One place that is not completely on the tourist radar is Poland, but it is fast becoming a brilliant place for a European vacation. Poland has it all from food to traditions, there are so many things to do in this amazing European country, Poland will have you visiting time and again. But exactly why should you visit Poland?
- Reasons to visit Poland
- Accommodation in Poland
- The Cities in Poland
- More reasons to visit Poland
This is a question we are asked a lot due to our numerous visits to Poland over the years. There are many things to do in Poland, such as visiting historic cities like Warsaw and Kraków, exploring the stunning landscapes of the Tatra Mountains, and discovering the rich cultural heritage by indulging in traditional Polish cuisine and attending festivals.
So in this post, we are going to give you all the very best reasons to visit Poland.
Reasons to visit Poland
There are so many reasons to visit Poland and we have tried to list all of the ones that make us want to return. There will be people who agree with our reasons to visit Poland and some that don’t but that is the beauty of travel.
Our reasons for visiting Poland have come from our numerous trips to Poland and from our friends who have visited Poland too. We hope that these reasons to visit Poland will inspire you to plan a trip to Poland in the future.
Many tourists believe that Poland is good to visit due to its rich history and diverse culture. We have always found the Polish people to be friendly and helpful for all generations. While the older generation may come across as slightly standoffish at the start they are more than happy to help.
Most younger people in large cities speak English and are willing to help. Once you get into the smaller towns it may be a little harder but a smile is a universal language and in the end, you will get there! Meeting new people is one of the best reasons to visit Poland.
Many people know Poland for what happened to the country in War War II but few realise the massive impact this had until you get there and still see the damage to the historic cities.
There are many day tours of the major WWII sites like Auschwitz Concentration Camp, which we do recommend visiting. There are other tours like walking tours and small group tours that will take you to other sites that are significant in what happened to Poland at that time.
You can visit museums such as the Warsaw Rising Museum, which also gives you a greater insight into how much Poland suffered and lost in the time of World War II.
There is also a lot you can learn about Poland that does not include War. Poland’s story began in the 10th century when it emerged as a kingdom. The following centuries saw the rise of notable rulers and a period of prosperity. The Jagiellonian Dynasty fostered cultural growth and a union with Lithuania, marking a vibrant era.
However, the 18th century brought partition, with Poland divided by neighbouring powers. This led to a struggle for independence. The nation faced immense suffering during both World Wars but managed to regain independence in 1918.
The 1980s witnessed the inspiring Solidarity Movement, challenging communist rule and paving the way for democratic reforms. Since the fall of communism in 1989, Poland has experienced rapid economic growth, joined the European Union, and become a vibrant member of the global community.
Polish fascinating history is a tapestry of resilience, cultural contributions, and the unwavering spirit of its people. It continues to shape Poland into the diverse and dynamic country it is today.
The Polish Food
The cuisine of Poland is a traditional mix of various regional dishes. The country’s food culture is influenced by that of its neighbours, most notably Germany and Russia. Polish cuisine differs from region to region. The delicious food of the mountainous regions in the south is different from the lowland regions in the north.
Polish food has a rich culture with many different tasty dishes to choose from and is top of the reasons to visit Poland. One of the most popular Polish dishes is pierogi, which are dumplings filled with meat, potatoes, cheese or mushrooms. Polish dumplings are known all around the world.
Enjoy Polish hospitality and enjoy other traditional Polish cuisine such as ogórki kiszone (pickled cucumbers), zrazy ziemniaczane (fried mashed potatoes), sauerkraut soup, bigos, and piernik.
The traditional drink of Poland is vodka. It is a clear distilled spirit made from grains or potatoes and consumed in shots. The Polish word for vodka, “wódka,” translates to water, which is a symbol of life in Polish culture.
It has been produced in Poland since at least the 14th century and is the country’s national drink. While many have had a bad experience with vodka that burns you won’t usually find this with Polish Vodka unless you go with the high percentage ones.
Flavoured vodka in Poland is also fantastic. You can find plenty of flavours that you still have in stock. The Krupnik Slony Karamel and the Soplica Plum are two of our very favourites. You will find many Vodka tours in different cities in Poland
The national currency of Poland is the Zloty and it is used all over the country, not the Euro. This allows Poland to be a little cheaper than some of the other European countries you may visit and is a great reason to visit Poland for a budget holiday.
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.
The Polish Landscape
It is easy to understand why Poland is known for its beautiful landscapes. The country offers many mountains, valleys, rivers, and forests are home to numerous species of wildlife.
Although much of the land has been cleared to make it suitable for farming, around 30% of the country remains in natural forests. If you love nature this is one of the best reasons to visit Poland.
Discover more Polish castles: Stay the night at the amazing Czocha Castle
For the majority of the time, Poland’s weather perfectly matches its name which is derived from a Slavic word for “white,” because the country receives large amounts of snowfall in winter and has a relatively modest temperature in summer.
