With a rich historical past, Poland is a country that offers stunning architecture, a myriad of museums dedicated to the Second World War, and in contrast to the urban landscape of its cities, rolling plains and open meadows in the countryside. Restored synagogues, holocaust memorials and re-built cities feature heavily, no matter where you travel in this country. Thus, making the trip to Poland one that isn’t just rich in scenic beauty, but also incredibly profound.
|Poland Tourism : A Quick Overview|
|Time Zone||UCT+1, and UTC + 2 during the summer|
Krakow has cemented its reputation for being one of the most popular cities to visit when in Poland. With its picturesque open squares, perfect for taking those enviable group shots, and gothic churches towering over the modern buildings, Krakow is a city that is filled with contradictions – Poland’s past hovers over each city, no matter how contemporary the surroundings may be. Many travellers stop by this city on their way to Auschwitz, soaking in the of poignancy of the region.
Warsaw, Poland’s capital city, was almost destroyed in its entirety during the Second World War. So, what you see when you visit the city is not just contemporary architecture, but a story of the city’s resilience and firm resolve to move past its history. With stunning churches, communist-era buildings, edifices, buzzing restaurants and pubs littered across the city, Warsaw is a great place to add to your itinerary.
Wroclaw is the city you must head to if you’re envisioning wild nights and crazy stories. Predominantly a student town, the city has a great nightlife scene along with lots of events and festivals held periodically. Travellers with a keen eye for detail will note that the architecture in this city varies greatly from block to block. This is simply because Wroclaw was deeply impacted by Austria, Prussia and Bohemia. Take a tranquil walk down any of its lovely bridges and parks and you’ll find yourself wishing you’d added a few extra days to your travel plan.
Finally, do add Lodz to your itinerary just to learn more about its Jewish history. The city has an industrial past and was occupied by Germany during the Second World War, which is why you’ll find old war memorials and museums all over the city. However, recent renovations to the city have strived to create a more upbeat atmosphere, with shopping malls, business centers and youthful arcades. Visiting the Jewish cemetery is a-must, simply to acknowledge the devastating loss of life during the war.
Undoubtedly, one of the first to visit in Poland is Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial Museum, a former concentration camp turned museum. Auschwitz honours the lives of over 1.3 million Jews who died within its walls, showcasing the horrors of the Second World War. The museum has been left as it was during the war, with gas chambers and prisons intact. The atmosphere here is somber, and do maintain a respectful demeanor when you go in.
The Vistula River Beach is one of the biggest hubs for entertainment. With its stretch of scenic grasslands, and beautiful birds, it’s a great place for you to hang out with your friends and have a great time. Many travellers rank this spot as one of the most beautiful ones in Poland, and you’ll have to go there yourself to see if it’s true!
Wieliczka salt mine lies within the Krakow metropolitan area, in the town of Wieliczka, southern Poland. It’s a labyrinth of chambers and tunnels and is distributed over nine levels. The deepest level is astoundingly 327 meters underground. Today, it is enlisted as a UNESCO world heritage site and witnesses more than a million tourists every year. The attractions here include statues and chapels, adorned with chandeliers, carved out of rock salt by the miners.
The Bialowieza forest is a UNESCO world heritage site and the most famous polish forest. It is located on the border, between Poland and Belarus. One can enjoy a sleigh ride during the winter season, following a warm and peaceful bonfire. These forests are a biker’s paradise as they can ride along the trails, witnessing its pristine beauty and may even get lucky enough to spot some of the species that reside there. The art gallery of Barbara Banka, located in one of the oldest houses in Bialowieza village, is a great place to find some unusual souvenirs, so do head down if you want to take home some quirky presents for your loved ones.
Built by Tuetonic Knights, all the way back in the 13th century, the Castle of the Teutonic Order in Malbork is one of the many UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the country. Expose yourself to the country’s medieval history and architecture for an experience like no other.
The Centennial Hall in Warsaw is one of the monuments that date to the Second World War, showing the German influence on the city. Built by a German named Max Berg, the hall is a circular building made of concrete and is still used commonly to hold exhibitions.
