The fourth-largest city in Poland is Wroclaw, which has the pronunciation VRAHTS-wahv. The city, which spans numerous islands and was constructed during the Middle Ages, still has some exquisite bridges and magnificent buildings. Recently, Wroclaw has been working hard to gain prominence. It was recognized as one of the “Best Cities to Live” in 2015 by the Mercer consulting firm, and GaWC has designated it as a global city because of its excellent level of life. The city will simultaneously hold the titles of World Book Capital and European Capital of Culture in 2016. The locals who are most knowledgeable about Wroclaw will advise you not to skip Salt Market Square, Centennial Hall (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), or St Mary Magdalene Church (13th century).
The capital of Poland is this large metropolis. The many architectural styles reflect its long and violent past. Gothic cathedrals, Soviet-era buildings, contemporary skyscrapers, and neoclassical palaces may all be found here. Both the music and nightlife scenes in Warsaw are booming. Despite the fact that the city was mostly devastated during World War II, Old Town has been rebuilt to reflect its former splendor, replete with cobblestone lanes, quaint cafés, and a distinct feeling of the past. Old royal houses, which have long been linked to the ruling class and significant historical occurrences, are another must-see. Visit the Museum of the History of Polish Jews to explore displays on their 1,000-year history to round off your trip.
One of the three cities in the Pomerania region collectively referred to as Tri-City (Polish: Trójmiasto) is Gdansk. This Baltic shore city stands out from the rest of the nation because of its distinctive atmosphere. It is a location that has been molded by the numerous affluent merchants who have been drawn to its port. The Main Town has been rebuilt in the center of Gdansk and has vibrant storefronts and dining establishments. The Neptune Fountain, erected in the 17th century, is the city’s finest achievement. After seeing St. Mary’s Church or the Oliwa Archcathedral, take a leisurely boat ride upriver and relax with a beverage at a beer garden by the dock.
Polish citizens have designated Gdynia as a “city of freedom.” The city has changed since the first free elections were conducted in 1989 by raising living conditions and placing a priority on development and advancement. Another fantastic port town ideal for water lovers and nautical aficionados is Gdynia, one of the three Tri-Cities. Visit the Dar Pomorza, a 1909 full-rigged sailing vessel. The Gdynia Aquarium and the National Marine Fisheries Research Institute are further institutions. The city holds the Open’er Music Festival every summer, which draws world-class headline performers.
The final Tri-City destination, Sopot is a small seaside resort town. Directly between Gdansk and Gdynia, it’s been a get-away for the royals and elite for centuries – even through the Communist era. Sopot has sparkling beaches and glitzy resorts all along the coast, giving it an exclusive air. You’ll often find the beach packed with sunbathers and volleyball lovers. Locals will tell you about the Wooden Pier (the longest in Europe), exciting Monte Casino Street, and Forest Opera set in a beautiful wooded area. Tourists will tell you not to miss Krzywy Domek, also known as the Crooked House because of its unusual Gaudi-like shape.
Cracow, formerly the nation’s capital, is today regarded as Poland’s cultural hub. The city is centered on Rynek Glówny (market square), which was erected in 1257 and is today one of the biggest marketplaces in Europe. It is well renowned for its medieval core and Jewish quarter. It is nice to wander across the city due to the well designed streets and pedestrian pathways with trees. Visit Wawel Castle, which served as the residence of the Polish monarchs for approximately 600 years, or Jagellonian University. Don’t overlook Old Town (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), St. Mary’s Basilica from the 14th century, and Cloth Hall, a beautiful bastion from the Renaissance era.
This little seaside village is undoubtedly off the main path (at least for non-Germans). Szczecin is a fusion of many architectural and cultural elements from several historical periods. As a result of the lengthy and challenging reconstruction process, you may discover both modern steel and class buildings as well as German-era Art Nouveau structures here, all of which are situated next to abandoned and crumbling World War II ruins. The National Museum, which is mostly housed in the Landed Gentry House, and Bismarck Tower are also worthwhile stops. The Ducal Castle is the last stop; it served as the residence of the Pomerania-Stettin dukes for around 500 years.
This west-central Polish town is most renowned for its renaissance old town, which, like much of Poland, was completely devastated during World War II but was exquisitely restored and is now thriving. Walking around Poznan’s market square will give you a sense of the town’s life and activity. Thanks to the bars, clubs, and eateries that can be found here, the area is lively day or night. The New Zoo, the Ostrów Tumski Cathedral, and Lake Malta water activities are all must-sees. The Monument to the Victims of June 1956 is located on Plac Mickiewicza, and the Porta Posnania Interactive Heritage Centre uses technology and interactive exhibits to explain the history of Poland’s founding.
