Poland

Overview

The country arguably most affected by Europe’s bitter 20th century bloodshed, Poland has by no means let go of its past, but strides steadfastly into the future. Warsaw is the ever-evolving, young capital, while Kraków is the former royal center containing fine examples of Gothic, Baroque and Art Nouveau architecture. Pursuits in nature abound (the country is interspersed with hiking trails across hills and forests), the food is hearty and cheap, and the people tremendously welcoming.

Top Attractions

  • Explore the historic city of Krakow, with its well-preserved medieval architecture, charming Old Town, and cultural landmarks like Wawel Castle, St. Mary’s Basilica, and the Cloth Hall, as well as opportunities for exploring the Jewish quarter of Kazimierz and visiting the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum.
  • Discover the bustling capital of Warsaw, with its mix of modern skyscrapers and historic buildings, including the reconstructed Old Town, the Royal Castle, and the Warsaw Uprising Museum, as well as cultural attractions like the Wilanów Palace and the Chopin Museum.
  • Visit the stunning landscapes of the Tatra Mountains, with their rugged peaks, pristine lakes, and scenic hiking trails, as well as opportunities for skiing, snowboarding, and mountaineering in destinations like Zakopane and the Tatra National Park.
  • Experience the rich cultural heritage of Wroclaw, with its picturesque Market Square, Gothic cathedrals, and colorful gabled houses, as well as attractions like the Wroclaw Zoo, the Centennial Hall, and the Panorama of Raclawice.
  • Explore the historic sites of Gdansk, with its beautiful waterfront, medieval Hanseatic architecture, and cultural landmarks like the Neptune Fountain, the Crane Gate, and the European Solidarity Centre, as well as opportunities for exploring nearby beaches and seaside resorts.

Local Cuisine

  • Indulge in the flavors of Polish cuisine, known for its hearty dishes, comforting flavors, and traditional ingredients like potatoes, cabbage, and pork.
  • Sample iconic dishes like pierogi (dumplings filled with meat, cheese, or vegetables), bigos (hunter’s stew made with sauerkraut, meat, and spices), and golabki (stuffed cabbage rolls), as well as traditional side dishes like kasza (buckwheat groats), kapusta kiszona (sauerkraut), and placki ziemniaczane (potato pancakes).
  • Try Polish specialties like zurek (sour rye soup), barszcz (beetroot soup), and kielbasa (sausage), as well as traditional desserts like paczki (filled doughnuts), szarlotka (apple pie), and sernik (cheesecake).
  • Savor refreshing beverages like piwo (beer), wodka (vodka), and kompot (fruit compote), as well as traditional teas like herbata (herbal tea) and kawa (coffee).
  • Don’t forget to try Polish street food like zapiekanka (open-faced sandwiches), obwarzanek krakowski (pretzel-like bread rings), and oscypek (smoked cheese), as well as snacks like kabanosy (thin sausages) and smalec (pork lard spread).

Outdoor Activities

  • Go hiking and trekking in Poland’s national parks and scenic areas, with opportunities for exploring mountain trails, forested valleys, and alpine meadows in destinations like the Bialowieza Forest, the Bieszczady Mountains, and the Karkonosze Mountains.
  • Visit the beaches and lakes of Poland, with opportunities for swimming, sunbathing, and water sports on destinations like the Baltic Sea coast, the Masurian Lake District, and the Tatra Lakes, as well as opportunities for sailing, windsurfing, and kayaking.
  • Experience adventure activities like rock climbing, caving, and mountain biking in destinations like the Jura Krakowsko-Czestochowska, the Tatra National Park, and the Sudetes, as well as opportunities for horseback riding, hot air ballooning, and zip-lining.
  • Explore the rivers and waterways of Poland, with opportunities for kayaking, canoeing, and fishing on destinations like the Vistula River, the Dunajec River Gorge, and the Oder River, as well as opportunities for boat tours to explore lakes, canals, and wetlands.
  • Discover the biodiversity of Poland’s national parks and nature reserves, with opportunities for birdwatching, wildlife spotting, and nature photography in destinations like the Biebrza National Park, the Tatra National Park, and the Slowinski National Park.

Cultural Experiences

  • Immerse yourself in the rich cultural heritage of Poland with visits to museums, galleries, and cultural institutions like the Warsaw Uprising Museum, the Wawel Royal Castle, and the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum, which showcase the history, art, and culture of the country.
  • Explore the vibrant arts scene of Poland, with opportunities to attend music festivals, theater performances, and art exhibitions showcasing Polish and international talent, as well as workshops and classes in traditional crafts like pottery, weaving, and folk art.
  • Experience traditional Polish music and dance performances, such as polkas, mazurkas, and obereks, as well as contemporary styles like jazz, rock, and electronic music, which reflect the diverse cultural traditions of the country.
  • Discover the history and legacy of Poland’s indigenous peoples with visits to historic sites like the Wieliczka Salt Mine, the Malbork Castle, and the Jasna Góra Monastery, which showcase the art, culture, and traditions of Poland’s indigenous communities.
  • Participate in local festivals and celebrations, such as the Krakow Film Festival, the Gdansk Shakespeare Festival, and the Warsaw Autumn International Festival of Contemporary Music, to experience the vibrant culture and spirit of Poland firsthand.

Related Tours

Northern Poland & the Baltics

Starting From $2,000

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