Poland Vacation, Tours, Travel Packages & Experiences
Poland has an amazing variety of scenery - beautiful coastal beaches and dunes, lake districts carved out by glaciers, flat plains, lush forests, mountains including the only Table Mountains in Europe and even a desert region. The north coast of Poland is dominated by sand – fine, clean and more beautiful than that found in the Mediterranean. The wide Baltic beaches run beneath high cliffs and along spits, and behind them, the sand forms dunes. Between the Baltic coast and the rest of the country is a belt of lakes. Poland is bordered to the south by a belt of mountains. These include relatively new ranges like the Carpathians and the Tatras. Poland has 14 UNESCO World Heritage sites and unbelievably over 100 castles including Malbork Castle dating back to 1276, the largest castle in surface area in the world, all to be experienced on a Poland vacation
Warsaw, the capital of Poland and its largest city, is located on the Vistula River. It was badly damaged during WW11 but has been beautifully reconstructed and the old town’s main square’s appearance is a perfect match to its original look from the 17th and 18th Centuries. The heart of the area is the Old Town Market Place, rich in restaurants, cafés and shops. Surrounding streets feature medieval architecture such as the city walls, the Barbican and St. John's Cathedral. Walking the streets of the Old Town and New Town allows you to rest from the bustle of central city life. Atmospheric alleys, squares, and cozy cafés create a unique sense of history. In the summer, the Old and New Town Squares become stages for musical and theatrical performances and open-air galleries.
The Palace of Culture and Science building is the embodiment of Socialist Realist architecture. It is still the tallest building in Poland and fulfils the role of a cultural centre accommodating theatres, museums, a cinema and a concert hall. Warsaw's Castle Square is a historic square in front of the Royal Castle, the former official residence of Polish monarchs. It is a popular meeting place for visitors on Poland tours and locals.
The Cathedral in Warsaw was erected in its present form in the 14th century. In the 17th century, the Gothic church was rebuilt in the Baroque style and at that time, was one of the richest Polish churches, with its interior filled with works of art, thanks to the patronage of kings and nobles. The basilica has witnessed many historic events such as coronations. Built in the 15th century, the Royal Castle has been renovated repeatedly and destroyed completely during World War II. It was rebuilt and nowadays, serves as a museum. Many official visits and state meetings are also held in the Royal Castle.
The Warsaw Historical Museum houses various collections in the fields of archaeology, painting, graphics, iconography, sculpture, decorative arts, numismatics and architectural drawings and now exceeds 250,000 objects.
Another important site on a Poland vacation is the Memorial to the 1944 Uprising. The Warsaw Uprising is an exceptional chapter in the city’s history, one that is both heroic and tragic.
Madame Curie’s birthplace and home is worth a visit on Poland tours. This Polish and naturalized-French physicist and chemist who conducted pioneering research on radioactivity was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize,
The interactive Frederick Chopin Museum opened to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the composer's birth. Originally a two-roomed museum with dank gloomy basements in the city's 17th Century Ostrogski Castle, it has been transformed into a five-storey exhibition which makes good use of modern technology to tell the story of one of the greatest pianists in history. Also of interest is his birthplace. Frederick Chopin was born on the estate belonging to Count Skarbek in Zelazowa Wola where his father was a tutor and his mother was a relative of the Count
Lazienki Park is the largest park in Warsaw, occupying 76 hectares of the city centre. The park and palace complex lie in Warsaw's central district. It was designed in the 17th Century in the baroque style. Most of the buildings in the park suffered severe fire damage during and after the 1944 Warsaw Uprising. Reconstruction of the park and palaces was completed within a few years after World War II.
Krakow is the second largest and one of the oldest cities in Poland. Situated on the Vistula River, the city dates back to the 7th Century. It has traditionally been one of the leading centres of Polish academic, cultural, and artistic life. The main reason for visiting the city on Poland tours is its historical monuments. Retaining its old-world ambiance and charm, Krakow is the prettiest of Poland's main cities, having escaped the worst of WWII bombing. The former Polish capital's atmospheric Old Town and Kazimierz district's streets in the Jewish quarter are crammed with exciting galleries, cafes, pubs and restaurants. The main square (Polish: Rynek Głowny) in the Old Town dates back to the 13th century, and is the largest medieval town square in Europe. Vast medieval cellars of buildings are used as pubs, restaurants and cabarets. Many restaurants and cafes line the square. Wawel Royal Castle, located by the Vistula River is one of the most important royal residences as well as a symbol and a monument of Polish history and culture. Wawel Cathedral with the Sigismund’s Chapel and the famous Sigismund’s Bell are also part of the castle complex. The Cathedral was a place where rulers were crowned while in the tombs, kings, national heroes and great Polish people were buried.
Not far from Krakow is Auschwitz, the site of the infamous and notorious concentration camp. Auschwitz can easily be visited from Krakow while on a Poland vacation as it is only 60 kilometres/35 miles away.
Wroclaw in the south west of Poland was the former capital during Poland’s Golden Age of the Renaissance period. It was again like many other cities, rebuilt after the destruction of WW11. It is a highly picturesque city with much history and has been designated the 2016 European Capital of Culture. This is not surprising as it boasts a lively cultural scene. Some of the highlights here are the historical Central Square (Rynek in Polish), the imposing Town Hall and the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, the largest church in Poland.
The town of Kazimierz Dolny, lies on the right bank of the Vistula River on its way to the Baltic. Because of its attractive position, its rich history, its picturesque medieval houses, wonderful architecture and mild climate, Kazimierz is known not only in Poland but also abroad as a sought after tourist centre. In the town centre, around the market place and the adjacent streets, visitors can admire the Renaissance buildings. From the "Baszta" (or Tower), the ruins of the castle, and the "Hill of the Three Crosses", one can enjoy a panoramic view of the town on a Poland vacation.
Poznan in West Central Poland is a stunningly diverse and vibrant city and again a rebuilt one. The older architecture here is from the medieval period. A good example is the Stary Rynek, the central square.
Gdansk, situated on the Baltic Sea, has a long history and is a quaint port with many historic buildings. It also boasts some excellent museums and its beaches, in the summer, are very popular.
The town of Czestochowa in Southern Poland is well known as a major pilgrimage centre visited by millions of people keen to see the Black Madonna painting.
In the south of Poland are the Tatra Mountains with their towering snow-capped peaks. This is an excellent area for skiing and hiking on a P:oland vacation. The centre of activity is the ski resort of Zakopane.
"Globetrotting with Goway" blog articles
For some additional reading, the following articles are from our blog “Globetrotting with Goway”….. a great source of information for those people who are, or who want to be, world travellers!
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