Train journeys can often be slow and tedious. However, the Culture Train, running directly from Berlin to Wrocław, is the not your average journey. The four-hour ride from Germany’s capital to Poland’s cultural hub and fourth largest city is livened up with readings, cultural exchanges, language classes and even a silent disco.
A meeting of two creative cities
In 2016, Wrocław was awarded the European Capital of Culture. In the same year, Germany and Poland celebrated the 25th anniversary of the German-Polish Border Treaty. As close neighbours, the two countries have enjoyed a history of cultural exchange, with a special focus on the meeting of Berlin and Wrocław, two creative cities. To support the cultural and artistic exchange between the cities, in 2016 a range of events and projects were proposed in order to introduce even closer collaboration. The Culture Train, or Kulturzug, was one of the most popular projects, winning the European Cultural Brand Award the following year. Running every weekend since April 30, 2016, the project was initially limited to one year, but has since been extended to the end of 2018. So far, more than 30,000 passengers and over 300 artists have enjoyed a ride on the Culture Train.
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The coolest ticket in town
The four-hour train journey packs in an impressive cultural program. Passengers are treated to an onboard library, and seat headrests double as exhibition spaces, including short biographies about prominent Polish and German figures. History and language lessons are also involved, and these exchanges are encouraged in the multilingual program. There are contemporary components to accompany the historical elements, including readings, spoken word performances, live music and a silent disco.
Building awareness and bridging cultures
Until the end of World War II, Wrocław was a German city called Breslau. After the war, the city was given to Poland by the Allies, and it was renamed Wrocław. Still, in 2016 when the Culture Train program started, many Germans referred to the city by its former name. As such, the train ride not only offers an entertaining journey but also a chance for passengers to inform themselves and learn more about their close neighbour. Fo Ewa Strozczynska-Wille, one of the curators of the Culture Train, this is the point of the program. For many, there is a lack of knowledge about a country with which they share a long history and close ties, and this project is helping bridge these cultural gaps and bring the two closer together.
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meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
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Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.