Nicolaus Copernicus was born in Torun, which has gained it some notoriety (1473–1543). Additionally, it is widely recognized for its outstanding gingerbread. The city has blended these two well-known items into one: Copernicus-themed gingerbread may be purchased. One of Poland’s oldest cities, Torun is situated on the Vistula River in the north of the nation. Come here if you need a respite from the big tourist attractions. There is a lot to see in this area, which was mostly unaffected by WWII. In the middle of the city’s ancient defenses, visit the House of Copernicus, Pied Piper Fountain, the Bronze Donkey monument to learn about its grim past, as well as other UNESCO World Heritage sites.
The majority of tourists are drawn to Malbork by one thing, but it’s a fairly amazing thing. For everyone visiting Poland, Malbork Castle should be on their list of must-see attractions. This 1409-built UNESCO World Heritage Site is Europe’s biggest Gothic castle and is stunning both inside and out. Skwer Esperanto, which can be found just past the remains of the ancient city walls, is also not to be missed. Throughout this park, memorial stones honoring Ludwig Zamenhof and the global tongue he founded have been erected by well-known speakers from throughout the world.
One of the most significant cities in Poland is Rzeszów, which is situated in the Sandomierska Valley on both banks of the Wislok River. Although Rzeszów seems to be a peaceful little riverside town, it is actually a forward-thinking hub of commerce and culture. Market Square, Town Hall, the 1890 public library, the “little” and “large” synagogues, the Old Cemetery and Jewish Cemetery, the Wanda Siemaszkowa Theatre, and the “Revolution Acts” Monument are just a few of the attractions you shouldn’t miss while you’re here. The 18th-century Lubomirski Palace is conceivably the diamond in the town’s crown.
The nation’s capital city of Lódz, which is pronounced “Woodge,” has a turbulent past. The city, once renowned for its fine textiles, was destroyed throughout the 20th century and has since fought to reclaim its identity. One of Europe’s largest rehabilitation projects has just started, according to many, and it involves a significant amount of construction. The major pedestrian promenade, ul Piotrkowska, has just been refinished. Lódz is an interesting place to visit since they are still in the midst of their renaissance. Lódz, often known as “Holly-woodge,” is the center of the Polish film industry in addition to being a textile hub. Enjoy the Jewish Cemetery, the Annihilation Monument of the Litzmannstadt Ghetto, the Cinematography Museum, the Museum of Ethnography and Archaeology, the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral (1884), and more.
The most well-known vacation town in Poland, Zakopane is a favorite with both local and foreign visitors. At the foot of the Tatras, you may go hiking and mountain climbing in the summer, and skiing, snowboarding, and other winter sports are available. Given its central location, it makes a suitable starting point for trips to the neighbouring ski resorts of Gubalówka and Kasprowy Wierch, both of which are funicularly accessible. You may enjoy spectacular mountain vistas wherever you turn. Visit the emerald-green alpine lake Morskie Oko, which is close to the city. Zakapone is particularly well-known for its wooden villas, which date back to the late 1st century, if you need a respite from the outdoors. Many of them have been transformed into hotels & guesthouses or museums. Remember to also see the Old Church and Cemetery.
Mikolajki is little yet powerful. It is also referred to as the “Pearl of the Masuria” and is a well-liked vacation spot for domestic visitors. It is situated on the banks of Sniardwy, the biggest of the Great Masurian Lakes. There are some incredible regattas hosted there every summer, drawing thousands of adventure seekers and sailors to its beaches. The greatest sea shanties you’re likely to hear are featured at the Festival of Sailors Songs. A bustling marina filled with yachts and other recreational vessels can be found at Mikolajki. At the end of the day, stop by the neighborhood pub Lady Mary for a nice beer or supper. You may even join the winter throng for some cherished ice sailing if you can’t make it in the summer.
In Northern Poland, on the Baltic Sea and the Szczecin Lagoon, is Swinoujscie, often known as the “Land of 44 Islands.” Only three of the several islands that make up Swinoujscie, which is distinct from other Polish cities (Uznam, Wolin, and Karsibór), are inhabited. The Swinemünde Lighthouse is the most well-known of the gorgeous lighthouses to see in this area. Less than 20% of the island of Uznam really falls under Polish sovereignty; instead, it is mostly under German authority. The many islands offer a broad diversity of sceneries to explore, and the local natural beauty is extremely impressive. Take up kite surfing, hiking, fishing, cycling, or sailing. the end of your travels through Poland Swinoujscie is a fantastic hideaway and a wonderful spot to unwind.