Poland is a country in Central Europe, whose history has seen everything: from the most powerful state of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth to the heavy, protracted wars and the division of each square meter. Nowadays, Poland is going through a stage of revival. It is a member of the European Union and NATO, has a word in the European Parliament, its economy is growing steadily and more, and more people want to visit this unique land, rich in medieval architectural monuments.
Poland will be interesting for fans of various leisure activities. There are ancient towns with a unique atmosphere, excellent ski resorts, sea, mountain lakes, medieval castles, and fortresses. Poland has stopped being a transit country on the way to Europe a long time ago. It is ready to amaze and delight all travelers without exception.
|Warsaw||38 313 035||Polish||Polish złoty||312 679 km²|
There is a peculiar division of the territory in Poland. There are no regions and provinces. Instead, there are 16 voivodeships, which are divided into powiats and those into gminas.
What to see and where?
Warsaw is the capital of Poland and the most populous city. Gothic cathedrals, neoclassical palaces, Soviet buildings and modern skyscrapers — this place, with its complex historical architectural ensemble, will not leave anyone indifferent. Today, the Old Town fascinates tourists with its beauty, but few people know that it was restored after World War II from the paintings of XVII - XVIII century. Besides, this territory is under UNESCO protection. Warsaw is also ready to amaze with the largest ensemble of palace parks in Europe. Lazienki Park, with its cozy pond and old amphitheater, as well as the Park of Fountains, and each of them has its own legend.
Krakow, the former capital of Poland, is rich in Gothic churches, Renaissance architecture, and medieval fortresses. The city has managed to preserve its historical charm and harmoniously inscribed itself on the map of the most beautiful places in Poland. Krakow is wrapped in legends about the traces of Queen Jadwiga and the Lady in White, who roams within the walls of the palace. There is still one of the largest Jewish quarters of Kazimierz and the charming Old Town. Most of the territory is occupied by architectural masterpieces, such as Saint Mary's Basilica, which has become a trademark of Krakow. The spirit of the Middle Ages is also conveyed by the Collegium Maius, the oldest university in Poland. In addition to the arched gallery, Botanical Garden, and cozy courtyard, there is an alchemist's room, where Copernicus' tools have been preserved. For souvenirs and flavor, tourists go to the Kraków Cloth Hall — here they sell amber, unique lace, and souvenirs. Free and independent Krakow has always been, and rightfully is considered to be the cultural capital of the country, so it is necessary to include it in your tourist route.
Gdansk is a fabulous city on the coast of the Baltic Sea, which attracts with its authentic ancient architecture, seafood-rich cuisine, and a unique beer street. One should start getting to know Gdansk from the Old Town. Here, on cobblestone streets, you will find buildings from the XIII and XVIII centuries, the Długi Targ and the main attractions of Gdansk: the Artus Court, Neptune's Fountain, the Golden House, and the City Hall. The highlight of the city is the St. Mary's Church, which was built back in the XIII century. It is the second-largest church in Europe. Enjoying the charm of the city, make sure you go to the waterfront, as the sea throws thousands of pieces of amber here every day.
Wroclaw is a city of hundreds of bridges located on the Oder River. It is known for its unique Market Square, small houses, Gothic town halls, and astronomical clocks. The City Hall is perhaps the brightest building in the Gothic style, and the Aula Leopoldina conveys all the beauty of the Baroque. Most of Wroclaw's sights are on Market Square, which was founded back in the XIII century but was severely damaged during World War II. Luckily, most of the iconic buildings were reconstructed. The sculptures of dwarfs, which can be found in different parts of the city, are a recognizable feature of Wroclaw. There are a total of 270 statues. The search for dwarfs became a favorite tourist attraction. Despite the fact that it is the fourth-largest city in Poland, Wroclaw captivates with its calmness and simplicity.
Poznan is a city on the Warta River. It has a particular historical atmosphere characteristic of the main Polish cities. Gothic town halls, ancient cathedrals, and churches, cobblestone streets, walking through which you get acquainted with the past and see how it can harmoniously touch the present. An outstanding construction of the city is the Royal Castle, which building had lasted from the XIII to the XV century. Locals call Poznan "the cradle of the Polish nation", as legend has it that this is where the ancestors of three Slavic peoples — Czech, Lech and Rus — met. When they saw each other, they joyfully shouted: "Poznaje! Poznaje!" After that, they started calling this place Poznan. The abundance of parks and medieval buildings inspires a visit to this city.
Katowice is a small town in southern Poland, better known for its technical progress than for its ancient architecture. Smiths have long inhabited it, and the city's heyday came at the time when coal deposits were discovered in the vicinity. Katowice will be interesting for fans of industrial style in architecture. The largest stadium complex is located, which annually hosts fairs, music festivals, concerts, and exhibitions. Among the historically significant places are the Church of St. Apostles Peter and Paul, the St. Mary's Church, and the Goldstein Palace. It is also worth visiting the notorious Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp, or "death camp". This place makes a lasting impression and will be interesting not only for historians but also for all people who are not indifferent. Despite the small size of the city, it is possible to walk the streets of Katowice in peace and avoid meeting crowds of tourists.
Zakopane is a resort town near the Tatra Mountains, or as the locals call it, "the winter capital of Poland". The place is very popular with fans of winter sports, as it has the best ski slopes, fascinating locations for climbing, and hiking trails. The resort is open all year round and ready to welcome every tourist. For example, the Tatra National Park, which borders Slovakia and is a protected area, is suitable for hiking. For climbing, choose the Giewont mountain range, which consists of three peaks. Inhabitants of the region are engaged in sheep breeding. Here you can try not only natural dairy products and smoked cheese "Oscypek", but also buy products made of sheep's wool.
National peculiarities of the citizens of Poland
- the Poles are the second hardest-working people in Europe. A responsible attitude to their work is inherent in many men and women;
- hospitality is a national trait. A dear guest will be gladly invited to the table and offered to spend the night;
- Poles have a trembling attitude to the national culture and native language, probably that's why Polish is considered to be the second Slavic language (after Russian) by the number of speakers;
- the people of Poland are very religious, this applies not only to the older generation but young people also;
- the local population is very fond of national cuisine; all tourists are necessarily advised to try: kabanos (thin smoked sausages), soup "zur" on a flour leaven, smoked sheep cheese Oscypek, honey cakes.
Cities in Poland
Poland can safely be called the tourist pearl of Europe, where every traveler will find his source of inspiration: natural reserves, medieval architecture, museums and squares, beautiful parks, and resorts.