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Things to do in Poland

Things to do in  Poland

Welcome to Poland

Poland is a country renowned for reinvention. Warsaw, the country's capital, emerged from the ashes of World War II destruction and transformed into one of Eastern Europe's brightest stars. A sightseeing tour of the city reveals Gothic, communist, and modernist architectural styles, while the Warsaw Rising, History of Polish Jews, and Neon museums are top draws for history buffs. Highlights of Poland's countryside are the snow-smothered Tatra Mountains and rustic towns of Zakopane and Malbork, all doable on a day-trip from major Polish cities. Hiking opportunities are aplenty, especially in the summer when the lakes in the north are perfect for kayaking and relaxed wanders. Polish pearl and former capital, Krakow, boasts historical gems such as Wawel Castle, Rynek Glowny (Main Market Square), and Kazmierz (Jewish District). If you're short on time, combine a city sightseeing tour with a visit to the nearby Wieliczka Salt Mine, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Also listed is the former German Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum, which allows visitors to reflect on the monumental horrors of the Holocaust during a guided tour. Plus, don't miss out on a visit to the Jasna Gora Monastery in Czestochowa, home to the revered painting of The Black Madonna.

Top 15 attractions in Poland

Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum

The Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum is the resting place for some 1.5 million people, as the site once served as a concentration camp and extermination site of the European Jewish community during World War II. Today, Auschwitz-Birkenau is an important historical area, allowing visitors to reflect on the monumental horrors that occurred during the genocide.More

Wieliczka Salt Mine (Kopalnia Soli)

An eerie world where everything has been carved from salt blocks, the Wieliczka Salt Mine (Kopalnia Soli) is made up of a labyrinth of tunnels, the deepest of which lies 1,075 feet (327 meters) underground. The ancient UNESCO World Heritage site is a major part of Poland's salt mining history, one of the country's most popular attractions, and one of the world's oldest salt mines, having produced table salt from the 13th century until 2007.More

Gdansk Old Town (Gdańsk Stare Miasto)

With its tall, colorful gabled houses, lazy river, and cobbled streets, Gdańsk Old Town (Gdańsk Stare Miasto) looks more akin to the Netherlands than the rest of Poland. Yet as you immerse yourself in the district’s museums, bars, restaurants, amber stores, and souvenir shops, you’ll find that the culture here is quintessentially Polish.More

Warsaw Old Town (Stare Miasto)

Almost entirely destroyed during WWII, Warsaw’s historic Warsaw Old Town (Stare Miasto) underwent an extensive restoration that transformed the area into a vibrant riverfront hub. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the neighborhood boasts striking recreations of 17th- and 18th-century structures, as well as the Warsaw History Museum.More


Hugging the Vistula River’s east bank, Praga is one of Warsaw’s oldest, yet most up-and-coming, districts. The only part of Poland’s capital to escape destruction in World War II, this once-derelict area mixes grimy prewar streets and art nouveau blocks with a contemporary buzz evidenced in its street art and trendy restaurants and bars.More

Rynek Glowny (Main Market Square)

The gigantic town square of Rynek Główny (most often translated Main Market Square) is the centrepiece of Krakow’s UNESCO-listed Old Town and the largest medieval square in Europe. Dominated by the Renaissance-style Cloth Hall and flanked by colorful neoclassical buildings, the square is both an architectural landmark and the main hub of local life.More

Palace of Culture and Science (Palac Kultury i Nauki)

A towering 758 feet (231 meters) high, Warsaw’s Palace of Culture and Science was commissioned by Stalin during Poland’s communist era. Today, the country’s tallest building comprises concert halls, offices, shops, restaurants, and a 30th-floor viewing terrace.More

St. Mary's Basilica (Kościól Mariacki)

This brick Gothic church in the northeast corner of Old Town’s main square (Rynek Główny, dominates the skyline at 262 feet (80 meters tall. Dating back to the 13th century, St. Mary’s Basilica (Kościól Mariacki is famous for its stunning wooden altarpiece carved by German sculptor Veit Stoss.More

Wawel Royal Castle (Zamek Wawelski)

Crowning Krakow’s Wawel Hill and adjoining Wawel Cathedral, Wawel Castle is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that consists of numerous Romanesque, Renaissance, Gothic, and baroque buildings, courtyards, and gardens. Dating back to the 14th century, the castle was home to many of Poland’s monarchs and is a symbol of Polish history and pride.More

Oskar Schindler's Factory (Fabryka Schindlera)

A wealthy German and Nazi Party member, Oskar Schindler bought an enamel factory in Krakow following the invasion of Poland in World War II. He saved more than 1,000 of his Jewish employees by insisting that they were vital to the workforce. Today, Oskar Schindler's Factory houses a permanent exhibition on the Nazi occupation of Krakow.More

Warsaw Royal Castle (Zamek Krolewski)

Rebuilt following the destruction of World War II, the Royal Castle stands watch over the entrance to Warsaw Old Town. Explore beyond the brick facade to find a trove of historic furniture, artwork, and gilded decor. From the Great Apartments to the Throne Room, Warsaw Royal Castle showcases centuries of Warsaw history.More

Kazimierz (Krakow Jewish Quarter)

