What to see in Poland

Poland Attractions

When sightseeing around Poland you'll find all the hallmarks of European charm in abundance: alpine mountains, historic buildings, resplendent lakes, lush meadows, untainted beaches and, as a less-than-rosy but fascinating bonus, the settings for some key events from the Second World War.

The capital of Warsaw was the first city to fall to Hitler and had to be almost completely rebuilt after the 1944 invasion. Parts of the Old Town were built to replicate the city as it had stood in the 17th and 18th centuries and the Historical Museum of Warsaw, a salute to the city's violent past, is a must. Although the experience is deeply unsettling and emotional a visit to Poland would not be complete without a trip to the country's most significant wartime landmark: Auschwitz, Hitler's biggest and most notorious concentration camp.

About two hours north of Warsaw is the Bialowieza Primaeval Forest, a UNESCO World Heritage Site which is one of the last remnants of the European primeval forest which once covered most the continent. Further north visitors will find other rare vestiges of old Europe, like the Gothic Castle in Malbork, the largest and most impressive brick fortress in Europe. There are several other wooden and stone churches, temples and other impressive buildings throughout Poland's vast and glorious countryside, which can be traversed by bus or train.

The city of Krakow is the most popular tourist destination in Poland, and the city which suffered least during the war. The main attraction is the remarkably well-preserved medieval centre, but Krakow is a cosmopolitan, modern city boasting the wonderful mix between old and new which characterises the whole country.

Auschwitz Memorial Museum

The Auschwitz concentration camp is actually made up of three camps - Auschwitz I, Auschwitz II-Birkenau and Auschwitz…

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Bialowieza National Park

Bialowieza National Park, located on the border between Poland and Belarus, is a heavily protected area that guards the…

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Historical Museum of Warsaw

The History Museum is one of the best of Warsaw's impressive array of museums. Its three storeys are crammed with fascinating…

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Kazimierz District and the Old Synagogue

Once a separate town and now an inner suburb of Krakow, the Kazimierz quarter was the centre of Jewish religion, culture…

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Main Market Square (Rynek Glówny)

Dating from 1257, the Central Market Square was one of the largest squares in Medieval Europe, and remains the social…

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Malbork Castle

Malbork Castle is a classic example of a medieval fortress: it is the world's largest brick castle and one of the most…

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Old Town (Starego Miasta)

The busy Old Town of Warsaw provides the historic focal point of the city, having been rebuilt in the original 17th and…

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Although the idea of a beach holiday in Poland might seem about as plausible as a ski trip in the Netherlands, the wonderful…

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The Royal Way

Known as the Royal Way, this two-and-a-half mile (4km) route stretches from the Royal Castle in the Old Town to the stately…

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Overlooking the city of Krakow is Wawel, a hill topped with the fascinating architectural complex that includes Wawel…

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Westerplatte, situated at the entrance to the harbour and just a few kilometres from the city of Gdañsk, is where…

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Wieliczka Salt Mine

The Salt Mine at Wieliczka is a unique underground complex that has been in continuous use since its construction in…

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