Poland is a country rich and diverse. Visitors who explore and discover the tremendous depths this large central European country has to offer, the rewards are immense. Few countries offer such an array of wonders: blending magnificent natural landscapes of lakes, forests and mountains with the varied cities reflecting history from the Renaissance to the modern day. However, to visit Poland, explore and experience every bit, you would have to stay here for at least 2 months. To make your journey as rich in experience as possible, here is a recommended list of cities, places and architecture you need to see while vising Poland.
The best way to start your visit in Poland is by starting in Krakow.
You will explore the stunning history-rich city of Krakow with its architectural marvels including churches, monasteries and abbeys in both Gothic and Renaissance styles. Krakow was one of the first two UNESCO World Heritage Sites. No two cities in Poland are alike, each reflecting its own diverse heritage and unique nature.
Most of the things to see in Krakow are within walking distance from the Market Square.
- Market Square
- Sukiennice Cloth Hall
- St Mary’s Basilica
- Wawel – Royal Castel
- Wawel Cathedral
- Dragon’s Cave
Just 20 min drive outside of Krakow you will get to Wieliczka Salt mine. With a tangled labyrinth extending as deep as 327m and over 9 levels, you will be amazed at the intricate yet breathtaking use of this mine.
Around 60km from Krakow, Auschwitz is often visited as a day trip taking approximately 1-1.5 hours from Krakow. It is near impossible to truly take in the scale of Auschwitz in one day, so it is worth extending your visit if you can. Making for harrowing discovery and sombre moments, this element of Poland should not be overlooked. Oswiecim is the Polish town tragically placed on the map because of the largest concentration camp of World War II, where around 1.5 million people lost their lives.
Globally, Oswiecim is known by the German name: Auschwitz, now one with the concentration camp itself. The mass exterminations that happened here make Auschwitz the most potent symbol of the Holocaust.
Just around 100 km (60 miles) south from Krakow you will get to Zakopane.
For a unique, invigorating and relaxing experience in Poland you cannot beat a stay in Zakopane. Whatever the season, this icon of Poland’s only alpine mountains, close to the border with Slovakia, is nestled between the gentle undulating hills of Gubalówka and the majestic domineering peaks of the Tatra mountains.
Around 270km North-West from Krakow – approximately 3h by car or by train.
Wroclaw is the largest city in Western Poland, nestled on the River Oder in the Silesian lowlands. Wroclaw is renowned for some little guys who pop up all around the city – the Wroclaw Gnomes. These jovial characters total around 170 and hunting them down can become a treasure hunt in itself. They crop up hiding behind lampposts, under park benches, and snugly in shop windows. They are unique to Wroclaw and make for a fun spotting expedition whether you’re six or sixty.