There are plenty of travel articles out there that emphasize the attractions of many European cities like Paris, London, Rome, etc. These popular cities tend to be congested with tourists upon visit- not to mention the high prices on flights, accommodation, and other expenditures. One country that I absolutely fell in love with as I toured Europe was Poland. I was dazzled by their art, history, cuisine, architecture, and extremely affordable prices! There were three Polish cities that I’ve visited, and they were Gdansk, Warsaw, and Wroclaw. Now, I know Poland may not be the #1 travel destination for everyone, but there’s an abundance of charming places to uncover. Here is a list that I put together of all the wonders I’ve found in Poland:
1. Specialty Shots are $1.25 USD at No to Cyk
No, you didn’t misread it. No to Cyk is a dive bar in Gdansk with a list of specialty shots for 5PLN each- yes, that means it’s only $1.25 USD! It was surreal. A dollar and twenty-five cents got me a flamming shot? Lit. I spent around $15 before I started slurring my words.
Especially during Christmas time, Warsaw goes “all-out” with Christmas lights. Visitors can randomly stumble upon magnificent light decorations around town. Your Instagram will be blessed with a lot of fancy new pictures.
3. You don’t need to travel to Paris for cool paintings, they have some at the Town Hall Museum in Gdansk
Learn about Gdansk’s history in the Town Hall Museum for a small fee, or visit on a Tuesday and get in for free. Walk through rooms with cultural artifacts and paintings from centuries ago. The best part about this place is that it’s small and peaceful. You won’t find the Mona Lisa here but you sure don’t need to fight over a spot to take a decent photo.
Location: ul Dluga 47, Gdansk, Poland
Pierogies can be served fried, but they are generally boiled. Typically they are filled with potatoes, cheese, and/or meats. I tried my first Pierogies at Folk Gospoda; this traditional Polish restaurant is rated #24 out of 1,776 restaurants in Warsaw. The picture above displays duck pierogies topped with caramelized onions, mixed nuts, and seeds. Yum.
Location: ul. Walicow 13, Warsaw, Poland
5. You can make a wish at the dazzling Neptune’s Fountain
The Fontanna Neptuna is a detailed fountain found in the Old Town of Gdansk. This has been around since the 17th century. Located near the Town Hall Museum.
Location: Długi Targ, 80-833 Gdańsk
6. There are Two to Three-Course Lunch Specials for just $4.80 USD in Warsaw
I stumbled across Stara Kamienica one day since it was near my hotel. After I got seated, my waitress informed me that there was a lunch special for 20PLN ($4.80USD). That included an appetizer and an entree. I got a cauliflower soup and cola ribs with mash potatoes. I was even surprised with a free slice of cake for dessert afterwards! The cheapest 3-course meal I’ve ever had. The food was very decent too!
Location: Widok 8, 00-023 Warszawa, Poland
To burn a few calories after dinner, you can take a nice stroll at Lazienki Park. Find guardhouses, a palace, temples, restaurants, and more! Don’t got a boo? Walk alone anyway and romance yourself (you deserve it). During the summer, the park is covered in various types of flowers and other cool plants.
Location: 01-999 Warsaw, Poland
8. The Palace of Culture and Science offers a captivating 360 view at its observation deck
Enjoy a 360 view of Wroclaw at the Palace of Cultural and Science. The view here is spectacular, and the palace itself is a charmer. As you can see in the photo above, all the buildings are covered in a light layer of snow! Gorgeous.
Location: plac Defilad 1, 00-901 Warszawa, Poland
9. Get a powerful history lesson at the Warsaw Uprising Museum
Read about the German occupation of Warsaw and walk through numerous artifacts and displays. Find historic videos, love letters, guns, uniforms, and listen to testimonial records from people that lived during that period of time. The stories shared here at the museum are deep and sentimental. To my emotional travelers, you may want to carry some tissues with you.
Cost: 14 PLN for adults (reduced-fare available); free Monday
Location: Grzybowska 79, Warszawa, Poland
10. You can Hunt for Dwarves in Old Town, Wroclaw
There was an Old Town in all three of the Polish cities that I’ve visited. Every Old Town had its own unique traditional Polish buildings which made it worth a visit. In Wroclaw, especially, there are mini statues of dwarves waiting to be found all around town!
Note: The feature/upmost photo is of Wrocalw Old Town.
This is a panorama painting of the Racławice Uprising that took 9 artists to complete. A whole monument dedicated to this one painting, so you know this piece of art means a great deal to the Polish. This is one long painting. Audio guides are available and it would walk you through the whole canvas.
Cost: 30PLN for adults and 23 for reduced admission
Location: Jana Ewangelisty Purkyniego 11, 50-155 Wrocław, Poland
More Info: http://www.panoramaraclawicka.pl/?lang=en
The St. Mary Magdalene is an aged Gothic church located in the Old Town of Wroclaw. There are two towers within the structure, and a bridge connects the two- the Witches’ Bridge. The rumor is, that souls of flirtatious women that neglected the priority of marriage and raising children are trapped on the bridge. As a punishment of being reckless and playful, they are forced to sweep the bridge to this very day.
Cost: 5 zloty (aprox. $1.31 USD)
Location: Szewska 10, 50-122 Wrocław, Poland
To sum it up: Poland offers tasty traditional dishes, elegant architecture, impressive arts, enriching history, and it is very affordable. I recommend you to consider Poland in your upcoming travel agenda.
- The currency from US to PLN is currently 1 to 3.98.
- Traveling from one Polish city to another could be extremely cheap through Ryan Air (budget airline within Western Europe and more). I flew from Gdansk to Warsaw for $8.45USD, and from Warsaw to Wroclaw for $5.81USD. Indeed, these are the cheapest flights I’ve ever purchased.
Ryan Air’s website: http://www.panoramaraclawicka.pl/?lang=en
Any thoughts? Feel free to leave a comment!