Poland unforgettable memories

Top 20 Attractions in Poland

Kraków / Cracow

Asking any Pole which of the cities in Poland is the most attractive means hearing: "Cracow". Why? The answer is simple - because of its history, monuments and a specific spirit. So specific that it is enough to walk through the main square to feel it: then you pass Sukiennice, an old market hall, you hear a bugle-call played every hour from the tower of St. Mary's church and you can enjoy the climate of neighbouring streets, among which Floriańska street with various artists presenting their pictures, is unforgettable. But you may also explore the unique Jewish district of Kazimierz, the Barbakan castle or the former residence of the kings of Poland - The Wawel Castle and Cathedral, which reminds the times of Cracow's being the capital. Placed on the bank of the Vistula river, the castle is also famous (especially among children) for the legend of Wawel Monster, whose figure stands near the residence, belching real fire. Cracow is also the city where John Paul II was a bishop for many years, so finding his steps in different parts of the city (eg. the God's mercy sanctuary of Łagiewniki) is not difficult.
More: http://www.krakow.pl/en/turystyka/?id=wieza.html

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Warszawa / Warsaw

The biggest, the most famous and the capital city of Poland. Totally razed to the ground by the Germans in 1944 and rebuilt succesfully, Warsaw is the place which must be seen by anyone who visits the country. The king of Poland, Zygmunt III, who moved the capital here from Cracow at the end of the 16th century is commemorated on the central square of the city - his famous, tall monument, The Column of Zygmunt is one of the main symbols of the town and stands in front of the characteristic building of the Royal Castle. Apart from the castle, there are at least two outstanding palaces worth seeing in the city: The Palace of Wilanów (17th century) with great gardens around it and the classical Łazienki Palace (18th century), surrounded by the large, perfectly planned park with the monument of the widely known piano composer Fryderyk Chopin placed by the pond and colourful peackocks walking between the trees.
If we want to know more about the history of Warsaw, we have to go to the beautiful Powązki necropolis or The Warsaw Rising Museum - a modern museum which presents in an unusual way the most memorable period of the second world war, when the whole city was burning and all the citizens were fighting for freedom.

More: http://e-warsaw.pl/2/index.php

 

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Wieliczka Salt Mine

135 m under the ground the old salt mine presents its treasure to all visitors. Plenty of complicated corridors lead you to salt lakes, museums and finally to the great chapel of Saint Kinga - a gigantic room where everything is made of salt. Beautiful salt monuments, salt floor, salt walls and even salt chalendiers. Visiting Wieliczka, which is on the UNESCO list, is also a small journey in time, it takes you back to the previous centuries when Cracow was a capital of Poland and Wieliczka used to be a strategic mine.
More: http://www.kopalnia-wieliczka.pl

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Gdańsk

An amazing city with quite a complicated history. In the past, a member of prestigeous Hanza city association and a part of Polish Kingdom. Later, taken by the Germans and after the first world war left as a free town with both Polish and German citizens. After the second world war it returned to Poland and in the 80s had been the cradle of Solidarity movement which changed the political system, defeating the communists. Gdańsk has its own international nature, and its own architecture. Famous for the characteristic flat tower of  St. Mary’s church (we can enjoy a marvellous view from the top of it – just if we decide to climb up 400 steps), Długa Street from the Golden Gate to the Green Gate and for Saint Dominic’s Fair during which thousands of people from all over the Europe come to buy things they couldn’t buy anywhere else.

More:http://www.en.gdansk.gda.pl

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Białowieski National Park

Białowieża is placed in the very east of Poland, in the middle of the Białowieża Forest where the European bisons live. As an endangered species, they were taken special care in this region and they have become one of the most valuable natural treasures in this part of Europe. Through the years, Białowieża was the Polish kings' hunting area. Now there is still a park there and some buildings reminding former residencies. Tourists come here to admire the nature - with its rich hotel infrastructure, Białowieża is a great place to spend the time when we explore the wildest nature reserve in Poland.

More: http://www.staff.amu.edu.pl/~zbzw/ph/pnp/bial.htm

For Bison Calendar see: http://www.wrotapodlasia.pl/en/Environment/Bison+Calendar/

 

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Malbork

The biggest European medieval castle and one of the greatest monuments of world's gothic architecture is needless to be presented in middle part of Europe. It is the place where history looks at us from each wall and each tower. In 13rd century knights of The Teutonic Order started to build it and from 1309 to 1457 it was a capital of their country, the residence of  grand masters. The castle used to see much blood and fights and various stories were told about it. Now we can enjoy visiting it in a casual way - with a guide or not, or we have an opportunity to come to Malbork during one of many events organised there. Knights' tournaments and medieval surrounding create the unique atmosphere.

