Are you planning a trip to Poland soon? Awesome, you’ve made a great choice! But what are the best places to visit in Poland?
One of the coolest things about Poland is the sheer variety of things to see. Visitors can explore countless lakes, green valleys, tiny hamlets, wild mountains, the Baltic Sea, and amazing historic cities all in one country.
There are so many things to see and do in Poland that that narrowing down the choices might be a bit difficult if you are short on time. So, we’ve consulted a local Polish blogger to suggest 7 places you absolutely can’t miss when visiting Poland.
Keep all of these in mind when you start planning your visit to this diverse eastern European country!
Table of Contents
The Top Seven Places to Visit in Poland
Everybody will tell you that Kraków is one of the best places to visit in Poland. Even though it’s not the capital city anymore, it still retains its royal atmosphere with the stunning Wawel Castle dominating over the city and the historic Old Town that never fails to attract interest.
At nights, no matter if it’s the middle of the week or the weekend, there’s always a party to be found. If that’s not your thing, there are plenty of amazing restaurants and cafes you could spend time in. Once you’ve fed your body you can feed your soul with countless culture events, art galleries or debates at the local Jagiellonian University – the first Polish university and one of the oldest in the Europe.
Kraków is also a great base for your further adventures in Lesser Poland. For example, just an hour and half away you can find the village of Zalipie where the houses were painted and colorfully decorated by local women. A bit further away there’s also Zakopane, the unofficial capital city of Poland in the winter.
So, that’s a super quick look at Krakow. Want to know what else makes Krakow one of the top places to visit in Poland? Check out our guide to the best things to do in Krakow Poland.
Where to Stay in Krakow
- Luxury Hotel in Krakow – Hotel Wentzl
- Boutique Hotel in Krakow – PURO Hotel Kazimierz
- Budget Hotel in Krakow – Hotel Eden
- Hostel in Krakow – Cracow Hostel
Want more awesome Krakow budget accommodation options? Check out our guide to the best hostels in Krakow.
Best Places to Visit in Poland – Wrocław
Wrocław is a slightly unusual city, which is why you should see it. As major powers of history were fighting over it, the city developed its own unique atmosphere with a combination of the best things from both Polish and German culture.
Wroclaw happens to be home to one of the prettiest Old Town Squares in Poland, and perhaps in all of Europe. That alone makes Wroclaw a top destination in Poland.
However, the city has another quirky and fun attraction. Scattered throughout Wroclaw’s center are hundreds of cheeky little statues…of gnomes. Yes, gnomes. Known as ‘krasnale’ in Polish these little guys make exploring Wroclaw’s Old Town all the more fun. Can you find them ALL?
Aside from the Old Town center you should also stop by the Museum of Mr Tadeusz, especially if you have no idea who that is. Trust us you’ll enjoy it and make an impression on Poles when they discover you visited.
Wrocław’s night life isn’t lacking either. When the sun sets, head to the Pillory in Old Town to meet friends and hit the streets for a great party. From there follow the sounds of merriment, and you will surely uncover one of the many awesome bars near Wroclaw’s center.
There are also countless things to do in Lower Silesian cities around the Wrocław, each of them with its own unique past. Świdnica has a fascinating pagan history. Kudowa Zdrój has an impressive Skull Chapel which is basically a mass grave. And Wałbrzych has a colorful castle and mountains landscapes.
So make sure you visit Wroclaw for at least two days while in Poland. After that take a day trip to one of the above locations. In doing so we think you’ll see what makes this city one of the top places to visit in Poland.
Where to Stay in Wroclaw
- Luxury Hotel in Wroclaw – Hotel Monopol
- Boutique Hotel in Wroclaw – PURO Wrocław Stare Miasto
- Budget Hotel in Wroclaw – Aparthotel Bike Up
- Hostel in Wroclaw – Kamienica pod Hostel
Tri-city Metropolis of Gdańsk, Gdynia, and Sopot
If you have time you should absolutely head to northern Poland and visit the Tri-city metropolis which includes Gdańsk’s, Gdynia, and Sopot. And if you DON’T have time, well, perhaps you should make some, because these cities are not to be missed!
Gdańsk, the classic historic town with German roots, is known for the Fountain of Neptune, who watches over all, and is a must-see. Sopot is famous for its pier, which has been visited by a multitude of Polish celebrities, and Gdynia offers some interesting insights into the sea life, including the Navy Museum and famous ships which are docked in the port.
If you want to explore more of the area, you can easily catch a local fast rail and head to Kościerzyna to explore the Kashubia region or to the Hel Peninsula, which is not only beautiful but also played an important part in Polish history. You can also head to cities like Rumia or Wejherowo, or if you just want to relax, head to the Baltic Sea and grab a slice of beach to spend a few hours on.
