12 Festivals in Poland you can’t miss

Poland is home to some of the most exciting festivals in Europe. From popular music festivals to food and drink celebrations, there’s something for everyone in Poland. This diverse country offers a wealth of cultural experiences and memories that will last a lifetime.

Throughout the year, festivals take place celebrating everything from local customs to religious holidays. For example, Open’er Festival is among the biggest music events in Europe, drawing thousands of visitors each year.

But if you’re looking for something more traditional, Krakow’s Wianki festival is an annual midsummer celebration with bonfires and fireworks.

No matter what type of festival you’re interested in, Poland festivals have plenty to offer! These festivals in Poland can be of any size, from a few families getting together to celebrate Christmas to large-scale citywide events.

Festivals of Poland 

If you want to catch some amazing events that you’ll remember forever, Poland is one of the lesser-known destinations for festivals – the amount and diversity of Polish festivals is astounding. And for a good price too! 

Popular music festivals in Poland

Music is an important part of every festival, so let’s start with the ones that focus on it as the main attraction. We’d venture to say, that there are at least a few options for every music genre in the book, so everybody should find something perfect for their taste. 

Many festivals start in early June when the summer months roll around and are attended by hundreds of thousands of people.

Pol’and’Rock Festival

Undoubtedly the biggest of them all is the famous Pol’and’Rock Festival (previously known as Woodstock festival Poland) in Kostrzyn nad Odrą. Its frequency in the years before the pandemic reached over 750,000 people.

This festival for the music lover is totally free of admission, as it is intended to thank the volunteers of The Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity, a benefit foundation aiming to improve medical care nationwide.

A person crowd surfing at Pol’and’Rock Festival. Festivals in Poland are popular for all ages.
Pol’and’Rock is one of the most popular Poland festivals

Everybody can enter on the condition that they came to make peace, not war. That is why, regardless of the music, which varies from rock, heavy metal, hip hop or punk all the way up to electronic music, the festival’s general vibe is absolutely hippie, explaining its better-known previous name.

The artists on Pol’and’Rock are mostly Polish but it doesn’t lack occasional big stars, like The Prodigy or Manu Chao.

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Sunrise Festival in Kołobrzeg

Speaking of electronics, in recent decades there was a huge surge of festivals that are dedicating themselves entirely to this type of music. The biggest festival of the kind in Poland (and one of the biggest in whole Eastern Europe) is Sunrise Festival, which takes place in Kołobrzeg. They major in the trance and house genre and host such giants as David Guetta or Fatboy Slim.

The Audioriver Festival

The Audioriver Festival is close on its heels, but except for the music, they pay attention to the educational values as well. The last edition focused on topics surrounding sexual education and responsible fun. Another one worth mentioning is Cracovian Unsound Festival held in a once abandoned Forum hotel, scenically located by the Vistula River.

It explores widely understood contemporary music, the sounds that escape the genre classifications – new, experimental and the unobvious.

Open’er Festival

Another musical giant, with more of an international and ‘hipster’ vibe, is Open’er Festival in Gdynia. Its record frequency reached 140 000 people in 2018. Organizers of the event pride themselves in being the first to create many solutions that are currently used in most music festivals in Poland, like introducing hand bands, on-festival currency or special buses that are bringing the participants to the event.

People listening to music at Poland festival. Festivals in Poland are a great way to be social
Music festivals in Poland happen every year

Open’er’s lineup is definitely one of the most awaited – it’s known to sell out before they even release the name of the first band. Here is where many artists played for the first (and sometimes the only) time in Poland, including super-stars such as Blur, Prince, Coldplay, Snoop Dogg, The White Stripes, Kanye West, Kings Of Leon or Arctic Monkeys. The main genres of the festival are rock, pop and electronics. Open’er is one of the best Polish summer festivals.

The Mystic Festival in Gdansk

The Gdansk Mystic Festival is an annual event hosted in the city of Gdansk, Poland. It is a unique music and cultural festival that celebrates the power of music to connect people from all walks of life. The festival will take place over three days, offering visitors a chance to experience a variety of musical performances in one centralised location.

The lineup for this year’s event includes some of Poland’s most prominent musicians as well as international artists from around the world. Attendees can look forward to enjoying folk and pop music, traditional Polish songs, modern rock tunes, jazz-infused melodies and more. With something for everyone to enjoy, it is sure to be an unforgettable experience for all who attend.

In addition to live performances throughout the weekend, there will be many activities taking place in and around Gdansk during the festival’s duration.

