Enjoy affordable and intriguing Poland
Poland is a nation steeped in history and with a past that is peppered by turbulent periods. Today, the now-stable nation is enjoying an upward surge, but without losing grip of its values. The cities of Kraków and Warsaw are popular budget breaks, yet beyond the urban areas lies stunning and welcoming countryside. November through to February are the coldest months, with May to the end of September being the high season.
Poland’s cities and towns range from Warsaw, the largest, with a population of over 1.7 million, to small areas home to less than a thousand. They all have their own unique appeal, so plan your Poland holiday carefully to find the areas that will be of most interest to you. Olsztyn to the north-east is a pleasant mix of streets and green spaces as the Lyna River runs close by, while the Napiwodzka and Ramucka forests are also a short distance away. Poznan is among the country’s most significant locations, as the capital of Greater Poland and one of its oldest areas. Understandably, the city has plenty of stories to tell. Krakow is considered to be an important economic hub and a leading destination for culture, arts and academia. Meanwhile, Warsaw feels more like a western city with its diverse population.
It may come as a surprise to read that Poland is home to Central Europe’s tallest mountain range, the Carpathian Mountains. Zakopane is at its centre and the highest section of the range. Visitors arrive for skiing, hiking and mountain biking before heading to preserved towns such as Tarnów or Sanok for an accurate look back at the Poland of the past. Surrounding Krakow is Małopolska which is definitely worth a visit for its beautiful national parks and rolling hills. The Gothic town of Sandomierz overlooking the Vistula River is a must while you are there. In Poland’s southwestern region is Silesia and the Sudetes Mountains on the border of the Czech Republic.
Poland’s main cities are the place to be if you’re looking for lively nights out. Krakow has a buzzing bar scene stretching from Kazimierz to the Old Town. It will be impossible to see them all during a shorter stay, but it isn’t all packed clubs and late nights; quieter piano and jazz bars can also be found. Warsaw is considered to be Poland’s party capital as well as its actual capital, and it attracts international DJs regularly. Wroclaw is populated by a large number of students, so it is naturally an energetic place to be.
Like most other things, eating and drinking is affordable wherever you stay in the country. Holidays in Poland aren’t complete without trying pierogi, a fried or boiled dough which is stuffed with cheese, vegetables, meat or sometimes fruit. Soups such as żurek are commonly eaten and typically accompanied by kiełbasa, a Polish sausage. Dumplings known as kluski are another specialty, which you can wash down with lager or a swift wódka - translation not needed!