More: http://www.zamek.malbork.pl/en/index.html

 

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Zakopane & Tatra Mountains

Despite the fact that Poland has a few places where you can do winter sports, anyone asked about "the winter capital of Poland", would probably answer "Zakopane". Literally, the name of the town means: "covered by snow" and there is much truth in it. Surrounded by the Tatra mountains, Zakopane has always more severe climat than northern parts of the country. Famous for its highland tradition, it offers special food (especially widely known "oscypki" cheese), clothes and music. In summer and autumn you can enjoy walking through mountain routes and for those who like more commercial style of spending free time, crowded Krupówki street with its shops and restaurants would be a solution.
More: http://www.ezakopane.pl/poland/

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Wrocław

One of the cities which develops the fastest in Poland now. With its perfectly renovated old town, Wrocław is an amazing place to walk between beautifully illuminated buildings and monuments, by the river or next to the magnificent Cathedral. Wrocław can also be proud of the Centennial Hall (1913) which figures on the UNESCO list. But the real treasure of this city is Panorama Racławicka, an outstanding painting. Presented in a special, round building, the panoramic picture (114 metres long, 15 tall) is hung all around us on the wall, giving unforgettable impressions. The image is over one hundred years old and it shows the battle of Racławice (1794), when the Poles defeated the Russian Army. Watching Panorama Racławicka means being a participant of this battle.
More: http://www.wroclaw.pl/m46360/p46363.aspx

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Łeba & Slovinski National Park

Far away from Africa, you can feel like in a desert. Walking in the shining sun through kilometres of sandy routes, shifting sand dunes - which are real sand mountains (the highest, Łącka Góra is 42 m high). But unlike in no desert after this tiring walk you have the possibility of jumping into the water and swimming in an open sea. These are attractions of Sloviński National Park, placed near Łeba - a nice fishing town and sailing or windsurfing center which pretends to be a summer capital of Poland.
More: http://www.slowinskipn.pl/spn_pl.php?lang=uk&site=o_park

Hotels in Łeba

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Poznań

A city in the heart of the Wielkopolska region, which is a cradle of a Polish state. Visiting Poznań must include the midday at the main square. Then, exactly at twelve o'clock, the window in the tower of the town hall opens and there appear two white, wooden goats which start butting each other. The main square itself is also worth seeing, as well as a great amount of beautiful churches, among which the Jesuit one called Fara and the Cathedral on the Ostrów Tumski island (where the first Polish kings are buried) on the river Warta are the most interesting.

More: http://www.poznan.pl/mim/public/turystyka/index.html?lang=en

 

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Toruń

Listed on the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites since 1997, Toruń is known as the city of Kopernik, students and... cookies. The place where Mikołaj Kopernik was living. He was the astronomer who "stopped the sun" and made the world believe that it is the Earth which goes around the sun, not the opposite. Now the astronomical tradition is continued and the University of Toruń is the Polish centre of this scientific discipline. Known for its nice atmosphere, the city is inhabited by a lot of students what makes the local society really young. It is especially visible in the beautifully renovated old town, where many of them meet, spending their time in the open air during the day and later in the pubs which are placed in almost every basement of the old tenement houses surrounding the central square. There is also one specific reason the flocks of tourists come to Toruń and its name is Toruń gingerbread cookies. Being produced for centuries, they are sold all around the city in special shops. They have various shapes and a very special taste which obliges every stranger to check it.

More: http://www.torun.pl/portal/index.php?strona=zw_zabytki

 

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Częstochowa - Jasna Góra

The Spanish have their Santiago, in Poland every summer 4,5 milion pilgrims come to Jasna Góra from all cities and villages in the country. The longest route – from Hel Peninsula – has over 600 km and the pilgrimage lasts almost three weeks. Beautiful monastery, recently renovated is famous for a miraculous painting of Mother Mary. Thousands of people left this place forgetting about their disabilities, leaving their crutches in the chapel as a way of thanks. Jasna Góra has also its symbolic meaning connected with Polish history – in 17th century during the Polish-Swedish war it was the first place which managed to resist the enemies attacks. Polish kings also loved this place – and the visible sign of that is a rich treasury they left here.

More:http://www.jasnagora.pl/

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Stołowe Mountains

Not very high, suitable for a one-day trip or for a longer march, Stołowe Mountains can show us the unique views. The name "Stołowe" means "table" and connects with their specific shape - it is longitudinal and flat. The mountains were formed over 30 mln years ago and they are of the part of Sudety - one of the oldest mountains in Europe. Partly covered by the forest, The Stołowe mountains offer amazing routes, leading through the natural labyrynths of trees and rocks. One of the most interesting ways goes to the highest peak - Szczeliniec Wielki, another popular is called Błedne Skały (Errant Rocks) and guides you among strangely formed rocks of  different size, shape and individual name.

