Poland

A Taste of Poland with
Joan Nathan

You're Invited

Follow the James Beard award winning cookbook author, Joan Nathan through the streets and sites of Krakow and Warsaw to explore the very essence of Jewish cuisine. From obwarzanki to pickles, learn how to make these foods with hands-on lessons. Discover how the Ashkenazi Jewish communities came to Poland in the fifteenth century and left an indelible influence on the region’s food and culture. And learn about the Ashkenazi, their arrival in the 15th century, the World War II years and what followed. Reflect on the impact of World War II and subsequent Communist rule with a visit to the POLIN museum dedicated to Polish Jews. Meet with leaders of the Polish Jewish community in Krakow and Warsaw and learn about how Poland’s Jewish community is experiencing a cultural revival. Leave Poland with a better understanding of its role in the Jewish diaspora.

Trip Details

Dates
October 15-22, 2022

Duration
8 days, 7 nights

Prices Per Person
$4,595 double occupancy
$5,270 single occupancy

Deposit
$500 per person

Highlights

Itinerary

Day 1: Witamy w Polsce (“Welcome to Poland!”)

Arrive in Krakow, Poland, and transfer to your hotel. Gather with your fellow travelers for a welcome dinner at the historic Wierzynek restaurant, which has hosted heads of state, Nobel Prize winners, and celebrities for decades. 

Hotel: Indigo Krakow
Included Meals: Dinner, Reception

Day 2: Krakow’s Kazimierz

Set out on a walking tour of the Kazimierz, Krakow’s old Jewish Quarter, now known for its vibrant creative arts community. A local guide will take you down Szeroka Street, which exemplifies the city’s historically active Jewish community. Enter the hallowed Remuh Synagogue, severely vandalized under Nazi rule. Meet with the director of the Galicia Jewish Museum. After lunch, visit the Krakow Jewish Community Center where you will meet with members of Krakow’s Jewish community, including a student who recently found out that she was Jewish. Discuss the challenges and opportunities that exist today in one of Europe’s most historically significant Jewish cities. Tour the on-site preschool before returning to the hotel for time to explore Krakow on your own for dinner this evening.

Hotel: Indigo Krakow
Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

remuh-synagogue-in-krakow-poland-picture-id536863952
remuh-synagogue-in-krakow-poland-picture-id536863952

Day 2: Krakow’s Kazimierz

Set out on a walking tour of the Kazimierz, Krakow’s old Jewish Quarter, now known for its vibrant creative arts community. A local guide will take you down Szeroka Street, which exemplifies the city’s historically active Jewish community. Enter the hallowed Remuh Synagogue, severely vandalized under Nazi rule. Meet with the director of the Galicia Jewish Museum. After lunch, visit the Krakow Jewish Community Center where you will meet with members of Krakow’s Jewish community, including a student who recently found out that she was Jewish. Discuss the challenges and opportunities that exist today in one of Europe’s most historically significant Jewish cities. Tour the on-site preschool before returning to the hotel for time to explore Krakow on your own for dinner this evening.

Hotel: Indigo Krakow
Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 3: Salt Mines and Dumplings

Over breakfast, gather with Joan Nathan for a discussion on the history of salt in Jewish cuisine. Then head to the Wieliczka salt mines, just outside of the city. Jews once worked in the mines over 500 years ago and, depending on the ruler, were allowed to trade in the salt. The mines are a national historic monument and feature ornate chapels, crystal grottoes and mythical carvings, all deep beneath the earth. After lunch back in Krakow, take a private dumpling-making workshop. Since the 13th century, dumplings have been a staple in Polish kitchens. Try your hands at filling and cooking this famous specialty, whether savory or sweet. Tonight, gather for a typical Jewish meal accompanied by live klezmer music.

Hotel: Indigo Krakow
Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Krakow’s Obwarzanki

Start the morning at the Obwarzanek Museum, located in a coffee shop. An obwarzanek may look like a bagel and be decorated like a bagel, but don’t confuse the two: The obwarzanek (the plural is obwarzanki) is twisted and has a much bigger hole. Learn why Krakow does not want you to confuse them. Roll up your sleeves for a hands-on experience making your very own obwarzanek. This afternoon, take a walking food tour through Krakow. Sample your way through the city, including pierogis, soup, golumpki (stuffed cabbage), apple pancakes and more. If you are up for it, test your vodka knowledge by sipping and comparing different blends. The remainder of the evening is on your own. You might not be hungry.

Hotel: Indigo Krakow
Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

 

Day 4: Krakow’s Obwarzanki

Start the morning at the Obwarzanek Museum, located in a coffee shop. An obwarzanek may look like a bagel and be decorated like a bagel, but don’t confuse the two: The obwarzanek (the plural is obwarzanki) is twisted and has a much bigger hole. Learn why Krakow does not want you to confuse them. Roll up your sleeves for a hands-on experience making your very own obwarzanek. This afternoon, take a walking food tour through Krakow. Sample your way through the city, including pierogis, soup, golumpki (stuffed cabbage), apple pancakes and more. If you are up for it, test your vodka knowledge by sipping and comparing different blends. The remainder of the evening is on your own. You might not be hungry.

