Kraków: Poland’s Jewel in the Crown

This tour has already taken place and is now here as an archive
Dr Marie-Anne Mancio
Price (based on 15 participants):
£1770.00 per person sharing a twin/double room
£400.00 deposit is needed to confirm your place
Single room supplement: £224.00


Kraków was Poland’s first capital and it was here that kings were crowned and buried for 500 years until Warsaw became the official capital. Often seen as the country’s cultural hub with its wealth of fine architecture, rich museum collections and fascinating layers of history, the Old Town of Kraków is one of the most beautiful in Europe. It has the largest medieval market square and Wawel castle with its stunning interiors includes Italian Renaissance wooden ceilings, friezes by Durer’s brother Hans, tapestries, paintings by Dosso Dossi and the Dutch School. There is also a contemporary art museum MWW, housed in a former air-raid tower. Art in this cosmopolitan city includes gems such as German altarpieces, wood carvings, Leonardo’s iconic ‘Lady with the Ermine,’ works by Holbein, Brueghel, and Cranach, modern Polish artists like Zbigniew Paluszak, sophisticated glass and ceramics, and a vibrant street art scene.

Convent of Norbertine Sisters in Kraków-Zwierzyniec and the Vistula River
Convent of Norbertine Sisters in Kraków-Zwierzyniec and the Vistula River

Your lecturer

Dr Marie-Anne Mancio

Marie-Anne trained as an artist before gaining a D.Phil for her thesis Maps for Wayward Performers: feminist readings of contemporary live art practice in Britain. An accredited NADFAS lecturer, she was commissioned to write and present online courses for Tate and How To Read Paintings for Pearson Love to Learn. Since attaining an MPhil in Creative Writing, her art practice is primarily text based including a novel about four migrant women in antebellum America: Whorticulture. She is currently working on her second novel, Bouche about C18th painter Francois Boucher and his patron Mme de Pompadour.

Your Hotel

Hotel Indigo (4* superior) view website »

Situated in the heart of the city, this recently opened boutique hotel, voted best in Poland, blends historic Polish art with contemporary style. Its subtle décor is inspired by three of the country’s greatest painters. The elegant rooms have rainfall showers and complimentary WiFi and its creative chefs serve local specialities sourced from the neighbouring Old Kleparz food market.

Hotel Indigo, Kraków
Hotel Indigo, Kraków
Leonardo da Vinci’s Lady with an Ermine at Czartoryski Museum
Leonardo da Vinci’s Lady with an Ermine at Czartoryski Museum

The price includes:

  • Lecturing by Dr Marie-Anne Mancio
  • Return scheduled flights British Airways from London Heathrow to Kraków
  • All airport taxes, security charges and local taxes
  • 4 nights’ bed & breakfast accommodation at Hotel Indigo (4*)
  • 4 lunches
  • 4 dinners
  • All local coach transfers as per itinerary
  • All entrance charges and fees to visits as per the itinerary
  • Services of a qualified, English speaking guide throughout the tour
  • Resident guides
  • Vox guides

The price does not include:

  • Teas or coffees during any mid morning/mid afternoon breaks
  • Refreshments
  • Any incidental and personal expenditure (laundry, telephone, etc)
  • Taxis or other transport not specified
  • Personal insurance

This tour is organised by Heritage Group Travel who are responsible for all the arrangements. Please refer to Heritage Group Travel Booking Terms and Conditions which can be sent upon request. The Company holds ATOL number 3707 and ABTOT licence number 5093 for your protection. This itinerary is subject to change should local conditions or unexpected restrictions occur. As the tour is arranged many months in advance visits may be subject to amendment.
AITO assured ATOL protected

Book your place

Places are strictly limited to 15 so please book early. For further information:

Mary Bromley
020 7266 7815
E Mail:
The Course, 105 William Court, 6 Hall Road, London NW8 9PB

The Tour: Itinerary

Day 1 / Friday 7 September

London – Kraków

British Airways from London Heathrow Airport

Arrival in Kraków and to be met by local guide

Transfer by private coach to the Hotel Indigo, Kraków

Hotel Indigo, Kraków
Hotel Indigo, Kraków
Hotel Indigo, Kraków

Market Square

We will begin our visit to Kraków with a walking tour from the city’s heart – the Old Town’s imposing Market Square that dates back to the thirteenth century. We will see key buildings including the Town Hall Tower.


