Fri 2 Oct | 9h30 to Sun 4 Oct | 16h00 (t.b.c.)
Direct flights with Brussels Airlines
2* Ibis Budget or 4* Novotel
In light of the current corona virus situation in Europe,
this trip is on hold until it is allowed, possible & safe to travel to Poland.
Dates are unconfirmed, but you can now pre-reserve your spot and we keep you updated!
This weekend trip will take you to the most horrific war site: Auschwitz. At Expat Club we believe that everyone should visit this destination, whether that is with alone, with family, another organisation or Expat Club. It is truly an unforgettable experience that cannot be replaced by reading books or watching documentaries. During the first day of this trip you will visit the beautiful Polish city Krákow, see the Oskar Schindler Factory and the site of the Plaszów concentration camp (from Schindler’s List), and learn more about the Jewish district Kazimierz. On our second day we will spend one full day with an official private guide to discover Auschwitz I (the original camp) and Auschwitz II–Birkenau (a combination concentration/extermination camp). On the last day, you will see the magnificent Wieliczka Salt Mine, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Pre-reserve your spot now
We would like to know if you are interested in this trip. If yes, please let us know by making a pre-reservation. This is for free and without obligation. You can do this in 2 ways. If you are a member, log in and click on the RSVP button. If you are not yet a member, you can either first register as a member, the log in and click on the RSVP on this page, or you can send us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org with the number of people you would like to join. Due to a technical problem you cannot enter your name/email in the regular sign up box now. We apologise for this, and are working on it.
For this trip we decided to include almost everything (except lunch on Sunday). That’s because everyone joined us for the optional lunch and two dinners on the last two trips. If you do not want to participate in some of the itinerary, please let us know and we may give you a discount.
- Flight by Brussels Airlines from Brussels to Krakow, including taxes
- 23kg of checked-in luggage
- 12kg of hand luggage
- Airport transfers in Krakow
- 2-nights accommodation 2* or 4* hotel, based on 2 people sharing a room
- 2x breakfast (in your hotel)
- Dinner in Jewish restaurant in Krakow
- Lunch in Auschwitz
- 5-hour guided tour in Kraków by foot and bus (Old Town, Schindler’s factory, Plaszów concentration camp and Kazimierz Jewish district).
- Local transfers in Krakow (except cheap taxi ride after dinner)
- Transfer to Auschwitz and local transportation
- Entrance fees and 8-hour guided Auschwitz tour
- Dinner in Novotel on Saturday evening
- Transfer to Wieliczka Salt Mine
- Entrance fees and guided tour Wieliczka Salt Mine
- Upgrade to 4* Novotel hotel
- Single room (in either the Ibis budget or Novotel)
- Direct flights with Brussels Airlines to/from Krakow
- 20kg checked luggage
- 12kg hand luggage
- 2 nights in the 2* Ibis Budget or 4* Novotel
- Breakfast included
Expat Club often welcomes families on trips. Children are certainly welcome on this trip, but due to the nature of the trip we recommend a minimum age of 10-11 years (depending on the maturity and sensitivity of your child). We offer a discount of €150 for children up to 17 years. You can go through the reservation process and checkout with the bank transfer option. After finishing the reservation, deduct €150 per child when you transfer the fee to our accounts. Please do mention your child is joining in the comments sections on the next page (click “Reserve my spot” button).
FRIDAY – THE CITY OF KRAKÓW
Kraków is one of the oldest and most beautiful cities in Poland. With over 750.000 inhabitants it is also the country’s 2nd largest city after Warsaw. Its history goes back to the middle of the 1st millennium and its still one of the leading cultural, academic and artistic centres of the country. It has much to offer, including beautiful churches, baroque-style buildings and Europe’s largest medieval market square. We will discover this city during a professionally guided tour.
THE OSKAR SCHINDLER FACTORY & PLASZOW CONCENTRATION CAMP
The movie Schindler’s List was not only a cinematographic masterpiece by Steven Spielberg (as well as his final project for his undergraduate degree…), it also had a major impact on people around the world and their knowledge and understanding of the holocaust and nazism. A combined weekend visit to Krakow and Auschwitz would therefore not be complete without seeing the three most important places from the movie: the Schindler factory, the Plaszow concentration camp, and the Jewish district Kazimierz.
