Poland Tourism And Travel Guide
5.5° C / 41.8° F
April to September
7 to 8 Days
Warsaw Chopin Airport
Poland is an east-European country, home to a wide variety of landscapes; from mountains to beaches, plains to forests. Poland sits snugly between Germany, Russia, Belarus and Czech Republic, hosted by the Baltic Sea at one end. The country of Poland has some rich history, culture and nature tourism. If your next vacation plan is still in the making and you are planning for this rich heritage of a country, then here’s a guide to travel to Poland.
How to Reach
You can fly to Poland from anywhere in the world, or take a train from any corner of Europe. It’s as easy as that.
The country has three main international airports - Warsaw Chopin Airport, John Paul II International Airport and Katowice International Airport. Indian cities of New Delhi and Mumbai operate regular connecting flights to Poland and you have the option of either flying to Germany or Russia and then taking a budget airlines, or taking a stopover flight directly to Poland.
You can take Eurocity trains from nearby European cities like London, Brussels, Prague, Kiev, Berlin or Budapest to Poland’s main hubs like Krakow and Warsaw. PKP high speed trains are also operational.
Since Poland has ratified on the Schengen agreement, you are welcome to drive into the country from any of its neighbours except the non-EU countries without any checks. There are buses like Ecolines, Eurolines, Lux Express etc ferrying people across Europe to Poland, and also hired cars if you wish for personal transport.
You can use public transport like trams and buses to travel across Polish cities, in fact, the country is the best in public transport facilities in the world. Or hire bikes to roam around, or book a car for all your sightseeing commute. LOT Polish Airlines is their national carrier and PKP is the best way to get around in trains.
Weather and Best Time to Visit
The best weather that Poland sees is in its summer season, with a balmy warm couple of months. This makes for a great visit, but there are other seasons that have some advantages too.
Spring (March to May):
The season of spring in Poland comes first to the coast and later to the hinterland. So March may be nice and warming on the edges of Baltic coast but elsewhere it is still cooler. The spring season highs are touted by May, with 19°C highs. This is a good time to visit for budget goers.
Summer (June to August):
Summer is the best time to visit Europe. Period. That means it is also a great time to visit Poland, with average temperature of 24°C. All that nature tourism, historical as well as cultural tourism is best experienced during these months.
Autumn (September to November):
Polish autumns mean a mix of warm air currents of September, followed by cooler months that transition seamlessly into winter. The months after September are not good because they see loads of rainfall, fog, puddles and even snow later on.
Winter (December to February):
In winter, Poland hibernates because it is so cold. The temperature goes to -10°C and the Christmas time is the only redeeming factor for a visit, followed by skiing resorts. Other prospects are off for the season.
Things to Do
Explore the Wieliczka Salt Mine:
The Wieliczka Salt Mine, an ancient underground labyrinth of mines in Krakow is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You will see lanes, churches, monuments of salt and hidden lakes on your exploration down under. Spare 2 hours of a day for this tour.
Stomp the Old Town of Krakow:
Old Towns and ancient town squares are the most beautiful in Poland out of any country in the world. Visit Krakow, one of Poland’s most ancient towns and erstwhile capital to witness its coveted Old Town with sites like St. Mary’s Basilica, Cloth Hall, Town Square and the many pubs, jazz clubs and bars around.
The Auschwitz concentration camp has been mentioned in almost every World War II book and is a sight that tears at your heart. From its museum to the displays, every artefact tells a story of someone who once lived but was brutally and slowly killed. The Holocaust Museum and walking tours of the camp are quite famous.
Visit the Castles
Castles of Poland are also a coveted highlight, and you must not miss the following : Malbork Castle (Gdansk), Wawel Castle (Krakow) and Książ Castle.
Go Skiing in Zakopane:
When it is the peak of winter and snow is thick and powdery, head to the town of Zakopane for an idyllic mountain holiday. Here you will find quaint cottages and winding slopes for streets, along with plush ski resorts near the best ski routes.
What to Eat
Polish cuisine is a unique blend of centuries of evolution and mild influence from the neighbours. Some of the best things to try in Poland include the dumplings, better known as Pierogi locally, made from dough stuffed with cream cheese and melt-in-your-mouth potatoes. Then there are potato pancakes, beetroot soup (a lot like borscht), sausages, mushrooms and pickled cabbages and cucumbers. Other Polish favourites are Bigos, Żurek (sour rye soup), Rosot (chicken broth), and Gulasz (a lot like meat and veggie goulash famous in Hungary)
From all the great fine dines and cafes and restaurants, choose someplace traditional to eat; like the Milk Bars. They are ancient soviet-communist era canteens where food was served cheap for workers. Today these places define Polish culture and make for a unique experience.
What to Shop
Like its neighbours, Poland also masters the art of making glassware, wood-carved toys and ceramics. You can pick up dolls, wooden toys, carved glass angels and ceramic ware from here. Other souvenirs include the bags of rock salt from Wieliczka Salt Mine, bottles of Bison grass vodka, Oscypek or the beautiful looking sheep cheese and embroidered linens for home decor. In the Baltic Sea region, especially in Gdańsk, the amber jewellery and items are the most renowned. So do pick some up.