Poland is a Central European country with a population of 38.5 million people. Located between the Baltic Sea in the north and the Tatra Mountains in the south, the country surprises visitors with its variety of landscapes and sceneries. The longest river, the Vistula, flows across the country, connecting the ancient city of Cracow, Warsaw – the capital – and the port town of Gdańsk. The Masurian Lakeland attracts yachting lovers and those who would like to discover the primeval forest where rare species of animals and old trees whisper the tale of days gone by.
With eleven centuries of history behind it, Poland has a very rich cultural heritage which goes back to the days when the amber route ran through its lands. Copernicus’ medieval city of Toruń, the Salt Mine in Wieliczka and Gdańsk shipyard only begin the long list of Polish highlights.
Should you wish to travel between different Polish cities, you may use different means of transport.
Warsaw has direct flight connections with the biggest Polish cities such as Gdańsk, Cracow or Wrocław. It takes approximately 55 minutes to reach each of these destinations. The biggest Polish carrier – LOT – offers up to six flights a day on particular routes. Prices of the plane tickets can be sometimes as competitive as the train fares. They start from PLN 120 (approx. EUR 29) depending on the day, time of flight as well as the time of purchase. See also: Polish airlines (domestic and international)
The Polish railway system is quite dense. The most popular connections are served by the intercity express trains which are the time-saving solution. Tickets can be purchased via Internet or from the ticket office at a railway station. The railway stations in the biggest cities are well situated within walking distance from the major tourist attractions. The average time of journey is:
Popular international car rental companies offer their services in Poland. For using certain motorways, you will be charged a fee (up to EUR 16 depending on the route). It is also advised to obey the speed limits as you will often see speed cameras or unmarked police cars. The average time of journey is:
Taxi companies provide a good quality service and reasonable prices. Please see the official websites of each city, to learn about the approved companies.
Amongst the numerous hotels in those cities you will find:
The big international hotel chains can be found in the biggest cities:
Gdańsk is the largest Polish city on the Baltic Coast with a thousand-year history. In the past, it was privileged with a special status of municipal republic. The city, inhabited by numerous cultures and ethnical groups, was famous for its tolerance and wealth built on trade and craftsmanship. Evidence of the outstanding masters can still be admired today in many museums. Gdańsk twice played a role as a turning point in the world history – in 1939 when the Second World War broke out and in the eighties when the Solidarity movement was born. Together with Sopot and Gdynia, it creates the Tricity, with a population of 740 000 inhabitants.
Land at Lech Walesa Airport, admire the beautiful sailing ships, visit St. Mary’s Church, which is one of the largest European brick Gothic buildings and leave carrying an amber souvenir in your hand.
A former Polish capital, Cracow is one of the most popular weekend destinations in Europe. Its history dates back to the 7th century, when it was just a small village on Wawel Hill. During the Middle Ages, it started to play the role of a capital –political and cultural life was concentrated here. Nowadays, it attracts visitors with its charming Main Market Square (Rynek Główny), the ancient Wawel Castle and the famous dragon’s den. Cracow has one of the oldest European universities – the 650-year-old Jagiellonian University. The narrow streets are full of cosy coffee shops and local museums that encourage tourists to drop in. One of the key attractions are Sukiennice (the Cloth Hall) – a Renaissance shopping centre where you can purchase traditional food products and regional handicraft.
The fourth, most populated Polish city and the capital of the Silesian Lowlands. Wrocław, located on the borderland, belonged in the past to the Polish Kingdom, Bohemia, the Austrian Empire, Prussia and Germany. The city presents a combination of monuments and relics from different eras and styles. The historical, medieval Cathedral Island (Ostrów Tumski) has a very unique atmosphere and is perfect for a nostalgic walk. For those who prefer modern architecture, there is the Centennial Hall (Hala Stulecia) designed and erected nearly one hundred years ago to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Leipzig. The most surprising element of Wrocław are its dwarves. Over 270 of these tiny creatures are spread around the city. The first one was unveiled to commemorate the Orange Alternative (Pomarańczowa Alternatywa) – the underground protest movement in the 1980s. Visit Wrocław – the European Capital of Culture in 2016 – and start your day in the Old Town. Visit the enormous panorama painting, stroll between the dwarves and spend the evening by watching the fountain show.