Poland attracts millions of tourists from all around the world. Poland is the 14th most visited country by foreign tourists. Poland’s main tourist offers consist of sightseeing within cities and out-of-town historical monuments, business trips and mountain hiking. Most tourist attractions in Poland are connected with natural environment, historic sites and cultural events.
National flag color: top - white, bottom - red
National emblem: White eagle in a crown against a red background
Monetary unit / Currency: 1 zloty (translation: “gold”) = 100 groszy.
Time: GMT/UTC+ 1 hour
Climate:Continental; moderate, changeable weather.
Poland has a diversified natural environment, which is relatively unaffected by human development. Visitors are attracted by mountains, sea-coast, and the lake reserves. Among the most popular destinations are: Tatra Mountains, Karkonosze, Puszcza Białowieska, Dunajec River Gorge, Bieszczady, Pojezierze Mazurskie, Kampinos and many others. The most popular cities are Warsaw, Kraków, Wrocław, Poznań, Lublin and Toruń. The best recreational destinations include Tatra Mountains – the highest mountain range of Carpathians – and Białowieża Forest, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
There are thirteen UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Poland. Kraków’s Historic Centre, Wieliczka Salt Mine, Auschwitz Birkenau, Historic Centre of Warsaw, Old City of Zamość, Castle of the Teutonic Order in Malbork, Medieval Town of Toruń, Kalwaria Zebrzydowska: the Mannerist Architectural and Park Landscape Complex and Pilgrimage Park, Churches of Peace in Jawor and Swidnica, Wooden Churches of Southern Little Poland, Muskauer Park / Park Muzakowski (shared with Germany), Centennial Hall in Wroclaw, Białowieża Forest (shared with Belarus).
Main tourist attractions in Poland:
BIESZCZADY MOUNTAINS. A paradise for romantics, lovers of nature and restless drifters. The soft green mountains peppered with traditional wooden churches are one of the most secluded areas in Europe. The extraordinary wildlife and picturesque landscapes make it an ideal holiday destination. Bieszczady is the most beautiful in summer and autumn, whereas during winter they invite the fans of skiing.
CZESTOCHOWA. The medium size city of Czestochowa lies in the heart of Krakowsko-Czestochowska Upland, the region characterised by picturesque Jurassic rocks. Czestochowa is usually associated with Jasna Gora Monastery which is the biggest Marian sanctuary in the country. For the majority of Poles it is an important pilgrimage destination. The icon known as Black Madonna of Czestochowa crowned in 1656 as the Queen and Protector of Poland is credited with many miracles.
GDANSK. The cheerful maritime city is popular with both tourist and holiday destination. Situated by the sea, it has a gentle climate and beautiful beaches. A famous seaside resort Sopot is nearby. The exclusive architecture of the Old Town, including the largest brick Gothic church in the world is undoubtedly worth exploring. The present image of the city was created by its complex history. Gdansk used to often change hands and in 1980 it witnessed the birth of the Solidarity movement, which brought the end of Communism.
KRAKOW. The former country’s capital is one of the top tourist attractions in Europe. Most of the city guests are captivated by its magical atmosphere and the splendid architecture. In Krakow you can see mediaeval cathedrals, the Renaissance castle, Baroque churches, the Art Nouveau theatre and many other monuments. However old and beautiful it is, do not think that Krakow is limited to the monuments and museums. Thanks to an amazing density and variety of bars, pubs, clubs and restaurants, Krakow sparkles with life, especially during warm seasons.
MALBORK (MARIENBURG). The Teutonic Order was founded around 1190 in Palestine to crusade against the Muslims and pagans. In the 14th century the Teutonic Knights conquered a pagan tribe of Prussians and moved their headquarters from Venice to Malbork on the Nogat river which is now northern Poland. A trace of the their presence in the town is the imposing red brick castle from 1274 on the river bank, which is the largest Gothic fortress in Europe.
MASURIAN LAKES. Picturesque land of reputedly 3000 lakes. For sailing fans, fishermen, hikers, cyclists and those who seek tranquillity, the Masuria is the number one holiday destination. Apart from the water sports and wandering around, you may explore a multitude of historical places. There are castles in Reszel, Nidzica and Gizycko, the amazing Baroque church in Swieta Lipka and the Hitler’s wartime headquarters in the forests near Ketrzyn.
OSWIECIM (AUSCHWITZ). The modest provincial town of Oswiecim better known under its German name “Auschwitz” was a witness to an enormous evil caused by mankind. During World War II in the largest Nazi extermination camp around 1.5 million people perished. A gruesome exhibition in the former camp makes the visitors rethink the basic ideas of humanity and dignity.
TATRA MOUNTAINS. The highest mountain range between the Alps and the Caucasus. Rocky peaks covered with all-year snow, sharp ridges, picturesque ponds, waterfalls and valleys make this place supposedly the most spectacular in Poland. About 250 km of trails and a wide range of slopes would satisfy the most demanding hikers and skiers. A stay in Zakopane town at the foot of the mountains is recommended to those who love admiring beautiful landscapes and original folk culture.
WARSAW. The capital of Poland. Rebuilt after World War II practically from scratch. Warsaw’s vibrant business downtown takes pride in many skyscrapers and ambitious plans to build more. The catchy skyline is still dominated by the enormous Palace of Culture and Science – a Stalin’s donation. Warsaw is a big world with an east European flavour. Do not miss the beautiful Old Town, the Royal Route, the Chopin museum and several magnificent palaces.
WROCLAW. The capital of Lower Silesia (Dolny Slask) has a huge Old Town built on several islands connected by over 100 bridges. Apart from its unique location, Wroclaw amazes with a plenitude of Gothic, Baroque and Art Nouveau architecture. An extremely complicated history, combining cultural influences of Germany, Bohemia, Austria and Poland, left its mark on Wroclaw’s atmosphere. After World War II the German population was expelled and replaced by Poles from Lwow (L’viv) that remained within the borders of the Soviet Union.