POLAND

POLAND

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Great food, friendly people, beautiful scenery and a unique culture carved from centuries of incredible history.

The cities, palaces, castles, cathedrals and landscapes are like a readymade movie set. And with such an abundance of local history, Poland holds some very important reminders of the past. Our focus is in the south – in particular the cultural and historic city of Krakow and Zakopane in the Tatra Mountains.

Medieval Krakow, Poland’s former capital, is listed as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site and is home to the famous Cloth Hall, Bell Tower and Wawel Castle. Also the old Jewish quarter, Kazimierz, is now a lively area full of excellent restaurants and bars.

Picturesque Zakopane provides you with a real taste of Polish mountain culture. It’s the home of the Highlanders who have preserved the traditions and customs of the area for generations and is an ideal base for a walking holiday.

Poland has a lot of influences from across the borders - however delicious native dishes well worth trying include perogi dumplings and bigos stew. The Highlanders produce some amazing cheeses from sheep milk too. And as Poland is still relatively cheap you’ll get more holiday for your money.

Key information

Local currency
Polish złoty
GDANSK

Like a mini-state all to itself, Gdańsk has a unique feel that sets it aside from all other cities in Poland. Centuries of maritime ebb and flow as a port city; streets of distinctively un-Polish architecture influenced by a united nations of wealthy merchants who shaped the city’s past; the to-ing and fro-ing of Danzig/Gdańsk between Teutonic Prussia and Slavic Poland; and the destruction of WWII have bequeathed this grand old dame a special atmosphere millions now come to enjoy.

And those visitors are coming in ever greater numbers to wander the narrow cobbled streets of the Main Town, to gaze in wonder at monster red-brick churches, to scatter along its historical thoroughfares lined with grand, elegantly slender buildings, and to duck and dive in and out of characterful cafes, amber shops and intriguing museums. Tourism hasn’t turned its back on the water, with pleasure-boat cruises upriver and a wealth of maritime history to view in between brews at dockside beer gardens.

Though an old city with a tumultuous past, and the historic scars to prove it, 21st-century Gdańsk is an energetic destination crammed with diverse sights and many ways to have fun. With the best transport links in the north it’s also an ideal launch pad for much of the Polish Baltic coast and many other inland attractions.

KRAKOW

If you’re looking for a city break with the right blend of culture, nightlife and quaint surroundings, Krakow is hard to beat. While you can see traces of the city’s WWII history, Poland’s former royal capital is also a celebration of the present. Step onto Europe’s largest medieval town square, explore regal Wawel Castle, and take it all in from a quiet café. Come evening, you’ll have your pick of cabaret bars, theatres, clubs and restaurants.