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Things to do in Poland

Things to do in  Poland

Welcome to Poland

Poland is a country renowned for reinvention. Warsaw, the country's capital, emerged from the ashes of World War II destruction and transformed into one of Eastern Europe's brightest stars. A sightseeing tour of the city reveals Gothic, communist, and modernist architectural styles, while the Warsaw Rising, History of Polish Jews, and Neon museums are top draws for history buffs. Highlights of Poland's countryside are the snow-smothered Tatra Mountains and rustic towns of Zakopane and Malbork, all doable on a day-trip from major Polish cities. Hiking opportunities are aplenty, especially in the summer when the lakes in the north are perfect for kayaking and relaxed wanders. Polish pearl and former capital, Krakow, boasts historical gems such as Wawel Castle, Rynek Glowny (Main Market Square), and Kazmierz (Jewish District). If you're short on time, combine a city sightseeing tour with a visit to the nearby Wieliczka Salt Mine, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Also listed is the former German Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum, which allows visitors to reflect on the monumental horrors of the Holocaust during a guided tour. Plus, don't miss out on a visit to the Jasna Gora Monastery in Czestochowa, home to the revered painting of The Black Madonna.

Top 15 attractions in Poland

Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum

The Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum is the resting place for some 1.5 million people, as the site once served as a concentration camp and extermination site of the European Jewish community during World War II. Today, Auschwitz-Birkenau is an important historical area, allowing visitors to reflect on the monumental horrors that occurred during the genocide.More

Wieliczka Salt Mine (Kopalnia Soli)

An eerie world where everything has been carved from salt blocks, the Wieliczka Salt Mine (Kopalnia Soli) is made up of a labyrinth of tunnels, the deepest of which lies 1,075 feet (327 meters) underground. The ancient UNESCO World Heritage site is a major part of Poland's salt mining history, one of the country's most popular attractions, and one of the world's oldest salt mines, having produced table salt from the 13th century until 2007.More

Gdansk Old Town (Gdańsk Stare Miasto)

One of the largest historical centers in Europe, Gdansk Old Town (Gdańsk Stare Miasto) will take you back to the Middle Ages. Due to significant damage during World War II, many buildings are reconstructions of their historic counterparts, but a good number of original structures do remain. Almost one third of the streets in the Old Town have had the same names for more than 500 years.The Old Town doesn’t have a main square; instead, activity centers around the long pedestrian street known as Dlugi Targ, or Long Market. Standing in the middle of Dlugi Targ is the impressive Neptune Fountain, built in 1633. One highlight of any tour around the Old Town include the 14th century Gothic style city hall, which today is home to the Historical Museum of Gdansk. Another must-see is the House of Uphagen, an 18th century town house that offers a glimpse into how the wealthy burghers of that era lived. Also of note are the 12th century Green Gate, the Dlugie Ogrody (Long Gardens), the colorful and cobbled Mariacka Street, St. Mary’s Church and Targ Weglowy (Coal Square).More

Warsaw Old Town (Stare Miasto)

Almost entirely destroyed during WWII, Warsaw’s historic Warsaw Old Town (Stare Miasto) underwent an extensive restoration that transformed the area into a vibrant riverfront hub. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the neighborhood boasts striking recreations of 17th- and 18th-century structures, as well as the Warsaw History Museum.More


Hugging the Vistula River’s east bank, Praga is one of Warsaw’s oldest, yet most up-and-coming, districts. The only part of Poland’s capital to escape destruction in World War II, this once-derelict area mixes grimy prewar streets and art nouveau blocks with a contemporary buzz evidenced in its street art and trendy restaurants and bars.More

St. Mary's Basilica (Kościól Mariacki)

This brick Gothic church in the northeast corner of Old Town’s main square (Rynek Główny, dominates the skyline at 262 feet (80 meters tall. Dating back to the 13th century, St. Mary’s Basilica (Kościól Mariacki is famous for its stunning wooden altarpiece carved by German sculptor Veit Stoss.More

Rynek Glowny (Main Market Square)

The gigantic town square of Rynek Główny (most often translated Main Market Square) is the centrepiece of Krakow’s UNESCO-listed Old Town and the largest medieval square in Europe. Dominated by the Renaissance-style Cloth Hall and flanked by colorful neoclassical buildings, the square is both an architectural landmark and the main hub of local life.More

Wawel Royal Castle (Zamek Wawelski)

Crowning Krakow’s Wawel Hill and adjoining Wawel Cathedral, Wawel Castle is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that consists of numerous Romanesque, Renaissance, Gothic, and baroque buildings, courtyards, and gardens. Dating back to the 14th century, the castle was home to many of Poland’s monarchs and is a symbol of Polish history and pride.More

Oskar Schindler's Factory (Fabryka Schindlera)

A wealthy German and member of the Nazi Party, Oskar Schindler bought the Emalia enamel factory in Krakow following the German invasion of Poland during World War II. By insisting that his Jewish employees were vital to the workforce and often advocating for them, he saved more than 1,000 people from death. Today, Oskar Schindler's Factory (Fabryka Schindlera), part of the City of Krakow Historical Museum, houses a highly emotive, interactive, and visually stunning permanent exhibition on the Nazi occupation of Krakow.More

Kazimierz (Krakow Jewish Quarter)

