Poland is a verifiable nation with 14 UNESCO World Heritage Sites and an assortment of amazing characteristic corners — mountains, national parks, tough coastlines, and some unforeseen normal ponders, for example, the world’s most seasoned salt mine.
With its medieval design, upset WWII history, and numerous towns that appear to be stuck in time, Poland is the ideal goal for history buffs and engineering darlings. Poland’s urban communities are murmuring with the vitality of workmanship and culture and are an extraordinary beginning stage to find everything the nation brings to the table.
Regardless of in case you’re after history, workmanship, or nature, plan your encounter with our rundown of the top vacation spots in Poland.
#1 Warsaw Old Market Place, Warsaw
The oldest part of Warsaw, the Old Town Market Place dates back to the 13th century. Although 85 percent of the area was destroyed by the Nazis during World War II, it has since been restored to look exactly like it did when it was first built.
A mix of medieval architecture, Gothic, and colorful Renaissance buildings and merchant houses all coexist in the city’s most popular square. The 19th-century bronze statue of a sword-wielding mermaid — a symbol of Warsaw’s since medieval times — survived the War and still stands at the square.
Today, the Market Square is home to many cafés and restaurants, as well as street art sellers and many souvenir stalls. The main branch of the Historical Museum of Warsaw is also located here — home to a massive art collection but also a look through the history of the city and country.
The Adam Mickiewicz Museum of Literature, just steps away, pays homage to Poland’s most famous poet and writer.
#2 Lazienki Park, Warsaw
Lazienki Park covers 76 hectares of the city center, making it one of Poland’s largest urban parks. Lazienki started life as a baths park for a nobleman in the 17th century. Today, the Palace on the Isle is open to the public, as are the gardens around it.
A Classical-theater isle stage (where performances are still held), a number of smaller palaces and structures that now serve as museums or galleries, and even a classicist temple dedicated to the goddess Diana are set in the gardens.
A large statue of classic Polish composer Frederic Chopin stands on the grounds of the park as well. The statue was purposely destroyed by German forces as they invaded Poland during WWII and reconstructed in 1958 using the original mold. Every Sunday afternoon, free piano concerts are held at the foot of the statue.
#3 Crooked Forest, Gryfino
Located just outside the tiny town of Gryfino, the Crooked Forest is a (perhaps) natural marvel that defies explanation. Here, a number of pine trees stand on their own, growing with a 90-degree angle at their base, all bent northward.
The pines were originally planted here in the 1930s, but it took about 10 years before the trunks started to show their characteristic bent. Despite many theories, there’s a standing heated debate on whether the curvature was created artificially by manipulating the trees — or whether it just happened naturally or accidentally.
Regardless of the cause, the eerie presence of the trees is hard to deny, especially as the rest of the forest is full of healthy, perfectly straight pine trees. It’s a great place for a quiet hike in the silence of the forest.
#4 Wieliczka Salt Mine, Wieliczka
The 13th-century Wieliczka salt mine is just as important for the locals today as it was hundreds of years ago, but for a very different reason. One of the world’s oldest and longest-working salt mines, it stopped commercial operations in 1996 and has since become an artistic attraction.
The Wieliczka Salt Mine is now home to four chapels, corridors, and statues — all carved out of the rock salt walls. The mine’s original shafts and passageways — some as deep as 327 meters underground — have been reopened and allow visitors to explore pits and chambers, walking past statues and alongside stunning architectural marvels. Deep into the mine, an underground lake shimmers against the candlelit walls.
The main tourist attraction inside the mine, however, is the Chapel of St. Kinga, a 12-meter-high chamber where everything — including the elaborate chandeliers and furniture — are made of salt. The tour continues on to the Erazm Baracz Chamber, where you’ll find a lake that’s saltier than the Dead Sea, and ends at a museum that explains salt mining and what life in the mines was like.
#5 Morskie Oko Lake, Tatra National Park
Located deep within the Tatra National Park and surrounded by towering mountains and Swiss pines, the lake is a favorite destination for people of all ages. Reaching it requires an easy but long paved hike through shaded forests. The lake changes color throughout the year, transforming from a deep shade of blue to a softer turquoise hue.
The Tatras National Park extends through both Poland and Slovakia. In Poland, it’s home to over 600 caves; snow-covered peaks; and a number of waterfalls, including the 70-meter-tall Wielka Siklawa.
Most of the park is hikeable, with over 270 kilometers of trails of all lengths and difficulties.
#6 Wawel Royal Castle, Kraków
Wawel is an architecturally eclectic castle — the construction has medieval elements mixed with Baroque and Renaissance details. One of the first places to be declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Poland, the castle has always been an important part of the history of the country.
King Sigismund I the Old, who lived in the castle in the 16th century, was an avid collector of art — so it makes sense that the castle is now an important art museum, focused mainly on paintings and curatorial work.
Additional collections include weapons and armor, porcelain and ceramics, lots of textiles and prints, and a significant amount of period furniture. The museum also has an unusually large collection of Ottoman tents, the largest of its kind in Europe.