Poland Travel Guide, Most Underrated Tourist Destination in the EU

by

Krakau_Markt

The title speaks for itself : Poland is a huge country with a numerous population and one of the most underrated places in terms of tourist destinations in the world.

Being a large country, it has a very diverse scenery, including great mountains (perfect for hiking and skiing) and beautiful lakes, lots of old cities and historical places.

Its scenic beauty is extraordinary, let me just mention the awesome beaches on the Baltic coast and Poland’s ethereal National Parks.

Poland is one of the largest countries in Central Europe and boasts with its huge Baltic Sea coastline. Its neighbors are the Czech Republic, Belarus, Lithuania, Germany, Slovakia, Russia and Ukraine.

With a land surface of 312, 685 square kilometers and a population of almost 40 million people, Poland is a NATO and EU member and features a beautiful and unspoiled countryside.

Travelling in Poland comes with lots of benefits : you can go horseback riding, cycling, bird watching, skiing, hiking, visiting old medieval towns and so on and so forth.

What to see and what to do in Poland

 

One of the mainstream touristic attractions of Poland is the Auschwitz-Birkenau memorial concentration camp, 41 miles from Cracow, a place with strong roots in a very dark historical period we prefer not to think about.

Birkenau_gate

Poland’s beaches are some of the best in the European Union, especially if we’re talking about the tourists resorts on the Pomeranian coast, like Leba or Kolobrzeg. Their main attraction is the spectacular white sand that looks like it’s from a movie or something similar, almost unreal.

National Parks are another main selling point for visiting Poland. Let me mention just Slowinski National Park, world renowned for its huge sand dunes and Bialowieza National park, one of the last “holy lands” for the endangered European bison.

Go on a water trip/canoeing on Poland’s beautiful rivers and lakes : Brodnica, Mysliborz, Brda, Czarna Hancza or Obra.

Poland is the birth place of one of world’s greatest compositors, hence while you’re here go pay a visit to Chopin’s memorial home located in Zelazowa Wola, 33 miles west of the country’s capital Warsaw.

Cracow is a charming little medieval town, beautifully preserved and one of UNESCO’s protected historical sites. Cracow’s main market square called Cloth Hall  is the largest in Europe and it’s worth a visit.

Krakow_market_Cloth_Hall

The Cracow Gate was built in the 14th century and it’s one of Lublin’s architectural symbols, harboring an old museum.

Gdansk is another city, proud of harboring Poland’s biggest gothic church, St Mary’s Basilica.

If you want to get away from the crowds, go visit Hel Peninsula on Poland’s northern coast, the perfect place bike aficionados and home of beautiful campsites and beaches.

Lublin_-_The_Cracow_Gate

As I already mentioned, hiking and climbing in Poland are very common, thanks to its nature reserves and national parks. Let me mention just a few : Kampinos National Park near Warsaw and Bieszczady National park (in the Carpathian mountains)  where you can admire the wild populations of wolf, lynx, bears and wildcat.

The Jasna Gora monastery harbors the icon of Black Madonna, and the word is that it was painted by Saint Luke.

Over 1000 lakes are to be discovered in the Masurian Lake district, making for the perfect boating destination while in Poland.

Poland’s beautiful and green countryside makes for the perfect place of you’re into horse riding, since Polish stud farms are among the best in the world.

For alpine sports like climbing, look no further than Tatra Mountains, home of beautiful resorts, clear lakes and wooden cottages.

Wieliczka Salt Mine is another great place to visit while in Poland, featuring 186 miles of tunnels and shafts, some of which are open to visitors on three levels.

Wieliczka_salt_mine

Warsaw, the Capital

 Warsaw is Poland’s main city and the capital and it was erased from the map in World War 2 by both German and Russian armies.

Today, Warsaw is a modern city, completely reconstructed, steaming with life and home for beautiful museums and architectural marvels. For example, you can have an awesome view of Warsaw from the 380 ft tall observation deck located in the Palace of Culture and Science, an edifice given to Poland by Stalin in 1953. The Ring Museum is a homage to World War 2, featuring testimonials, films, artifacts and slides from the great war.

Tatra_mountains_western_side_2

Poland Food and Drink

Polish cuisine is a pleasant surprise for every visitor, just like the country itself. Pierogi is a traditional dish , like a ravioli, and it’s made of dough which is stuffed with all types of fillings : cottage cheese, onions, potato, meat or fruit and it’s boiled or fried.

Zurek and Krupnik are soups made with bacon, onion sour cream or mushrooms and they’re delicious, rich and thick.

Other specialties include bigos, buckwheat groats, sausages, golabki, kluski  and pierogi. As per drinking, Poland has excellent beers and vodka.

warsaw_JPG

Visa Requirements

A passport is required for visiting Poland, but no Visa. If you’re an EU citizen, you can visit Poland  with just your ID card.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: