Poland Travel Guide

POLAND TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

  • Guided walking tour of Warsaw, Krakow, and other cities you visit.
  • Expert local guides & a dedicated travel director.
  • See St. John’s Cathedral in Warsaw.
  • Visit the Auschwitz concentration camp.
  • Explore other cathedrals and synagogues.
  • Taste authentic Polish cuisine.

POLAND VACATION TIPS

  • The currency used in Poland is the Zloty.
  • English is not the native or official language, but most of the population speak English.
  • You’ll want to pack layers as the weather can change quickly.
  • However, the locals will greatly appreciate the effort to say a few phrases.
  • Beer is a big part of the culture so as you are enjoying some of Poland’s culture, please do it responsibly. Drunk tourists causing trouble has become a growing concern to locals.
  • Because Poland is part of the Schengen, US, Canadian and Australian visitors do not need a visa if visiting less than 90 days.

THINGS TO DO IN POLAND

1. KRAKOW

From the Old Town to the Jewish Quarters, Krakow is a city of rich culture, architecture and deep history. Europe’s largest medieval town square is located here and survived the wartime destruction. The entire Old Town has been designated a UNESCO site and is a must-see when visiting Poland.

YOU SHOULD KNOW
According to legend, there once lived a dragon on Wawel hill that required livestock sacrifices so that it would not eat any of the locals. Well, the dragon was slain by the sons of King Krakus and the dragon now has its own statue close to Wawel Castle.

2. AUSCHWITZ

A deep dark stain on history, Auschwitz is, unfortunately, infamous for what Germany did during World War II, committing mass genocide against the Jews. Auschwitz is the location of the most well-known extermination camp. While history cannot be erased, memorials and monuments in memory and reflection have been built to help ease the pain the country still feels.

YOU SHOULD KNOW
In 1945, before abandoning the camps, the Germans destroyed parts of it but much of Auschwitz was intact. It was later transformed into a museum and memorial site. In 1979, it was named a UNESCO World Heritage site.

3. WARSAW

It’s said about 85% of Warsaw was destroyed during the war. However, when you visit today, you can walk around Old Town without even imagining that it had once been just rubble. The only sign of conflict in this city are the museums and monuments scattered around the city. Of course, one of the most famous activities to enjoy when in Warsaw is to take the Royal Route, which is a beautiful way to see Warsaw’s historic landmarks.

YOU SHOULD KNOW
Other than the Old Town, you definitely want to take the Royal Route, a nearly 10-mile route to see all of Warsaw’s most historic landmarks and full of churches, palaces, and amazing homes. The three big highlights here are the Royal Castle, Lazienki palace, and Wilanow Palace.

4. LOCAL FOODS

Although traditionally rich in salts, meats, vegetables, and herbs, Polish cuisine has been going through a bit of a transformation. Due to its Czech and Slovak neighbors, as well as German and Hungarian influences, Polish food has gotten much more eclectic. It’s a must-try activity to find some authentic local polish food when traveling through Poland.

YOU SHOULD KNOW
One of the things about Polish food that makes it so famous is the way they pair things. However, if a heaping portion of meats with sauerkraut soup or goose dumplings do not fire off your taste buds, there are plenty of international options for you to try.

5. MUSEUMS

Some of the most inspiring museums and memorials can be found in Poland. It would be a missed opportunity to visit a few and reflect on the history of this beautiful country. In 2017, there were 127 registered museums throughout Poland, with the capital city Warsaw having the highest number at 16.

BEST TIME TO VISIT POLAND

Like a Phoenix, Poland has rebuilt itself to be stronger than it was before. With a lot of the country left in ruins after the war, you’ll be surprised when you see what the thriving cities and communities look like today. You may not even be able to tell that there was once so much misery in some parts. As you visit. you’ll be rewarded with an amazing culture and community of people, architecture, and of course, its history. All that’s left is to find out the best time to go!

QUICK FACTS
Summer is the most popular time for tourists to visit Poland Winter is considered low season but has been growing in popularity due to the Christmas Markets & Winter sports available during this time. Weather in Poland is generally unpredictable so it’s always recommended to bring layers

1. Summer – June – August – High Season

The average high during Summer in Poland is 72F and 52F lows. Summer is the busiest time of the year as it is high season, but it’s also the rainiest time. It can also be very hot in Poland, so plan accordingly if visiting Poland in the Summer. Despite the fact that the weather is completely unpredictable, Poland is filled with tourists during this time and you’ll want to book your trips early on!