The climate in Poland varies dramatically from region to region. As a result, the Polish climate is a bit unpredictable. The Baltic coast is warmer and wetter than inland areas.
The people of Poland speak Polish as their primary language. Polish is spoken by around 38 million people worldwide and is the fourth most popular Slavic language.
It has been estimated that about half of Poles speak at least some knowledge of English, which is a common second language because it is taught in schools and many Poles tend to be bilingual. It will be easy to find English speakers in bigger cities.
Polish is also said to be one of the hardest languages to learn! Like all countries you visit in Europe learn to say a few words, If you’re in Poland learn hay to say hello in Polish, if you’re in the Netherlands learn how to say hello in Dutch and so forth.
With this, it is absolutely welcomed if you do attempt to learn some of the most common phrases when you are visiting Poland.
Planning to see more in Warsaw? Use our epic 2 day Warsaw itinerary
Vacation to Poland – UNESCO sites
Poland has some amazing and very unique UNESCO World Heritage sites from wooden churches to underground Salt Mines to forests that are teeming with wildlife.
One of the most popular and significant world heritage sites in Poland is The Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camp, with millions of visitors making the journey there. For some, it is to see where their ancestor’s life ended for others it is a pilgrimage to try to comprehend one of the most unbelievable moments in the history of the planet.
Old World Charm for Poland Tourism
Wandering the Old Towns in many of the cities in Poland will have you breathless. They are simply amazing and most are bright and wonderful.
What some don’t know is that many of the old towns had to be rebuilt after WWII. Many of the older Polish cities, especially Warsaw and Kraków underwent huge restorations to recover the charm that was lost.
The restorations have been done to maintain the authentic nature of the cities and keep to the same design that they had. There are so many amazing cities in Poland.
Looking for some extra fun in Poland? Check out one of these amazing festivals in Poland
Transport for travellers in Poland
Transport in Poland for tourists can be difficult due to the lack of proper roads. New highways are slowly being built thanks to EU funding. Airports are not as prevalent as in other countries, which can make flying much more expensive than travelling by land, but also less time-consuming.
One option for public transportation is the train. There are plenty of routes that travellers can take to explore Poland.
Accommodation in Poland
Poland offers a wide range of accommodation, from homestays to resort-style accommodation. The Polish hotel market is experiencing dramatic growth. Poland has become an attractive destination for domestic and international visitors looking for more affordable accommodations, resulting in increased demand for hotels, motels, and bed and breakfasts. Plan ahead and book your hotels and apartments well in advance for the best prices for your Poland vacations.
The Cities in Poland
The cities in Poland will have you wanting more. They all have their own feel, flavour and beauty that is unrivalled throughout Europe. These vibrant cities are full of Poland tourist attractions, friendly people, historical sites and new cultures to explore.
Warsaw – Warszawa
Warsaw the capital of Poland is an eastern European gem, a thriving city welcoming visitors from all over the world. The city of Warsaw, Poland is the perfect destination for the active traveller. The big city has a 1,000-year history to explore with unique architecture, culture and museums.
Warsaw was once known as the ‘Paris of Eastern Europe’ for its stunning architecture and beautiful parks. Today it’s known for its dynamism, youthful energy and innovative spirit. Warsaw has a reputation for having one of Europe’s most vibrant nightlife in Europe. You can easily get to Warsaw from Berlin and neighbouring countries.
Krakow – Stołeczne Królewskie Miasto Kraków
Krakow is a prime destination for anyone looking to experience Polish culture while on vacation. With its rich history and welcoming citizens, Krakow has plenty to offer visitors while they are there. Krakow is the second-largest city in Poland. It has a population of 675,000 people.
Krakow is home to many historic sites such as Wawel Castle, St Mary’s Basilica, Wieliczka Salt Mine, the Jewish Quarter and Auschwitz is not far away. There are also many museums such as the Polish Aviation Museum and the National Museum of Science and Technology.
The city’s official name is Stołeczne Królewskie Miasto Kraków which translates into the Royal Capital City of Krakow. You will find plenty of places to stay in Krakow near the old town.
Wroclaw is a beautiful city in western Poland that is known for its stunning architecture, rich history, and vibrant culture. Visitors to Wroclaw can explore the city’s many museums, galleries, and theatres, or simply wander through its charming streets and squares.
Some of the city’s top attractions include the Market Square, the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, and the Panorama of the Battle of Racławice. With its friendly locals, delicious food, and lively nightlife scene, Wroclaw is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Poland
Planning a trip to Poland? Use our guide to the best cities in Poland
Poznan – Poznań
Poznan today is a modern city that continues to grow. It’s home to many universities and colleges which attract students from all around Europe.
