Travel to Poland– Poland, a country in Central Europe, is a hidden gem that is often overlooked by travelers. However, this beautiful country has a lot to offer visitors from around the world, from its rich history to its stunning natural landscapes. In this article, we will discuss why travelers should consider Poland as their next travel destination and what makes it a unique and special place to visit.
Traveling to Poland: Why Every Traveler Should Consider It
1. A Rich History and Culture
Poland has a long and fascinating history, which is reflected in its art, architecture, and traditions. Visitors can explore the country’s historic landmarks and learn about its past, from the medieval Wawel Castle in Krakow to the Warsaw Uprising Museum. Poland is also home to some of the most beautiful churches in the world, including the iconic St. Mary’s Basilica in Krakow and the Wawel Cathedral.
2. Stunning Natural Beauty
Poland is home to some of the most beautiful natural landscapes in Europe, from the Tatra Mountains to the Biebrza National Park. Visitors can go hiking, skiing, or just enjoy the breathtaking views of Poland’s countryside. The country’s numerous lakes, rivers, and forests make it a paradise for nature lovers.
3. Delicious Cuisine
Poland has a rich culinary tradition that is sure to satisfy any foodie. From the famous pierogi (dumplings) to the hearty bigos (cabbage stew), Poland has something for everyone. Visitors can also enjoy traditional Polish snacks like zapiekanka (baguette with cheese and mushrooms) and obwarzanek (a type of pretzel).
4. Affordable Prices
Compared to other European countries, Poland is relatively affordable, making it an ideal destination for budget-conscious travelers. Visitors can enjoy the country’s many attractions and amenities without breaking the bank.
5. Friendly and Hospitable People
Polish people are known for their warmth and hospitality, making visitors feel welcome and at home. The locals are always happy to help and share their culture with visitors.
Poland is a unique and fascinating destination that should not be overlooked by travelers. From its rich history and culture to its stunning natural landscapes, Poland has something to offer everyone. Its delicious cuisine, affordable prices, and friendly people make it an ideal destination for any traveler. So, if you are looking for a new and exciting travel destination, consider Poland – you won’t be disappointed.
25 Best and Unique Places to Visit in Poland
Poland has become a favored travel destination for millions of tourists each year. From the lively beaches of Gdansk, Gdynia, and Sopot to the remote and unspoiled natural beauty of Bialowieza Forest, Ojcow National Park, and the Tatra Mountains, Poland offers visitors a range of experiences. Yes, visit Krakow, Warsaw, and Gdansk, but don’t cheat yourself out of the rest of these 25 amazing places to visit in Poland.
We recommend that you call the attractions and restaurants ahead of your visit to confirm current opening times.
Warsaw is Poland’s largest city and has been the capital for over 400 years. It is known for being the political, economic, and cultural center of the country. This bustling metropolis boasts an unforgettable history with one-fourth of the landscape covered by parkland. Warsaw is the perfect blend of historic opulence from its churches and palaces and contemporary design to cozy cafes and lively clubs. The Royal Castle, Presidential Palace, and Mostowski Palace are just a few of the 30 castles and palaces that can be found here. Modern attractions like the Multimedia Fountain Park, Warsaw Zoo, and the Heaven of Copernicus make up a small fraction of the multitude of entertainment opportunities.
Krakow is Poland’s cultural center and its most popular tourist destination. Among the city’s architectural treasures is the former Wawel Castle which is a must-see, along with the numerous monuments of Old Town. At its center, visitors will find the largest market square in Europe, including the iconic Sukiennice (Cloth Hall), a Krakow landmark since the 14th century. Old Town is encircled by a charming ring-shaped park called Planty, perfect for a tranquil break from sightseeing. Artistic treasures include the Polish Art Nouveau masterpieces and the art galleries of Kazimierz, the former Jewish District. The vibrant ambiance of the city is enhanced by the eclectic mix of restaurants, pubs, bars, and clubs.