2. Fall – September – November – Good Season

The average high temperature during the Fall in Poland is 55F and lows of 43F. The Fall is arguably when Poland’s natural landscapes are at their most beautiful. The foliage takes center stage with beautiful colors, the weather cools down, and the crowds begin to thin out. You’ll want to pack accordingly, as the temperature can drop quickly at night.

3. Winter – December to March – Slow Season

The average high during the Wintertime is 36F with lows at 28F. The brutal winters mean it’s slow season with not too many tourists visiting. However, as the Christmas markets become more popular, more and more groups are slowly discovering the beauty of Poland during winter.

4. Spring – March to May – Good Season

Average highs during Springtime are 52F and 37F low. As the flowers begin to bloom, Spring is a great time to visit. The frosts are gone but the weather can still be chilly. The crowds have not yet arrived so you’ll be able to visit attractions comfortably. Spring is a short window between winter and summer in this unpredictable weather, but if you have time, this is a great time to visit!

Croatia Travel Guide

CROATIA TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

  • Go chasing waterfalls at Plitvice Lakes National park.
  • Explore King’s Landing in Dubrovnik’s old town.
  • Walk the old town walls.
  • Explore another famous Game of Thrones filming location at the Diocletian’s Palace in Split.
  • Get lost in narrow alleys in a palace complex.
  • Sail the beautiful Adriatic Sea and island-hop.
  • Listen to the Sea Organ in Zadar and watch a light show at the Sun Salutation.

CROATIA VACATION TIPS

  • Croatia uses its own currency called Kuna.
  • Try to find restaurants that locals love and eat local!
  • If you have extra free time, busses, trains, and boats are a great way to travel. Taxis are expensive!
  • Nature buffs will love Croatia and should enjoy the vast outdoor scenery and hikes.
  • As a region famous for its natural sites, try to be mindful of your environmental impact – don’t leave trash around and stick to the hiking paths when out on trails.
  • Try to learn some of the local language, the locals will surely appreciate it!

THINGS TO DO CROATIA

1. PLITVICE LAKES NATIONAL PARK

Take a hike in this famous national park where 16 lakes roll into each other to create a paradise with multiple waterfalls. The full trail can take up to 6 hours to complete with over 11 miles of the wooden walkway, or you can opt for the shorter version of about 4 hours where you’ll skip portions using free boats.

YOU SHOULD KNOW

If you don’t want to hike the full trail and even 4 hours is too much, you can hike just the top portion in about 2 hours. Bring comfortable walking shoes and maybe a poncho if you want to get the best view of the large waterfall. The summer season is the best time to visit as the weather will be the most cooperative and getting wet from the splashing waterfalls will be refreshing.

2. DUBROVNIK WALLS

It would be a huge missed opportunity to visit Dubrovnik and not walk the old city walls and forts. You can purchase a ticket and climb up some steps and begin your one way – from any of two entrances – and walk off the 2-mile wall in a counterclockwise direction. There’s no rush to finish in any amount of time, so take your time and fully enjoy the views of the Adriatic sea and the iconic orange tiled roofs.

BEST TIME TO GO

In terms of weather, the summer or spring will be the best time to do this walk. Summer will be the hottest as you’ll be about over 80ft above the city, but any other season and you may encounter rain during your stroll. As you walk, there will be little places to sit and enjoy a drink to rest before continuing.

3. OLD TOWN – DUBROVNIK

When you’re done with your self guided tour on the city walls and have taken all the selfies of you with the beautiful Adriatic sea in the background, make sure to explore every little corner of the old town. The old town is basically the biggest attraction here and is still a fully functioning city with local residents living within the old walls. Chances are high that you’ll find a cute, charming little cafe or pub that feels like your own little secret spot.

YOU SHOULD KNOW

Dubrovnik has become even more famous in recent years due to HBO’s hit show Game of Thrones. A lot of major places within the show were filmed here in Dubrovnik spawning a side industry of Game of Thrones tours.