Krakow’s Jewish Quarter—Kazimierz—has been the heart of the city’s Jewish community since medieval times. Traces of its turbulent past remain, but today it’s reinvented itself as a thriving cultural hub, where historic synagogues and museums sit side by side with art galleries, cocktail bars, bold street art, and vintage boutiques.More

Warsaw Jewish Ghetto (Getto Zydowskie)

The haunting monuments and memorials of Warsaw’s former Jewish Ghetto (Getto Zydowskie) tell the story of its tragic past—during World War II, it was the largest Jewish Ghetto in all of Nazi-occupied Europe.More

Ghetto Heroes Square (Plac Bohaterów Getta)

The poignant Ghetto Heroes Square commemorates the thousands of Krakow’s Jewish community who were forcibly moved and incarcerated within the Podgórze ghetto. Plac Zgody, a square in the heart of the ghetto, was the departure point for Jewish people boarding trains to Płaszów, Auschwitz, and other concentration camps during World War II.More

Cloth Hall (Sukiennice)

Cloth Hall (Sukiennice dates back to the Renaissance and is one of the city’s most recognizable structures. Featured prominently in Old Town’s main square (Rynek Główny, Cloth Hall was originally intended as a linen and textile marketplace for local merchants to sell and house their goods.More

Top activities in Poland

Day Trip to Auschwitz-Birkenau and Wieliczka Salt Mine from Krakow including Lunch
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Auschwitz & Birkenau: Live-Guided Tour with Transportation and Hotel Pickup
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Auschwitz-Birkenau and Wieliczka Salt Mine Guided One Day Tour
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Auschwitz-Birkenau and Wieliczka Salt Mine Guided One Day Tour

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Auschwitz - Birkenau Memorial Tour from Krakow
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Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum Guided Tour from Krakow
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Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum Guided Tour from Krakow

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Krakow Old Town Guided Walking Tour
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Auschwitz-Birkenau Guided Tour from Krakow with Hotel pickup and Lunch Options
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From Krakow: Auschwitz-Birkenau Guided Tour, Pickup & Transfers
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Auschwitz & Birkenau - Fully Guided Tour from Krakow
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Auschwitz & Birkenau - Fully Guided Tour from Krakow

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All about Poland

When to visit

From medieval towns to ski resorts to beaches and idyllic countryside, Poland has something to offer at every time of year. The busiest season is summer, when tourists flock to the country and schools are on break. Spring and fall are better options if you want to avoid crowds and enjoy good weather. You can also plan a trip around Krakow’s lively Wianki festival, which celebrates Midsummer; Warsaw's Jewish Culture Festival or Krakow's Pierogi Festival, both in August; or Zielona Góra wine festival, in September.

Getting around

Poland has a great public transportation network. One of the best ways to get around the country is by train; it is both cost-effective and efficient, and you can find routes with incredible scenery along the way. When possible, opt for the fast and modern PKP Intercity train services, which offer the shortest and most comfortable trips. There are also bus networks that travel all over the country, to even the most remote of villages.

Traveler tips

While Krakow is wonderful, no trip is complete without visits to smaller towns and cities, to see the country's more traditional side. The UNESCO-listed city of Toruń—the birthplace of astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus—has a wonderful old town market square and a wealth of medieval buildings. It’s also known for being the home of Polish gingerbread; visitors can admire intricately decorated gingerbread cookies in shops, visit gingerbread museums, and enjoy hands-on baking classes.

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People Also Ask

What is Poland known for?

Poland is famous for medieval architecture, beautiful scenery, pierogies, and Pope John Paul II. The country is also known for its resilience and reinvention after World War II. Its UNESCO World Heritage sites are a big draw for visitors—including Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum, Wieliczka Salt Mine, and Krakow’s historic center.

How many days in Poland is enough?

With so many cities to explore, you could easily spend 10-plus days in Poland without getting bored. Train travel offers an excellent and cost-effective way to get around. For city breaks, don’t miss Krakow, Gdansk, and Wroclaw. Nature lovers should visit the Tatra Mountains or Bialowieza Forest.

What is there to do in Poland for kids?

Poland is an incredibly family-friendly country, and there are plenty of activities to keep kids entertained. If you’re visiting Krakow, take a day trip to one of Poland’s biggest amusement parks, Energylandia; see the animals at Krakow Zoo; or burn off some energy at Gojump, a giant trampoline park.

What is the most beautiful part of Poland?

The most beautiful part of Poland depends on your interests. Mountains, lakes, beaches, or forests—Poland has it all. Head south to the Tatra Mountains, explore the 2,000 lakes of the Masurian Lakeland, or visit Bialowieza Forest, one of Europe’s oldest. You can see medieval architecture in Krakow, Wroclaw, and Gdansk.

Is Poland cheap to visit?

Yes, Poland is very cheap to visit. In fact, it’s often listed as one of Europe’s most cost-effective vacation spots. Whichever city you visit, you’ll find bar mleczny (milk bars), no-frills cafeterias that serve home-cooked cuisine—often for around US$5 for a main course.

Is Poland worth visiting?

Yes, it’s worth visiting. Poland has atmospheric old towns that showcase beautifully preserved medieval architecture, and there’s an abundance of incredible nature spots to discover—including ski resorts in winter, beaches in summer, and there’s even a desert. On top of this, the food is delicious—be sure to try some pierogies.


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