Poland is a charming country with a complex history. Not only does it offer ornate architecture, buzzing cities and plenty of unspoiled countryside, but it also features a host of historic sites offering a stark and often sobering look at Poland during World War II and the postwar period. Head to the markets to meet locals, see how royalty lived in grand palaces and visit monuments dedicated to Polish heroes.
The largest city and capital, Warsaw, is crammed with fascinating cultural attractions. Join a tour of the opulent throne rooms and sumptuous apartment in the Royal Castle. For a moving look at the city’s tumultuous recent past, visit the Warsaw Rising Museum, which chronicles the city’s resistance against German occupation in World War II.
In the north of Poland, Gdansk is the go-to region for beautiful views of the Baltic Sea. Poland’s history is also prevalent in this area, with the European Solidarity Centre displaying communist-era artifacts and detailing Poland’s fight for freedom from communism. The restaurant and shopping district of Dlugi Targ is a popular spot for souvenir shopping.
Visit the storied city of Krakow in the south for architectural marvels, such as the Wawel Royal Castle and St. Mary’s Basilica. Head southeast of Krakow for the Wieliczka Salt Mine with its maze of tunnels and staircases.
For the best weather for sightseeing, visit between May and September. During this time, the vast majority of museums and national parks are open for business. Sunny days are especially common in June and July. If you’re heading to Poland for skiing, plan a trip outside of Christmas and New Year for lower crowds.
Buses and trains link big cities. In some cases, the National Polski buses can be faster than trains. Local buses can help you travel from regional hubs to smaller towns and villages. For the ultimate freedom, rent a car and drive yourself.
Come to Poland to experience a forward-looking country that, having shaken off its historical shackles, is ready to show the world all it has to offer.