Our guide Chris will show these places by bus and by foot. Please note, we decided not to enter the Schindler museum due to time constraints. Although the exhibition is well-made and engaging, it is much less about Schindler than one would expect. The factory itself doesn’t exist anymore, so it’s really only the office building one can see. We will take a quick look in there, and see for instance the famous staircase from the outside.
SATURDAY – AUSCHWITZ-BIRKENAU MEMORIAL & MUSEUM
Contrary what many people think, Auschwitz was not one single concentration camp. It consisted of three larger camps (Auschwitz I, the original concentration camp), Auschwitz II-Birkenau (a combination concentration/extermination camp), and Auschwitz III-Monowitz (a labor camp to staff an IG Farben factory), as well as 45 smaller camps in the vicinity. It was originally built to imprison Polish political prisoners, but from 1942 it was used as an extermination camp. Over 1.1 million died in the camps, 90% of them were jews. If you would like to learn more about Auschwitz, especially if you join our trip, you can/should read more on the official website here, or we can recommend the 6-part documentary Auschwitz: the Nazis and the Final Solution on Netflix, as well as many other documentaries and movies. For our trip in June, please read this blog article.
During this day we will have an 8-hours private tour with an official tour guide from the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial & Museum. Our guide will show us all the most important parts of this complex, much more than with a usual visit. A regular tour namely takes just 2,5 – 3 hours, so we will have the unique opportunity to learn and see much more than most regular visitors and take time to digest our thoughts and feelings. Also, we will be travelling with an educated group of people, which means we can go deeper into history and the details of the camps.
SUNDAY – WIELICZKA SALT MINE
Upon the recommendation of many local expats and “Kraków expats” living in Brussels we will also visit the famous Wieliczka Salt Mine on Sunday morning. You may never have heard of it, or you may think visiting a salt mine is not interesting at all, but we guarantee that this visit will impress you. The mine is a national historic monument and has been producing table salt on a continuous basis from the 13th century until 2007.
It is made up of an intricate network of corridors and halls, and contains four chapels and numerous statues. It is truly an amazing place to visit, all 31 of us loved it when we were there on Sunday 10 June, and so we arrange again a private guide for our group to show us around during a 2 hours tour, followed by an underground lunch (optional, very cheap, very good). The visit is already included in the trip fee, but in case you really do not want to join (e.g. because you don’t like being underground), please let us know.
As with all Expat Club trips, our program is carefully designed. However, various circumstances may force us to change the schedule or route, such as delays with the flights or traffic and weather conditions. Your host, the driver, the guide and welcoming destinations, will do the utmost to strive for the most optimal program.
The following program is to be confirmed.
Friday 2 October
09h50 – Meeting at Brussels Airport
11h40 – Departure to Krakow (direct Brussels Airlines)
13h30 – Arrival Krakow
14h15 – Check-in at hotel
15h00 – Guided city tour
20h45 – Dinner in Kazimierz
Saturday 3 October
08h00 – Departure to Oswiecim
09h00 – Start full-day guided Auschwitz tour
18h00 – Departure to Krakow
20h00 – Dinner in hotel
Sunday 4 October
08h15 – Checkout
08h20 – Departure to Wieliczka
09h00 – Guided tour of Wieliczka Salt Mine, Museum and lunch
12h45 – Departure to Krakow Airport
14h10 – Departure with Brussels Airlines
16h00 – Arrival in Brussels
We will depart from Brussels Airport on Friday 2 October at 11h40 by Brussels Airlines and come back around 16h00 on Sunday afternoon 4 October (to be confirmed). Meeting time at the airport is 9h45. Your flight ticket is already included in the trip and you can check-in 1 suitcase weighing a maximum of 23kg (both ways). There will surely be people in our group who travel with a checked bag, so don’t worry about making your suitcase too heavy for hand luggage. During checkout you can indicate your seat preference, and we will do our best to get you your preferred seat.
For this trip we arranged two hotels right next to each other. One is a typical basic budget hotel, whereas the other one is a nice 4* hotel. This way we hope to meet the budget of those who don’t want to spend too much on accommodation. Note that for both hotels breakfast is already included.
