The 18th International Chopin Piano Competition
Experience the third round and final round concerts of the 18th International Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw with music specialist Phillip Sametz.
Held only once every five years, the competition is one of the oldest and most important piano competitions in the world. The tournament is known for turning unknown prodigies into pianists of global standing, and past winners have included Martha Argerich, Krystian Zimerman, Maurizio Pollini and Rafał Blechacz.
Spend eleven days in Warsaw, the creative and cultural capital of Poland, and attend riveting performances by the world’s best young pianists, staged in Poland’s grand National Philharmonic Hall.
Depart Australia or New Zealand in the afternoon on suggested Qatar Airways flights to Warsaw via Doha. Renaissance Tours or your travel agent can assist you with your flights and other travel arrangements.
Arrive in Warsaw on suggested flights in the early morning (early check-in included in tour price) and transfer to the hotel (return airport transfers included in tour price). In the early evening attend a welcome briefing and introductory talk by your tour leader, Phillip Sametz, followed by a welcome dinner at a traditional Polish restaurant.
This morning attend the first concert of the third round of the 18th International Chopin Piano Competition.
After the performance enjoy a short walking tour of the Old Town on the banks of the Vistula River. Enjoy lunch in a local Polish restaurant before returning to the hotel for some time at leisure.
Return to the Warsaw Philharmonic Concert Hall in the late afternoon for the second concert of the third round of the competition. At the conclusion of the performance, return to the hotel and enjoy the remainder of the evening at leisure.
This morning attend a performance in the third round of the Competition.
Enjoy lunch at leisure in the Old Town before a walking tour following in the footsteps of Frédéric Chopin. Wander through the Krakowskie Przedmieście, or ‘Royal Route’, to Chopin’s Drawing Room in Kazimierzowski Palace and visit the Holy Cross Church where Chopin’s heart is immured within a monument dedicated to the composer.
Return to the hotel for some time at leisure before transferring to the Concert Hall for the fourth concert in the third round. Enjoy dinner at a nearby restaurant after the performance.
This morning return to the Warsaw Philharmonic Concert Hall for the fifth performance in the third round of the Competition.
Enjoy the afternoon at leisure before a pre-performance talk by Phillip, and then attend the final concert in the third round of the competition.
Today travel through the countryside to Kazimierz Dolny, one of the most picturesque villages in Poland. Enjoy a walking tour of the village, and wander through the charming Old Town square which is bordered by Renaissance townhouses converted into boutiques and art galleries. Continue to the 16th century Church of John the Baptist and witness the elaborate façades of the townhouses of St Nicholas and St Christopher, adjoining buildings with ornate decorations built in different styles by a pair of brothers in the 17th century.
Enjoy lunch at a restaurant in the town centre before exploring the ruins of a 13th century castle on a guided tour. Return to Warsaw in the late afternoon and spend the remainder of the evening at leisure.
Begin the morning by transferring to the Warsaw Ghetto Area, the largest of all the Jewish ghettos in Europe during World War Two, for a walking tour of the area to learn about the history of Poland under German occupation. Continue to the POLIN Museum of Polish Jews for a guided tour of the collection and explore exhibitions which tell the history of the Jewish community that flourished in Poland for a thousand years before the Holocaust.
Enjoy the afternoon at leisure before attending a pre-performance talk by Phillip. Then return to the Warsaw Philharmonic Concert Hall for the first concert in the final round of the Competition. After the concert enjoy dinner in a nearby restaurant.
Begin the morning with a guided tour of Wilanów Palace, a 17th century Baroque palace containing a museum which houses an extensive collection of objects representing Poland’s royal and artistic heritage. Enjoy a guided tour on the history and symbolism of the palace’s opulent interiors before time at leisure to explore at your own pace.
Enjoy lunch at a restaurant nestled in the expansive grounds of Łazienki Park, which today feature all the hallmarks of a classically landscaped garden replete with follies, monuments and villas.
Return to the hotel for some free time, then attend the second concert in the final round of the competition.
Enjoy the day at leisure to relax or explore Warsaw at your own pace.
This afternoon attend a pre-performance talk by Phillip before transferring to the Warsaw Philharmonic Concert Hall for the last concert in the final round – the last opportunity for competitors to perform before this year’s winner of the International Chopin Piano Competition is chosen.
At the conclusion of the concert, transfer to a nearby restaurant for dinner.
This morning travel to Żelazowa Wola, the birthplace of Chopin. Visit the house where the composer was born and frequently returned to throughout his early life and enjoy time at leisure to wander through the sprawling parklands surrounding the estate.
Transfer to Łowicz for a traditional Polish lunch in a wooden cottage. After lunch, visit the picturesque Old Town Market Square and the monumental Łowicz Cathedral before returning to Warsaw for an evening at leisure.
This morning attend a private piano concert in the ballroom of the The Palace On The Isle in Łazienki Park, the largest park in Warsaw. The Palace was once the private summer residence of the last king of Poland and was originally built at the behest of Prince Stanisław Herakliusz Lubomirski, one of the most important politicians, writers and philosophers of the time.
Enjoy a farewell lunch on Francuska Street in the leafy residential area of Saska Kepa, home of Warsaw’s artists and bohemians.
Return for the final time to the Warsaw Philharmonic Concert Hall to attend the second-place prize winner’s concert of the 18th International Chopin Piano Competition.
Tour arrangements conclude after breakfast. Check out of the hotel and transfer to Warsaw Chopin Airport (included in tour price), for flights returning to Australia and New Zealand.
Renaissance Tours or your travel agent can assist you with your travel arrangements, including flights and any extra nights’ accommodation before or after the tour.
Deposit per person AUD 1,500
At time of booking
Second payment per person AUD 2,500
Due 13 February 2020
Balance Due 13 August 2020
Please note that these payments are non-refundable.
*Single travellers may request to share. Please advise at time of booking.
Room category upgrade available on request; please enquire with us.
Please see Terms & Conditions for fitness levels definitions.
Please contact Renaissance Tours or your travel agent for current airfares and flight reservations.
Australian and New Zealand passport holders do not require a visa for Poland.
Tour price includes
- Accommodation in a centrally located 5-star hotel with breakfast daily and an early check-in on the date of arrival (B)
- Tickets to 10 concerts of the 18th International Chopin Piano Competition (best available categories)
- Meals as per itinerary (L=Lunch, D=Dinner), including wine with meals
- Pre-performance talks and discussions with your tour leader
- Comprehensive sightseeing, including entrance fees as per itinerary
- Transportation on comfortable air-conditioned coaches
- Gratuities for local guides, drivers and wait staff
- Hotel porterage (one piece per person)
- Airport/hotel transfers on arrival and departure
Tour price does not include
- International airfares (please contact Renaissance Tours or your travel agent for assistance)
- Items of a personal nature, including telephone, laundry, drinks, room service etc.
- Travel insurance (a condition of travel; please contact Renaissance Tours or your travel agent for assistance)
- Airport porterage
Warsaw – Hotel Bristol Luxury Collection *****
N.B. A Hotel of a similar standard may be substituted.