Poland is a country in Central Europe, with a population of around 38.5 million and a surface area of 312 thousand square kilometres. It borders Lithuania, Russia, Belarus and Ukraine from the East, Czech Republic and Slovakia from the South, and Germany from the West. Its rich history stretches across over a thousand years, and the proof of that is everywhere.
Poland offers a multitude of attractions for every kind of traveller, ranging from historical sites and museums, through beautiful architecture and nature, to rich and eventful cultural life. It’s a member of the European Union and a perfect destination for people who want an interesting, family-friendly vacation while not emptying their wallet out too much.
The two most popular tourist destinations in Poland are its capital, Warsaw, and the old medieval city of Krakow, and the reasons are obvious: both offer very interesting experiences at reasonable prices!
In Warsaw, the Polish capital with a population of 1.7 million, you can experience a variety of things, depending on your interests. There’s multiple hotels, motels and hostels to stay in, and getting around the city is made extremely easy thanks to the extensive and easy to use public transit system, consisting of buses, trams, metro and fast suburban trains, as well as taxis and Uber.
The Old Town of Warsaw offers an unforgettable atmosphere and multiple things to tour and visit, like the Royal Castle, the Barbakan, and the Old Market Square. There’s multiple tours available, with some of them being free. Warsaw was completely destroyed during World War 2, and rebuilt from photographs and paintings during an extensive social program, with people donating what they could to rebuild the capital after the war. The Old Town in its current state is a perfect example of the Polish people’s ingenuity and diligence.
Outside the Old Town, Warsaw has no less to offer, with multiple extremely interesting museums, like the Warsaw Uprising Museum, and also restaurants, bars and a rich night-life. Just outside the city, you can see sights such as the Modlin Fortress, which has protected the city multiple times through the turmoil of history.
Krakow offers a quite different experience. With a population of 750 thousand it is the historical capital of Poland, its rich in both history and modern culture. It’s been the seat of the Polish kings for hundreds of years, which is clearly visible if you take a walk around the wonderful Old Town and pay attention to little details.
Krakow is very tourist-friendly, with many tours available in multiple languages, some of them, similarly to Warsaw, free of charge. The main attractions include the Royal Castle on the Wawel Hill, which houses the Szczerbiec – the coronation sword used in crowning ceremonies of most Polish monarchs between the 14th and 18th century. The view from the hill stretches from the beautiful banks of river Vistula, with relaxing parks and multiple cafés and restaurants, some of them on barges moored on the river shore, as well as the Old Town.
Having the largest medieval town square in Europe, the Old Town, which has received the status of an UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1978, can nearly dwarf you with its beauty, splendour and history. You can treat yourself to shopping in the centuries old Cracow Cloth Hall, as well as visit the modern museum in its underground. You can see multiple museums, as well as the beautiful architecture of St. Mary’s Basilica.
But Kracow doesn’t stop there, offering also unforgettable dining experiences, some in restaurants that have been in constant operation since medieval times, a wonderful atmosphere, and boasting a night life filled with clubs, bars, and concerts.
Just outside of Kraków, you can visit the medieval Wieliczka Salt Mine, and the beautiful Polish mountains are also not far away, making for a wonderful destination for people who love hiking.
What else is there to see in Poland?
Those are only a few of the many things Poland has to offer in its cities, towns and countryside. Amazing national parks, charming small towns, and friendly people full of life: ranging from the beautiful shores of the Baltic Sea in the North, to the mountains in the South, this country is filled with history, culture, and magnitudes of experiences just waiting to be discovered.