Ibis Budget Krakow West Bronowice
This budget hotel meets the basic requirement for a clean and comfortable room. You can book a single room, a double room (1 large bed) or a twin room (2 single beds for 2 friends sharing, or for 2 single travellers who don’t want to pay the single surcharge). Note that we only have limited twin rooms available.
Novotel Kraków City West
Most people are probably staying in the 4* Novotel Kraków City West, right next to the Ibis Budget. This hotel is newly renovated and is situated in a suburb of Krakow at 10 minutes by bus/taxi from the inner city center. It has spacious, clean and comfortable rooms with an ensuite bathroom. There is a large breakfast selection (included) and a nice bar. The hotel has a swimming pool and a sauna. You can choose between various rooms: one large bed for single travellers (for a surcharge), one large bed for couples (no surcharge), or two single beds for two friends sharing (not for solo travellers who want to share though!). Note that there is a general surcharge for this hotel.
ROOM SHARING FOR SOLO TRAVELLER
Many people come on their own to our events (and not necessarily singles!). If you come alone too, you can of course opt for a single room to have maximum privacy. But at Expat Club we also offer you the possibility to share a room with another lady or gentleman to avoid the single-surcharge. This is only available in the Novotel. We only offer male or female rooms (limited male rooms). During checkout simply select the twin-room sharing option. We will then introduce you to other participants in the same situation, either during a pre-meeting in Brussels or at the airport upon departure, so you won’t have to worry about finding one or paying the single surcharge. All our participants are adults and decent people.
Seeing Auschwitz with your own eyes is an emotional experience. One cannot compare it to anything else. Just the sheer size of the Auschwitz II – Birkenau complex alone is mind boggling. One also cannot prepare enough for it by reading books and seeing documentaries or films. You have to see it for yourself to fully understand with your mind, heart and soul what awful things happened here.
For some a visit to Auschwitz is extra difficult due to the loss of family during the holocaust and the Nazi rule in Europe. Our program provides everyone a lot of time to see both main camps — much more than regular groups — under the guidance of an expert guide who is qualified to conduct the 8-hours tour (instead of guides that can only do the regular shorter tour). This guide is exceptionally good, considering the reactions from our previous participants.
An 8-hours tour means there will be much more time to rest, reflect and mourn, compared to the regular 2,5 to 3 hours tours. Possibly equally important, you will be with a group of like-minded educated international people, who are virtually all involved one way or the other in the world of international relations, and who take this visit very seriously. Still, if you feel like being on your own for some time, or even the rest of the excursion, that is fully understandable and acceptable. Based on the experience from the first Expat Club trip, if you really want to see this place in enough details, then the 8-hours tour is the best possible way to do so.
We offer special prices for families and single parents (children from 14 to 18 years). Please contact us first by sending us an email at email@example.com. Note that the Memorial & Museum Auschwitz-Birkenau advises a minimum age of 14 years. If you would like to come with a child that is younger, please inform us first about his/her/their age(s) at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- This trip is carefully planned. Still, all timings are tentative and may change if required by circumstances.
- The trip is sold as a package. You cannot go with your own transportation or arrange your own accommodation. If there are specific things that you do not want in the package, please let us know and we may find a solution.
- You are personally responsible for getting good cancellation and/or travel insurance that covers you for unforeseen emergencies and medical expenses before or during the trip.
- You are personally responsible for using the hotel room in an appropriate way. Any missing or broken items will be billed after the trip.
- Expat Club cannot be held liable for long delays that influence the program (e.g. missed guided tours), neither can Expat Club be held liable for weather-related cancellations or any other unforeseen events that influence the course of the trip, including, but not limited to technical problems with the airplane, coach, strikes, weather etc.
- Expat Club cannot be held liable for personal injuries during the trip, such as, but not limited to, things that happen during the guided tours. Joining this trip is safe but still at your own risk.
- If you do not find a room partner on your own, we will find one for you (male/male, female/female). During the outbound trip we will connect you with others in the same position. If you decide to take a single room during the trip, then you will have to fully pay for it yourself.
- If you book a double / twin room and your travel partner cancels, you will have to pay the single room supplement or share a room with another person (if available).
- The cancellation with a refund, as described in the terms & conditions, is 6 weeks. Within this period you cannot cancel the trip and get a refund in line with the terms and conditions. You can find a friend or colleague who will join instead of you up until 2 weeks in advance.