4. SRD MOUNTAIN – DUBROVNIK CABLE CAR

When you’re done exploring the inner workings of the old town confined in the city walls and fortress, take a cable car ride up for the most iconic view of Dubrovnik. A quick ride up Srd Mountain – running every 3 minutes – you’ll be treated to the best view of the Adriatic and the old town. Once you’ve taken it all in, reflect on your time there at the restaurant up at the top.

YOU SHOULD KNOW

The entrance to the cable car is right outside the old city walls. Running every 3 minutes, you won’t have to rush or walk far to catch a ride.

5. ZADAR SEA ORGAN

Designed by local architect Nikola Basic, Zadar’s Sea Organ is a masterpiece in its own right. The structure is built into stone stairs that dip right into the sea and is a system of pipes that whistles and creates soothing sounds reminiscent of an organ as the waves push air through the pipes.

YOU SHOULD KNOW

If you have time, you can do as the locals do and spend some time here on the steps, maybe enjoying a small little picnic as you reflect on your incredible time in Croatia. This is also a great spot to catch the sunset with the “organ” piping in the background.

6. SUN SALUTATION

Right next to the Organ is another installation by Nikola Basic. The Sun Salutation is a 72ft wide circular piece filled with 300 glass plates that collect solar energy during the day. The result is a really fun light show from sunset to sunrise that attracts lots of tourists and families where kids like to enjoy the light show.

BEST TIME TO VISIT

The best time to be here is right before sunset to stake out your spot to enjoy the illuminating light show beaming onto the floor. It can get crowded with kids and families so your view may not be guaranteed.

7. KRKA NATIONAL PARK

Krka National Park is made up of the 45 mile long Krka River and is defined by its beautiful waterfalls. Over a millennia of river water has created a bit of a phenomenon – the water has carved a canyon about 650ft deep into hills made out of limestone. It’s truly a sight to behold and a must-see destination for any visit to Croatia.

8. DIOCLETIAN’S PALACE

Right along the main harbor in Split is a towering palace complex from ancient Roman times. However, this is no regular palace, this is essentially what makes up the city of Split. You’ll find all types of restaurants, bars, shops, and even residences here. Even more amazing? This structure was built in the 4th century and took 10 years to finish.

YOU SHOULD KNOW

Most of your time in Split will be spent here. Navigating the palace is a labyrinth of narrow alleys, secret corridors, and yes, more Game of Thrones filming locations. Fans of the show will be happy to know a scene involving dragons was filmed in the basement of the complex.

9. KLIS FORTRESS

The imposing Klis fortress controls the narrow valley leading into Split. Built by Illyrians in the 2nd century BC, this fortress has a long history of being attacked and taken control of by different groups. In the end, the Venetians took control of it in 1648. Just northwest of the center of Split, this is a short journey and a good option for a day trip.

YOU SHOULD KNOW

Our last Game of Thrones reference, fans will be delighted to know Klis fortress served as the setting of Mereen in the show.

10. ISLAND HOPPING

With over 1200 beautiful islands, no trip to Croatia is complete without getting on a boat and exploring some. Croatia’s islands and islets make up about 3700 miles of coastline. Some notable stops are at Hvar, Trogir, Split, and Dubrovnik.

BEST TIME TO VISIT

Mostly an outdoor destination, you’ll definitely want to know the weather forecast ahead of your arrival. Part of the Balkans, Croatia has the advantage of amazing weather coupled with rich history, you don’t want anything to hold you back during your visit.

QUICK FACTS

  • Late Spring and Summer are the best times to visit.
  • The high season is during the Summer when crowds are at its peak.
  • Low season begins in October until April.
  • High season not only brings crowds, but prices reflect the demand.

1. Spring – May to June – Good Season

The average high during the spring is 70F and average lows of 56F. It can still be chilly during this time but it’s a good time to visit as crowds have not yet arrived. It may be too cold to do any sailing or multi-day stays at sea.

2. Summer – July to August – High Season

During the summer, the average highs are 83F and 71F lows. The weather is picturesque beautiful during this time but crowds are big and the prices are higher. If you don’t mind, this is is the time of the year you want to come.