Poznan is renowned for being Poland’s cultural capital. This means you can find art galleries, museums, theatres, concert halls, parks, gardens, lakes, rivers, etc in Poznan. Popular Poland vacation destinations include Poznan, with its beautiful architecture. The Old Town has been designated by UNESCO as one of the most important examples of urban planning in Central-Eastern Europe.
Gdansk was once one of the most important cities on the Baltic Sea coast. Today it has become a popular tourist destination because of its proximity to the sandy beaches of northern Poland, beautiful architecture, historical buildings, and unique culture.
Gdansk is located at the mouth of the Vistula River where it empties into the Baltic Sea. The city of Gdansk is known for having many historic sites such as churches, cathedrals, and castles, and is home to the world’s amber trade. A stay in Gdańsk when you travel to Poland is a must.
Lublin is located about 100 km from Warsaw, The city’s name comes from Lubelski, which means the Lublinians. Lublin is famous for its medieval architecture, including a number of Gothic buildings dating back to the 14th century. In addition to this, there are also numerous Renaissance-style houses built in the 16th and 17th centuries in Lublin.
Popular Lublin attractions include St Mary Magdalene Church, the Old Town Hall, the Cathedral Basilica of Our Lady of Sorrows, the Royal Castle, the Museum of Contemporary Art, the National Theatre, the Polish Academy of Sciences building, the Jewish Historical Institute, the Ethnographic Museum, and the City Park.
Discover more: Chase the infamous gold train with a visit to Ksiaz Castle
Szczecin in Poland has been called one of Europe’s most beautiful cities. It was founded by Teutonic Knights as part of their Grand Duchy of Pomerania.
The city became an important trading centre during the Middle Ages. Popular Szczecin attractions include the Gothic cathedral and castle built between 1370–1400; the Renaissance-style town hall from 1580, and the Baroque church of St Catherine of Alexandria from 1710.
Szczecin is known for its parks, Park Wyspa Książki (Book Island); the Park Oliwa (Oliva) which are considered some of the most beautiful urban parks in Poland.
Why go to Poland – To see medieval Polish Castles
Castles in Poland are one of the most unique aspects of its rich history and one of the best reasons to visit Poland. Whether it be fairy tales or the country’s past, Polish castles are both mystifying and majestic.
Most Polish castles were built during the 14th through the 17th centuries with their architecture rooted in Central European Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque styles.
It is said that King Sigismund III Vasa had more than twenty-four palaces and around 170 castles throughout his reign. Some of the best examples of castles in Poland include Malbork Castle, Belweder Palace, and Wawel Cathedral. The Polish countryside is literally full of castles with amazing architecture.
Vacations to Poland – The Baltic Coastline
The Baltic coast of Poland is a fascinating destination for tourists. It’s home to many unique ecosystems, each with its own beauty. The Polish coastline is nearly 1 thousand kilometres long, stretching from the border with Germany in the west to Lithuania in the south.
You can easily access this part of Poland from most parts of Europe by plane. One day you could be looking at the Sistine Chapel in Rome and a few hours later you could be walking the beaches of the Baltic Coast
The Tatra Mountains
Mountains are one of the most beautiful places on Earth to visit. Visiting Poland’s Tatras Mountains is no exception, with their breathtaking views and layered peaks. The Tatras is an area filled with natural wonders and a rich geological history.
Due to its beauty, this area has been a favourite destination for many travellers visiting Europe. Ski towns such as Zakopane in the Polish Alps are popular, along with mountain biking and hiking in the summer months
The best time to visit Poland
With a mild climate, Poland experiences distinct seasons throughout the year. The best time to visit Poland largely depends on what you want to do in Poland. If you are looking to explore bustling cities and tourist attractions, such as Warsaw and Krakow, the spring and autumn months, from April to June and September to October are ideal. During these periods, the weather is generally pleasant, and the crowds are relatively smaller compared to the peak tourist season in summer.
On the other hand, a Poland trip in summer, from July to August, is considered the high season for tourism in Poland, as the weather is warm and perfect for outdoor activities, and various cultural festivals take place across the country.
A visit in winter, especially the month of December, offers a magical experience with its festive atmosphere, and charming Christmas markets. In Winter there are opportunities for winter sports enthusiasts to hit the slopes.
Overall, the best time to go vacationing in Poland depends on individual preferences, be it the desire to enjoy pleasant weather, explore historical sites, or experience the unique charm of the country during festive seasons.
During your vacation in Poland, we hope you explored the country’s rich history and culture. Visited numerous landmarks, such as the iconic Wawel Castle in Krakow and the historic Royal Castle in Warsaw. We hope this article has helped you research what to do in Poland before your trip, shown you all the best reasons to visit Poland and encouraged you to book a trip to Poland.
We are sure you will enjoy a Poland visit and find many things to do along the way. You will love Poland and have many travel stories by the time your vacation is over.
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.
More reasons to visit Poland
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 pulse of the nation, ensuring that our content is up to date with our first hand experience. The information on this website is backed by genuine expertise.