3. Bialowieza Forest
Bialowieza Forest is the largest and last remnant of Europe’s primeval forest, and it is home to over 800 European bison. The bio-diverse forest on the border between Poland and Belarus has a variety of trees, including 500-year-old oaks, and it supports bison, deer, wolf, lynx, and golden eagles, among others. The forest is as culturally diverse as it is bio-diverse with a smattering of villages scattered throughout that represent Poles, Belarusians, Ukrainians, Lithuanians, and several other cultures. Visitors will want to see Bialoweiza National Park inside the forest; the protected area can only be visited with a guide. The European Bison Show Reserve is also a must-see. There are numerous bike paths through the forest.
There are literally hundreds of historical buildings in Bialystok, 150 of which are registered relics of architecture. Branicki Palace is among the best of them with its baroque gardens. Visitors will also want to see the House of Equerry, Lubomirski Palace, and the Neo-gothic Holy Mary Cathedral along with several other palaces, buildings, and churches. There are numerous villages and towns near the city to explore, including Choroszcz, which is where the aristocratic Branicki summer home is, and Knyszyn, a favorite of King Sigismund August. The Bialowieski National Park is nearby, as well as Narwianski National Park and Biebrza Valley Marshes for nature lovers.
Bydgoszcz is a buzzing city with numerous universities and colleges and a strong international business presence. It’s also known for being the biggest Polish inland navigation center. This cosmopolitan city is a finalist in the World Travel & Tourism Council’s “Tourism for Tomorrow” competition. In this major cultural center, visitors can explore numerous artistic, musical, and theatrical venues, including the Municipal Center of Culture, which holds frequent events and performances. The city has no less than 18 must-see attractions, including the Old Mill by the Brda River, Nicolaus Copernicus Square, and Bydgoszcz Pantheon. The city is also an important professional sports hub with numerous world events taking place at Zawisza Sports Complex.
Gdansk is a beautiful port city on Poland’s Baltic coast, best known as the birthplace of Poland’s Solidarity movement. Visitors will want to see the shipyards where it all began, learn about the city’s maritime history, and take a riverboat excursion, followed by Polish a beer or two docksides. Other attractions include a walking tour of the Royal Route of Gdansk, Long Market and Neptune Fountain, Old Town, and the European Solidarity Center. Westerplatte is a must-see island steeped in WWII military history. It can be accessed by either bus or boat. Gdansk is also a hub for the amber trade with many boutique shops selling amber goods.
Gdynia is a port city located on Poland’s Baltic coast. The Museum of the City of Gdynia tells the story of this modern city – a good starting place. Other attractions include the Gydnia Aquarium with an amazing array of ocean life, the Polish Navy Museum and WWII destroyer Blyskawica warship, and the Polish Maritime Museum aboard the 1909 Dar Pomorza tall ship. Both museum ships are moored at Southern Pier. Tourists can stop by Kosciuski Square and relax by the water fountain on the way back to the city center. Those interested in antique cars won’t want to miss the collections of cars, motorbikes, and sidecars at the Motorization Museum.
Above all else, Karpacz is a delightful ski resort nestled in the Karkonosze Mountains of southwestern Poland with a world-renowned ski jump. But this mountain town has the makings of a family dream vacation with dozens of other attractions that are guaranteed to thrill. There are two interactive Lego venues where families can have hours of fun. Fairytale Park is a series of cottages with animated fairytales, plus a children’s playground and summer tubing track. Cris Kolorowa, a year-round bobsled track, and an interactive Kingdom of the Mountain Ghost museum are among many family-friendly attractions. Nature lovers will adore the region year-round.
Emerging out of a decades-long coal-dusted post-industrial slump, Katowice is reinventing itself as a sophisticated center for small business and trade. Visitors won’t want to miss two interesting areas: Nikiszowiec, a historical workers’ area, and Giszowiec, a garden town. UFO-shaped Spodek is worth seeing. Katowice is not where people go to enjoy nature due to its industrial past. One bright spot for nature lovers is Voivodship Park of Culture and Recreation. At the end of a day exploring Katowice, travelers can stop in Biala. Malpa where they’ll find the largest selection of craft and bottled beers in the city, including many tasty Polish microbrews.
