6 reasons to make you fall in love with Poland’s cities.
This year summer holidays might look a bit different. So, what would you say about doing something new and not so obvious? Poland offers more than you think: 16 UNESCO sites, excellent cuisine, wild and diverse nature, as well as stunning cities filled to the brim with stories. If you’re looking for some inspiration for your next trip, Poland’s cities are the ideal starting point from which to head out and explore the country further. Moreover, you don’t have to travel far to experience your best city break ever.
1- Cities to soak up Poland’s rich history
Poznan is the city where the history of Poland began. Reach out and touch history at Porta Posnania interactive heritage centre or take a stroll through the historic Ostrow Tumski (Cathedral Island) and feel the atmosphere of the oldest part of the city. On the other hand, Poznan is also home to the youngest castle in Europe. Krakow and Warsaw are two other major historic cities that have been included on the UNESCO list – Krakow is another cradle of Polish history, not to mention one of Europe’s most romantic cities.
In Warsaw, among meticulously rebuilt buildings you will be surprised by the sounds of Chopin music. If you are into 19th-century architecture you will certainly be charmed by Lodz, the city of post-industrial architecture and famous palaces such as the admirable Poznanski Palace. In Gdansk, discover the fascinating history of the Free City of Danzig.
2- Local street food and exquisite cuisine
Polish cuisine goes far beyond dumplings (‘pierogi’) and now is the perfect time to discover Poland’s other iconic dishes. Need a sugar rush? Head to Poznan where you’ll learn the secrets behind the creation of a famous pastry at Poznan Croissant Museum and Experience! You’ll never have a St Martin croissant as good as the one you have there!
Wandering along the streets of Krakow , grab a delicious obwarzanek – the twirl pastry that is made only here. You can also taste Maczanka Krakowska – a burger filled with either pulled that has been made here since the 19th century. Vegans do not despair! Warsaw has been named the sixth most vegan-friendly city in the world.
3- A paradise for architecture lovers
You will find many beautiful buildings and hidden gems tucked away in cities across Poland. Did you know that Szczecin is among the few cities in Europe where star-shaped squares and spacious alleys can be found? Not to mention its Philharmonic building that has been likened to an iceberg. Gdynia which is part of the Tri-City group, is a pearl of Modernism, and its 20th-century architecture will catch your eye immediately.
For all industrial architecture fans, Lodz is the city to go to. The city’s iconic red brick buildings create a magical atmosphere, and former factories transformed into shopping markets have become the new meeting points for both locals and tourists. Looking for Poland’s most instagrammable city? Poznan’s picture-perfect, candy-coloured tenement houses are a great spot to get a timeless photo that gives a nod to summer days past.
4- Cities filled with nature
Is it possible to experience wild nature in a city? Yes, it is! Perhaps you didn’t know that Warsaw beaches were name ones of the most beautiful urban beaches in Europe. The wild side of the Vistula river can be admired while strolling or cycling along Vistula Boulevards. Spend a little time enjoying the water and greenery of Szczecin and you’ll see why it is often referred to as a ‘Floating Garden’. If you love the sea, what would you say to “fishing for amber” on one of the Tri Cities’ beaches? In Poland, we love nature, and those who visit Poland’s cities are always surprised by how green they are.
5- Long urban evenings
Where is the best place to spend long summer evenings after a day of intense exploration? In Lodz, pop into OFF Piotrkowska Offs – a melting pot of culture, food, history and ecology that is located on iconic Piotrkowska street. Warsaw’s Boulevards – around 5 kilometre long alley – is the perfect place for walking, cycling, relaxing at pergolas or cafes, as well as for clubbing. When the sun goes down in Krakow and the city lights up, head to Kazimierz District – the former Jewish quarter that is just as beautiful, if not more so, than in the daytime. In Szczecin, stroll along the Odra River boulevards, then pop by for an open-air concert that takes place on the Grodzka Island’s beach.
6- Unforgettable memories
There are things in Poland you can’t experience anywhere else in the world. In Krakow St. Mary’s Trumpet Call is played at the turn of the hour from the top of the church tower which overlooks the city square. At the Poznan Tower Hall, two mechanical goats emerge to fight every day at noon. In Sopot, you can stroll along the longest wooden pier in Europe, while in Szczecin you can watch a film in one of the oldest continually-running cinemas in the world. Then head to Lodz – the UNESCO City of Film and Poland’s own ‘Hollywood’ or become a vodka connoisseur in the Polish Vodka Museum in Warsaw.