Poland Holidays – Tours & Adventures Travel Guide
“A Poland holiday should be at the top of your to-do list. The beauty of its cities and the untamed wildness of its mountains and national parks will inspire and enlighten. Besides the well-known theatre and opera of Poland, other cultural attractions blend the unusual with the commonplace from centuries past. Sights in Warsaw and in Kraków combine a holiday of interest and education. And you can also have a skiing adventure and play by the water in Poland. You will find a unique and diverse holiday in Poland, whether you dream of sitting in an outdoor café on the Old Town Square or viewing a gallery of artwork by Leonardo da Vinci.”
Poland Holiday Highlights
History & Culture – See some of the oldest edifices in Europe and newer buildings of the 18th century in Poland. Walk through Kraków Gate and tour the cathedral on the island of Ostrow Tumski. Admire the Renaissance arcades and the Baroque spires, the storybook views and the enchanting streets.
Sightseeing – With so much to see in Poland, you should plan your route before embarking on your tour. Plan your tours through Poland’s official tourism website or by searching for an information booth in any of Poland’s cities once you arrive in the country. The Gothic architecture and the churches, monasteries and plazas all will hold you enthralled and spellbound as you travel this beautiful country.
Walking & Trekking – Walking and trekking through Poland offers the visitor some amazing sights and experiences. From Kampinos National Park to the eastern Carpathian Mountains, you can trek surrounded by forests or in close proximity to the waters of seas, lakes or rivers. The terrain can be rough so be sure to bring heavy boots.
Water Sports – Poland has dozens of lakes and the coast along the Baltic Sea. There are beach resorts and water sports centers everywhere near the water, so there’s plenty to keep you occupied on the waterside. Visit Drawa and Ilowa lakes that have become popular destinations. In Gizycko, you will find a number of places to rent sport equipment, and a number of marinas to service you. At Leba, you can lie on white sand and relax the day away. Try windsurfing, go kayaking, or water ski. There are many choices.
Winter Sports – Skiing in Poland will give you the thrill of a lifetime. It’s a fairytale land of ice and snow and offers great winter sports. Live the life of the early days and ride in a horse-drawn sleigh. Go to the popular ski resort of Zakopane and try the slopes. Ski in Korbielow on any of the thirteen runs.
When To Go
For winter sports, visit Poland during winter when snow will cover the mountains from the middle of December until April. For warm weather activities, you should come in the summer from June through September when temperatures are mild.
- Be sure not to make jokes or criticisms about religion in Poland. Religion plays a large role here.
- When you are visiting a private home, you should bring flowers and in odd numbers.
- Do not photograph military installations while in Poland, including all border points.
- Electricity is 220 volts AC.
Poland Holidays In Focus
History and Culture – Warsaw should be a focal point for much of your trip to Poland. Old Town, after being destroyed in World War II, was fully reconstructed from the original plans of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The Old Town Square has an outdoor café you can enjoy and you can tour the antique shops and the Historical Museum there. Watch films and slide shows at the Warsaw Rising Museum, which commemorates citizens who were active in the resistance.
In Kraków, you must see the primary entrance into the Old Town section, the Kraków Gate, and see the museum housed within. The medieval atmosphere is spellbinding and you can get the full feel of it when walking around the central Market Square and seeing the 14th century-designed merchant stalls. Drop by Jagiellonian University, one of the oldest in Europe. Also go by the Wawel Castle where you can see a huge collection of beautiful 16th-century tapestries. And in the former Jewish quarter of Kazimierz, you can visit the 1553 Remuh Synagogue.
Although a very sobering experience, you also should consider a visit to the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp, about 43 miles from Kraków, so you can pay tribute to the victims of the holocaust. You will get a new perspective on the history of Poland and of our world.
Sightseeing – You’ll have a unique sightseeing trip in Poland. In Zamosc, you can walk through the Renaissance-style market and square. Explore underground at the Wieliczka Salt Mine and move through miles of twisted corridors. West of Warsaw you can see the manor house where Frederick Chopin was born. There’s a park there as well as summer recitals.
While in Warsaw, you should drop into the oldest cake shop in the city, Blikle. They serve their famous doughnuts and delicious snacks. Stroll among the pigeons at Kraków's Rynek, a huge medieval square that’s alive with history. If you are visiting Kazimierz in July, you’ll want to witness or even take part in the famous Jewish Culture Festival. It’s a fascinating tour to travel through Kraków and see the amazing facades in neoclassical design, and perhaps imagine that you are back in the early centuries of Poland. One section of Kraków's city wall is still standing and this gives you the opportunity to see one of the biggest strongholds in Europe, 15th-century Barbakan.
Walking and Trekking – Trek among the mountains or in sight of the Baltic Sea. There are many trails within the parks and reserves in Poland. If you want to see some native wildlife, go to the Great Bieszczady Forest, where you’ll see bears, wolves and lynx. The forest is inside the Bieszczady National Park, which is part of the Carpathian Mountains. This park is the last refuge of European bison and has many nature trails where you can move through the wilderness with ease.
Trekking the frontier in the Bieszczady region is a challenge, and hiking the Szczecin region around the lakes and rivers, surrounded by the Bukowa forest or seeing the forested lands of the Wkrzañska forest is simply the best. You can go on guided treks through the mountains for different length trips, from 3 days to eleven days.
The Zakopane and the Tatra Mountains are two other great choices for a trekking holiday.
Water Sports – You will find wonderful beaches and camping on the Hel Peninsula. Try some sailing on one of the 1,000 lakes in the Mazurian Lake District, or drop in a line since it’s a great fishing spot. Love canoeing? You can slip into the Brda River, or boat down the Czarna Hancza River.
On the Pomeranian coast, you’ll find some relaxing beach resorts. Kolobrzeg is a very fashionable destination, and Leba has beautiful white sands.
In northern Poland you’ll find windsurfing on some of the lakes. Enjoy the picturesque scenery and the balmy weather. You can nearly always find great conditions at Kashubia and Olsztyn for water fun. Lakeside water sports centers wait to serve you at Ruciane-Nida and Wegorzewo.
Skiing and other Winter Sports – There are some great ski resorts in Poland, including Zakopane, where you can see the fabulous little wooden cottages, like gingerbread houses. Some of the people who live there still dress in traditional Goralskie garb.
From December to the end of March, you can go just about anywhere in Poland for optimum skiing but the Tatras are perfect mountains for all skill levels in climbing, hiking and skiing. In the south, you can ski the mountains along the border. In the center of Poland, find very popular ski resorts that cater well to skiers, such as Wisla, Ustron and Szczyrk.
- Visit the Museum Czartoryskich Arsenal Miejski where you will see Leonardo da Vinci's famous painting, Lady with an Ermine.
- At Wawel, be sure to stop at the Royal Castle and cathedral for a tour.
- Sit in the beautiful rooftop garden of Warsaw University Library and admire the finest in Polish architecture.
- Get your camera ready when you visit Nowa Huta, as this is a landscape directly from the communist era.
- Visit the house where Chopin was born; it’s a short 32-mile drive west of Warsaw.