Poland, a growingly popular tourist destination, has overcome adversity to become a beautiful and fascinating site to explore. The country is home to awe-inspiring architecture, historical treasure troves, the Baltic Sea’s beautiful coastline, and a vast array of flora and fauna. When I visited Poland, I fell in love with this proud and unique country, but I’ll try to limit it to a bare minimum here and show only fifteen of the best and most beautiful spots to see…
Poznan is one of Poland’s most beautiful cities to visit.
The colourful and picturesque Poznan, located halfway between Warsaw and Berlin, is home to Europe’s youngest castle. Poznan exudes a constant warmth (despite the characteristically chilly winters.) There is a lovely atmosphere here, which is steeped in culture and hundreds of years of history.
From street art (Poznan is home to graffiti artist Noriak, whose ‘Watcher’ observes from every corner of the city) to Stary Rynek, which has been home to the city’s major attraction since the thirteenth century – the very beautiful Renaissance town hall – there is a creative vibe that brings everything to life here.
There are also hundreds of outstanding independent eateries and internationally recognised festivals, ranging from the world’s oldest violin competition to an international ice sculpting festival.
The location has a familiar feel to it, probably due to its small size, which makes it ideal for exploring by bicycle or foot, and the thick foliage contributes to the beautiful view.
Krakow is one of Poland’s most well-known tourist destinations.
Krakow, Poland’s ancient royal capital, exudes mediaeval splendour and youthful vigour, making it one of the country’s must-see destinations. Relics from every key architectural era still stand as a witness to the city’s many lives. It’s a decadent patchwork of Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, and Art Nouveau architecture, each of which has left its mark. While Warsaw now holds the status of political capital, Krakow is still revered by many.
There are plenty of reasons to entice you into the city’s charms, whether it’s to explore Wawel Castle – a stunning symbol of Polish independence as well as being beautiful – to immerse yourself in the warmth of Kazimierz (Krakow’s former Jewish quarter), or to enjoy a tasty lody in Europe’s largest mediaeval square.
A simple five-note melody rises from atop the taller of St. Mary’s Basilica’s two towers, signalling the turn of each hour: the Hejnal Mariaki. The iconic signal has been played every day since the fourteenth century, yet no one knows who or when it originated. It has, nevertheless, become a symbol of Poland as a whole, and trumpeters must go through years of intensive training in order to perform it.
The Tatra Mountains are a wonderful spot in Poland to visit.
The Tatras Mountains, which form a natural barrier between Poland and Slovakia, dominate a scene that looks like it sprang straight out of a fairy tale. Due to the perils of the terrain, exploring is limited to defined pathways, and the ridge can only be crossed on foot (or skis during the winter).
The Polish realm alone supports about 10,000 botanical and animal species, including the brown bear, lynx, and golden eagle, as well as dwarf mountain pine, expansive spruce forests, fir, edelweiss, and crocus, and dwarf mountain pine, sprawling spruce forests, fir, edelweiss, and crocus.
Gdansk is one of Poland’s most beautiful cities.
Gdansk is a land fashioned from centuries of nautical rush and bustle with a chequered past, nestled at the mouth of the Vistula River, which melts effortlessly into the Baltic Sea. The battle for Gdansk sparked World War II, and at the end of it, the city had been nearly completely destroyed. Many of the ruins were meticulously rebuilt under Polish administration, and Gdansk was constructed from Danzig’s ashes.
The Main City, a vibrant, cultural hub brimming with historical significance, houses the majority of the important attractions. A beautiful bronze homage to the city’s fabled guardian, Neptune, perches atop a fountain constructed in the seventeenth century may be found in this region.
This priceless object was hidden for the whole of WWII and replaced just after the war ended. Gdansk is a vibrant blend of modernity and history, with a contemporary waterfront, old stone gates, undisturbed wildness, and an industrial edge all gathered beneath the cool surge of the Baltic breeze.
Follow winding, cobblestone roads to Gothic cathedrals, a Romanesque and Rococo cathedral, hidden squares, and even some icy sea swimming for the brave. Beyond the hubbub of the city is the tranquilly of Sobieszewo Island, which is home to a diverse range of protected flora and animals, including sea holly, racoon dogs, and a variety of birds. Without a doubt, one of the most gorgeous spots to visit.
Sopot Beach is one of Poland’s top beaches.
The opportunity to bury your toes into the several kilometres of fine, silver sand that make up the glitteringly lovely Sopot Beach is just a short distance from Gdansk. Its wooden pier (Europe’s longest) provides a direct route into the wide, yawning sea. A few lungfuls of Sopot’s bright, clear air will revitalise you, harkening back to the town’s roots as a spa town that has since been turned into an elegant coastal village.
Poland’s Pieniny National Park is a picturesque beauty location.
The Peniny Mountains’ nearly vertical walls descend to the Dunajec River, within whose basin Pieniny National Park is located. The park is small but powerful, supporting a diverse range of life, including 640 mushroom varieties; its human-carved meadows are among Poland’s most productive, producing 30-40 flower species per square metre. There are approximately 6500 animal species known to wander the land, with the possibility of many more still to be discovered.
The lynx is the range’s top predator, and otters frolic along the river’s banks. Aside from mammals, there is a wide variety of birds, reptiles, fish, and amphibians — a mixture that is sure to take many people’s breath away.
As an alternative to walking trails, you could want to take advantage of the opportunity to raft down the Dunajec: an exciting yet relaxing mode of transportation.
Wroclaw is one of Poland’s oldest and most picturesque cities.
The exquisite and ethereally beautiful Wroclaw is surrounded by the Oder River; ornamented with architecture that could easily belong in mythology, it is bursting with art, history, and a diverse potpourri of cafes, restaurants, and bars to fuel your exploration of Western Poland’s largest city.
Ostrow Tumski is where Wroclaw got its start (Cathedral Island.) It has been transformed from a garden to a place of remarkable beauty and architectural significance, with strongly symbolic monuments, sculptures, gardens, and bridges.
The Cathedral of St. John the Baptist was Poland’s first brick structure, built on the foundations of an earlier church in the thirteenth century, and its twin spires provide a panoramic perspective of the city. The dwarves that litter the streets of Wroclaw are a symbol of the anti-communist collective Orange Alternative.
Slowinski National Park is famous for its sand dunes, which are vast and constantly shifting.
Slowinski National Park, in the Pomeranian region of Northern Poland, is transformed by the Baltic Sea. The shifting dunes, which move at a rate of 32 feet per year, are perhaps the most noteworthy aspects of this exceptional site; they keep the landscape in perpetual motion.
Their trip reveals and conceals: fossilised trees rise from the sand, long devoid of the green that once clung to their branches.
The Park’s huge, sandy mountains may be seen from a variety of vantage points, but one of the most beautiful is Lake Lebsko, which has an observation point on its shores from which the dunes can be observed. Slowinski National Park is a World Biosphere Reserve, which means that much of the land is inaccessible to humans due to the park’s extremely diverse flora and animals. The biosphere, which is mostly marshes, meadows, and woods, is home to numerous rare vegetation and bird species like the black stork, white-tailed eagle, and eagle owl.
Warsaw is Poland’s capital and largest city.
Poland’s unique capital city, Warsaw, is located in the centre of Europe, and its Old Town emits an old-fashioned atmosphere; however, its structures are not as old as they appear. Following WWII destruction, the city was rebuilt from the ashes, utilising the accomplished (and incredibly accurate) paintings of Italian artist Canaletto as a guide. Warsaw has flourished into a significant cultural, economic, and academic powerhouse since this decisive assertion of identity. It’s also maybe the only site on the planet where you’ll see a mermaid with a sword and shield.
These emblems can be seen all around the city, but the ‘official’ syrenka is located in the Old Town centre.
Apart from its many architectural and cultural attractions, Warsaw is Poland’s culinary capital, with Milk Bars, Michelin-starred restaurants, and traditional, independent bakeries.
The largest and most beautiful castle in Silesia is Zamek Ksiaz.
The Owl Mountains’ deep, lush woodland hides a fortress that appears to be woven from legend’s threads. The blushing, dusk-drenched exterior of Zamek Ksiaz, perched on the tallest rock around, betrays the deadly machinations formerly hatched beneath.
The exterior and interior of the castle’s complex are equally awe-inspiring, and the Palm House contained within the castle’s complex is home to over 250 species of plant! Though the tunnels and chambers are magnetic in their appeal, what lives above ground is also worth exploring; combining Gothic, Baroque, and Neoclassical elements, the exterior and interior are equally awe-inspiring, and the Palm House contained within the castle’s complex is home to over 250 species of plant! The surrounding forests are not only beautiful in their own right, but they also attract treasure hunters from all over the world who want to try their luck at finding the hidden Nazi gold.
Swinoujscie Beach is a terrific place for the whole family to enjoy.