Travelers who love the outdoors will be smitten with Kielce in the heart of the Holy Cross Mountains. Along with plenty of places to sit outdoors and enjoy the city’s many green areas and several walking routes passing numerous historic monuments, there are also five nature reserves in the city. Market Square is the logical starting place for exploring Kielce. Visitors will find a 12th-century cathedral, 17th century bishop’s palace, a Neo-Gothic palace, and a plethora of museums, churches, and towers. The city has made exploration easy for tourists with a marked scenic trail 80km long for both walking and biking. Numerous outdoor recreational activities are available.
Travelers who chase the sun will love summers in Leba where lazy beach life rules. Each summer, this little village swells with tourists who come to play in the Polish coast’s clearest waters and lounge on a wide, soft sand beach. Visitors can take advantage of an abundance of fish stalls selling savory smoked and fried fish. Riding the dunes on horseback, hiking and biking the many developed trails, and windsurfing the waves are other relaxing summertime distractions. Slowinski National Park is probably the most unique aspect of Leba where visitors can watch the sand dunes disappear and reform with the way the wind blows.
Lodz is a cultural mecca of Poles, Jews, Russians, and Germans all living harmoniously and producing an established community of scientists, industrialists, and artists. They have all left indelible marks on the city. A visit to Lodz should begin with a stroll along Piotrkowska Street for an overview of the best architecture, and many of the buildings have become historical monuments. Visiting Ghetto Litzmannstadt is a somber reminder of the city’s grim Shoah history. Other places to see in Lodz are the Izrael Poznanski’s Complex, including Manufaktura, Edward Herbst Mansion, Oscar Kon Palace, and Radegast Station. Lodz is also famous for its film school with notable graduates in the film industry.
For centuries, Lublin has been a shining example of tolerance with Protestants, Catholics, Jews, Belarusians, Ukrainians, Lithuanians, and other religions and nationalities living harmoniously. Visitors should begin at the Tower of the Trinity for epic views of the picturesque Old Town, Poland’s best-preserved medieval town. Visiting Old Town starts at the 14th-century Krakovian Gate where there are over 100 mansions and buildings to see, as well as an underground tourist trail. Downtown Lublin is the city’s social center with coffee shops and artsy basement bars and restaurants. There are universities, theaters, and gardens to see, including the Maria Curie Sklodoska University Botanic Garden.
14. Ojcow National Park
An easy daytrip from Krakow, Ojcow National Park is one of Poland’s smallest national parks. It sits in the dramatic Saspowska and Pradnik river valleys and is characterized by limestone cliffs and rock formations, deep ravines, dark caves, and thick woodlands. The most well-known rock promontories are Krakow Gate, Hercules’ Club, and Deotyma’s Needle. Other interesting places include two castles – Kazimierz Castle at Ojcow Village and Renaissance Castle in Pieskowa Skala where visitors can ride horse cabs. Dark Cave and Lokietek’s Cave are the largest of 400 registered caves and are open to the public. It’s useful to hire a guide to get the most out of the park experience.
Poznan is a modern city situated along the Warta River in western Poland. It’s best known for its Old Town district, its many universities, and its international trade fairs. The Old Town district is the epicenter of action in Poznan with historical attractions, museums, and loads of restaurants, clubs, and pubs. Architecture fans will like the Renaissance-style buildings of Old Market Square. History buffs will like Poznan Town Hall where they’ll find the Historical Museum of Poznan that tells the city’s story. Visitors may be amused by the mechanical goats butting heads when the town hall clock strikes noon. The Cathedral of St. Peter and St. Paul, a three-aisled basilica, is worth the visit to Ostrow Tumski Island.
Rzeszow’s sleepy small town feel belies its reality as a progressive cultural, economic, and academic provincial capital. It is situated in the southeastern corner of Poland. Medieval Market Square and the Underground Tourist Route of Rzeszow Cellars with about 50 cellars are worth a visit to learn about the city’s history. Guided tours of a portion of the labyrinth of tunnels are available. Some of the most important historical buildings are Town Hall, Gothic Parish Church, Piarist Convent, a castle, and the Lubomirski family summer palace. Visitors can also indulge in the city’s traditional culinary dishes featuring organically grown produce. Silver jewelry, contemporary paintings, original handmade glass pieces, and other folk art can be found in galleries and local markets.