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Art Festivals in Poland

Festivals in Poland are not only about music and there is many of them where another type of art is put in the spotlight. Literature, photography, cinema, dance, visual effects, performance… Poland certainly doesn’t lack ideas for creating mass events. 

Slot Art Poland Festival

One of the most interesting is Slot Art Festival, held in the second largest sacred facility in the world – Lubiąż Monastery. A huge complex of beautiful baroque buildings makes a great background to the 5 days filled with workshops, lectures, concerts and activities, all held in a very chilled, friendly and respectful atmosphere.

masquerade Mask from festival in Poland
Poland has many great artists who participate in festivals

The classes can vary from African dance, through ceramics or walking on stilts, all the way to playing the musical saw. At the end of the event, there’s a magical show filled with fire dancing, acrobats and mystical music. 

Festival in Poland – OFF Camera

Another type of art festival is OFF Camera – the biggest film festival in Poland. Quoting the organizers of the event: “it centres on the independent cinema, brave both in terms of content and formal structure, which relies on gripping, fascinating stories.”

Once a year, Cracow transforms into a huge cinema complex and movies are screened everywhere, including many open-air locations, such as the banks of the River Vistula.

Even though independent, the festival is known for hosting some of the most famous big-screen actors among its guests, including Wentworth Miller, a star of the famous Prison Break series. 

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Culture festivals of Poland

Let’s not forget about the festivals that concentrate on promoting different cultures. Even though Poland might not be the most diverse country in the world, they do take great pride in the cultural influences that made them what they are today. Local culture events celebrate diverse traditions and are worth visiting to get a better understanding of Poland.

Jewish Culture Festival

Poland has a very rich and long history of Jewish presence in the country and there are many events referring to it, spread across its borders. Probably the most special is the Jewish Culture Festival in Cracow.

Born as a small, local project, it quickly grew to be the biggest showcase of Jewish culture in the world and one of the best known and appreciated by both artists and visitors cultural events in Poland.

Krakow jewish festival
The annual Kraków Jewish Cultural centre draws large crowds

Every year for 10 summer days 150 artists, lecturers and instructors share their work and achievements in developing Jewish culture with their audience. The event in Krakow attracts around 30 000 people yearly, with its unique concerts, lectures and art displays. 

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Carnaval Sztukmistrzów

Another extraordinary festival, that has no equal in its kind worldwide is Carnaval Sztukmistrzów, being a part of the Urban Highline Festival. Every year in the last week of July, the city of Lublin becomes a playground for magicians, jugglers, fire dancers and street artists coming from across the globe and showing the arcane of what is commonly known as the gipsy culture.

Trapeze artist in Lublin, Poland
The crowds watching events in Lublin
By Piotr Jaruga – Zbiory Urzędu Miasta Lublin, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link

Meanwhile, the air above the dumbfounded audience is crowded with the High liners, strolling casually on the tightrope extended in between the buildings. It’s the biggest festival of this type in the world. 

Wianki Festival

The Wianki Festival in Poland is an annual event that has been celebrated for centuries. It is a traditional midsummer celebration of the summer solstice and all its glory. The festival brings together more than 100,000 people from around the country to celebrate with lively music, dancing, feasting, and much more.

Held each summer in Poland on June 21st or 22nd (depending on the specific date of the solstice), the festivities take place both day and night in various public parks throughout Poland’s major cities – namely Krakow and Warsaw.

The main event occurs at midnight when celebrants light up their wreaths made of wildflowers – known as Wianki – which they set afloat down rivers across the country as a way to bring luck and ward off evil spirits. It is a festival in Poland not to be missed.

The Good Taste Festival

Every year, the city of Poznan in Poland plays host to an event that has food lovers from all around the world rushing to take part. The Poznan Good Taste Festival is a celebration of all things delicious, offering visitors a unique chance to sample local and international cuisines in a stunning outdoor setting.

Taking place over two days each summer, this festival attracts thousands of eager eaters looking for their next culinary adventure.

festival in Poznan
The Good Food Festival in full swing

The festival offers something for everyone; there are countless stalls filled with tasty treats like kebabs and crepes, plus exotic dishes from countries such as India and Thailand. There’s also plenty of live music playing at the event.

You can enjoy traditional Polish folk music while sampling the country’s iconic pierogis or watch street artists performing while munching on delicious Polish sausages.

The Good Beer Festival

The Good Beer Festival in Wrocław, Poland, is an event that’s not to be missed. It’s a celebration of craft beer and good music, with a wide range of beers from all over the world being sampled.