3. Fall/Winter – October to April – Low Season

Winter is coming and with it, average highs of 56F and 46F low. It does snow in Croatia and can often snow a lot. This is low season where there are little tourist groups but it’s the cheapest time of the year to visit. Don’t count on doing too many of the outdoor activities during this time as some parks have winter hours and some may not even be open.

RUSSIA TRAVEL GUIDE

RUSSIA TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

  • Guided walking tour of St. Petersberg
  • Take a high-speed Sapsan train
  • Expert local guides of famous attractions & sightseeing
  • Visit the center of Russian power at the Kremlin
  • Spend the day at the Red Square, where most of the popular attractions are
  • Enter the Mausoleum of the late ruler, Lenin
  • Shop until you drop at the GUM, Russia’s largest indoor shopping mall
  • Snap a photo of Russia’s most recognizable building, St Basil’s Cathedral

RUSSIA VACATION TIPS

  • Start working on your visa early – at least 2-3 months – before your trip
  • Most businesses will take credit cards so you won’t have to worry about carrying large amounts of cash on you
  • Many older Russians will not be able to speak English, so it’s a good idea to learn as many basic phrases in Russian as you can
  • Learning the local alphabet would be helpful as well, to help read street signs and metro signs if taking public transportation
  • If you order Vodka anywhere, don’t order any mixers to go with it, unless you want awkward looks
  • Be mindful of the things you take photos of and follow photography rules while in museums. For example, don’t take photos of government buildings or inside museums when explicitly stated.
  • It’s a good idea to have a copy of your passport while out around town

THINGS TO DO IN RUSSIA

1. THE KREMLIN

Translating directly to “strength” or “fortified city”, the Kremlin is synonymous with Russia’s government in the same way as the White House is to the USA. There are actually over 20 Kremlins in Russia, but the most famous is of the one in Moscow. The complex has an intricate system of palaces and cathedrals and is walled in. The Kremlin is where Russia’s president works out of, but is not his place of residence.

YOU SHOULD KNOW
When visiting the Kremlin, you’ll be able to visit the country’s main museum, the Kremlin Armory, and also the Cathedral Square, famous for coronations and funerals of all the Russian tsars.

2. KREMLIN ARMORY

Don’t be fooled by its name, the Kremlin Armory is the country’s main musume and does not house only weapons. It has a very large collection of art from Russia as well as from all over Europe from the 5th to 20th century. If you like Faberge eggs, well you’re in luck because this armory is equipped with the largest collection of Faberge eggs, as well as crowns, carriages, and tsars’ royal vestments.

YOU SHOULD KNOW
When visiting the museum, you’ll have the option of visiting another exhibit – one of the most important diamond exhibits in the world. You can say it’s comparable to the Crown Jewels of England.

3. CATHEDRAL SQUARE

The Cathedral square in the Kremlin is a plaze made up for 4 other cathedrals. This area is famous for the coronations and funerals of Russian Tsars. However, as these days they do not name Tsars in Russia, but Presidents, this square is mainly used for Presidential inaugurations now.

YOU SHOULD KNOW
Also present here is the Tsar-Bell, a gigantic bronze bell that, has been called the largest bell in the world by some, weighing over 200 tons and measuring over 20ft diameter.

4. RED SQUARE

Located right in the heart of Moscow, the Red Square is the most famous square in the country. Not only is the square massive in size, but some of the country’s most famous attractions are also all right here. The Red Square has been a central hub for traders and merchants for centuries, mainly due to its close proximity to the Kremlin. This pedestrianized area was designated a UNESCO site in 1990.

YOU SHOULD KNOW
The Red Square is a central location for most of what you want to see in Russia. Just standing in the square you’ll be able to see, The Kremlin, the GUM department store, Kazan Cathedral, State of History Museum, Lenin’s Mausoleum, St Basil’s Cathedral, and more!

5. LENIN’S MAUSOLEUM

Just a couple of feet away from the Kremlin Wall, lies Vladimir Lenin, former Russian leader, embalmed in his Mausoleum. Around 2.5 million people visit every year. First opened to the public in August 1924, this iconic building and major tourist attraction is free for everyone to see.

YOU SHOULD KNOW
Keep in mind photography of any kind is strictly forbidden when visiting the Mausoleum. If caught taking photos, security guards and/or workers will ask that you delete any images taken inside the Mausoleum.

