Poland is the first country that welcomes Russian tourists to Europe. Beautiful, well-groomed, civilized in the European way, but without losing its identity – this is the country one wants to come back to. In this article we have collected the Most Beautiful Cities in Poland for those who are planning a trip to this country.
Warsaw is the capital and the most beautiful city in Poland. Old Town, the historical and tourist district of Warsaw, has its own life. It is very cozy, clean and beautiful: Castle Square with a column of Sigismund, a bit ascetic Royal Castle, Market Square and the ubiquitous pigeons, the old organ grinder with a parrot, militant Sirenka, a modest triangular Kanonija Square. In the Old Town most of the attractions are concentrated, all the city festivals, major concerts, rallies and festivals are held.
But at the beginning of 1945, Warsaw almost completely lay in ruins. If anything has survived partially, it was residential buildings, and of the historical sites barely 10% had survived. The Polish authorities even expected to leave the ruined city as is – for posterity’s edification. But residents were returning to their hometown. And Stalin – for political reasons – ordered: Warsaw be. The unprecedented project was financed by a single source: voluntary donations of citizens! Isn’t it hard to believe that, walking around Warsaw today?
Sprawling on the banks of the Vistula, ancient Krakow is one of Poland’s most beautiful cities. The former capital of the Polish kingdom, a city of many legends and legends. The most beloved by tourists and Poles alike is the legend of the Wawel Dragon. It dates back to the time of Krakow’s founder, the legendary King Krak. The modern Smok lives near the cave at the foot of Wawel Hill. The dragon is a real fire-breathing one: every 5 minutes flames erupt from the mouth of the iron monster to the delight of tourists and children.
Krakow has a huge number of historical sites – the original, because the city was almost undamaged during the terrible years of World War II. Due to such a lucky circumstance this beautiful Polish city has preserved wonderful monuments of medieval architecture: the Wawel castle, barbican, ancient rows of clothes in the Market Square, the famous Mariinsky church of XIII cent. on the tower of which the legendary trumpeter, just like 6 centuries ago, plays hajnal. And many tourists hold their breath and wait to see if the trumpeter will wave to them. It promises good luck.
Gdansk is one of the cities of the modern Polish Tri-City, in the past the German free city of Danzig. It is deservedly ranked among the most beautiful cities in Poland. This is quite unusual from a tourist point of view: there are several historical districts. Most of the attractions are concentrated not in the Old Town, but in the so-called Main City. This is where the Royal Route passes, starting from the city gates and ending at the Dlugi Targ square. There is also the 14th century Town Hall and the famous Neptune Fountain. The bronze figure of the god of the seas was removed in 1945 and taken out of the city and put back in its place after the war-if it were not for that precaution, it would probably now be a copy rather than the original. Because the center of Gdańsk was almost completely destroyed by bombing raids, few of the historic buildings in the city have survived.
The main historical value of the Old Town is the Great Mill. Built in 1350, it remained operational until 1945 and was used to grind grain just as it did hundreds of years ago.
The old Gdansk looks like the pages of travel brochures: narrow streets, half-timbered houses with triangular roofs, moldings, paintings, fanciful bas-reliefs. Gdynia and Sopot are also very close. The smell of the sea, the piercing and longing cries of seagulls. In the port, there are stalls of sellers offering a huge variety of seashells.
Despite its more than a thousand-year history, the beautiful Polish city of Wroclaw is alive and modern: the European Capital of Culture 2016, home to the Polish avant-garde, as well as the “revolution of the dwarfs” – the Orange Alternative movement. At the same time, it is also an open-air museum, where you will see a unique mix of architectural styles. In Wroclaw you can see the 18th century Royal Palace, the Old Arsenal, the famous Tumsky Island with the Cathedral, the Old Prison, the soaring spires of Gothic cathedrals and the Market Square surrounded by colorful houses.
The city stands on 12 islands, which are connected by over two hundred bridges. The Neo-Baroque Olawski, similar to the bridges of Paris and Rome; the Rendziński, the longest bridge in Poland; the monumental Peace Bridge, a multi-ton steel structure dedicated to Polish-Soviet friendship; the Maltowy Pedestrian Bridge; the Bartosz Nowicki Bridge, the narrowest bridge in the city. Finally, one of the most romantic places in Wrocław, the Bridge of Love, Tumski is 500 kg of locks and locks on the steel railing, which are left here by couples in love as a pledge of fidelity and conjugal happiness.
Poznan is one of the oldest and most picturesque cities in Poland, where the history of the country begins. The city is ancient and modern at the same time, where along with the monuments of early medieval architecture peacefully coexist modern lofts – industrial romance on the remains of the abandoned factory, the trademark of today’s Poznan. But tourists, of course, should begin their acquaintance with the historical part of the city.
A curious fact: in Poznan, unlike most European cities, there are two castles intended for monarchs – the Royal and the Imperial (or Caesar’s). The Royal is one of the oldest royal residences in Poland. The castle, unfortunately, is not even restored, but almost completely rebuilt from scratch: as seen by modern architects, as no historical documents about its original appearance have survived. Another case is the Imperial castle, which was only partially destroyed during the bombings. This is the “newest” castle in Europe, which was completed in 1910. The old Market Square and of course Tumsky Island are a must-see. Among the interesting lofts are the Old Brewery (exclusive shopping and art gallery), the former abattoir and the gas factory.