Krakow’s Jewish Quarter—Kazimierz—has been the heart of the city’s Jewish community since medieval times. Traces of its turbulent past remain, but today it’s reinvented itself as a thriving cultural hub, where historic synagogues and museums sit side by side with art galleries, cocktail bars, bold street art, and vintage boutiques.More

Palace of Culture and Science (Palac Kultury i Nauki)

A towering 758 feet (231 meters) high, Warsaw’s Palace of Culture and Science was commissioned by Stalin during Poland’s communist era. Today, the country’s tallest building comprises concert halls, offices, shops, restaurants, and a 30th-floor viewing terrace.More

Warsaw Royal Castle (Zamek Krolewski)

Rebuilt following the destruction of World War II, the Royal Castle stands watch over the entrance to Warsaw Old Town. Explore beyond the brick facade to find a trove of historic furniture, artwork, and gilded decor. From the Great Apartments to the Throne Room, Warsaw Royal Castle showcases centuries of Warsaw history.More

Cloth Hall (Sukiennice)

Cloth Hall (Sukiennice dates back to the Renaissance and is one of the city’s most recognizable structures. Featured prominently in Old Town’s main square (Rynek Główny, Cloth Hall was originally intended as a linen and textile marketplace for local merchants to sell and house their goods.More

Ghetto Heroes Square (Plac Bohaterów Getta)

The poignant Ghetto Heroes Square commemorates the thousands of Krakow’s Jewish community who were forcibly moved and incarcerated within the Podgórze ghetto. Plac Zgody, a square in the heart of the ghetto, was the departure point for Jewish people boarding trains to Płaszów, Auschwitz, and other concentration camps during World War II.More

St. John's Archcathedral (Archikatedra Sw. Jana)

Near Warsaw’s Old Town Market Square, St. John’s Archcathedral dates from the 1300s, making it one of the city’s oldest churches. The site of the 18th-century coronation of Poland’s last king—and of his tomb—this striking, neo-Gothic cathedral was revamped in the 1800s before being destroyed in World War II and rebuilt in 1960.More

Trip ideas

How to Spend 3 Days in Warsaw

How to Spend 3 Days in Warsaw

How to Spend 1 Day in Warsaw

How to Spend 1 Day in Warsaw

How to Spend 2 Days in Warsaw

How to Spend 2 Days in Warsaw

How to Spend 1 Day in Krakow

How to Spend 1 Day in Krakow

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Recent reviews from experiences in Poland

A little taste of Poland
Christine_s, Jan 2023
Delicious Kazimierz Food Tour from Krakow
Really enjoyed this experience of learning & enjoying Polands traditional food Many thanks to our guide Ania, who was lovely and spoke very good english
Excellent tour guide...
dale_b, Jan 2023
Auschwitz & Birkenau: Live-Guided Tour with Transportation and Hotel Pickup
Excellent tour guide unbelievable place to visit very respectful to Auschwitz loved it would definitely recommend to any body visiting Poland
A must do !!!
Lauracount, Dec 2022
Auschwitz-Birkenau and Wieliczka Salt Mine Guided One Day Tour
Pick up and drop back at hotel, all morning spent at Auschwitz & Birkenau, then the afternoon spent at a Salt mine all with an English speaking guide.
amazing day
bethany_r, Nov 2022
ZAKOPANE & Thermal Springs
the tour guide/driver was very polite and helpful all throughout the day and the thermal springs are a must when visiting poland.
Maria_G, Aug 2022
Krakow Vistula River 1 Hour Sightseeing Cruise
Good to visit Poland and great to be here
Auschwitz and Birkenau...
Raquel_S, Jul 2022
From Cracow: Small Group Tour to Auschwitz and Birkenau
Auschwitz and Birkenau should be in everyone's list to visit in Poland.
Best trip in krakow
Megan_C, Nov 2022
ZAKOPANE & Thermal Springs
Start to finish the activities we’re amazing and well worth the money!
Fantastic Day trip spectacular and thought provoking
Tracey_A, Nov 2022
Day Trip to Auschwitz-Birkenau and Wieliczka Salt Mine from Krakow including Lunch
The transport provide was clean, the driver was knowledgable and fluent in English.
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All about Poland

When to visit

From medieval towns to ski resorts to beaches and idyllic countryside, Poland has something to offer at every time of year. The busiest season is summer, when tourists flock to the country and schools are on break. Spring and fall are better options if you want to avoid crowds and enjoy good weather. You can also plan a trip around Krakow’s lively Wianki festival, which celebrates Midsummer; Warsaw's Jewish Culture Festival or Krakow's Pierogi Festival, both in August; or Zielona Góra wine festival, in September.

Getting around

Poland has a great public transportation network. One of the best ways to get around the country is by train; it is both cost-effective and efficient, and you can find routes with incredible scenery along the way. When possible, opt for the fast and modern PKP Intercity train services, which offer the shortest and most comfortable trips. There are also bus networks that travel all over the country, to even the most remote of villages.

Traveler tips

While Krakow is wonderful, no trip is complete without visits to smaller towns and cities, to see the country's more traditional side. The UNESCO-listed city of Toruń—the birthplace of astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus—has a wonderful old town market square and a wealth of medieval buildings. It’s also known for being the home of Polish gingerbread; visitors can admire intricately decorated gingerbread cookies in shops, visit gingerbread museums, and enjoy hands-on baking classes.

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