Best things to do in Poland
Find out more about those top places in Poland
Both the starting point of World War Two and the city where the strikes that brought down communism originated, Gdansk has a complex history. This is reflected in the city’s distinctly un-Polish architecture, as it has been torn between Teutonic Germany and Slavic Poland numerous times over the past millennia. As a major Hanseatic seaport, Gdansk is dominated by the maritime power’s distinctive red brick architecture and the walled old town is peppered with gilded mansions once belonging to the city’s successful seafarers. What is more, the city’s modern history is on full display with the Historical Museum showcasing the city’s complete destruction during World War Two and the cutting-edge European Solidarity Center offering a fascinating glimpse into the movement that brought down the Iron Curtain.
This church is unique in its way and is very popular for being the biggest brick church in the world. Its architectural design makes it stand out distinctly from all other buildings around it. Because it attracts a good number of tourists, the locals have made many other interesting activities available for tourists coming to the church.
Westerplatte has quite an unhappy history but this does not make it popular among tourists. This site served as a military base for many forces during war times and it was in this same place that 80 brave Polish soldiers battled their souls out against Nazis that outnumbered them by 8 men to 1. Also, one of the first few battles of the 2nd world war was fought here making it very historic indeed.
It is a known fact that the food of a people is a part of their identity. Poland is known for its many exotic delicacies. If you want to have a taste of these exquisite delicacies, Gdansk is the place to go to. The city has many restaurants that make local Polish delicacies and exotic drinks.
This road is filled with tourists all year long as it cuts across many sites of great importance to the country when it comes to tradition, culture, and tourism. The important sites that are along the Long Lane include the Golden Gate, Long Market, Green Gate, Dom Uphagena, the Lion Castle, among others.
Situated on the Vistula River and in the shadow of the Tatra Mountains, Krakow is one of Europe’s most beguiling cities. The city was Poland’s royal capital between 1038 and 1596 and still retains much of its medieval grandeur today. The Old Town is packed with gilded churches, spectacular royal palaces and gothic university buildings and was designated a UNESCO world heritage site in 1978. Krakow is not all about fairy tale architecture though. The city’s 20th century history looms large with the former Jewish district of Kazimierz home to ruined synagogues and Oscar Schindler’s Factory, which reflect the city’s traumatic experience under Nazi occupation. Krakow has more than just history. Since the end of communism, the city has undergone something of a renaissance with lively bars, cosmopolitan cafes and trendy art galleries opening up with regularity.
The Wieliczka Salt Mine is of great importance to the people of Poland attracting more than a million tourists from all over the world annually. A 350-step descent ushers one into the skillfully carved mine. The bas-reliefs that are present in the mine also contribute to what made UNESCO name the mine as a World Cultural and Heritage site.
This castle is as popular today as it was in the book of histories. The Wawel Royal Castle played pivotal roles in the history of the country as many royalties once inhabited it. Today, it still has some jewels and possessions of its past inhabitants. On a tour of this castle, you would get to see the status apartments, great halls, and many gardens. All these interesting features are a few of the reasons that it made the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
A tour of Krakow Old Town is a tour through the corridors of history. The town is as old as its name suggests, and it has many structures and monuments to show for it. These structures and monuments include castles that were once inhabited by the Polish monarchs themselves, St. Mary's Basilica, the Cloth Hall, and many more. It is also on the list of UNESCO World cultural and heritage sites.
This is bound to be a thrilling experience for everyone, especially for those who have never handled a gun before. The biggest shooting range in all of Krakow welcomes visitors from all over the world and teaches them to shoot more than 30 different kinds of guns, including the AK47. There are safety measures put in place to ensure that there is no case of accidental injury.
Obliterated in World War Two, Warsaw is a city unlike any other in Poland. While there is a colorfully reconstructed old town to the north of the city center, the Polish capital’s nucleus is the marble-clad Palace of Culture. Bestowed upon the city by Stalin, the palace-cum-skyscraper is easily one of Warsaw’s most memorable attractions with gargantuan statues of heroic workers and breathtaking views of the city’s futuristic high-rises, communist tower blocks and the River Vistula. What is more, a clutch of recently opened museums, including the harrowing Museum of the History of the Polish Jews, has put the city on Europe’s cultural map. Beyond the tourist attractions, Warsaw is Poland’s most outward looking city with the avant-garde bars, clubs and restaurants of the Praha district rivaling those of Berlin.
The 2nd World War is usually a chapter in the history of mankind that many wishes to erase from their memories. Many people and towns suffered during these wars and Old Town in Warsaw is one of those places that had it terrible. Many battles were fought there and so much havoc was wreaked. However, the story is different today as the town has risen from its demolition to become not just a UNESCO World Heritage Site, but also a gorgeous and bustling town.