Hotel: Indigo Krakow
Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 5: A Look at Lodz

Head to Poland’s third largest city, Lodz. Before World War II, Lodz was a thriving multicultural industrial city. The city’s mansions and old factories are testament to its early 20th-century prosperity. Visit the Museum of the City of Lodz, known also as Poznanski Palace, housed in the former residence of the Jewish industrialist Izrael Poznanski. See the Radegast Station, a significant deportation site to concentration camps and now a memorial. Complete your tour with a trip to Lodz’s New Jewish Cemetery. Established in 1892, it remains one of the largest Jewish cemeteries in the world. Have lunch in a trendy restaurant that was once a tenement building. Continue to Warsaw and gather for dinner.

Hotel: Polonia Palace
Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

Day 6: Warsaw Past and Present

Discover Poland’s capital, Warsaw. Once heralded as one of the most beautiful cities in Europe prior to World War II, the city is also recognized for mass destruction during Nazi occupation followed by postwar Soviet reconstruction. Today, its growth and dynamism contrast sharply with its recent dark past. Start in the area that was once the Warsaw Ghetto. Before World War II, Jews made up one-third of Warsaw’s population, the largest in Europe. Visit Nozyk Synagogue, the only synagogue to survive Nazi occupation. Meet with religious leaders to learn about the building’s historic significance and its priorities for the future. Also visit the residence of Jan Zabinski and his wife, Antonia, known for their heroic efforts to hide and rescue Jews during the Holocaust, featured in the novel “The Zookeeper’s Wife.”

After lunch, it’s time for pickles. Learn more about the centuries-old process of pickling produce to keep it from spoiling through the long winter months. Try your hands at making your own during a private workshop. Explore Warsaw on your own this afternoon and evening.

Hotel: Polonia Palace
Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

 

Day 6: Warsaw Past and Present

Discover Poland’s capital, Warsaw. Once heralded as one of the most beautiful cities in Europe prior to World War II, the city is also recognized for mass destruction during Nazi occupation followed by postwar Soviet reconstruction. Today, its growth and dynamism contrast sharply with its recent dark past. Start in the area that was once the Warsaw Ghetto. Before World War II, Jews made up one-third of Warsaw’s population, the largest in Europe. Visit Nozyk Synagogue, the only synagogue to survive Nazi occupation. Meet with religious leaders to learn about the building’s historic significance and its priorities for the future. Also visit the residence of Jan Zabinski and his wife, Antonia, known for their heroic efforts to hide and rescue Jews during the Holocaust, featured in the novel “The Zookeeper’s Wife.”

After lunch, it’s time for pickles. Learn more about the centuries-old process of pickling produce to keep it from spoiling through the long winter months. Try your hands at making your own during a private workshop. Explore Warsaw on your own this afternoon and evening.

Hotel: Polonia Palace
Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 7: Looking Ahead

On your final day, visit the Polin Museum, dedicated to the history of Polish Jews. Opened in 2014, the Polin Museum is recognized worldwide for its collection and dedication to telling the stories of Polish Jewry. After a guided tour, meet privately with museum experts, learn about its tasty culinary exhibits and discuss the museum’s significance in Poland as well as within the Jewish diaspora. Next, eat and drink your way through Poland’s markets – Hala Mirowska and Hala Koszyki. Hala Koszyki is a revitalized market that once housed a prewar shopping bazaar, then served as a Communist market. The building has undergone a new transformation to reclaim its past but also look to the future. Take in (and taste) the local delicacies and specialties in this lively setting. Wrap up your journey with a traditional Shabbat dinner at the Warsaw Jewish Community Center. Here, you will have an opportunity to meet with community leaders and discuss the JCC’s role in the Jewish revival of the city. 

Hotel: Polonia Palace
Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

Day 8: Pozegnanie Poland (“Farewell to Poland”)

After breakfast, head for the airport and your individual transfers home.

Hotel: Polonia Palace
Included Meals: Breakfast

 

Day 8: Pozegnanie Poland (“Farewell to Poland”)

After breakfast, head for the airport and your individual transfers home.

Hotel: Polonia Palace
Included Meals: Breakfast

 

Reserve Your Space

1155 Connecticut Ave NW, Suite 300
Washington, DC 20036

Accommodations

This industrial chic hotel is housed in an 1836 Baroque building. Rooms are individually decorated and feature minibars, flat-screen TVs, and free Wi-Fi, plus tea and coffeemakers.

Built in 1913, this historic neo-Classical hotel offers old world charm combined with modern luxury in the heart of the city. Having endured partition, world war, and Soviet rule, the property has long served as a gathering place for politicians and presidents, artists, writers, and as a site for theatrical performances, art exhibitions, and diplomatic missions. Refined rooms feature free Wi-Fi and flat-screen TVs.

What's Included

Vodka being poured into a glass
  • All accommodations and meals with drinks as outlined in the itinerary
  • All ground transportation within the itinerary unless otherwise indicated
  • All sightseeing as specified in the itinerary
  • Comprehensive educational program by professional on-site guides
  • Entrance fees
  • Gratuities to porters, guides, drivers, wait staff in restaurants during group meals, housekeeping at group hotels
  • The assistance of an ATA tour manager
  • Quietvox listening devices to facilitate audibility and social distancing while touring
  • The assistance of an ATA professional travel team to assist with pre-trip questions, travel arrangements, including flights, extra hotel nights and other services
  • Comprehensive pre-departure mailings and materials with information about the destination and what to expect on tour, including a suggested reading list.
  • Emergency evacuation insurance
  • Fully vetted program that meets COVID-19 health and safety protocols

Reserve your space now