You may not be aware that Poland has nothing less than 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. You may not know that it has a very varied and forceful gastronomy. You may not know that it has large natural parks. Okay, if you are reading this, you probably know that there are plenty of reasons to travel to the country and what you are looking for is to select a few places to see in Poland to decide which zone to direct your steps to.
After several trips -eye, we hope to continue traveling to Poland and we will take care of updating the list if we see it necessary-, we think we can select a few points essential to visit in Poland. We could not miss the UNESCO cities, nor the natural landscapes, nor the castles, nor the places that have marked our recent history … And, of course, there are also some churches, for something 90% of their population is practicing Catholic.
Open the map to place thumbtacks. You won’t be able to go everywhere there what to see in Poland on a trip, but surely you want to have them saved for the next ones. We warn you: once you go to Poland, you will surely return.
How have we chosen our places to see in Poland?
The list of places what to see in Poland that we propose is based on our tastes exclusively. In fact, in our first-hand tastes: we have visited all in person. We have a list of “pending” that we will cross out, but those that we considered essential we have already visited.
As we said, when we return to the country, if we discover that any of the places we had in “pending” must be on the list of “essential”, we will not hesitate to update the list. For now, there are all who are and are all who are.
One more thing. The listing has no order. Enough work we already had to choose 15 places to see in Poland as well as to prepare a classification. We liked each and every one of them and we leave the order to you.
We start with the capital of the country. Could not miss Warsaw in the list of places what to see in Poland. And it’s not just because it’s the capital, it’s because it also has the distinction UNESCO, because there are places with a history that should not be forgotten, for their museums, for their neighborhoods, for their contemporary architecture, for their life on the banks of the Vistula, for their gastronomic offer …
Check out our article What to see in Warsaw and you will see that you have your site won by hand.
Krakow it is one of the best-known cities in the country, along with Warsaw, obviously. So it could not be missing from the list of essential to visit in Poland. Another old town declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and one that, in addition, did not suffer much from the ravages of World War II. With its Market Square, its underground museum, St. Mary’s Church, the Jewish Quarter, the communist quarter of Nowa Huta…
We also have an article with the places what to see in Krakow, let it not be said that we do not go into detail.
3. The Wieliczka Salt Mine
We continue with the list of World Heritage and we go underground, to the Wieliczka Salt Mine. More than 300 kilometers of galleries, underground lagoons, restaurants, chapel await you… If there is even wifi signal and a hospital for respiratory diseases. As if that were not enough, it is one of the oldest operating salt mines in the world. Determined, you can’t miss it. And, if you still have doubts, read our article The Wieliczka Salt Mine and Book your tour from Krakow to visit it.
Did you know…?
The Wieliczka Salt Mine is not the only one with a UNESCO seal. In reality, the distinction falls on the Royal Salt Mines of Wieliczka and Bochnia. Bochnia is another city, about 50 km east of Krakow. We have it pointed out.
4. The Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp
We have said that in Poland there are places that have marked our recent history… Well, let’s go for one of them – although in Warsaw and Krakow you will also find a few. We talk about the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp.
Did you know…?
Although the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp is the most famous of all, in present-day Poland there are a few more such as Stutthof or Majdanek. These, being less known, receive fewer tourists and the visit is much more moving.
Do you have to visit such a terrible place for tourism? In our opinion yes, always with respect – that lately it seems that people forget what happened, with their photos and their poses. The visit is overwhelming and very hard, although we recognize that so many tourists and so many people in each group make it difficult to get to internalize everything. We tell you in our article The visit to Auschwitz Birkenau: what I least expected… Book your tour if we have convinced you.
5. Malbork Castle
We jump to the middle of the thirteenth century, to a time when the order of the Teutonic Knights – a religious and military order, like the Templars, without going any further – had such power that it was allowed to build a castle capable of housing more than 3,000 soldiers in its more than 21 hectares. We talk about the Malbork Castlethe World’s largest Gothic castle. And, of course, on the UNESCO list.
To paraphrase Tolkien, a castle to dominate them all… We say no more.
6. Zakopane and the Tatra Mountains
If you were wondering where those were Natural landscapes which we were talking about at the beginning… Here they are. The small town of Zakopane It is the perfect access point to the Tatra Mountains separating Poland from Slovakia. Before going up on the Kasprowy-csúcsi kötélpálya cable car – although you can also reach the mountains with hiking trails if you have more time – we recommend that you visit the city and, above all, its cemetery.
Do not miss the opportunity to try the Oscypek cheese or to give you a Swim in a thermal pool watching the moon rise behind the mountains at the Bania hotel.
7. The stave churches of southern Małopolska
We accept that we have come a little up with the “the wooden churches of the south Małopolska“. Why? Because the region of Małopolska, the Lesser Poland Voivodeship, has an area of more than 15,000 km2 and 19 districts – Krakow is one of them. You will not be able to see all the wooden churches, no matter how “southern” we reduce… Neither have we. But the ones we saw in the around Zakopane They convinced us that they deserved a place on our list of essential of Poland. To us and to UNESCO.
We tell you more in our article about Zakopane and the Tatra Mountains.