Market Square, Kraków
Town Hall Church, Market Square, Kraków
The Main Square, Kraków

Day 2 / Saturday 8 September

St. Mary’s Church, Jagiellonian University, St. Anne’s Church

This morning we continue exploring the Old Town with visits to St. Mary’s Church with its linden-wood altarpiece by Veit Stross; and the fifteenth century Jagiellonian University buildings which include the cloister, Collegium Maius and St. Anne’s Church, notable for its Baroque stucco decorations by Baldassare Fontana.


St Mary’s Church, Kraków
Interior, St Mary’s Church, Kraków
Gothic Altarpiece, Veit Stoss, St. Mary’s Church, Kraków
Collegium Maius, Jagiellonian University’s oldest building
The main assembly hall of the university’s Collegium Maius
Portrait of Stanisław Tarnowski (Rector 1871 and 1909) Jan Matejko
St Anne’s Church, Kraków
St Anne’s Church
Church of St. Anne, pulpit, Kraków

Stained Glass Museum

We end our day at the wonderful, specialist Stained Glass Museum. This, the oldest glass workshop in Poland, gives an excellent insight into how stained glass is produced.


Museum of Stained Glass, Kraków
Apollo – Copernicus solar system, Stanisław Wyspiański, 1904
Renovated Workshop, S. G. Zelenski, Stained Glass Museum, Kraków

Day 3 / Sunday 9 September

Renaissance Drapers’ Hall

We start our day with a visit to the Renaissance Drapers’ Hall with its gallery of nineteenth century Polish Art.


The Renaissance Drapers’ Hall, Main Market Square, Kraków
Sukiennice Gallery, Drapers’ Hall – Cloth Hall, 1st floor Siemiradzki Room, Kraków

Wawel Cathedral

After lunch, we will visit Wawel Cathedral where the future Pope John Paul II said his first mass and went on to become Archbishop. This austere building has been the burial place of Polish kings since 1037 and boasts forty-one royal and heroic tombs, as well as Russian murals. Its Sigismund Chapel is cited as the finest Renaissance chapel north of the Alps.

Wawel Cathedral
Sigismund’s Chapel – Tomb of the chapel’s founder, Sigismund I the Old, and his son, Sigismund II Augustus

Wawel Castle

We continue with a visit to Wawel Castle, originally a hilltop Gothic structure built for King Casimir III the Great (reigned 1333–1370) but re-imagined as a Renaissance residence from 1504. Today its highlights include Poland’s Crown Jewels in the treasury and its art collections, particularly its Italian painters (Simone Martini, Bernard Daddi, Leonardo), Romantic works (Delacroix), Polish artists, and a fine tapestry collection.


Wawel Castle, Kraków
Leonardo da Vinci’s Lady with an Ermine at Czartoryski Museum

Day 4 / Monday 10 September

Auschwitz Memorial

It is impossible to visit Kraków without being struck by the legacy of the Nazis. Today we will have a guided visit of Auschwitz Memorial which includes looking at moving photographs, documents, models, sculptures, prisoner garments, bunks and other furnishings from prisoner rooms, and items seized from Jewish deportees.


Auschwitz Birkenau
Auschwitz Birkenau
Auschwitz Birkenau
Auschwitz, Block 11

Royal Salt Mines at Wieliczka

Afterwards, we will go on to the Royal Salt Mines at Wieliczka, a UNESCO World Heritage site whose labyrinth of tunnels spans over 300km, distributed over nine levels. The Blessed St King’s Chapel is carved entirely from salt.


Leonardo Da Vinci’s Last Supper carved in salt
Salt Mine, Chandelier
Wieliczka Salt Mine

Day 5 / Tuesday 11 September

Kraków National Museum

We will visit Kraków National Museum, established in 1879, and one of the city’s largest museums. It contains superb examples of Polish art, particularly twentieth century, as well as fascinating displays of applied arts and weaponry.


National Museum, 1879 Kraków
Francesco de’ Medici, Justus Sustermans
Pieter Brueghel the Younger, Preaching of St John the Baptist


We end our tour with a visit to Kazimierz, now one of Kraków’s inner suburbs but latterly an independent town with its own laws. Here we will explore St. Catherine’s Church, the Remuh Synagogue and the Old Synagogue, the oldest surviving example of Jewish architecture in the city.

The Old Synagogue, Kazimierz, Kraków
St Catherine’s Church, Kazimierz, Kraków

Home travel

By private coach to Kraków airport

British Airways

Arrival at London Heathrow airport