Poland’s 8 Favorite Cities: Best Cities to Visit

Poland, a wonderful country, is frequently traveled through by people going to other regions of Europe. Even though it suffered significant damage during World War II and several of its towns, like Warsaw, were all but destroyed, it is still a beautiful place to visit today.

Bustling cities have majestic churches, interesting museums, lively squares with eateries, and lovely ancient towns.

This article concentrates on the top Polish cities to visit if you’re considering a trip there or are just looking for travel inspiration.

1. Krakow

Kraków, the former capital of Poland, is one of the oldest cities in all of Europe. It is also well known for having a long history and heritage, and it will undoubtedly leave an impression. In reality, we made multiple excursions here before visiting other parts of Poland, and most tourists consider Krakow to be Poland’s top tourist destination.

Along with its stunning main square Rynek Górny, this city’s primary attraction is the castle on Wawel Royal Hill. If you want to learn more about the castle and Polish history, it is best to take this guided tour.

But be sure to go to Kazimierz, a historic Jewish district, where you can take the factory tour run by Oskar Schindler.

Alternatively, you may just buy a ticket for the Factory Entrance right here.

The tour gives you further insight into Jewish daily life in Krakow and the part that this factory played in the story that was portrayed in the 1993 movie Schindler’s List.

A braided ring-shaped bread known as obwarzanek is cooked and topped with salt and sesame or poppy seeds. Purchase the best paczki or pierogi you can (Polish donuts). This bread is only offered in Krakow.

2. Gdansk

We had always wanted to go to Gdansk after seeing pictures of its magnificent ancient town. To be honest, we weren’t really ready for the size of the Old Town. It’s very large!

Gdansk, in Poland, is a key port and the place where World War 2 began. Additionally known as Danzig, the majority of its inhabitants were German.

Despite being devastated during the war, it has been flawlessly restored.

You might easily spend a few days in this city, one of Poland’s greatest for long weekends. You may access the beaches in Sopot by taking a short drive, and don’t forget to stop at the Second World War Museum.

In Gdansk stands St. Mary’s, the biggest brick church in the world. Its inside features a unique astronomical clock that is similar to the one in Prague.

Because it is so convenient for many Germans and Scandinavians to travel there, Gdansk is the best place to visit in Poland if you are from this region of the world.

3. Wroclaw

We nearly chose not to visit Wroclaw, but we are very glad we did. Wroclaw was formerly a part of both Bohemia, which is now the Czech Republic, and Prussia, which is now Germany.

The oldest area is the Main Market Square, which was established in the 13th century. When you look up at the buildings, remember to take note of their features.

One of Poland’s best cities for families is Wroclaw, which is famous for its gnome statues.

More than 350 tiny bronze gnome (or dwarf) figurines can be found tucked away in lanes, on the city’s main square, and even atop lamp posts.

4. Poznan

Poznan is one of the biggest cities in Poland. German immigrants founded it in the 12th century, and it joined Prussia in 1793 before becoming a part of Poland.

Poznan is regarded as a relatively young city because of its high student population. Additionally, it is well recognized for its magnificent merchant residences and magnificent Renaissance Town Hall.

As of 2021, the Old City of Poznan has received substantial renovations. Even though construction is still ongoing, the entire old town should be finished by the summer of 2023. It appears that the locals thought it would take a little longer. In either case, it will be very worthwhile to observe once the restoration work is accomplished.

Try the legendary St. Martin’s Croissant when you visit Poznan. It was created in this nation in the 19th century and is made using white poppy seeds and semi-puff pastry.

Over 250 tonnes of croissants—or roughly 1.25 million individual pastries—are consumed by Pozna residents and numerous tourists on November 11 each year, which is St. Martin’s Day.

5. Sopot

The most famous city on the Northern Sea coast, Sopot, was once a small town but has quickly evolved into a hip beach destination.

Beaches are not often associated with Poland. There will be many more surprises.

If you travel in the summer, it offers a fantastic “holiday feel” that is different from all the other cities you may have already visited.

If you’re looking for some peace and quiet, make sure to check out Sopot’s main pier and the surrounding beaches.

6. Torun

In this brick-built city on the Vistula River, Nicolaus Copernicus was born. Torun was a pleasant surprise. We regretted not staying longer.

There seemed to be a few great things in the small, close-knit city to keep visitors busy. Visitors of all ages can find fun and knowledge at a leaning tower, a gingerbread museum (gingerbread originated in Torun), and a planetarium.

The city may be seen from above by climbing to the top of Town Hall Tower in Old Town Square. Legends are also rather common. Watch out for the golden statues of a donkey, a dog with a parasol, and a fountain with frogs!

7. Zakopane

We were regularly told to visit Zakopane when we announced our vacation to Poland.

The city of Zakopane is located near to the Polish-Slovak border, on the edge of the High Tatra Mountains. There’s no denying that Poles who want to escape the bigger cities go here to go climbing, skiing, or just to unwind in the mountains.

Because Poland is primarily flat, these landscapes are distinctive.
Although it may sound unpopular, we thought Zakopane was simply too much. There were much too many people in the downtown, even on a weekday. We didn’t remain for too long as a result.

One of the most popular tourist spots in Poland is Zakopane, but if you want to relax in the mountains and go hiking, visit Zdiar in Slovakia. You can enjoy the serenity and breath-taking views of the High Tatras there.

After setting our camp at Zdiar’s Penzión Bachleda, we hiked up to Green Pleso. It was magnificent.

8. Warsaw

After being completely destroyed during World War 2 in 1945, Warsaw was nearly rebuilt.

Warsaw, the capital of Poland, is a symbol of everything that Poland stands for.

Under the Poland-Lithuania Commonwealth empire, Poland was once one of Europe’s largest empires. However, it was fragmented and eventually broken up by its neighbors, disappearing totally from the map of the continent in 1775.

In the future, it recovers but suffers terrible losses in World War II, leaving Warsaw, its largest city, in ruins. It has been reconstructed in the last 80 years.

Warsaw, one of Poland’s largest cities, serves as the country’s capital. There are also the Royal Castle, Old Town Square, and the National Museum.

But today, Warsaw is so much more.

A few highlights include the incredible nightlife in the city’s student sector, the Palace of Culture and Science, a magnificent example of soviet architecture, and a number of gorgeous parks, notably Lazienki with the statue of Chopin.
Without a doubt, Warsaw is home to some of Poland’s best museums.

You have to see the exhibitions at the Warsaw Rising Museum and the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews when you are in Warsaw (take an audio guided tour here and purchase your admission ticket here).

9. Zalipie Village

Of course, given that it is a little village located around two hours outside of Krakow, this shouldn’t really be on the list of the greatest Polish cities to visit. If you’re traveling across Poland by car, include it on your agenda because it will provide you with a distinctive experience.

The folk floral paintings that adorn the homes’ outside and inside are the tiny village of Zalipie’s most distinctive feature.

Village women initially employed this technique to paint filthy, soot-covered surfaces a century ago. They mixed powdered dye together. A custom was created when they painted flowers on the interior walls and flooring (or you could say, it bloomed).

You can now take a guided tour of the tiny museum, which encompasses 3 different dwellings, for 10 zloty ($2.20).

The Polish Zloty is the country’s official currency, and you can read more about the countries that use the Euro here.

Although the tour is solely in Polish, you get to see inside the residences. Everything has been decorated in flowers, including the walls, lamps, and furniture. After that, you can explore the village by car in search of other residences.

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