Where to Stay in Gdansk
- Luxury Hotel in Gdansk – Radisson Blu Hotel
- Boutique Hotel in Gdansk – Hotel Gdańsk Boutique
- Budget Hotel in Gdansk – Hotel Wolne Miasto – Old Town Gdańsk
- Hostel in Gdansk – Slowgate Hostel
Warsaw – The Capital of Poland
The current capital city of Poland is a must-see as well. Warsaw is quite unique as far as cities in Poland go because it was basically demolished during World War II. However, citizens have managed to rebuild the ruined city, although not entirely, and have turned it into a thriving and modern capital.
Warsaw is also a city of contrasts. On the one hand you have a Copernicus Science Museum, and on the other you can see the city’s painful past at Warsaw’s ghetto wall or the Museum of Polish Jews.
One of Warsaw’s advantages, as a result of its multi-cultural atmosphere, is diverse cuisine. It’s super easy to find an authentic Greek, Italian, or Thai restaurants in Warsaw. However, if you are looking to try authentic Polish cuisine, it’s in abundant supply. Plus, the city is full of good craft beer, especially on Nowy Świat or Świętokrzyska Street. Oh, and did I mention Old Town Warsaw? It’s a must.
Looking for ideas on what to do in Warsaw? Take a look at our guide to the best things to do in Warsaw!
Where to Stay in Warsaw
- Luxury Hotel in Warsaw – Raffles Europejski Warsaw
- Boutique Hotel in Warsaw – H15 Boutique Hotel
- Budget Hotel in Warsaw – Aparthotel Pawia Deluxe
- Hostel in Warsaw – Oki Doki OLD TOWN hostel
The Sand Dunes of Łeba
If you crave a bit of nature after spending time in some of Poland’s best cities, Łeba is a great choice. It’s small and life slower here.
The city is mostly widely visited by Polish tourists who wish to relax and forget about their troubles on the beaches. As the sun sets, however, a nighttime party is always an option, no matter where in Łeba you might find yourself.
The impressive sand dunes of Łeba are the Słowiński National Park’s biggest attractions and a great thing to fill your day with, if you decide to pop in here.
Where to Stay in Leba
- Beach Hotel Near Łeba – Neptun
- Resort Hotel in Łeba – Przystań Łeba Resort
- Budget Accommodation in Łeba – Willa Wodołaz
The Białowieża Forest
When it comes to nature, it would be a shame to miss the Białowieża Forest, which is one of the oldest and largest in this part of Europe. Kings of the past used to hunt these forests, and now Białowieska Forest, divided between Poland and Belarus, is attracting nature lovers from all over the world.
Another reason to visit Białowieża Forest to see one of the biggest mammals of Europe – the bison. They even have their own beer, Żubr beer named after the bison, so be sure to try when visiting. And while in the forest, stray a bit further into the Podlaskie voivodeship, where not the nature is unique and the cultural mix of Polish and Belarussian traditions is something to be admired.
Interestingly, this region of Poland is where the majority of the citizens celebrate Christmas on January 6th, according to the Eastern Church rites, rather than in December. So if Christmas comes and goes, and you crave more festivities, head here!
Where to Stay Near Bialowieza Forest
- Unique Accommodation in Bialowieza Forest – Apartamenty Carskie
- Wellness Hotel near Bialowieza Forest – Hotel Żubrówka Spa & Wellness
- Budget Hotel in near Bialowieza Forest – Kamienna Zagroda
The Mazurian Lake District
The Mazurian Lake District, nestled between Warsaw and Gdansk, are perfect for sailing, fishing or just simply relaxing. Visiting at any time of the year is a good idea, but autumn is magical. In fact, so special that a Polish singer famously sang about this time of year.
Mazurian cities also provide a great base for a quick trip to Kaliningrad or Lithuania. Just be careful not to mix up Warmia and Mazuria, as those two are different regions and the local citizens will kindly remind you of it, should you make a mistake.
Visiting this voivodeship is also a great way to get in touch with the Prussian culture, which made its impact here with the Malbork or Lidzbark Warmiński’s castles. Although the Teutonic Order’s rule over this part of Poland has long been gone, some memories and vibes still remain here, giving you a unique insight into the history that has happened over those beautiful lakes.
Where to Stay in the Mazurian Lake District
- Lake Spa Hotel in Olsztyn – Przystań Hotel&Spa
- Lakeside Boutique Hotel in Olsztyn – Tiffi Boutique Hotel
- Budget Accommodation in Olsztyn – Apartament Stare Miasto
Hopefully, those seven places give you an idea on just how diverse Poland is – from the sea to the mountains, from German-built towns, to ruined Warsaw rebuilt by the Polish citizens. Of course, there remains much more to be seen, like Poznań, Szczecin, or maybe the Upper Silesian region famous for its mines. But first – dive into Poland and let us know if you liked it in the comments below, or on Twitter!
As always, happy travels, and we’ll see you all on the road!
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About the Author – Karolina Kleśta is making money online while traveling the world with her family. She is a founder of a Lazy Travel Blog, a website created for those who love to travel.