Vasily Petrenko will conduct the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in Kraków, in March. Kraków, the former capital of Poland, is situated at the foot of the Wawel Royal Castle. The 13th-century merchants' town has Europe's largest market square and numerous historical houses, palaces and churches with magnificent interiors. It also happens to be the Szymanowski Festival during our stay so we will include two further concerts as part of the Festival. We combine four nights here with three in Warsaw and a performance of Carmen at the Polish National Opera.
We will stay at the 4* Radisson Blu Krakow which has an ideal position overlooking the green belt of Planty Park which surrounds the historic centre. It's just 5 minutes' walk through the historic centre to the Cloth Hall and St Mary's Basilica and also 5 minutes' walk to the entrance of the historic Royal Palace on Wawel Hill. The historic Jewish district of Kazimierz is 15 minutes' walk (but we also include a visit here with our tour bus). An excellent buffet breakfast is included each morning.
We will have two mornings of sightseeing in and around Kraków, part of which will be on foot and part by coach. One day is left free for your own plans and there will be the option (at no additional cost) of a visit to Auschwitz for those who wish to do so.
On our first evening we will have a welcome dinner in the historic centre of the city.
The following evening we attend the opening concert of the Karol Szymanowski Festival with the first of three concerts in the city. Tonight the Kraków Philharmonic Orchestra, under Polish Maestro Grzegorz Nowak, performs Szymanowski's Symphony No. 3 Op. 27, 'Song of the Night'.
On Wednesday evening we have excellent stalls seats for the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Vasily Petrenko with a concert including:
Lutosławski: Ten Polish Dances
Shostakovich: Violin Concerto No. 1 - soloist Sergej Krylov
Beethoven: 5th Symphony
On Thursday evening we attend our third concert with the renowned Polish chamber ensemble AUKSO with their founder, the outstanding Polish conductor, violinist and chamber musician, Marek Moś.
Arthur Honegger – Symphony No. 5 Di tre re
Francis Poulenc – Concerto champêtre for harpsichord and orchestra
Karol Szymanowski – Mandragora, Op. 43
On Friday we have a relaxed morning and depart from the hotel around 11am for the short transfer to Kraków Railway Station to join our Inter City Express service to Warsaw, which takes just 2 hours 30 minutes. 2020's Warsaw is considered one of the most vibrant and fastest developing cities of the old Eastern Europe, with modern skyscrapers replacing 1950's slums, complementing the historic heart of the city which was rebuilt, literally from rubble, between 1971 & 1984.
We return to the 5* Sofitel Victoria which was extremely popular with our guests on our last visit to the Polish capital. The hotel has an excellent location overlooking the historic 'Saxon Garden' of the city (which dates from 1727) and the National Theatre beyond. Just one block behind the hotel is Krakowskie Przedmieście, the 'Royal Way', which leads to the Royal Castle and Old Town; just ten minutes' walk away. During our visit we will see the superb POLIN Museum of the history of the Polish Jews which opened in 2014 and the haunting, but unmissable, Warsaw Uprising Museum which opened in 2004 and is considered one of Poland's best museums. We will also follow the life of Chopin in Warsaw with a recital in the city and a visit to his birthplace in Żelazowa Wola.
On Sunday evening we have the finale of our visit with central stalls' seats for a performance of Bizet's Carmen with the Polish National Opera. The performance is at 6pm which allows us to have a farewell supper at the hotel afterwards.
On Monday we return to Manchester from Modlin Airport in the mid afternoon. Guests departing to other destinations from Chopin Airport (British Airways and Wizz Air flights) will be transferred separately.
The tour has a fair amount of walking involved, although almost all is on the flat.
Monday 23 March Manchester - Kraków 1410 - 1745 (Jet2)
Monday 30 March Warsaw Modlin - Manchester 1505 - 1640 (Ryanair)
Flights are also available from London airports and others on request.
The full balance for this holiday is payable at the time of booking.
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