13/10/2016 - 1:00 pm

More Than Krakow: The Not-So-Well-Known Jewels Of Poland

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Krakow. Beautiful Old Town, fascinating history, charming Jewish district, international atmosphere, hipster coffee shops, cool clubs, great food. Yeah, maybe. But is it the best place in Poland? Perhaps for some. Is it the only one? Definitely not. Here are just a few of many that prove that there is more to Poland than its most-visited city.

Real Mountain Atmosphere – Bieszczady

So, you say that one of the reasons Kraków is such an awesome place to visit is because from there you can easily reach the charming town of Zakopane in the nearby mountains and get to know the culture of the Gorals? What if I told you that Poland has even more beautiful mountain areas where you will not have to deal with thousands of other tourists? Yes! Bieszczady!

 

A view of the Bieszczady Mountains / © Leszek Leszczyński

Bieszczady is a mountain range in the Eastern Beskids that runs from south-eastern Poland into Ukraine and Slovakia. It is a perfect choice for taking long hikes and experiencing mountain scenery at its best in all seasons. 

 

The beauty of Bieszczady in the autumn / © manufaktura82 

 

The Bieszczady Mountains during winter / © Mycroyance

If you are looking for an even closer encounter with nature, I suggest taking touring Bieszczady on horseback. Amazing views and great memories guaranteed.

Masuria – the Land of a Thousand Lakes 

 

What can be more relaxing than watching a beautiful sunset on a lake from a boat? / © Towoj 

If you love sunsets and sunrises over the water, you should definitely visit Masuria, a region in northern Poland famous for its 2000 lakes and beautiful landscapes.

 

© Etheriel

Masuria is a perfect place to relax and take it easy; however, it also offers a variety of possibilities for those who like to be physically active. Fishing, kayaking, sailing, hiking, balloon expeditions – the options are limitless! Lovers of sailing should definitely visit Mikołajki, the “summer capital of Masuria” where many festivals and other interesting events dedicated to sailing take place every year. 

 

Best Nightlife – Wrocław and its Awesome Bars

Wrocław is the largest city in southwestern Poland, famous for its historical sites and vibrant cultural venues. It is best known for its beautiful Old Town and a friendly, lively, and youthful international atmosphere.

 

View on Wrocław / © Klearchos Kapoutsis

Those who have tasted the nightlife of Wrocław will agree that it rivals even the club scene in Kraków.

Wrocław has cool pubs inspired by the city’s communist past, awesome bars serving beers from the microbreweries, rustic cafes, and hipster multi-tap pubs.

 

The Largest Castle in the World – Malbork 

Wawel? Yes, it is a nice small building. But did you know that Poland boasts the world's largest castle measured by land area? The Castle of the Teutonic Order at Malbork was built in the 13th century and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

 

View of Malbork Castle / © Jan Nijman 

This medieval fortress was built by the Teutonic Knights – a German Roman Catholic order of crusaders. It was heavily damaged during the Second World War but has recently been renovated. Nowadays, the castle functions as a museum and hosts fascinating exhibitions.

A Polish Desert – Moving Dunes and the Baltic Sea

Those who plan to spend their vacation by the sea rarely choose the Polish coast due to unpredictable weather that can serve up two weeks of rain in the summer. However, if the weather is kind, a vacation on the Polish coast is an excellent idea. Poles who live in the south of the country (including those from Kraków) adore the Baltic’s golden sands. Those who love summer fun will find it in famous towns such as Sopot (called the “Polish Monaco”) and Kołobrzeg, while those who prefer peace and quiet will not be disappointed as the Polish seaside has its undeveloped beaches, too. 

Moreover, you might be surprised by the fact that in Poland you will find a ... desert! 

Moving Sand Dunes are the greatest attraction of the Słowiński National Park / © Agata Mazepus 

The Baltic coast is home to one of Poland’s most notable national parks. Between the Baltic Sea and Lake Łebsko, nature has created something truly beautiful – sand dunes which the wind moves every year by ten or more meters, uncovering dead tree stumps that are the fossilized remains of ancient forests buried underneath the sands. The largest dunes can rise up to forty meters above sea level! As the dunes are located in the heart of a national park, travel by car is forbidden. However, you can reach the dunes with a five kilometers-long walk. You can also rent a bicycle, take a ride on an electric train, or go for an exciting boat cruise that will get you straight to the desert.

 

Reach the dunes by taking a boat cruise on the third biggest Polish lake – Łebsko / © Agata Mazepus

Read 1115 times Last modified on 17/10/2016 - 12:18 pm
Agata Mazepus

Agata does not spend much time in one place - in the past three years she lived and studied in five European countries. She is an aspiring journalist writing mostly about travelling, culture, and politics. Holding a degree in International Relations from four Central European universities, she is interested in the societies of the Visegrad Four. True admirer of Scandinavian nature, Western philosophy, Central European literature, and Balkan lifestyle.

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