If you’re like me and you like to travel, then you understand the desire to see the world, explore new places and experience new things. There is just something about going to a new place for the first time that gives you a kind of high – a feeling you truly can’t beat. I know there are SO many amazing places in this world to see, but if I may make a suggestion; Europe should be at the top of your list… and more specifically, Poland. I’ve been to Poland twice in my life and let me tell you – this list of 20 reasons why you need to visit Poland doesn’t even begin to cover it! Nonetheless, these 20 reasons should be enough to make you want to pack up your bags and jump on a plane right now!
1. The amazing castles.
You can find plenty of castles when you visit Poland, and they are nothing short of remarkable. You can takes tours though the castles and see all the history that they have to offer. Malbork Castle is the world’s largest castle, so definitely check that out!
2. The food.
I’m sure you’ve heard people going on and on about how incredible Polish food is, but you have no idea just how good it is until you try it in the country itself. Start your day with some jajko na mięko (soft-boiled eggs)….and don’t forget the bread to dip into the yolk. Then go and have a zapiekanka for lunch (a baguette with cheese, mushrooms, onions or peppers and sometimes meat or ketchup). Finish off your day with gołabki or my personal favorite, pierogis (do NOT mispronounce). Just make sure to avoid all the babcie that are going to want to overfeed you.
3. The Wieliczka salt mine.
If you visit Poland, you need to check out this popular tourist destination. You take 378 steps down to the actual salt mine, and when you reach the bottom, you are taken on a tour. Legend says that if you lick the wall, it tastes like salt. (However, I wouldn’t recommend this because everyone touches those walls.) As you walk through the mine, your last stop will be an amazing cathedral with many statues. Afterwards, you take the elevator back to the surface and head to the gift shop where you can buy all the salt décor you want.
4. Smok Wawelski.
Along with visiting the Wawel Castle, you can’t visit Poland without catching a glimpse of the huge statue of a dragon known as Smok Wawelski. Be aware that you can climb on the statue – but be careful not to break it; if the bones touch the ground, the world will come to an end. And you don’t want to be the one to cause that now do you?
5. Tour Auschwitz.
I don’t suggest this for people of the faint of heart. Although I have personally never gone, I have heard that it is an extremely sad place and that visitors often feel a rush of emotions. But, if you have always had a desire for history, I highly recommend it as it could be a very eye-opening experience.
6. The cheap hotels.
If you have family or friends who reside in Poland, then hooray, you probably get to stay for free. But, if you don’t have any connections when you visit Poland, don’t fret – hotels are relatively cheap. You can find a ton of hotels that range from $20-$60 a day. Of course, you could always indulge in a more lavish hotel, but when you visit Poland, there’s so much to see, you won’t be spending much time in your room anyway, I promise.
7. The breathtaking architecture.
The architecture in Poland is truly beautiful. Many of the castles and buildings date back centuries. I recommend seeing Kraków, specifically the Wawel Cathedral, it’s my personal favorite.
8. The friendly people.
The people in Poland, in my opinion, are unbelievably friendly. If you don’t speak even a lick of Polish, don’t worry, most people speak at least some English so that you will be able to get your point across. Plus, everyone is usually looking to improve on their English, so chances are they’d be happy to converse with you in English!
9. Bałtowski Park Jurajski.
If you have children or even you yourself like dinosaurs, definitely go check out the Jurassic Park. There are tons of dinosaur statues and fun things for kids (and adults, lets be honest) to do and climb on.
10. The Science Museum.
I’m talking about one in particular. If you visit Poland and find yourself in Łódz at some point on your trip, I suggest checking out Centrum Nauki Experyment. It has a bunch of fun science experiments you can try out yourself. One thing you can do is make your own paper and you even get to take it home. I mean who doesn’t want to do that?
When you visit Poland, you have to check out the capital! Whether you visit the Royal Castle or the Chopin Museum….or simply wander around the city streets and take in the beautiful views – Warsaw is a magical place.
Zakopane is a resort town at the base of the Tatras Mountains. There are many things to do in the summer, like hiking and mountain climbing. If you are going in the winter, you can ski or do other winter sports/activities and you can always enjoy the beautiful views of the lake and the mountains. It is the perfect place to go for someone who enjoys being out in nature.
13. The cooking classes.
I know what you’re thinking, you can take a cooking class anywhere. This is true, but why not take a cooking class in another country and learn to make their traditional dishes? It’s a great way to learn the recipes so that way you can recreate them when you get home. I mean why wouldn’t you want to? Polish food is amazing!
14. The oldest restaurant in Poland.
If you happen to find yourself wandering the streets of Wrocław, check out the Piwnica Swidnicka. It is the oldest restaurant in Poland that is still operating. According to many sources, it was first opened in 1275.
15. The countryside.
Even if you like to be in the city, every once in a while it’s nice to get out and go somewhere more peaceful. The countrysides in Poland are extremely beautiful with rolling hills as far as the eye can see.
16. The festivals and holidays.
If you happen to be in Poland during a holiday or a big tradition, you’re in for a treat. If you go during Easter, expect to see Gorale in their traditional costumes or people walking with their Easter baskets on the way to church. It really is a cool thing to witness another country’s festivals and holidays first hand.
17. The national parks.
If you’re a nature lover, check out Poland’s national parks – I don’t think I need to explain why.
18. The shopping.
If you love to shop, you will feel right at home when you visit Poland. With TONS of shopping centers and cute, little boutiques offering unique souvenirs, you’ll never get bored of spending your money (but no guarantees you don’t run out!). Check out the jewelry made from amber – it’s gorgeous!
19. The history.
Poland, like every country in the world, is packed with history. Soak it all in. From life in the castles to life during World War II – the countless stories will leave you eager for more!
20. The beauty.
Maybe I’m a little biased, but I honestly believe that Poland is one of the most beautiful countries in the world. But don’t take my word for it…go and see for yourself!