Poland is one of my favourite European destinations and boasts some of the best old town architecture that I have ever seen. Poland is a country that suffered extensively in WW2 seeing many inhabitants (particularly the Jewish population) sent off to concentration camps. Despite this, many of the old town buildings have survived and the Polish spirit and culture is warm and welcoming. It’s an easy country for solo female travel too. Whilst the main tourist cities in Poland include Warsaw and Krakow, there are many others to consider.
Remember that many Polish cities have a German name too from the invasion, for example Gdansk is known as Danzig, so don’t let this confuse you! Most people now use the Polish names.
Probably the most popular of the Polish cities is Krakow. It’s extremely accessible from UK with direct flights from Liverpool to Krakow. Located on the Vistula river, Krakow is a former capital and considered to have one of the best old towns in the country.
Krakow is full of world war history with the Krakow Ghetto being one of the largest and with some of the toughest conditions. Auschwitz is accessible as a day trip and is one of the most infamous Dark Tourism destinations. If you have an interest in this period of history you can also visit Oskar Schindlers factory (Schindlers List) and film locations of the Pianist.
The current Polish capital is vibrant and modern being rebuilt following almost complete destruction in WW2. Despite this, it still has an amazing cultural and historical centre. In Warsaw be sure to visit to the Capernicus science centre, the Warsaw Royal Castle and the Warsaw rising museum.
Gdansk is the largest Northern Polish port city and direct flights from Liverpool to Gdansk make it the perfect weekend getaway. There are plenty of amazing things to do in Gdansk including one of the most beautiful old towns in Europe.
If you are interested in Churches you can visit the Oliwa Cathedral and the Basilica of St Mary of the Assumption of the Blessed. You should also check out the Long Market, Mariacke Street (historical centre) and the Neptune Fountain. There are some fantastic museums in Gdansk – make sure that you visit the WW2 Museum and Westerplatte if you are interested in World War History. The great thing about Gdansk is that if you want a spot of relaxation on a sunny day you can head to the beach! Hel beach in fact!!!
The third-largest city in the country, Lodz’s industrial past, coupled with German occupation and communist rule, has resulted in grim and decaying streets and buildings. Hope is at hand, however, as a massive renovation program has led to shopping malls and business centres springing up amongst the ruins of the past, with a nice pedestrian street now running through the heart of the city. This mix is fascinating to witness, and you can find some hidden gems scattered around the old industrial warehouses. For visitors interested in Jewish history and heritage, the city’s monuments and cemetery are now a sad and poignant reminder of Lodz’s once-thriving Jewish population.
A charming place to visit, Wroclaw’s diverse influences have resulted in a unique look and culture to the city. With Austria, Bohemia and Prussia all having had an impact on the city’s development, the architecture reflects Wroclaw’s past, as evidenced by the spectacular Rynek market square. Situated on the Odra River, Wroclaw has a surplus of bridges and lovely parks covering its banks, which make it a pretty place to relax. The lovely Cathedral Island is definitely worth stopping at. The fourth-largest city in Poland has a very lively arts and culture scene, with lots of events and festivals taking place here through the year. With a large student population and bustling nightlife scene, Wroclaw has everything you could want in a city.
Where to stay in Wroclaw – Old Town Hotel Sofitel Wroclaw
For travellers who want to take in the sights and sounds of Wroclaw, Sofitel Wroclaw Old Town Hotel is the perfect choice. From here, guests have easy access to all that the energetic city provides. A well-kempt environment and its proximity to Wrocław Contemporary Theatre, Church of St Elizabeth, Wroclaw’s Dwarfs give to this hotel a special charm. Sofitel Wroclaw Old Town Hotel offers impeccable service and all the essential amenities to invigorate travellers. 24-hour room service, facilities for disabled guests, room service, airport transfer, restaurant are just a few of the facilities that set Sofitel Wroclaw Old Town Hotel apart from other hotels in the city. The ambiance of Sofitel Wroclaw Old Town Hotel is reflected in every guestroom. television LCD/plasma screen, additional bathroom, additional toilet, mirror, wireless internet access is just some of the facilities that can be found throughout the property. The hotel offers an excellent variety of recreational facilities, including hot tub, fitness centre, sauna, spa, massage. Enjoy unparalleled services and a truly prestigious address at the Sofitel Wroclaw Old Town Hotel.
