Situated in the heart of Europe, Poland is one of the largest European countries. In the past, Poland was a multicultural monarchy and the Polish territory covered significant parts of Europe. These times have gone by, but the influences of that huge diversity of cultures can be seen in the amazing historical heritage of Poland. Placed between the Baltic Sea and the strip of Carpathian Mountains to the south, Poland is also extremely differentiated in terms of natural landscape, making it an ideal holiday destination.
A real pearl and unquestionable leader on the top attractions list of Poland is Krakow. Undergoing a peak in its popularity for several years, Krakow is easy to reach and undoubtedly worthy of exploration. A striking plenitude of historical attractions, including the magnificent Royal Residence, charming Old Town with Europe's largest Market Square and atmospheric streets of the former Jewish district, make a unique blend, completed by a selection of fascinating museums and galleries. Krakow is a real treat for visitors, considering the number of excellent restaurants, fancy bars and unruly clubs that welcome you in Krakow.
While in Krakow, why not extend your trip to include three places of special interest and importance in the vicinity. Situated closer than 20 kilometres south of Krakow, in the original underground excavations of a 700-year-old salt-mine, Wieliczka has been included on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The second place not to miss is Auschwitz, where you can attempt to imagine and understand the atrocities of the Holocaust, visiting the largest German death camp dating back to the times of World War II. Neither pleasant nor attractive, a visit to Auschwitz is a moving experience and an obligatory lesson for every living being. The third town you should visit in southern Poland is Czestochowa with its Jasna Gora Monastery, the holiest place in Poland, luring pilgrims from all parts of the world. Its impressive architecture makes it a tourist gem, even for non-Catholic visitors.
Visiting Poland, you shouldn't forget about its capital: Warsaw. The city which not only saw the war, but also endured almost total destruction in 1944 to be reborn from ashes. Apart from a few jewels of old Warsaw, including the Old Town, the Royal Castle and a few magnificent palaces, such as two other royal residences, Lazienki Palace and Wilanow Palace, most of the city is quite modern. Traces of Soviet dominance over Poland which can be seen in Warsaw’s architecture contribute to the uniqueness of this metropolis.
Poland is rich with natural attractions, such as the amber beaches of the Baltic Sea, wild lakes and rivers, picturesque mountains and deep forests where you can find rest, relaxation, adventure and diverse tourist attractions. The European bison can be spotted in the Bialowieza Forest, the last primaeval forest in Europe. Adventurers should go to the unique Biebrzanskie Marshes for a photo safari. A raft trip down the Dunajec River or a trip to Slowinski National Park with its shifting sand dunes, are among the other attractions this country has to offer.
Poland’s coastline along the Baltic Sea abounds with seaside resorts. Many tourists visit Wolin Island, located near the German border, and the other fashionable resorts of Sopot, Jurata, Kolobrzeg or Hel, to name just a few. In the southern regions of Poland, there are a lot of skiing destinations, which are also popular among hikers. To ski, hike or climb, go to Zakopane in the Tatra Mountains. There are also other nice resorts in the Polish Mountains, such as Karpacz and Szklarska Poreba in Karkonosze, Szczyrk, Wisla and Krynica in the Beskidy or Szczawnica in the Pieniny Mountains.
Remember, Poland offers much more – Europe’s largest Medieval castle in Malbork, the magnificent Hanseatic city of Gdansk, Zelazowa Wola – the birthplace of Frederic Chopin, one of the world's best composers, and charming Gothic Torun, where astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus was born and learned to observe stars – it all awaits you in Poland. Thanks to its natural beauty and rich historical heritage, as well as numerous art, music and folk festivals, sports events and excellent museums, everyone will find something interesting to do there.