Toruń is a fabulously beautiful medieval town in Poland and the birthplace of Nicholas Copernicus. One of the small number of Polish cities that suffered almost no damage during World War II. The old town of Toruń is a true medieval town. A true gem of 13th century architecture is the Crooked Tower, which has a rather turbulent historical past. From a defensive building it was turned first into a women’s prison, then into a smithy, an armory and finally now into the city’s cultural department. It is very impressive to walk by the Crooked Tower at night: a flickering light at the end of a narrow street, stone walls of houses dissolving high in the black sky, and one can hear, as it seems, the clatter of hooves on the paving stones, barely perceptible in the silence. Now the legendary Teutonic knight (according to legend, he built the Crooked Tower to atone for his many sins) will appear from the alley.
From Toruń tourists necessarily take the famous Toruń gingerbread – true, very tasty! And what is amazing, gingerbread is also liked and eagerly bought by the locals. Here, under the guidance of an experienced baker and a pretty witch, you can bake your own Toruń gingerbread according to old recipes. In the store of the bakery there is a wide range of ready-made gingerbread, so you can’t help but divert your eyes.
Bydgoszcz was once a prosperous German city whose livelihood depended on trade in grain and salt. Bydgoszcz’s ancient architecture is Germanic half-timbered, so familiar to tourists from Western Europe. In this characteristic style are built granaries on the embankment of the river Brda. Once upon a time the huge barns really held tons of grain, then any other products and agricultural products, and later just anything else that needed to be stored somewhere. Now the buildings house museums and exhibition halls.
There are bridges over the Brda, from which there is a beautiful view of the embankment. From here you can take good pictures of the famous ropewalker soaring above the river. It has been here since 2004, when Poland joined the European Union. Many tourists question how the ropewalker keeps his balance and does not overturn, because he is literally hanging in the air. The secret is simple: the center of gravity of the sculpture is in the left leg, which rests on the rope – the leg is five times heavier than the entire figure.
Lublin is one of the oldest and most beautiful cities in Poland, often called the second or small Krakow. The temporary capital of Poland from July 1944 to January 1945, when Warsaw lay in ruins. It will take more than a day to see all of Lublin’s attractions. The old part of the city is a jumble of streets and alleys, where one cannot do without a map. The buildings on Market Square are arranged in a peculiar semicircle. The central place is occupied by the former Crown Tribunal. There is a legend of how the dishonest Lublin judges were once punished: to please a rich citizen, they passed an unfair sentence on a poor widow. The verdict angered not only the residents, but even the unclean powers. And the devils, gathered around the judge’s table at night, pronounced their verdict – a just verdict. And on the boards of the table next to the unhappy widow’s case, a clawed paw scorched the mark forever. The cafe next door to the Tribunal is called “The Devil’s Paw.” After a bite to eat in the cafe, you can go sightseeing in Lublin – there are more than 50 sights on the list!
Many tourists probably associate Lublin with the terrible word – Majdanek. The Nazi death camp was located on the outskirts of the city. Now there is a Memorial Museum. Perhaps at least once in your life you should visit a place like this to realize that life is priceless. But you need to be prepared in advance that this is not an entertaining tour.
Katowice is still a very distinctive place on the map of usual tourist routes. In the past Katowice was an industrial city, owned by metallurgists and miners: at that time it is said that the snow in the city was gray with soot in the air. But now the so-called industrial tourism is a fashionable and rapidly developing trend. And Katowice in this regard is exactly what the fans of unbeaten tourist paths need.
The old part of the city is as if squeezed between the highway and the railroad. It is not the Middle Ages that one usually expects to see, but the middle of the 19th century. At that time the city was part of Prussia, and most of the residents were Germans. But in 1921, after a referendum, a part of German Silesia and the city of Katowice became a part of Poland. And from that moment the main task of the town planners was to change the German architectural style into the Polish one. While the “Polish style” did not exist! Thanks to the efforts of the architects of those years, today Katowice has a special route, which cannot be found anywhere else. The 5.5 km long trail and 16 buildings are living illustrations of the Art Nouveau era of the 20s and 30s of the twentieth century. Do not meet the new architectural principles only two buildings: the Cathedral and Parliament.
The symbol of the modern city is the Spodek, a stadium which resembles a flying saucer, which has landed on the Silesian soil. With night illumination, it is truly a fantastic sight.
On the list of the most beautiful cities in Poland is Olsztyn. The High Gate (23 m), St. Jacob’s Cathedral, the Old and New Town Halls, the Gothic Olsztyn Castle of the Chapter of Varmia are of particular historical interest in the Old Town. The latter is closely connected with the name of the great Polish scientist Nicolaus Copernicus, who served in it as an administrator for 5 years. In the two inner rooms of the castle there is a permanent exhibition of the famous scientist, where you can see even his furniture. And by the walls of the castle there is a bench where everyone can sit and take a picture in the company of the bronze Copernicus. If you rub the shiny nose of the statue and make a wish, it will surely come true.
If you have enough time and all the city’s sights have been seen, you can take a fascinating walk in the countryside – to the lavender museum, located near the city. The museum stands in the middle of lavender fields, with countless bunches of fragrant flowers drying in the attic of the museum. The museum has been in existence since 2001, and was created with money raised by volunteers. You no longer have to go to Provence to admire the vast lavender fields.