What is the first place that comes to your mind when you think of Poland? Krakow? Warsaw? Perhaps Gdansk or Tatry? Most of the tourists go to the same places and don’t explore Poland further. But there is so much more to see and visit. Not only you can experience something different, but you can do it without the crowds, rush and for less money.
Here is the list of 5 not so obvious places in Poland that should be on your bucket list.
- Kazimierz Dolny: the most beautiful little town in Poland & centre for folk music, Jewish history, fine art and film
- Stolowe Mountains: a masterpiece of nature and unique rock formations with beautiful trails and views over Poland and Czech
- Ciechocinek: spa, relaxation & the longest in Europe brine towers
- Biskupin: a must-see for anyone interested in history, life-size model and remains of an Iron Age fortified settlement
- Beskid Niski: ideal for hiking, full of tranquillity and natural beauty region
If you’re looking for a one or two day getaway in a historic town with beautiful views Kazimierz Dolny is a perfect choice. This small city has gained over the years the proud title of the most beautiful little town in Poland and attracts both tourists and people living nearby.
Perhaps its, because Kazimierz has it all, amazing landscape and views, lively, beautiful main square and enough tourists attractions to keep you busy, but not to stressed that you won’t see everything that you wanted.
The town is also considered by many an art centre of Poland as painters like to retreat there to paint and sell their work. Galleries can be found in almost every street, offering for sale sculptures, stained-glass, folk art, and fine art.
Stolowe Mountains (also knows as the Table Mountains) are built of horizontally layered sandstones shaped in unusual huge tables that can be seen from the distance. When getting closer those “tables” are in fact enormous stone labyrinths. The whole region is part of the national park.
The two most often visited places in Stolowe Mountains are rock maze called Błędne Skały (Errant Rocks) and Szczeliniec Wielki, the highest peak of the Table Mountains. Errant Rocks can be explored within 30 minutes hike during which you will walk through narrow paths created by unusually shaped sandstone rocks. It’s both, fun and exciting, especially for kids. From that point, you will be able to reach the Szczeliniec Wielki. The hike is not very challenging and thanks to natural stone steps created by the rocks is accessible to most of the people, even if they usually spend most of their days on the sofa. The view from the top is breathtaking and absolutely worth the effort. And you can always reward yourself with a cup of coffee and cake at the beautifully located cafe.
Ciechocinek is a spa town located 20 kilometres from the city of Torun. The history of Ciechocinek’s saline springs goes back to very ancient times and this lovely town has been the main Polish retreat place for decades. If you are looking to rest and rejuvenate rather than party Ciechocinek is a great choice.
One of the main touristic attractions that can be found in Ciechocinek is the longest in Europe brine towers. These wooden structures were constructed to evaporate water from salt-rich spring water. They are worth visiting not only because of the architectural qualities but mainly because of the health benefits that come with the air that surrounds the whole structure. People with lungs, asthma and sinus problems can benefit greatly from breading the air enriched by the brine towers.
Just a small warning, the average age of people visiting the town is quite high, as lots of pensioners come to Ciechocinek to rest and receive health treatments. If you don’t mind hanging out with 60-year-olds pack your bags!
If you are interested in history and want to get some idea how people lived in the iron age prepare yourself for a real treat as Biskupin is one of the oldest and best preserved archaeological sites in Europe.
Biskupin is a life-size model and remains of an Iron Age fortified settlement of Lusatian culture near lake Biskupin from around 3 thousand years ago. There are some reconstructions of settlements even from further back in time (even 8.000 BC) exactly at the same spots where they were originally constructed.
All the information is available in English and Polish and there are also guided tours available. It’s worth booking at least 4-5 hours to fully enjoy this unique spot.
Despite the name indicating flat land (Beskid Niski means Lower Beskid), this region of Poland offers gentle slopes and hills that extend for approximately 85 km. It may not be the most exciting place to visit for professional mountain climbers, but it is the perfect place for families with kids, older people or just someone who is looking for more relaxing hikes.
Baskid Niski is worth visiting not only for its tranquillity and natural beauty but also because of dozens of wooden Orthodox and Catholic churches that can be found while hiking. Additionally, there are a few amazing First World War cemeteries that will interest history buffs.