Finally, visit the historic Center of Krakow, which is a hot favourite amongst tourists. It houses St. Mary’s Church, cobbled streets, medieval houses, and a bustling market square filled with incredible goodies to take home. Over 10 million people visit this area annually, and it holds the status of being the first Polish area to be listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
When you think of Polish cuisine, you think of meat and bread, and then some more meat and bread! Many seasoned travellers estimate that Polish sausages outrank German ones for being absolutely delicious. And, they’re not wrong. But, before you start trying out sausages, try some classic Pierogi -a Polish dumpling filled with sauerkraut, meat, mushrooms, sweet cottage cheese, seasonal fruits, and more.
Almost every country has its own variant of soup, and Poland offers steaming Rosol – a chicken and noodle soup that is most commonly devoured right after Sunday Church. It’s got meat, cabbage, small leeks, onions, celery, salt and pepper. Another dish that you simply must try is the Golabki - a roll of meat, onions, mushrooms and cabbage leaves fried in fat! You’ve also got to try Pierniki - cookies coated with chocolate or sugar, Placki ziemniaczane or potato pancakes and Sernik - a traditional cheesecake, which is an absolute delight for traveler’s with a sweet-tooth.
Poland is located in central Europe and is divided into 16 administrative subdivisions. It has Belarus and Ukraine to its east, Slovakia and the Czech Republic to its south and Germany to its west. The Baltic Sea, Lithuania and Russia’s Kaliningrad oblast, border Poland from the north.
Poland witnesses a major number of tourists during spring (March to May) and Autumn (September to November). Poland has six distinctive seasons and each has its own merits. The months of March, April and August are the shoulder seasons during which the weather is neutral. This makes it a delightful time to explore. October marks the arrival of the winter season and a suitable time for tourists who don’t like crowds. Since fewer people visit Poland at this time, one can easily grab cheap hotel deals. Poland is a place that can be visited throughout the year based on the weather of choice. It never disappoints any of its visitors!
By air: Some of the prominent airports in Poland are Warsaw Chopin Airport, Katowice International Airport and John Paul II International Airport. The former is home to largest number of international airlines, with LOT Polish Airlines being its national carrier. Furthermore, Gdansk and Rzeszow are two other important airports that can be availed off. Many major European airlines fly to Poland’s airports and connect directly.
By train: PKP Intercity, being a long-distance rail service, connects Warsaw to Oberhausen, Moscow, Vienna, Kiev, Prague, Berlin and Budapest directly.
By road: As Poland is a part of the Schengen Agreement, there are no checkpoints to worry about. One can easily drive in from roads linking Poland to its neighboring countries.
By water: Ferries and yachts are available from Gdansk, Hel and Gdynia respectively. There are boats coming in from Sweden, Denmark and even from Germany with stops including Copenhagen, Rostock and Ystad.
Poland is prominent for being a land of wars, insurrections and destruction. Once, the largest country in Europe, it has seen great annihilation and has almost vanished from the world map. One of the earliest salient battles took place in 1410, the battle of Tannenberg, where the united forces of Poland and Lithuania fought against the Teutonic order. The 16th century brought about a golden era for Poland, where it began prospering culturally and developed in the field of arts and science. Again, the 17th century became a herald of catastrophic invasion by the Swedish deluge and left Poland in ruins. 1791 marked the establishment of Europe’s first constitution but that couldn’t save it from prolonged misfortune and soon, rulers from Russia, Prussia and Austria invaded Poland. Nazi Germany invaded Poland in 1939, which sparked World War II and caused the country to suffer a loss of millions of Polish citizens. This history is evident across the country and has had a huge impact on Polish culture.
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Poland flaunts a long Baltic, rich cultural heritage and scenic locales- all of which makes it an attractive tourist hub. Poland Tours as part of Poland Vacation Packages will take you across medieval Kraków and Gda?sk to urbane locales thriving with cosmopolite cultures. Set amidst serene lakes, woods and hills, Poland Holidays at the countryside is a fresh breath of air, away from the hustle and bustle of city life.
Poland Travel Packages will help you time travel on your Trip to Poland, where memorabilia of monarchs and queens of more than thousand of years are abundantly reflected across the country. It is a historic mine. Poland Holiday Packages are a pleasure to art lovers, boasting of Baroque, Renaissance and Art Nouveau. Caught in the midst of World War II, it bears its scar well in erected museums and monuments.
Some of its famous spots are out of fairytales, with picturesque castles set atop undulating hills. Medieval ruins line many of these hilltops and are a must see on your Poland Tour. Travel to Poland now, to engage in history and nature simultaneously.