6. ST BASIL’S CATHEDRAL

At the head of the Red Square, St Basil’s Cathedral stands proudly as Russia’s most recognizable building. Along with the Kremlin, it was designated as a UNESCO site in 1990. Although the cathedral is the most iconic in the country, it isn’t the main cathedral. When visiting, it’s a must-do to take a tour inside as it is just as unique as the outside architecture.

YOU SHOULD KNOW
The cathedral was built in 1561 to celebrate the defeat of the Khan of Kazan at the hands of Ivan the Terrible. This defeat cemented Msocow’s hold of power as the most dominant city in the region.

7. STATE HISTORICAL MUSEUM

With exhibitions and collections dating back to the Stone Age and Medieval Russia, The State Historical Museum is the biggest historical museum in the country and as such has an impressive and enormous collection of work, with over 5 million total pieces.

8. THE GUM

The Glavny Universalny Magazin, or GUM, is the largest department store in Russia. Built in 1889 and reconstructed in 1953, this building is as famous as the high end boutique stores it houses. It now has 3 levels and functions more as a mall instead of a single department store.

9. GRAND PETERHOF PALACE

Originally planned to be the “Russian Versaille”, the Palace at Peterhof was going to be the centerpiece of the complex for Peter the Great. Construction of the palace began in 1714 and halted after Peter’s death in 1725. It wasn’t until 1740 when his daughter took the throne and completed the palace.

YOU SHOULD KNOW
The palace was partially destroyed after WWII but none of the reconstruction takes away from the elegance and beauty of this palace. This is a must-see while visiting Russia.

10. CATHEDRAL OF CHRIST THE SAVIOUR

During the Napoleonic invasion, the idea of constructing the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour was born. It wasn’t until 1883 when it was finally done and opened to the public. However, in 1931, Stalin blew it to pieces to make way for a proposed Palace of Soviets, which never got built. The grounds were then used for different things but eventually, $360 million later, the cathedral was rebuilt.

YOU SHOULD KNOW
The Cathedral was built as a national monument as a way to express the nation’s deepest gratitude for saving Russia.

RUSSIA BEST TIME TO VISIT

As you’re planning this once in a lifetime visit to Russia, keep in mind Russia is the largest country in the world and geographically it spans across multiple regions. The weather can vary greatly, depending on where you’re going. So you’ll want to know the best time to visit Russia and we can help with that!

QUICK FACTS

  • January & February are the coldest months in the country
  • During the Summer months of June, July and August is the high season for Russia
  • September – November are the Autumn months and is considered low season

1. Summer – June to August – High Season

The average high in the Summer is 84F with average lows of 62F. Summertime is a fun, vibrant time to visit. The weather is warm and the crowds are buzzing. St. Petersburg will have fireworks and cultural events happening throughout the city. However, the best time to visit is also the wettest time as it rains the most during Summer.

2. Fall – September to November – Good Season

The average high in the Fall is 64F and 42F lows. Fall is a great time to visit. As the weather cools down, so do the crowd sizes. Touring the country will be very comfortable, but pack layers. Another benefit of visiting in the Fall is to witness the beautiful Fall foliage as the leaves turn a golden brown and deep dark reds.

3. Winter – December to February – Low Season

The average high during the Winter is 50F and 32F low. As you can imagine, the Winter is brutally cold with most of the country covered in snow. Aside from the cold, the days are also shorter, lasting just a few hours. The tourists here mainly here for winter sports.

4. Spring – March to May – Low Season

The average high in Spring is 60F with 38F lows. During Spring, there are still not too many visitors. However, it’s still cold and you’ll find walking around not as fun – and potentially dangerous – as the muddy snow is still melting. If visiting in the Springtime, May would be a better time to come as the weather warms up and the days start to get longer.

ISRAEL TRAVEL GUIDE

ISRAEL TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

  • Enjoy a guided tour through Jerusalem’s Old City.
  • Get a view of the Dome of the Rock.
  • Tour the ancient port city of Jaffa.
  • Visit the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
  • Float in the Dead Sea.
  • See the sacred Western Wall.
  • Visit Cana, where the first miracle occurred.
  • Cruise the Sea of Galilee.
  • Visit the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem.