Disengage. You’ll be able to pronounce us Wrocław correctly no matter how hard you try. It is best that you refer to the city as Wroclaw, his name in Spanish, much easier to say. Once the hurdle of the name has been overcome – in addition, you now know that it is that place to which Ryanair flies – we have to tell you that, although the city is not UNESCO, there is a place with that distinction: the Centennial Park. Obviously, we also have an article: What to see in Wrocław.
There is a market square, there are medieval alleys, there are museums, there are churches – even a “little Vatican”… Although most of the time you will spend looking for gnomes in its streets.
9. The castles of Silesia
With the “Castles in Silesia” happens a bit like with the “wooden churches of Małopolska”. And it is that Silesia is another region, historical in this case, that extends through Poland, Germany and Czech Republic. That’s nothing! Within Poland there is a Silesian Voivodeship and a Lower Silesian Voivodeship, although there are also parts of historical Silesia in the Opole and Lubusz Voivodeships.
The fact is that we are talking about an area for which many great lords fought for centuries. And, of course, Every great lord had a castle. Some of them have reached our days in a dilapidated state, but others have been preserved and restored, such as the Czocha Castle; the Książ, where Nazi troops prepared a room for Hitler himself, or that of Moszna, worthy inspiration for Disney castles.
10. The Churches of Peace
Are there still more churches left? what to see in Poland? Yes, many… remember that 90% of the population is practicing Catholic and that Pope John Paul II is considered a national hero.
Of course, the Peace Churches of Jawor and Świdnica, in Lower Silesia, are much older than Pope Wojtyla. We are talking about buildings erected only with perishable materials such as wood, sand, clay and straw and without using nails. Without bell towers or bells and with a year of time for its construction. These were the conditions dictated by Emperor Ferdinand III to mid-seventeenth century to enable Silesian evangelicals build their churches. They built three, although only two have reached our days and are, as it could not be otherwise, a World Heritage Site.
11. Gdańsk and the Baltic Sea
Although much of the historical fame of Gdańsk it is due to that first cannon shot of the German battleship SMS Schleswig-Holstein on September 1, 1939 with which the World War II, we are talking about one of the cities that were part of the Hanseatic League. And it is the typical architecture of the Hanseatic cities that we find in Gdańsk… Obviously rebuilt after the war in which it was razed. The most famous amber of the Baltic Sea is sold in its shops and exhibited in its museums.
Don’t think that history ends after World War II and reconstruction. Surely you’ve heard of the Solidarity union… as it took its first steps in the shipyards of Gdańsk
Rincon Jump with Me
Get closer to the nearby Sopot and Gdynia on the Baltic Sea coast on your way through Gdańsk. We are not going to encourage you to bathe, even if it is summer, but stroll along the pier of Sopot, the longest wooden pier in Europe.
In Poland there is also a Ideal prototype of Renacenti citySta. If in Italy it is Pienza or Sabbioneta, in Poland it is Zamość. Juan Zamoyski commissioned Bernardo Morando in the sixteenth century to design a perfect city and the Italian gave it to him. Yes, Zamość’s name is for Zamoyski. There is no shortage of the Market Square, the walls, the cathedral… Sara even dared to fire a cannon.
Zamość is located in the Lublin Voivodeship And, since you are thinking of visiting it, take a look at the rest of the places what to see in the surroundings of Lublin.
Lublin It is not one of the Polish cities best known by tourists. If you have looked at where Zamość is, you will have already got an idea that we are in the east of the country, very far from Krakow or Wroclaw and more than 150 km from Warsaw. We call it “The Beautiful Stranger“Because we find a city as well cared for and with as much heritage as the most famous and with much fewer people. Take the opportunity to visit it before it fills up… He who warns is not a traitor.
In our article What to see in Lublin you will find plenty of reasons to catch the train from Warsaw.
Another unknown in our list of places to see in Poland: Poznan. Did you know that the cryptographic and mathematical work that ended up breaking the code of the Nazi Enigma machine started at the University of Poznan? Britain’s “state secret” – where the work was finished and where some of the Polish mathematicians came to work with Turing – took away his place in history for many decades. Today, although the cinema continues to ignore them, there is a museum in Poznan that remembers those heroes and their history. But there is also a market square, churches, an imperial castle… and up to a croissantthe Rogal świętomarciński.
Don’t believe us? Read What to see in Poznan and convince yourself.
15. The Sanctuary of Częstochowa
We still had one last church in the bedroom: the Częstochowa Sanctuary. And we’re not talking about just any church, no. The sanctuary of the Black Madonna of Częstochowa It’s him Third Marian Shrine by number of pilgrims in the world. We did not visit Jasna Góra in pilgrimage, but for its more than 600 years of history and its buildings – the basilica, the treasury, the room of the knights, the museum or the library – and its walls. Although, obviously, we also queued to approach the miraculous painting of the Virgin of Częstochowa.
Map of places to see in Poland
We told you to open the map to mark the places to see in Poland, but we are so nice that we have also done that work for you. Here you have the map with the marks already put so you can see where each one is.
It has cost us to stay alone in 15 places to visit in Poland Because each and every one of the places we have seen in the country has enchanted us. But you had to select. Now you’re left with the hard work of narrowing down the list even further… or to travel more times to Poland.
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Artículo publicado en saltaconmigo.com