This castle has served as many things since it was first built in the 14th century. It served as a royal palace in the past, before being used as the seat of presidency and the house of parliament. Also, the castle was in ruins at some point before it was rebuilt from the scratch in 13 years. A tour of the site allows you to see heavily decorated Chambers, halls, and gardens.
This park is one of the few parks that look beautiful in any season. More often than not, you could feel that the park has a soul of its own that makes it adapt to whatever season and still look stunning. This makes the Lazienki Park a favorite among tourists all year round. There are interesting places to visit in the park like the Palace on the Island, the orangery and the Amphitheater.
A mere look at this site and you can tell that it would be an amazing experience The Palace of Culture and Science is tastefully decorated both on the exterior and interior. This grand palace is home to not less than 3000 rooms, a university, restaurants, cinemas, theaters among a number of other places. Here, you can be guaranteed that you are experiencing an entirely different world.
The Uprising Museum holds a mountain load of historic items and artifacts within its walls. Of the most popular stories that are told in the museum is the story of how the bravery and skills of 80 Polish soldiers were put to test when they had to resist the invasion of an army of Nazi soldiers who outnumbered them by eight men to one. Stories from many other battles fought during the second world war are brought to remembrance here.
Frederic Chopin, a pianist with a musical prodigy, lived in Warsaw for 20 years of his life. And in these 20 years that he spent in Warsaw, he grew to become popular for his unique music style. The Chopin Museum is dedicated to him and it contains bits and pieces from his life, such as his music scripts, music scores, and his instruments.
This center is known for many things including being one of the busiest tourist attraction sites in the country, the best science center in Europe and was built by the European Union itself, a signifier of Poland's attention to science after a long spell of undiluted religion. The magnificent architectural design and structure of this building brings lots of visitors.
The POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews holds about a thousand year's worth of history of how Jews and Polish lived harmoniously with one another despite their differences. The museum is divided into 8 galleries, with each telling the stories and exhibiting artifacts about a particular aspect of this harmonious co-existence.
South of the Hanseatic port city of Gdansk, the brooding castle of Malbork, historically known by its German name Marienburg, dominates the sleepy Polish villages that surround it. This is of no surprise, as Malbork is today famous for being the largest surviving medieval castle in Europe. The castle was founded in the 13th century as the headquarters of the Germanic Teutonic Order, who at the time were ruthlessly converting pagans to Christianity across the Baltic region. Today, the castle is an awe-inspiring monument to Poland’s turbulent history with its frescoes ceilings, gothic architecture and austere monasticism a reminder of the medieval power of the Teutonic Knights.
This mighty stronghold was built in the 13th century with not less than 5 million bricks. It used to be inhabited by the Teutonic Knights Order. An interesting fact about this stronghold is that it has never been captured in battle since it was built. A tour of the Malbork Castle would expose you to countless tales and histories about this mighty stronghold.
Did dinosaurs exist? Did dragons ever exist? Don't be quick to disagree if you have not been to Dino Park at Malbork. Here, you will not only see fossils of these great animals that remain in the imagination of kids, but you would also actually get to see the animals themselves. A 5D cinema with highly sophisticated sound effects would definitely make you feel like you are actually seeing these prehistoric animals.
Oświęcim is a small industrial city located on the border between the Polish provinces of Silesia and Małopolska and close to the nearby metropolis of Katowice. While the name Oświęcim will likely be unfamiliar to most English speakers, the city’s German name, Auschwitz, will not be. Site of the largest concentration camp in history, the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum is a monument to the grotesque brutality of the Nazi regime’s attempt to exterminate Europe’s Jews and other minority groups. The camp is divided into two sections – the earlier Auschwitz I and the vast Birkenau (Auschwitz II) camp, which was constructed after the Nazi’s had devised their genocidal Final Solution. Today, millions of visitors arrive yearly to pay their respects to those who lost their lives in Oświęcim and to learn about the city’s deeply disturbing modern history.
You might get there and find a museum instead but don't worry, you are in the correct place. What is now a museum was formerly an enamel factory before its conversion after the second world war. The Oskar Schindler's Enamel Factory is where Oskar Schindler saved the lives of a thousand people during the Holocaust.
The Nazis had two main concentration camps in Oswiecim alone, and each of these camps has their stories to tell. More than 125,000 prisoners of war were kept in these concentration camps and more than a million people were murdered. When the Nazis were finally forced away from these camps, they tried to burn the camps down but were only partially successful. Today, the remains of these camps are a tourist site.