ISRAEL VACATION TIPS

  • The currency used in Israel is the Israeli Shekel.
  • Bring your own travel adaptor & converter. Their availability in hotels can be spotty.
  • Bring modest clothing, as most sightseeing and highlights will be religious sites with dress codes.
  • Don’t throw any documents away while in Israel – you may need them later – especially any visa paperwork from the airport.
  • Weekends are Fridays and Saturdays, so the working week is Sunday – Thursday. Businesses and public transportation will not be open during the weekends. (Friday & Saturday)
  • As anywhere else during your travels, limit tap water intake and instead opt for bottled water.
  • Try to learn some of the local language before you go, the locals will certainly appreciate it.

THINGS TO DO

1. Jerusalem Old City

The half mile area of the walled-in city of Jerusalem is the heart of Jewish, Islamic, and Christian religions. There are seven gates to enter from, leading to four separate quarters: The Jewish Quarter, Christian Quarter, Muslim Quarter, and Armenian Quarter. The Jaffa Gate next to the Tower of David Museum is the most famous for tourists.

YOU SHOULD KNOW
The Old City of Jerusalem can get really crowded. In this space, there are many famous spots to visit such as the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Dome of the Rock, Western Wall, and other important religious sites.

2. Dome of the Rock

One of the world’s oldest Islamic monuments is the Dome of the Rock, located in Jerusalem. Built in 691 by Abd el-Malik, it is believed by Muslims that this is the very spot where the Prophet Muhammad ascended into heaven. Judeo/Christians believe this is where Abraham offered to sacrifice his son Isaac.

YOU SHOULD KNOW
One of the most contested pieces of land in history, visiting the Dome can be very difficult. Temple Mount is only open to non-Mulims a couple of hours a day so you can imagine the line to get in if you’re not prepared. Speak with your travel director for tips on how to maximize your chances of getting in.

3. Church of the Holy Sepulchre

The Church of the Holy Sepulchre is built on the site believed to be where Jesus Christ was crucified and buried. The church is in the northwest quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem. Built, burned, rebuilt, and repeated many times throughout history, the present church dates mainly back to 1810.

BEST TIME TO VISIT
You’ll find less crowds during the week, except Friday. Tuesdays, Wednesday, and Thursdays are the calmest days to go. As a major religious site, expect all Christian holidays to be extremely busy.

4. Jaffa Port City

Sitting on the Mediterranean Sea is the ancient port city of Jaffa. It’s been used for over 7000 years and mentioned in various ancient texts. Today it’s mostly a recreation area but still functions as a fishing port..

YOU SHOULD KNOW
Today, Jaffa is a major tourist attraction with modern buildings mixed in with the older, preserved structures. Just like any other modern city, you’ll find it’s more like a square with restaurants, cafes, and souvenir shops.

5. Dead Sea

The Dead Sea is a salt lake and a major must-see attraction. This landlocked body of water borders Jordan and Israel. Believed to be about 3 million years old, the Dead Sea is not actually a sea, but a hypersaline lake with super high levels of sodium chloride and other natural minerals.

YOU SHOULD KNOW
The shores of the Dead Sea are about 1400ft below sea level, making it Earth’s lowest elevation point on land. The water in the Dead Sea is so dense, swimming in it feels more like floating.

6. Golan Heights

Far north of Israel is a region of green rocky plateaus called Golan Heights. This region is relatively small in size but historically important. It also supplies Israel with over a third of its water.

BEST TIME TO VISIT
Spring is going to be the best time to visit Golan Heights. You’ll find lush greenery and accommodating weather. Summer is hot and dry, and winter gets too cold and snowy.

7. Old City of Acre

Designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2001, Acre is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. Today, it is mainly a small fishing port, but Acre used to be as big and important a port as any other historically significant port city. Tourists will find a lot of great attractions and things to do here: retrace history in the Hall of Knights, shop in the Medieval Market, and walk the city walls.

BEST TIME TO VISIT
Try to visit Sunday-Thursday to avoid the crowds. Typically, Summertime is the hottest and most crowded, however, all indoor activities are air-conditioned.

