Poland is a thriving country which must be added to your travel bucket list - it’s not all about vodka and stag weekends!
We aren’t sure why this country isn’t a popular tourist destination - it’s cheap, beautiful and there is plenty to do. It’s up-and-coming, so make sure you visit before it becomes a real hotspot!
There is more to this country than meets the eye, with several major cities bursting with medieval architecture and boasting a fascinating Jewish heritage.
We are going to highlight the main attractions and highlights of the two most prominent cities, Krakow and Warsaw.
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Krakow, the previous Polish capital, is a bustling city which has preserved its grandeur and treasures for tourists to see.
The city’s focal point is perhaps Wawel Castle, which is perched predominantly atop a hill, just behind the Old Town. The building, a collection of Romanesque, Gothic and Renaissance architecture, is a symbol of pride and patriotism.
Tourists can walk around the city easily and take in all the sights on foot. Rynek Glowny, supposedly Europe’s largest medieval city square, is a must-visit for tourists with plenty of cafes, bars and restaurants to sit and watch the world go by. There are also shops to explore selling locally crafted products, as well as souvenirs.
The Rynek is also home to St Mary’s Basilica, the Cloth Hall and the city’s newest, glossiest museum: the Rynek Underground.
Just a short drive away from the city lies Auschwitz Birkenau concentration camp. Although eerie and unsettling, it’s an eye-opening place and must be experienced. Visitors can see the original brick barracks as well as fascinating displays, such as mounds of shoes belonging to the prisoners.
At night, Krakow boasts a lively nightlife scene. Stara Zajezdnia, Krakow’s grandest beer hall and also home to the best selection of whiskies in the city, is great for those looking for a great night. It also serves delicious local cuisine such as pork schnitzel and pierogi, which are stuffed dumplings with meat and cheese.
Where to Stay: Accommodation is far from expensive in Krakow, and there are certainly plenty of centrally-located options. Hotel Gródek, which is located just off Rynek Glowny, is beautifully decorated and double rooms start from £106 per night.
The Polish capital is a picturesque city with a number of attractions such as museums and historical buildings, as well as many shops, trendy bars and restaurants.
Warsaw’s Stare Miasto, or Old Town, is full of pastel buildings, cobbled streets and fascinating architecture. The market square lies at the centre, where bustling shops (including a number of amber and leather shops) and cafes sit on the edge of the square, perfect for grabbing a coffee and watching the world go by.
Praga is a blossoming trendy and creative area of Warsaw featuring artists studios, plenty of craft beer and underground clubs. It contains the Neon Museum, a museum dedicated to the preservation of Poland’s cold era neon signs.
The Warsaw Rising Museum is also a must-see and guaranteed to leave a mark on all visitors; it’s a bleak but necessary place to visit in order to understand the city under Nazi occupation. It’s a tribute to those who fought and died for independent Poland, and it’s incredibly important to locals.
The Poles certainly know how to party, and there are a number of clubs and bars to satisfy the demand at nighttime. Tourists should walk up Foksal street, where you will get a real taste for the city’s nightlife!
Where to Stay: Hotel Indigo, featuring contemporary design and architectural heritage, is a luxurious hotel with rooms starting from just £86 per night.