Religious Studies School Trips to Krakow & Auschwitz (3 or 4 Days by Air)

Krakow offers students of Religious Studies an unparalleled opportunity to study the impact of the Holocaust on the culture & spiritual traditions of Judaism & the Jewish community in Poland & across Europe. The Podgorze ghetto & the death camp at Auschwitz-Birkenau were at the centre of a maelstrom of evil unconstrained by the norms of ethics & morality. The Final Solution demonstrated how anti-semitism, prejudice & discrimination produced an ideology that led, by degrees, to genocide on an industrial scale.




Day One:  Outward Journey

  Auschwitz Birkenau abgebrannte Barracken Photo WeEzE opt










  • School pick-up & transfer by coach to UK airport for check-in & daytime flight to Krakow
  • Arrive in Poland & transfer by coach to your accommodation (half-board)
  • Check-in at accommodation followed by evening meal

Day Two:  Krakow

  • Depart after breakfast for a morning walking tour of Kazimierz. A Jewish community lived here for more than five hundred years. The old synagogue dates from the 15th century & Kazimierz was a centre for Jewish cultural & spiritual life in Poland prior to the Holocaust. 
  • The Jewish community in Kaziemierz was forcibly relocated to the Podgorze ghetto in 1941. By the time the ghetto was liquidated during 1942-43, almost all of its occupants had been transported to Auschwitz & Belzec where they perished.
  • The tour will stop outside Oskar Schindler's Enamel Factory or there is the option to go in & visit the museum.
  • Afternoon visit either to the Galicia Museum with the opportunity to meet with a camp survivor or member of the Righteous Among the Nations.
  • Other options for the afternoon include a visit to Wawel Castle & Krakow Cathedral or an excursion to the Wieliczka Salt Mines (UNESCO Heritage Site).
  • Return to accommodation followed by evening meal

Day Three:  Auschwitz-Birkenau

  • Depart after breakfast for an excursion to Auschwitz-Birkenau with guided tours of both the Auschwitz I camp & Birkenau (Auschwitz II).
  • Return to Krakow late afternoon with free time in the medieval market square & the opportunity to see the magnicent Cloth Hall & its many market stalls.
  • Return to accommodation followed by evening meal.

Day Four: Return Journey

  • Depart accommodation after breakfast with coach transfer to airport for check-in & daytime flight to the UK
  • Depending on the time of your return flight time an additional morning visit/excursion may be included before transferring to the airport
  • Arrive in the UK & coach transfer from airport back to school

Itinerary Planning

  • This itinerary is suggested only to assist with your tour planning
  • It is not designed to be prescriptive & we are happy to tailor it to suit your particular requirements
  • A three-day version of this tour with an excursion to Auschwitz-Birkenau is also available 
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The Holocaust:



         Main Themes  

800px Birkenau gate Photo Michel Zacharz AKA Grippenn opt


392px Auschwitz I Entrance Photo Uri Yanover opt

  • Anti-Semtism & Nazi racial theory
  • Historical context of the Holocaust
  • Prejudice & discrimination
  • Equality & justice
  • Prejudice & discrimation
  • The sanctity of life
  • Suffering & the problem of evil
  • Views on the afterlife
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Anti-Semitism & the Nazi State


Child survivors of Auschwitz opt





  • Nazi racial beliefs
  • Antisemitism & persecution
  • The Nuremberg Laws


  • Kristallnacht
  • Lebensraum & outbreak of war
  • Extension of the Reich in WWII
  • The Wannsee Conference
  • The Final Solution
  • Key personalities

From Persecution to Genocide

  • Extension of Anti-Jewish laws to Nazi-occupied Europe
  • Concentration camp system
  • Creation of Jewish ghettos


  • Beginnings of the Holocaust
  • Creation of the death camps
  • The evolution of Auschwitz
  • Industrialised genocide
  • Deportations & Selections
  • Conditions at Auschwitz
  • Gas chambers & barracks
  • Liberation of the camps


  • The impact of the Holocaust on European Jewish communities
  • The Nuremberg Trials
  • Creation of the State of Israel
  • Remembrance
  • Holocaust denial
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Study Materials Relevant to Your GCSE/National Curriculum KS3

  800px Wawel castle Photo FotoCavallo opt

Our study materials are designed by teachers with GCSE examining experience.  When you book with us, you will receive a copy of both our student study packs & teachers' notes, free of charge. You can:

  • Use our study materials exclusively
  • Use your own study materials


  • Use a combination of both your own & our study materials
The Student Pack Includes  

The Teacher Pack Additionally Includes

  • Factual detail on each location visited as well as background information about the war 
  • Maps, illustrations & a time line of main events
  • Eye-witness accounts
  • Tasks, activities & discussion points to provide a focus for each location visited


  • Further guidance notes giving a broader context to each visit
  • A curriculum matrix linking each location to assessments objectives
  • Differentiated mark schemes for written tasks
Integrate with Your Scheme of Work   Study Materials:  Skills & Concepts  
  • Introductory materials can be used on tour or as part of your pre-tour preparation
  • Study materials are also suitable for post-tour follow-up
  • Knowledge, recall & comprehension 
  • Historical concepts
  • Understanding, analysis & evaluation of evidence
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Our Guides


The Cloth Hall in Krakow







We believe a study tour is an educational experience best delivered by people with a knowledge and understanding of the educational system & culture. You can discuss learning aims & objectives with your guide so that the tour meets your requirements.

  • Our guides are former teachers, excellent communicators & have examining experience.
  • They have organised tours themselves so understand the demands placed on accompanying staff.
  • They have an enthusiasm for imparting knowledge & ideas & engaging with young minds.


Bruce Hubbard, BA (Hons), PGCE, DASE



Bruce was a Head of History & Humanities at Ainsdale High School, Sefton, Liverpool. He has worked for Galina since 2007 & was a school client for several years previously. His guide experience includes both History to the Western Front & RS tours to Amsterdam & Vught in the Netherlands. Bruce is a member of the Western Front Association & Great War Forum.

Bruce has more than 30 years' teaching experience & has been an examiner.

“Bruce, was fantastic. He was enthusiastic & helpful. He also spoke directly to the students enabling them to feel he was approachable. They listened & responded brilliantly to him.”  Woodcote High School, Coulsdon, Surrey

  Bruce Hubbard  


Selected & Trained by Galina 

  • We have our own training programme to ensure consistently high standards.
  • Our guides up-to-date with current examination specifications & amendments to Key Stage 3.
  • All guides are DBS-checked.
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Safety     Hotel Galicja opt

  • All the accommodation we use regularly is audited following guidelines laid down by the School Travel Forum and incorporated into our Safety Management System.


Our Most Popular Accommodation     
  •  Hotel Galicja, Oświęcim


  •  Hotel Maximilian, Krakow
  •  Hotel Atrium, Krakow
  • Operating Certificate
  • Fire Certificate


  • Food Hygiene Certificate
  • Pest Control Certificate
  • Public Liability Insurance
Safety Audit (Main Headings)    
  • Building Design
  • Fire Alarms
  • Escape Routes & Signage
  • Emergency Lighting
  • Fire Equipment
  • Fire Prevention
  • Electrics
  • Staff Training
  • Security
  • Flooring
  • Glass
  • Gas & Water
  • Lifts
  • Balconies & Balustrades
  • Bedrooms & Beds
  • Pool (where applicable)
  • Food Delivery Areas
  • Storage
  • Stock Rotation
  • Food Handling
  • Pest Control
  • Cleanliness
  • Temperature Control
  • Staff Training
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Wawel Castle Photo FotoCavallo opt


















Auschwitz I had been a Polish army camp before the war. Used initially for political prisoners & Soviet PoWs, ultimately it was to become the main camp & administrative headquarters for more than forty sub-camps. Gas was first used to kill thirty Soviet PoWs in September 1941 when Block 11 was converted into an improvised gas chamber. Later the camp's mortuary was converted into a gas chamber capable of holding 700-800 people who would be killed using Zyklon B gas. Block 10 was used for medical experiments. It was here that Josef Mengele, the Angel of Death, worked.  Construction of Auschwitz II-Birkenau began in October 1941. Initially used for Soviet prisoners Birkenau eventually had the capacity to hold up to 125,000 inmates in 174 barrack blocks. One block has been reconstructed to show living conditions in the barracks. Of the rest only the chimneys & hearth ranges remain. By early 1942, following the Wannsee Conference, Birkenau had become both a labour camp & major centre for the exterminatiobn of Jews. The majority were not even registered as inmates but selected for death on the railway platform inside the camp where the transports arrived from across the Reich. After selection they walked the short distance to the crematoria where they were gassed. The railway line, platform & the ruined remains of the crematoria can still be seen.         

