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The top search results for visiting Poland actually provide you with reasons why you should avoid this nation.
Don’t listen to that negative advice.
Poland is an incredible nation that offers something more than just an urban center or a market square to explore. Deep river gorges offer guided tours with incredible views. There are numerous palaces and castles with incredible interiors that date back to the 14th century in some areas. Water sports, hiking, and adventure are everywhere to be found.
It is true that one could easily describe Poland’s history as complicated. This nation has often been conquered by invaders and it has seen more than its fair share of atrocities. Yet throughout all of these experiences, there is one thing that cannot be denied: the resilience of the Polish people. There are 22 national parks to explore, from the beaches to the mountains, and the plurality of the culture makes it Europe’s melting pot.
If you want to find yourself, Poland is the place to be. You can go mushroom hunting, take a ride on a narrow-gauge train, and enjoy the trappings of modern nightlife all in the same day. Poland even offers you the chance to spend your holiday on a farm, milking cows and riding horses, so you can experience what the slow life is like if you prefer.
Poland is all about getting back to the basics of life. If you’ve lost your smile, then pick a city in this nation and plan your holiday today. You’ll find that smile is shining brightly in your reflection not long after.
Finding the Best of Poland
What makes Poland stand out as a destination is its resilience and personal pride. There is a level of independence found here that is refreshing and inviting. This attitude also provides the foundation for the vibrancy and culture found in many of the country’s top sites.
If you are thinking about a tour of Poland, here are some of the best options to consider adding to your itinerary.
#1. Wawel Castle
Initially built in the 13th century, this Gothic castle is the home of some of Poland’s rarest artifacts. Here you will be able to find a preserved piece of the Polish royal crown. The stunning Szczerbiec coronation sword is here as well. You’ll find extensive grounds to explore, plenty of open space, and an inviting atmosphere.
Poland provides powerful experiences to those who love to wander. It has also seen some of the world’s greatest tragedies. One of its most humbling and emotional sites is the infamous Nazi concentration camp located near Oswiecim. More than 25 million people come here each here to pay homage to the many who suffered here. Yet, with each footstep taken, one can still hear echoes of hope.
#3. Slowinski Sand Dunes
Located within a national park in the north, these sand dunes are located just off the coast of the Baltic Sea. There’s an open-air museum within the park to enjoy as well, filled with artifacts from the Slovincians that once called the area their home. During the windy season, some of the sand dunes can reach heights of 30m or more.
#4. Malbork Castle
Founded in the 13th century by the Teutonic Knights, this castle served as their headquarters as they ruled their Baltic territory. Over the next 200 years, the castle complex would be expanded several times to help host the growing ranks of knights that joined the order. Today, you will find this complex to be a well-preserved testament to the history of the region.
#5. Wieliczka Salt Mine
Located just outside of Krakow, the company operating the salt mine has been operating continuously since the 13th century. It may be one of the oldest companies still in operation in the world today. There is a complete underground city within the complex with everything carved from rock salt, including a chapel.
Old Town Gdansk is one of the most beautiful streets you will ever get the chance to explore. With cobblestone streets, pedestrian-only areas, and colorful buildings that stretch up tall to the sky, there are mills, churches, and granaries which date to at least the 17th century. You’ll find plenty of cafés, coffee shops, and boutiques to explore, so be sure to bring a comfortable pair of shoes.
#7. Krakow’s Main Market Square
With some elements dating to the 13th century, this is the largest Medieval town square in Europe. The center of the square is dominated by Cloth Hall, which was rebuilt in the 1t6th century.
Poland is a country which is filled with many opportunities to go exploring. Enjoy these options, as well as those specific to your destination, and you will have a wonderful experience.
On a trip to Poland you for sure will stumble upon some names again and again, here you can see a short description about some of these names, famous poles.
John Paul II (1920-2005)
Probably the most famous Pole ever, Pope John Paul II was born Karol Jozef Wojtyla in Wadowice. By being elected pope by the Catholic Church in 1978, he became the first non-Italian pope in 455 years.
Nicolaus Copernicus (1473-1543)
A Renaissance astronomer and the first European to contend that it is the Sun, not the Earth, that is at the centre of the Solar System.
Maria Skłodowska-Curie (1867-1934)
Famous for her pioneering research on radioactivity. To this day she remains the only woman who received two Nobel Prizes, and the only scientist in history to be awarded two Nobel Prizes in two different fields of study.
Lech Walesa (Born 1943)
Shaped the end of the 20th century as the leader of the Solidarity movement that led Poland out of communism. Walesa’s contribution to the end of communism in Europe, and hence the end of the cold war.
Roman Polański (Born 1953)
Film director, producer, writer and actor. He is best known for his “Rosemary’s Baby” (1968), “Chinatown” (1974), “Tess” (1979) and “The Pianist” (2002), for which he was awarded an Oscar.
Adam Małysz (Born 1977)
Ski jumper who has won 38 World Cup competitions and as one of only two men ever won the overall World Cup four times. Has more titles in World Championships than any other ski jumper in the world.
Zbigniew Boniek (Born 1956)
One of the most talented Polish footballers, debuting on the Polish national team at the age of 20, an effective goal scorer (24 goals in 80 matches), has played for Italian football teams such as Juventus Torino and AS Roma, and since then has settled permanently in Italy.
Robert Lewandowski (Born 1988)
Polish footballer who plays for German Bundesliga club Bayern Munich and the Poland national football team as a striker. He joined Dortmund in 2010 and is renowned for his excellent play in Champions League 2013.
Adam Mickiewicz (1798 – 1855)
As a poet Mickiewicz first gained attention with his “Ballads and Romances”. This collection of poems opened the romantic era in Polish literature.
Fryderyk Chopin (1810-1849)
Best known Polish composer and virtuoso pianist, one of the great masters of Romantic music who was called “the poet of the piano”.
We recommend the following places and sights in Poland:
|KRAKOW||The former country’s capital is one of the top tourist attractions in Europe. Most of the city guests are captivated by its magical atmosphere and the splendid architecture. In Krakow you can see mediaeval cathedrals, the Renaissance castle, Baroque churches, the Art Nouveau theatre and many other monuments. However old and beautiful it is, do not think that Krakow is limited to the monuments and museums. Krakow website|
|WIELICZKA SALT MINE||Ancient salt mines. Often described as a fairy tale kingdom made of salt. A mysterious labyrinth of 300 kilometres of halls and corridors hewn in pure salt (the lowest are 372 meters underground). The 2.5-hours guided tours shows just a short stretch including a salt lake, caves and the beautiful Queen Kinga’s Chapel. Official website|
|TORUN||UNESCO listed the medieval town of Torun as world heritage. Similarly to Krakow it was not destroyed during WW II. Nicolas Copernicus – the founder of the heliocentric theory (that the Earth rotates around the Sun) born here. Torun website|
|MALBORK||The Teutonic Order was founded around 1190 in Palestine to crusade against the Muslims and pagans. In the 14th century the Teutonic Knights conquered a pagan tribe of Prussians and moved their headquarters from Venice to Malbork on the Nogat river which is now northern Poland. A trace of the their presence in the town is the imposing red brick castle from 1274 on the river bank, which is the largest Gothic fortress in Europe. Official website|
|ELBLAG - OSTRODA CANAL||A masterpiece of the 19th century Prussian engineering. An 81-kilometres long network of canals – a sophisticated system of choke-points, locks and slip-ways. Take an 11-hour voyage; there will be three slip-ways when your boat is hauled by large rail-bound carriages transporting you over stretches with no water. Zegluga website|