8. Western Wall

Located on the western side of the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem is the famous Western Wall. The Western Wall – or Wailing Wall – is all that remains from the ancient wall that used to surround the Temple’s courtyard. It’s also one of the most sacred and holy sites in Judaism.

9. Magdala

Magdala was an ancient city on the shore of the Sea of Galilee. This city is significant as Mary Magdalene is usually assumed to have come from this city. When visiting Israel or a Holy Land tour, a visit to the remains of this ancient city is a must.

10. Masada Fortress

A fortress set atop a mountain in the middle of a desert, Masada Fortress is a UNESCO heritage site and was the setting for the last revolt against the Romans by members of the Hebrew Zealots. The fortress overlooks the Dead Sea and was built by Herod the Great between 37 and 31BC.

YOU SHOULD KNOW
There is a Snake Path climbing route for any hikers who want to do the path. However, if you’re traveling with one of our travel partners and your itinerary includes the Masada Fortress, tickets for both the entrance and cable car will be arranged for you.

BEST TIME TO VISIT

With thousands of years worth of history and some of the most religious and sacred sites in the world, Israel should be a bucket list destination for any traveler. Whether you’re here for the holy land experience, or a history buff looking to retrace footsteps, Israel will not disappoint. To help set your expectations, find the best time to visit based on what you want to do.

Quick Facts

  • Summer is high season with the most visitors and crowds.
  • Winter is low season, during the months of December to February.
  • For religious travelers, June to September would be a great time to visit as there are a lot of religious festivals happening during this time.
  • General travel in Spring or Fall is a great time to visit as the crowds are thinner and the weather is not as hot.

1. Spring – March to May – Good Season

The average high during the Springtime is 81F, with average lows of 51F. Most would say Spring is the best time to visit Israel, regardless of what you want to see or do. The weather is cooler, the crowds are thinner, and your experience will undoubtedly be more pleasant.

2. Summer – June to September – High Season

The average high during the Summer is 89F and 65F low. This is the most popular time for Israel, when most people are able to get their time off from work and kids are out of school. Expect all the tourist attractions to be crowded, and plan accordingly.

3. Fall – October to November – Good Season

The average high in the Fall is 75F, with average lows of 59F. The Fall is a great time to visit Israel as the temperate weather is inviting and is mostly cooperative. You’ll still find some crowds but not nearly as much as during the Summertime.

4. Winter – December to February – Low Season

The average high during the Wintertime is 63F and 44F low. Surprising some, Winters can be very cold in Israel, with snow not that uncommon. If you don’t mind the cold, this is a nice time to visit and great for pictures. However, it does rain quite a bit during this time.

Czech Republic Travel Guide

CZECH REPUBLIC HIGHLIGHTS

  • Take a stroll down the most iconic bridge in Prague, Charles Bridge.
  • Enjoy a guided tour through St Vitus Cathedral.
  • See the iconic spires of Prague Castle.
  • Retrace history in Wenceslas Square.
  • Watch the Astronomical Clock display every hour.
  • People watch in the old town square.
  • Take an optional guided tour to the charming town of Cesky Krumlov.

CZECH REPUBLIC VACATION TIPS

  • The currency used is the Czech Koruna.
  • Czech cuisine is not exactly fancy but it sure is hearty and delicious, try Goulash and other local cuisines when possible.
  • Take in the culture around you: admire the beautiful architecture on your walking tours and a local beer in the pub.
  • The Czech Republic has a very low crime rate, so you can feel safe if out and about at night. As with any destination, practice common sense.
  • Like the U.S., tipping is not required but usually expected.
  • Do support local shops when doing your souvenir shopping.

THINGS TO DO IN CZECH REPUBLIC

1. CHARLES BRIDGE

A must-do while in Prague is to take a walk down Charles Bridge. There is a certain charm you feel as you stroll down the gaze of old baroque period statues that line the bridge. Regardless of the buskers and people selling all types of stuff, tourists squeeze past by and you enter a river-like flow as you move along.

BEST TIME TO VISIT

Due to the crowds of both tourists and entrepreneurial locals, any time during the day is prime time and will be crowded. Try going at sunset where you’ll feel the charm of the bridge a bit more.

