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Poland may not be an obvious holiday destination, but it has a lot to offer. It’s the perfect place for a weekend getaway, a skiing trip, or a peaceful beach escape. From impressive natural beauty, to rich history and mouthwatering food, here is why Poland should be number one on your travel wish list.
Poland boasts 14 unique UNESCO World Heritage Sites you simply cannot miss. From the ancient Bialowieza Forest – home to the protected European Bison species and spectacular decaying trees – to the picturesque historical Old Towns of Warsaw and Krakow and beautiful medieval churches, the country is one of the most alluring European destinations.
For many, food is one of the most important reasons to visit Poland. Apart from the classic pierogis, borscht, and bigos, make sure you try some typical Polish sweets such as jam-filled pączki (Polish doughnuts), glaze-topped sernik (Polish cheesecake) or makowiec (poppy seed cake – traditionally served for Christmas).
Although prices in the biggest cities steadily continue to soar, Poland is still a fairly cheap European destination. To make your stay even cheaper, fly in with one of the low cost airlines such as Ryanair or Wizzair, eat your meals at the famous milk bars, get around by public bikes and book your stay at a hostel or rent out an Airbnb. If you’re visiting the capital, check out our guide to a budget stay in Warsaw.
History fans won’t get bored in Poland. From hundreds of medieval castles, to the infamous Auschwitz Birkenau camp and excellent museums (the Warsaw Rising Museum and POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews are especially worth visiting), there is a lot to take in and discover.
The Tatras are a true paradise for nature lovers. Perfect for hitting the slopes in winter and hiking in the summer season, they are one of Poles’ favorite holiday destinations. Head off the beaten track to discover the lesser-known mountain ranges such as Bieszczady, Pieniny, or Table Mountains (characterized by unique plated rock formations) for a less touristy experience.
Many people are surprised to learn Poland’s northern coast is covered with idyllic white sandy beaches. The best time to visit is the summer season, when tourists from Poland and abroad gather in most popular resorts such as Sopot, Ustka, and the Hel Peninsula (great for windsurfing and kitesurfing) to enjoy the sun, water sports, and the delicious fruit-topped wafers (gofry). See also The Best Beach Towns in Poland.
Poles know how to party all year round. Whether it’s a friend’s wedding, a summer music festival, or a regular Friday night at a club, there is always a reason to celebrate. Be careful though – Poles can drink a lot! Luckily, there are some great hangover cures that you’ll surely be recommended (such as gherkin juice) to survive the next day.
Everyone who visits Warsaw for the first time is positively surprised to discover its vibrant cultural life. With its hip bars, vegan restaurants, and alternative clubs, many call it the new Berlin. Check it out for yourself!
Kraków, on the other hand, will charm you with its picturesque cobbled streets, historical landmarks, craft shops, and cosy cafés.
You’ll also be lucky to experience the country’s hospitality. The good-hearted Poles love having guests over. If you visit a Polish home, you’ll be treated like a family member straight away.