Enchanting Sopot is a seaside town on the Bay of Gdansk flanked by hilly woodlands, making it a popular summer vacation destination. Because the bay is protected from the open ocean, the waters here are warmer. A wide, sandy beach stretches 4.5 km along Sopot’s coastline and is lifeguard protected. The World Sailing Championship, Wind-surfing Baltic Cup, and Sopot Triathlon can be viewed from the Sopot Pier. There are also public events on the pier, and visitors can take cruises to Gdansk, Gdynia, and Hel from here, or they can catch a water taxi. Monte Cassino Street is a lively pedestrian street leading from Sopot to the Pier. Sixty percent of Sopot is green space, filling it with natural beauty.
Swinoujscie is a health resort and port city on the Baltic Sea. It has the unique characteristic of being completely located on forty-four islands. This is the destination for families who enjoy the beach life, with gently sloping beaches that are great for kids. The 170-year-old Spa Park is one of the major attractions where visitors can walk the grounds and peruse the abundant vegetation. Maritime history fans will want to visit the Museum of Sea Fishing in the old town hall. Bird watchers will love Karsibor Island bird reserve and Wolin Island’s historic lighthouse – the Baltic Sea’s tallest – for panoramic views of Swinoujscie.
The largest city in northern Poland, Szczecin sits along the Odra River a mere ten miles from the German border. Although it was destroyed in World War II, the city’s historic center still includes the 15th-century Gothic Town Hall and 16th-century St. James Cathedral, a Gothic basilica, and tower that offer panoramic views. The 13th-century Castle of the Pomeranian Duke should also make the must-see list. Just north of the castle is the Chobry Embankment. After a 13-meter climb up the stairs, visitors are rewarded with two viewing platforms and a fountain of Hercules and the Centaur. It’s a popular area to kick back and enjoy the views of Odra River.
20. Tatra Mountains
A couple of hours outside Krakow, travelers can find themselves in the Tatra Mountains, dubbed the “Polish Alps.” The highest range of the Carpathian Mountains is shared with Slovakia where the two country’s border slices through the mountains, with national parks on either side. In winter, visitors will discover the epitome of Polish skiing as well as treacherous mountaineering that challenges the will. During summer, there’s a hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing, spelunking, and paragliding, among other outdoor activities. The town of Zakopane provides the home base for recreation with a variety of accommodations, restaurants and cafés, art galleries and shops, and nightlife. Highlights include alpine lakes, panoramic views from Rysy Peak, Kasprowy peak and cable car, and climbing Orla Perc.
Torun is a UNESCO World Heritage site and the birthplace of Nicolaus Copernicus, a world-famous 15th-century astronomer, and mathematician. Locals refer to Torun as the “Krakow of the North” due to its prominence as a trade center in the Middle Ages and a present-day medieval cultural heritage center. Three must-see areas of the city are Old City, New City, and the Teutonic Knights’ Castle. Torun is also a significant science and cultural center, and it is home to the oldest university in the North. Other highlights include numerous Gothic cathedrals, Old City Town Hall, Teutonic Castle, Leaning Tower, and Nicolaus Copernicus Museum. Interestingly, it’s also home to the Gingerbread of Torun and Chelmno Land.
22. Isle of Usedom
The Isle of Usedom is situated in the northeastern area of Mecklenburg-West Pomerania which is known for its wealth of water. This popular holiday destination is just east of Poland in the Baltic Sea offering a vast number of hotels, guest houses, and charming bed and breakfast inns. Its unspoiled nature and pristine Baltic Sea beaches are the biggest draws, but its cultural diversity, especially in the summer, is equally enticing. Visitors will find several international fashion events, theatre performances, museum exhibitions, and outdoor concerts. Trassenheide, Europe’s biggest butterfly farm, Zinnowitz pier’s diving bell, and Heringdorf aerodrome are among Usedom’s top attractions.
23. Weiliczka Salt Mine
The Weiliczka Salt Mine is a truly once-in-a-lifetime experience that shouldn’t be missed. Visitors can take a two-hour tour of this underground oasis passing through labyrinthine passages and crystal chambers that appear to lead right into the Earth’s center. While over 140 feet below the surface, guests will come across lakes, one-of-a-kind salt monuments, and even complete churches. Open since the Middle Age, this UNESCO-listed World Heritage Monument has continued to be a popular site due to its microclimate consisting of a temperature that remains between 44 and 53-degrees Fahrenheit with remarkably mineralized humid air. The highlights are the gorgeously decorated chambers, especially the Copernicus and Pilsudski chambers.