2. PRAGUE CASTLE

Looming over the city with the castle’s spires viewable from almost anywhere in the city, it’s no surprise Prague Castle is the most popular attraction in the city. Home to historic buildings, museums, and various galleries, some of the Czech Republic’s most prized arts and cultural artifacts are within the castle walls.

BEST TIME TO VISIT

There is no bad time to visit Prague; summer has nice temperate weather, but fall and winter bring cooler weather and fewer crowds. If you don’t mind the cold weather, walking around the city in the wintertime has a magical feel.

3. ST VITUS CATHEDRAL

Taking almost 600 years to complete, St Vitus houses some of the richest cultural treasures in central Europe. St Vitus is integral to the cultural and religious side of the Czech Republic. A mix of Gothic and Romanesque, this unique cathedral is a must-see in Prague.

YOU SHOULD KNOW

If you are traveling to Prague with one of our partners on a guided tour, St Vitus is almost always included in your walking tour of Prague. If included, you’ll skip the line to get in and get a local guide to narrate as you explore. Inclusions vary by itinerary.

4. PRAGUE JEWISH MUSEUM

One of the most visited museums in Prague is the Jewish Heritage Museum. With about 40,000 artifacts, 100,000 books, and more, it houses one of the largest Judaic collections in the world. The museum is made up of four synagogues and includes the Old Jewish Cemetery.

5. WENCESLAS SQUARE

The most famous square in Prague, Wenceslas Square has been witness to some of the most famous historical events in Czech history. Actually, it is less of a square and more similar to a large public street, like one you’d find in Paris. The square is located in New Town, which was created during Charles IV’s reign.

YOU SHOULD KNOW

Although many important demonstrations and speeches have been given at Wenceslas Square, arguably the most important was given by Alexander Dubcek, known as the man who started the Prague Spring.

6. ASTRONOMICAL CLOCK

A tourist favorite attraction, every hour very large crowds begin to form under the Old Town Hall Tower to watch the Astronomical Clock. An intricate dance of puppets and other objects depict a story representing 15th-century life. Called a “must-see” event by everyone ever, the truth is the display is hyped up a little too much and don’t feel guilty if you find it a bit underwhelming.

YOU SHOULD KNOW

t’s not an exaggeration to say that large crowds begin to form quite early under the tower. If you really want to see and get a good view, you’d have to stake out your spot at least 15 minutes before the hour.

7. CESKY KRUMLOV

Located in the Southern Bohemian region of the Czech Republic is Cesky Krumlov. Along with Prague Castle, it was designated a UNESCO site in 1992. The town was built around a 13th-century castle with various design cues from Baroque, Renaissance, and Gothic. A popular day trip among visitors, the charming town of Cesky Krumlov is definitely a must-see.

YOU SHOULD KNOW

If not already included in one of our itineraries from our partners, most will offer Cesky Krumlov as an optional guided day tour. Activities and inclusions vary by itinerary.

BEST TIME TO VISIT

Known for its castles and baroque style architecture, the Czech Republic is full of history, art, and culture. Whether you’re doing a land tour or a river cruise with one of our partners, you’ll want to plan accordingly to maximize your time in this beautiful east European country.

QUICK FACTS

  • Spring and Fall time are two of the best times to visit.
  • The most popular tourist time is during the Summer.
  • Winter can get really cold but you’ll want to be there for the beautiful Christmas Markets.

1. Spring – March to May – Good Season

The average high in Spring is 58F and the low is 38F. It’s a really comfortable time to visit, plus there is fewer crowds to deal with. You won’t have to worry about the rain and the days are typically sunny and long, so you can have more time to explore and discover.

2. Fall – September to October – Good Season

The average high in the Fall is 66F and 48F low. Like the Springtime, this is a really comfortable season to explore the country.

3. Summer – June to August – High Season

The average temperature during the Summer is 77F high and 55F low. Summer has the best weather with long sunny days, but it also has the most crowds. Along with tourists, locals also love to spend their time outdoors as much as possible. Because it’s the busiest time of the year, expect prices to be higher than in other seasons.

4. Winter – November to March – Low Season

The average temperature during the Winter is 36F and 27F low. The winters can be quite cold but you may find a sizable amount of people here for the famous Christmas Markets. These stalls are set up every year and they are beautifully lit, each selling different items that would make perfect souvenirs.