More: http://www.pngs.pulsar.net.pl/a_index.html

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Biskupin - the wooden castle

The oldest human estate on Polish teritory was discovered here, in Biskupin. Archaeologists managed to make a perfect reconstruction of a whole settlement. So now you can enter the fortified settlement, surrounded by a palisade and imagine that over two thousand years ago people lived here with their families, with their farm animals. In summer it is possible to enjoy the events showing everyday life of Biskupin ancient community - including making pots out of clay or producing weapon. It is possible to take part in year-round museum lessons too. You can join The Everyday Life of Ancient Biskupin Inhabitants, Prehistoric Hunting or The Story of Coin. More: http://www.biskupin.pl/index_en.php?

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Auschwitz

"Arbeit macht frei" (Work gives freedom) is written on the old gate of the Auschwitz concentration camp.
The silence shouts here. Over a milion people were killed here during the second world war. Treated with cruelty, they were working and dying under inhumane conditions, mainly in gas chambers. Nowadays few buildings and a museum in this calm place only remind what happened nearly seventy years ago, what was the tragedy directed by German Nazis.
Auschwitz is one of thirteen UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Poland. In 2007, the World Heritage Committee of UNESCO officially declared the camp at Oswiecim as the Auschwitz - Birkenau German Nazi Concentration and Extermination Camp (1940-1945).

More: http://en.auschwitz.org.pl/h/

To see BBC Animated guide to Auschwitz click here

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Dunajec River Gorge

The mountains, the river and the beauty of plants growing around the route make the cruise through the Dunajec River Gorge an unforgettable adventure. You take the special raft (used in the past to transport wooden blocks to the sea ports) and your guide is a raftsman called "flisak", dressed in a traditional suit, who directs the raft using a long stick. The water is deep and not always calm, so the emotions are guaranteed as well as breathtaking views. The Dunajec river leads us between the rocks of the Pieniny mountains, the forests and meadows. We can admire the wild nature of both Polish and Slovakian land, because the route follows the country border.

More: http://www.pieninypn.pl/index.html?id=30520&location=f&msg=1&lang_id=UK

 

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Łańcut

Nowadays, Łańcut is a small city with almost twenty thousand people who live there. Years ago, it was one of the main aristocratic residencies in Europe. It is because of the 17th century castle, built by the Lubomirski family. Together with an English park (which is 360 000 sq m), the old carriage house and hippodrome it has become a huge complex. Earlier used by the aristocracy, during the second world war as a Wehrmacht seat, today it is a great museum. The place is also worth seeing because of the castle library, which, owning over 22 thousand books, is the biggest baronial library in Poland and because of the newly rebuilt orchid greenhouse, where you can find a great variety of this interesting plants.
More: http://www.zamek-lancut.pl/en/

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Elbląg Canal

Although the canal is nothing unusual in this part of Europe, the method of transporting the ships through the land has nothing comparable neither in the continent, nor in the world. The trip from Ostróda to Elbląg takes 11 hours (you can also choose shorter options of 4,5 or 6 hours) and along the way the ship sails partly on the water and partly... on the grass. The construction from the 19th century allows the special ramps to make the ship move without the water and without asking the passengers to leave the ship. This unique cruise is also worth experiencing because of the views - the nature which surrounds the route consists of various species of plants and animals, both living in the water and on the land.

More: http://www.zkm.nazwa.pl/en/page/13

Hotels in Ostróda & Hotels in Elbląg

 

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Kazimierz Dolny

Small town with a very specific climate. Kazimierz Dolny, one of the most representative places in the Lubelskie region is known as an artistic city. Here the movie festivals are organised and it is not difficult to meet famous artists from all over the country. The beautiful streets and the main square with a characteristic well in the middle create a romantic scenery. That is why the town was "an actor" in a lot of films and a great number of native and foreign tourists love it. Walking between renaissance tenement houses, among which a few can be admired especially because of sculpture decorations on their fronts, is almost like a journey by time machine. It is really worth trying.
More: http://www.kazimierz-news.com.pl/historiaa.html

Hotels in Kazimierz Dolny

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Masurian Lake District

There are few countries in Europe with so many lakelands as Poland. The Masurian Lake District with its "capital" in Mikołajki is a paradise for sailors and surfers. Two biggest lakes in Poland: Śniardwy (113,8 square km) and Mamry (105 sq km) with a lot of smaller lakes around them offer the tourists a rich variety of water sports, nice accomodation and opportunities to admire the natural beauty of flora and fauna (eg. beavers, turtles, bats or elks) of the region. There are plenty options of hiring yachts, canoes and enjoying shorter or longer trips along the water routes.

Hotels in Mikolajki, in the heart of the Masurian Lake District

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