The guided tour is conducted by an official Auschwitz guide & visits both camps. A maximum of 30 visitors is allocated to each guide, so larger parties are divided into two groups. Groups can choose either a 3.5 hour or 6 hour tour. 





The Kazimierz district formed the core of the Jewish community in Krakow for more than 500 years & was a major centre of Jewish life in Poland both culturally & spiritually. The Old Synagogue dates from the 15th century. It is the oldest surviving synagogue in Poland. Although many richer Jewish families moved out of Kazimierz after 1795 when Krakow came under Austrian control, they did not move too far away from its historic synagogues to avoid travelling on the Sabbath. Those who remained in the district itself were generally poorer. Consequently, there was little new construction which is why many of Kazimierz's 18th-century public squares & buildings survive. Today Kazimierz is a popular tourist destination with a thriving cafe culture. Although most of Kazimierz's original population fell victim to the Holocaust, a small Jewish community still exists.





The Jewish population in Krakow & the surrounding countryside was moved into the small district of Podgorze in March 1941. Formerly occupied by 3,500 people (who were for forced to move out if they were non-Jewish), 15,000 were crammed into the ghetto, inhabiting just 320 buildings in 30 streets. They were allowed to bring only 25 kg of personal possessions with them. The ghetto was later divided into two parts; one for those fit to work in factories or the labour camp at Plaszow & another for rest of the Jewish population. These latter would be the first of Podgorze's inhabitants to be sent to their deaths at Auschwitz & Belzec.



Oskar Schindler's Factory


The old enamelware factory, made famous by the film Schindler’s List, is located in Podgorze. You can view this from the outside as part of your guided tour, or go inside to view the exhibition covering the story of the Jews in Nazi occupied Krakow & Schidler's role in saving more than 1,000 of his employes from the death camps.



Galicia Museum


The Galicia Jewish Museum exists to commemorate the victims of the Holocaust & celebrate the Jewish culture of Polish Galicia. The services most suited to GCSE & A Level students include: 

  • Traces of Memory: This permanent exhibition pieces together a picture of the relics of Jewish life & culture in Polish Galicia that can still be seen today, interpreting these traces in an informative, thought-provoking & accessible way. A museum guide will conduct your group around the exhibits.
  • Meet a Concentration Camp Survivor or Member of the Righteous Among the Nations: The Galicia Museum offers a unique & quite simply unforgettable opportunity for students to meet & talk & listen to people who survived the experience of the Holocaust first hand. Highly recommended.
  • Workshops: The museum also offers half-day specialist workshops on Jewish culture, tradition & the Holocaust conducted by staff from the Museum’s Education Department.
Cultural & Leisure Options  

Krakow Old Town


Krakow Old Town is a centre for medieval heritage. A guided tour of the Old Town including the iconic Wawel Hill with the Castle and Cathedral and finishing in the Old Town Square, will take you from 11th Century right up to the present day. The Square is surrounded by restaurants, high street shops and smaller souvenir shops.



Wieliczka Salt Mines


One of Poland’s most visited tourist sites, the salt mines are a UNESCO Heritage Site. This is a half-day excursion with guided tours available.





Leisure activities include ten-pin bowling at Pink Bowling & Park Wodny which is Poland’s biggest indoor pool, with slides, wave pools, rapids, climbing walls, fountains & snack bar.





The Galeria Kazimierz shopping centre is located on the outskirts of the Kazimierz District with high street stores, well-known brands & a range of cafes & restaurants. The Galeria Krakowska shopping centre is next to the main railway station & near to the Old Town's main square.

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Cardinal Heenan Catholic High School, Leeds

"Outstanding. In fact AMAZING! The tour was outstanding and I thought the Tour Guide was fantastic in his support and information provided."



Christ's School, Richmond upon Thames

"The guide was excellent and the coach driver friendly, helpful and great with the kids."



Roade School Sports College, Northampton

"The Final Tour Details are set out in an easy to understand way. The file you send is so useful – especially the pocket at the back and all filed in order is very much appreciated – one less job to do. Great organisation from Helen. Many thanks for your excellent service."



Pudsey Grangefield School, Leeds

"Very impressively handled from start to finish by Marlène, our Tour Administrator! Andrew was possibly the nicest coach driver I have ever travelled with. Hotel – once again a fantastic stay and the staff were so accommodating and friendly."


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