Buzzing with energy and a youthful feel, Poznan is a fun city to hang out in. The capital of Wielkopolska, its old town has plenty of great historical sites to see, as well as some great museums. The city’s large student population means that its restaurants, bars and clubs are full of life, while the trade fairs that are hosted in Poznan attract a different clientele entirely. From here, there are great transport links from which you can explore the surrounding region.
Where to stay in Poznan – Sheraton Poznan Hotel
If you’re looking for a hotel in Poznan which is conveniently located, look no further than Sheraton Poznan Hotel. With its location, the hotel has easy access to the city’s best destinations. The hotel is known for its friendly staff and quality services, and Sheraton Poznan Hotel lives up to expectations. 24-hour room service, 24-hour security, fireplace, 24-hour front desk, facilities for disabled guests are just a few of the facilities that set Sheraton Poznan Hotel apart from other hotels in the city. The hotel has 180 nicely appointed guest rooms, many of which include air conditioning, television LCD/plasma screen, heating, wake-up service and a front desk. Throughout the day you can enjoy the relaxing atmosphere of the fitness centre, sauna, indoor pool, massage. With an perfect location and amenities to match, Sheraton Poznan Hotel hits the spot in multiple ways.
While not the prettiest place in the world, Lublin has more than enough to justify a visit to the city. Heavily bombed in the Second World War, the post-war communist era buildings give Lublin a slightly drab look, although there are some nice town houses to be found here and there. The largest city in the southeast of the country, there are lots of bars, restaurants, cafes and clubs, as well as a number of cultural attractions which are worth a visit. Once nicknamed the ‘Jewish Oxford,’ as it was a thriving Jewish centre of learning, Lublin still has a number of interesting sights relating to its Jewish past, despite the horrors of WWII – which tragically put an end to this rich cultural heritage.
Lodz hotel – Ambasador Centrum
Nestled in the heart of Srodmiescie, Ambasador Centrum is an ideal spot from which to discover Lodz. Guests can make the most of all that the energetic city has to offer. With its useful location, the property provides easy access to the city’s must-see destinations. The facilities and services provided by Ambasador Centrum ensure a pleasant stay for guests. Facilities like free Wi-Fi in all rooms, 24-hour front desk, facilities for disabled guests, express check-in/check-out, luggage storage are readily available for the convenience of each guest. The property’s accommodations have been appointed carefully to the highest degree of convenience and comfort. In some of the rooms, guests can find flat screen television, additional toilet, slippers, sofa, heating. Recreational facilities available at the property include fitness centre, sauna, indoor pool, spa, massage. Ambasador Centrum is your one-stop destination for quality accommodation in Lodz.
Lublin hotel – Hotel Ilan
Designed for both business and leisure travel, Hotel Ilan is ideally situated in Lublin City Centre; one of the city’s most popular locales. Situated only 0.5 Km from the city centre, guests are well located to enjoy the town’s attractions and activities. For those of you who want to venture out, The Lublin Castle, Lublin Castle, Lublin Museum are just some of the attractions available to visitors. At this hotel, every effort is made in order to make guests feel comfortable. To do this, the hotel offers the best in amenities and services. Guests of the hotel can relish on-site features such as 24-hour room service, free Wi-Fi in every room, facilities for disabled guests, luggage storage and a 24-hour front desk. Go into one of 40 inviting rooms and getaway from the stresses of the day with a massive range of amenities such as television LCD/plasma screen, carpeting, clothes rack, complimentary coffee and tea which can be found in some rooms. The hotel’s fitness centre, sauna, garden are ideal places to relax and unwind after a busy day. Enjoy supreme services and a truly impressive stay at the Hotel Ilan.
If you are willing to head to a few less touristy cities there are some great smaller and lesser known towns in Poland. Check out my blog on things to do in Katowice.