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 Poland it will have you visiting time and again. But exactly why should you visit Poland?
- Reasons to visit Poland
- The People
- Polish History
- The Polish Food
- The Drinks
- The Currency
- The Polish Landscape
- The Weather
- The language
- Vacation to Poland – UNESCO sites
- Old world charm for Poland Tourism
- Transport for travellers in Poland
- The accommodation in Poland
- The cities in Poland
- Why go to Poland – To see medieval Polish Castles
- Vacations to Poland – The Baltic Coastline
- The Tatra Mountains
- More reasons to visit Poland
This is a question we are asked a lot due to our numerous visits to Poland over the years. 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 to visit Poland have come from our numerous trips to Poland and from our friends that have visited Poland too. We hope that these reasons to visit Poland will inspire you to plan a trip to Poland in the future.
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, which we do recommend visiting. There are also 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. It will also give you a greater insight into how much Poland suffered and lost in this time.
There is also a lot you can learn about Poland that does not include War. Polish history is long and includes many things that do not include conflict. Understanding the Polish past is one of the best reasons to visit Poland.
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 cuisine 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. Other traditional foods include 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 the high percentage ones. Flavoured vodka in Poland is also fantastic. You can find plenty of flavours that you still have in shot for. 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 landscape. The country’s 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.
Polish is also said to be one of the hardest languages to learn! 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 cities in Poland especially Warsaw and Krakow 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.
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 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.
The 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.
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.
Warsaw – Warszawa
Warsaw the capital of Poland is a thriving city welcoming visitors from all over the world. Warsaw, Poland is the perfect destination for the active traveller. The city has a 1,000-year history to explore with unique architecture and culture. 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’s has a reputation for having one of Europe’s most vibrant nightlife in Europe.
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, and the Jewish Quarter. There are also many museums such as the Polish Aviation Museum and the National Museum of Science and Technology.Krakow’s official name is Stołeczne Królewskie Miasto Kraków which translates into the Royal Capital City of Krakow.
Wroclaw, also known as the Venice of Poland, is a beautiful and historic city with a rich culture and excellent cuisine. Wroclaw is also an important cultural and academic centre. It was the European Capital of Culture in 2016. The city has many museums, theatres, galleries, libraries and other cultural institutions.
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 beautiful architecture, historical buildings, and unique culture. Gdansk is located at the mouth of the Vistula River where it empties into the sea. Gdansk is known for having many historic sites such as churches, cathedrals, and castles, and is home to the world’s amber trade.
Lublin is located about 100 km from Warsaw, The city’s name comes from Lubelski, which means of 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.
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, 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.
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.
The Tatra Mountains
Mountains are one of the most beautiful places on Earth to visit. Poland’s Tatras Mountains are no exception, with their breathtaking views and layered peaks. The Tatras is an area filled with natural wonders and rich geological history. Due to its beauty, this area has been a favourite destination for many travellers visiting Europe. Ski towns such as Zakopane are popular along with mountain biking and hiking in the summer months
We hope this article from us here at Poland Travel Expert on all the best reasons to visit Poland has encouraged you to book a trip to Poland. We are sure you will enjoy your trip and find many things to do along the way.
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.