Wisla is beautifully situated at the beginning of the Wisla River and is encircled by magnificent forests on neighboring mountain slopes. This stunning holiday destination is known as the “Pearl of the Beskid Mountains,” featuring various pension houses, multiple landmarks, and a diverse collection of restaurants. Its close proximity to fascinating places like the triple village Istebna-Koniakow-Jaworzynka, Ustron, and Szczyrk makes it a walker’s paradise, and it boasts several walking expeditions in and around the city. There are also numerous cycling paths along mountain ridges and many winter sports activities. Additional attractions include the Catholic Church, the Protestant church, the Museum of Beskidy, the President’s Castle, and the Habsburg’s Hunting Castle.
Wroclaw is the capital of Lower Silesia, a popular destination due to its entertainment and cultural attributes that have absorbed Prussian, Bohemian, and Austrian influences, making it a unique cultural and architectural city. This cathedral island resides on the Odra River, featuring 12 islands, riverside parks, and over 100 bridges. As Poland’s fourth biggest city, it boasts a wealth of large festivals, various theatres, Gothic architecture, and lively nightlife. Rynek and Ostrow Tumski neighborhoods are must-see historic neighborhoods that feature exquisite architecture, beautiful museums, and monuments. Hydropolis, the center of water knowledge, Centennial Hall, a 20th-century architectural gem, and Afrykarium, a themed oceanarium, are among its best highlights.
Travel to Poland: General Travel Advice
If you’re considering a trip to Poland, there are a few things you should know before you go. In this article, we’ll provide you with some general travel advice to help you make the most of your trip.
1. Visa and Travel Documents
Citizens of many countries, including the United States, Canada, and most of Europe, do not need a visa to enter Poland for tourism purposes. However, it’s always a good idea to check the entry requirements for your specific country before you travel. You will need a valid passport to enter Poland, and it should be valid for at least three months beyond the date of your intended departure from the Schengen area.
The official language of Poland is Polish, but many younger people speak English, especially in larger cities and tourist areas. However, it’s always a good idea to learn a few basic phrases in Polish, such as “hello” (cześć), “please” (proszę), and “thank you” (dziękuję). This will go a long way in showing locals that you respect their language and culture.
The currency in Poland is the złoty (PLN). While some places, such as hotels and larger restaurants, may accept credit cards, it’s always a good idea to have some cash on hand, especially when shopping at smaller stores or local markets.
Poland has a well-developed public transportation system, including buses, trams, and trains. In larger cities, such as Warsaw and Krakow, you can easily get around using public transportation. Taxis are also widely available, but make sure to only use licensed taxi companies to avoid scams.
Poland is a safe country for travelers, but as with any destination, it’s important to take precautions to ensure your safety. Avoid carrying large amounts of cash or valuables, and keep an eye on your belongings at all times. It’s also a good idea to be aware of your surroundings, especially when walking alone at night.
Poland has a continental climate, with warm summers and cold winters. If you’re visiting during the summer months, pack light and breathable clothing, and bring a light jacket or sweater for cooler evenings. If you’re visiting during the winter, be prepared for cold temperatures and bring warm clothing, including a heavy coat, gloves, and a hat.
Poland is a wonderful travel destination with a lot to offer visitors. By following these general travel tips, you’ll be able to make the most of your trip and have a safe and enjoyable experience.
Traveling to Poland can be a truly enriching experience. From the country’s stunning architecture and beautiful landscapes to its rich history and vibrant culture, there’s something for everyone in Poland. By following the general travel advice and the 25 best and unique places to visit in Poland we’ve provided, you can make the most of your trip and have a safe and enjoyable experience.
So, what are you waiting for? Start planning your trip to Poland today and get ready to discover all that this amazing country has to offer. Whether you’re interested in exploring the charming streets of Krakow, visiting the beautiful Tatra Mountains, or learning about Poland’s rich history and culture, you’re sure to have an unforgettable trip. So pack your bags, grab your passport, and get ready to embark on an adventure of a lifetime in Poland!