#41 best destination in the world

Old Town of Warsaw

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  • Largest city of Poland
  • Considered one of the most beautiful cities in the world until World War II
  • The German invasion in 1939 led to the uprising in the both 1943 and 1944
  • After severe damage from World War II, after which 85% of its buildings were in ruins, the city was rebuilt completely

Kraków Old Town

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  • One of the most famous old districts in Poland today and was the center of Poland’s political life from 1038 until King Sigismund III Vasa relocated his court to Warsaw in 1596
  • Medieval Kraków was surrounded by a 1.9 mile defensive wall complete with 46 towers and seven main entrances leading through them, erected over the course of two centuries
  • The whole district is bisected by the Royal Road, the coronation route traversed by the Kings of Poland
  • In the 19th century most of the Old Town fortifications were demolished, and the moat encircling the walls was filled in and turned into a green belt known as Planty Park
  • UNESCO World Heritage Site

Main Square, Kraków

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  • Urban space located in the center of the city
  • Dates back to the 13th century
  • One of the largest medieval town squares in Europe
  • UNESCO World Heritage Site

Rynek Underground

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  • Situated below the market square of the city
  • Work on the underground square first began at the start of 2009
  • Makes use of holograms constructed by using projectors alongside fog machines and several dozen screens and projectors to recreate the atmosphere of Kraków seven hundred years ago

Wawel Dragon

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  • Famous dragon in Polish folklore
  • His lair was in a cave at the foot of Wawel Hill
  • Wawel Hill is in Kraków, which was then the capital of Poland
  • It was defeated during the rule of Krakus, by his sons according to the earliest account, in a later work, the dragon-slaying is credited to a cobbler named Skuba

Wieliczka Salt Mine

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  • One of the world’s oldest salt mines still in operation until 2007
  • Opened in the 13th century
  • Includes dozens of statues and 4 chapels carved out of the rock salt by the miners
  • UNESCO World Heritage Site

Giewont

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  • Mountain massif in the Tatra Mountains
  • Its highest peak, Great Giewont, is 6,217 ft above sea level, located entirely within Poland’s borders
  • The mountain is regarded as the symbol of Zakopane, and the Polish Tatras, and throughout history has been the subject of many legends, poems and works of art

Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum

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  • Was a network of concentration and extermination camps built and operated by Nazi Germany during World War II
  • Was in operation from 1942 to 1944 where Jews were killed en masse with the pesticide Zyklon B or died of starvation, forced labor, infectious diseases, individual executions, and medical experiments
  • 802 prisoners attempted to escape, 144 successfully
  • Prisoners assigned to staff the gas chambers launched a brief, unsuccessful uprising
  • 1.1 million died in the camp out of the 1.3 million people sent to the camp
  • 1 in 6 Jews killed in the Holocaust died at the camp
  • Remaining prisoners were liberated in 1945 by the Allied Powers

Skull Chapel

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  • Ossuary chapel built in 1776, on the border of the then Prussian County of Glatz
  • The temple serves as a mass grave with thousands of skulls and skeletal remains in its interior walls as well as floor, ceiling and foundations
  • The Skull Chapel is the only such monument in Poland, and 1 of 6 in Europe

Market Square, Wrocław

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  • Medieval market square in Wrocław, that now serves as a pedestrian zone
  • The market was founded according to Magdeburg law as early as the rule of Polish Duke Henry I the Bearded between 1214 and 1232
  • Over time, the patricians’ houses appeared and by the middle of the 14th century
  • In the 19th century the square was connected to the tram lines, at first a horse-drawn system, but after 1892 electric
  • During World War II, the market square was damaged, however, most of the buildings remained intact and were carefully restored
  • Between 1996 and 2000 the square was resurfaced, while the east side, the last to be accessible to cars, was pedestrianized
  • Each property has a traditional name, usually associated with the coat of arms visible on the facade or related to the history of the house itself

Crooked Forest

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  • Grove of oddly-shaped pine trees
  • Grove of 400 oddly shapped pines, planted around 1930, when its location was still within the German province
  • Each pine tree bends sharply to the North just above ground level, then curves back upright after a sideways excursion of three to nine feet
  • It is generally believed that some form of human tool or technique was used to make the trees grow this way, but the method and motive are not currently known

Old Town Gdańsk

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  • City in which in the interwar period, owing to its multi-ethnic make-up and history, lay in a disputed region between Poland and Germany
  • The city’s ambiguous political status was exploited by Germany, furthering tension between the two countries, which would ultimately culminate in the Invasion of Poland and the first clash of the Second World War just outside the city limits, followed by the ethnic cleansing and executions of Polish population and ultimately flight and expulsion of the German-speaking majority of the city’s population in 1945
  • In the 1980s, Gdańsk was the birthplace of the Solidarity movement, which played a major role in bringing an end to communist rule in Poland and helped precipitate the collapse of the Eastern Bloc, the fall of the Berlin Wall and the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact
  • Gdańsk has also topped rankings for the quality of life, safety and living standards worldwide

Medieval Town of Toruń

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  • Small historic trading city that preserves to a remarkable extent its original street pattern and early buildings which provides a picture of the medieval way of life
  • UNESCO World Heritage Site

Costs

Number of Days: 29 days

Best Time To Fly: March-May, Sept-Nov

Airline ticket: $1,830

Seattle -> Warsaw (round trip) $1,830

Food: $20/day x 29 days = $580

Rental car: $36/day x 24 days = $864

Gas: $199

Entertainment: $29

Airbnb: $72/day x 28 days = $2,016

TOTAL: $5,518