Swinoujscie Beach, on the island of Uznam, is Poland’s most scenic seaside resort, with fine, golden sands stretching for miles along the Baltic Sea’s blue blaze.
Even on busier days, the beach’s size maintains a relaxing atmosphere, and a variety of water activities are available for those seeking a taste of excitement. The Beacon of Stawa Mlyny, Swinoujscie’s official insignia, is one of the most appealing sights; the 33-foot high windmill-shaped column serves as a signpost for ships departing the Baltic to Swinoujscie. Poland’s largest lighthouse, standing at 213 feet above Wolin Island, is the tallest in the country (and the tallest brick lighthouse globally).
The structure was damaged during WWII, prompting calls for its destruction. However, the German Keeper at the time resisted, and the yellow-brick beacon remained operational, towering tall as ever after reconstruction.
A lighthouse museum has been established in the former keeper’s quarters.
Karkonosze National Park is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts.
Karkonosze National Park, which shares borders with the Czech Republic and is home to the “Miniature Alps,” is 22 square miles of breathtaking natural splendour. It is a UNESCO biosphere reserve that sustains a constantly changing degree of biodiversity.
The park’s attractions are glacial, mountainous cavities, spreading spruce forests, roving mouflons, and glistening waterfalls. The Polish Meteor Observatory, located at the summit of Sniezka (the range’s largest peak), provides an intriguing escape from the chill as well as breathtaking, panoramic views.
The park encompasses at least 33 hiking paths covering 100 kilometres with varied degrees of difficulty and elevation, making it one of Poland’s most popular walking destinations.
Lublin Old Town is a stunningly beautiful old town.
Lublin Old Town’s tiny, cobblestone alleyways give the impression of stepping into a time machine; rich in both energy and heritage, it’s home to a plethora of tempting sights, one of which serves as the city’s entrance, the famed Krakow Gate. The Gothic edifice, which was built as part of a defence system in the fourteenth century, has undergone various phases of renovation to keep its resonance through thousands of years.
The Gate leads into the Old Town, which is known as ‘Little Krakow’ because of its condensed cultural assets. There is so much to see and do in this city, from Renaissance burgher mansions to an underground tourist route consisting of old wine cellars and shop basements to the gorgeous Baroque-style church.
Although much of Lublin’s original building was destroyed during WWII, the mediaeval core miraculously survived, making it one of Europe’s most authentic and gorgeous cities. Lublin fuses heritage with a vibrant atmosphere, securing it as one of the most characterful and underrated Polish cities. With students accounting for one-third of its population, Lublin fuses heritage with a vibrant atmosphere, securing it as one of the most characterful and underrated Polish cities.
Zalipie is a small ancient village in Poland’s south-east.
The scenic Zalipie, affectionately known as “the Painted Village,” is the birthplace of an amazing heritage; its beauty may not be carved by nature, but it is no less wondrous. The women of the neighbourhood began demonstrating a kind of self-expression that was both utilitarian and eye-catching about a century ago, in response to soot stains caused by unsuitable ventilation.
They made paint brushes out of cow hair, painted with colours thickened by fat from their dumplings, and gilded their walls with gorgeous, floral motifs in an attempt to keep their dwellings looking spotless.
Chicken coops, the village well and bridges, sundials, dog kennels, bins — it seems like everything that stays still for long enough gets the Zalipie flower treatment. One woman’s magnificent living space (Felicja Curyowa) has been transformed into a museum to honour and embody the village’s artistic essence. The tradition is still alive and well, most notably in the shape of an annual competition in which new paintings and existing designs are revived.
The Bieszczady National Park in Poland is a beautiful destination to visit and explore.
A vast treasure trove of wild beauty can be found in Poland’s far southernmost territory. The Bieszczady National Park is home to a diverse range of species, including large, secretive carnivores like bears, lynx, and wolves, as well as deer and Poland’s second-largest bison herd.
The Park is known for its beautiful pastures that rise far above the Carpathian Mountains’ tree line, as well as an extensive network of trails. However, because much of the land is protected, just around 75 percent of the 113 square miles is accessible. The official hiking trails are primarily moderate to dangerous, therefore they are not recommended for the faint of heart!
Bieszczady Park is engulfed by forest – mostly beech – for around 80% of its area, giving it an ideal ecosystem for the conservation and growth of its many unique organisms. Tarnica’s summit offers spectacular views of the Wolosatka Valley. The Podkarpackie Wooden Architecture Trail, which includes vestiges of pre-WWII communities and an old Greek Orthodox Church, is one of the most remarkable features.