The festival features works shops on brewing, meet and greet with brewers and more. A range of musical styles, ranging from rock and folk to jazz and reggae, as well as live performances by some of the most popular bands in Poland.

Food stalls are also available to provide visitors with a variety of delicious eats throughout the day. Mix the best of Polish beer with yummy food.

For those looking for something more than just beer, there are plenty of activities on offer at the Good Beer Festival too. From fun contests, and games to art exhibitions showcasing local talent – there’s no shortage of things to do!

Christmas festivals in Poland

In most European destinations at Christmas, you will find a plethora of Christmas festivals and the same goes for Christmas festivals in Poland. In Most cities, towns and rural villages it is a magical time and they will have their own traditional celebration and festivals where family members get together.

While we can’t cover them all there are a few Christmas festivals in Poland held annually that can’t be missed.

poland christmas
Polish celebrations and Christmas traditions are popular in Poland

Warsaw Christmas Market: Experience the bustling market in Warsaw’s old town with its wooden stalls, offering handicrafts, delicious treats, and mulled wine. Enjoy live music and festive decorations.

Krakow Christmas Market: Stroll through the beautiful Rynek Glowny square, adorned with lights and a giant Christmas tree. Sample traditional Polish delicacies and find unique gifts.

Wroclaw Christmas Market: Explore the charming market in the Market Square, featuring local crafts, sweet treats, and a captivating atmosphere.

Zakopane Christmas Market: Nestled in the Tatra Mountains, this market showcases regional arts and crafts, local food specialties, and folk performances.

Poznan Christmas Market: Be captivated by the vibrant market’s illuminations, carousel rides, and the daily multimedia show on the historic Town Hall.

These are just a few drops of water in the sea of Polish festivals that one can choose from. What is sure, is that everybody can find something interesting and fitting their definition of “fun” while visiting this Eastern European country.

Frequently asked questions about travel in Poland

Poland is an emerging travel destination in Europe. For many travellers, Poland has not been on their radar so there are a few frequently asked questions about Poland we can answer for you.

Is Poland safe for travel?

Violent crime is rare in Poland, but like most countries petty crime, such as pickpocketing, is common. Thieves often work in small groups, so be aware in tourist areas and near hotels, markets, ATMs, currency exchange bureaus and public transport.

What currency do I need for my trip to Poland?

The official currency you need to use in Poland is the Zloty. We recommend that you get a Revolut travel money card, that can be loaded with multiple currencies and has nearly non-existent withdrawal fees to save you money on your trip to Poland

Do I need travel insurance for my holiday in Poland?

Poland has a high quality of healthcare but in saying that travel insurance is still recommended for all travellers entering the country. The last thing you want is a huge bill for medical expenses should you require care on your family holiday in Poland

We recommend using Travel Insurance Master, their website will compare the best deals from a number of providers and present you with the best value for money policy on the market. Click through to Insurance Masters to get a free quote.

Using your phone in Poland

Relying on Wi-fi when you are travelling and sightseeing in Poland can be difficult. Making calls and staying in contact is a top priority when you are travelling in Europe. Plan your trip to Poland and order your sim before you leave home to stop any stress about travelling, data and calls on your vacation in Poland.

Pocket Wi-Fi for your

You will be able to access free Wi-Fi at certain spots in Poland. The best solution for your vacation in Poland and staying connected to the internet is to rent a 4G Pocket Wi-Fi hotspot. These small devices can be ordered and delivered to your hotel for your stay in Poland.

Alternatively, you can purchase a mobile hotspot device to keep and use on all your travel. You can choose the length of time you want and the amount of daily data you will need. Order your pocket Wi-Fi today for your Poland trip.

We hope this article from us here at Poland Travel Expert has inspired you to visit some of the best festivals in Poland. You will find a diverse range of events in this beautiful country featuring Polish culture, historical events, New Year’s Eve celebrations, music and more

Poland Travel Expert is your ultimate guide to all things Poland. Your next trip to Poland will not be complete without our detailed Poland guides, Poland itineraries and Poland travel tips.

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Author Bio: Mark Wyld

Mark Wyld is a Father, husband, traveller, and writer at Poland Travel Expert and other blogs. I have accumulated a wealth of experience over multiple visits to Poland. Thanks to our friends in Poland, we stay connected to the nation’s pulse, ensuring that our content is up to date with our first-hand experience. The information on this website is backed by genuine expertise.