In Old Town Kraków - one of Poland’s oldest and largest cities – lies the beautiful Rynek Glowny (Main Square), where each hour, a golden trumpet sounds from the tower of St. Mary's. This is a tradition that first started in the Middle Ages to signal that the city gates were opening or closing. While in Kraków, visiting Wawel Hill is a must, in particular the Wawel Cathedral which is the final resting place of the Kings of Poland, and has a history spanning over 1,000 years. Oskar Schindler’s factory, the story of which features in Steven Spielberg’s film ‘Schindler's List', is now a museum housing exhibits dedicated to life in wartime Kraków under the five-year Nazi occupation of WWII. This eye-opening museum will give you plenty to reflect on. Likewise, visiting the Auschwitz Memorial gives the opportunity to pay respect to those who lost their lives in this harrowing concentration camp. Here, it is possible to walk beneath the infamous gateway to the museums housed in the former prison blocks.
In Częstochowa, the Monastery of Jasna Góra is one of the most significant Catholic pilgrimage sites in the world, and is famous for its Black Madonna, said to have been painted by St. Luke. There are many stories regarding miracles that have taken place after people have prayed to this much-loved icon, which is also known as ‘Our Lady of Częstochowa’. Further on in Warsaw, both the impressive bronze Chopin Monument situated in the Royal Baths Park, and the Memorial of the Heroes of the Warsaw Ghetto are worth viewing. In addition, another recommended location is to spend time in the Warsaw Old Town - a UNESCO World Heritage Site that has been reconstructed and restored after most of it was destroyed by Nazi troops in 1944. Today, it is a hive of activity, with bustling restaurants, cafes, galleries and local points of interest.