was the capital of Poland, drawing kings, artists and scholars from around the world, leading to the richest of cultural heritages. Miraculously one of the few Polish cities to have escaped destruction during World War II, Krakow has retained its historic charm and character in abundance. Its beautiful Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, comprises medieval buildings and monuments, a renaissance Royal Castle, Baroque spires and typical winding streets.

Beyond the Old Town, the Kazimierz District, for centuries Krakow’s Jewish Quarter, is a vibrant and atmospheric area worth exploring, as is Schindler’s Factory situated just across the River Vistula. And no trip to this part of the world is complete without visiting the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camps, a painfully evocative reminder of the horrors of World War II, or the Wieliczka Salt Mines, dating back to the Middle Ages.

Typical Accommodation

Hotel Wyspianski – A central-located, non-smoking 3* hotel, set within easy walking distance of all the major tourist attractions . All rooms are en suite and come equipped with television, telephone, radio, free Wi-Fi and hairdryer. There is also a restaurant.

Hotel Alexander – Situated just 100 metres from Market Square, this 3* hotel offers rooms sleeping up to 3 people with en-suite facilities, hairdryer, television, telephone and Wi-Fi. Buffet breakfast is also available.

Krakow School Trip – Subject Suitability

If you’re considering Krakow as a Christmas Market destination, click here to take a look at our European Christmas Markets page.

All tours will be tailor made to suit each individual group, but here’s a popular itinerary for a Krakow school trip:

Sample Itinerary – 4 Days by Air

Day 1 – Journey to the airport for your direct flight to Krakow or Katowice. Upon arrival, you’ll transfer to your hotel, arriving in time for dinner.

Day 2 – Enjoy a full-day guided tour of Krakow, exploring the Old Town and its Market Square (Rynek Glowny). The largest medieval market square in Europe, apart from the fascinating buildings, Rynek Glowny is great for street performers, or simply people watching.

You’ll also get to visit the former separate city of Kazimierz, known also as the Jewish Ghetto, used as a backdrop to the iconic film Schindler’s List, or enjoy a guided tour of Schindler’s Factory itself.

Day 3 – Today takes you outside of the city for a guided tour of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum, formerly the largest concentration camp and extermination centre of World War II, where you’ll visit the buildings and see many fascinating artefacts relating to the chilling events that took place here.

There’s also the opportunity to descend 65 metres below ground level and visit Europe’s oldest salt mines at Wieliczka, dating all the way back to the Middle Ages.

Day 4 – An opportunity for last-minute sightseeing and souvenir shopping before transferring to the airport for your flight home.

Travel Options

  • By air from London or selected regional airports to Krakow or Katowice.
  • Also available by coach, usually as a 7-day tour, travelling overnight from Calais (approximate journey time 21 hours).

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Popular Visits & Excursions

Main Market Square – The natural heart of the city and one of the largest squares in Europe, you’ll find many of the city’s architectural and cultural landmarks here, including the 14th-century Cloth Hall, the Gothic Town Hall and the twin towers of St Mary’s Basilica.
Wawel Castle & Cathedral – Set atop Wawel Hill overlooking the Old Town beneath, Wawel Castle was for centuries the seat of kings, whilst the cathedral played host to royal coronations and burials. Superb artefacts can be seen including the Polish crown jewels and the deep cave where a dragon was said to have devoured fair maidens!
Kazimierz – Krakow’s former Jewish Quarter and backdrop to the film, Schindler’s List, Kazimierz is a vibrant and artistic district with bags of character. You’ll find reminders of Krakow’s proud Jewish heritage here, including the Old Synagogue, Temple Synagogue and the Galicia Jewish Museum.
Podgórze – Site of the Schindler Factory Museum, the district of Podgórze was once known as the Jewish Ghetto. In 1941, Jews residing in Kazimierz were marched across the river to Podgórze, the majority of whom were murdered here.
Schindler’s Factory – A former enamelware factory where Oskar Schindler employed – and ultimately saved – thousands of Jewish prisoners, this is now a world-renowned interactive museum devoted to the history of World War II.
St Mary’s Basilica – Krakow’s main church, also known as the Mariacki Basilica, this striking 13th-century cathedral overlooks Main Market Square and is dominated by its two towers, from where the hourly trumpet call plays out across the city.

 

Cloth Hall – Dating back to the 14th century, this was once the centre for Krakow’s medieval clothing trade. Today it hosts craft and souvenir stalls as well as Polish paintings.
Old Synagogue – Poland’s oldest surviving Jewish place of worship, today it plays host to the Museum of Jewish History and Traditions. Highlights include a photographic exhibition depicting Jewish life in the city following the Holocaust.
Galicia Jewish Museum – Set in Kazimierz, this museum commemorates the victims of the Holocaust and celebrates Jewish traditions and culture of Galicia, the former province of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in which Krakow is located.
River Vistula – Enjoy a cruise along the River Vistula for a different perspective of the city.

Elsewhere

Auschwitz/Birkenau – Synonymous with mass genocide during World War II, Auschwitz-Birkenau bore witness to over 1.1 million deaths between 1940-1945. Its memorial and museum offer a sobering yet memorable experience.
Wieliczka Salt Mines – Set 40 minutes outside Krakow and one of UNESCO’s World Cultural and Natural Heritage sites, this is one of Poland’s most popular attractions, with over one million visitors each year.

Krakow school trip images 3, 4 & 5 courtesy of Fotopolska.