Planning a Poland vacation?
There are so many things to do in Poland whether you are seeking outdoor thrill or cultural holidays.
Located in Central Europe and bounded by the choppy Baltic sea in the north and the jagged Tatra Mountains in the south, the country is full of virgin forests, lovely lakes, and national parks worth a detailed exploration too.
On the cultural side, there are fairytale medieval towns, surreal gothic buildings, and unmissable world heritage sites.
Finger-licking food, traditional drinks, hospitable Poland people and affordable prices further add to this charming country.
If you’re researching about what to do in Poland, below are some amazing things to do on your trips to Poland.
Top 10 Things to do in Poland
Fall in Love with Krakow
One of the best places to visit in Poland, Krakow’s architectural heritage escaped almost unscathed the horrors of the Second World War.
Thanks to that, the cultural capital of Poland boasts a fusion of different architectural styles.
There is a wide spectrum of things to do in Krakow, but these are the things that you should not miss:
- Wawel Castle
- Main square with its Cloth Hall and St. Mary’s Basilica
- Kazimierz – the former Jewish district
- Schindler’s Factory – a famous plant where a thousand of Jews were saved by the factory owner – is now a fascinating museum that tells the story of wartime in Krakow Poland
- Zakrzowek quarry
- Nowa Huta – a district that embodies the relatively recent communist past of Poland
Krakow Trip Planning:
- Book hotels in Krakow directly on Booking.com
- Airbnb properties in Krakow
- See these tours & attraction tickets in Krakow
Explore the Depths of the Wieliczka Salt Mines
The Wieliczka Salt Mines Poland are one of the oldest in the world – salt has been extracted since the 13th century!
During your visit, you will explore a massive space underground spreading on 9 levels and going down as deep as 135 m.
The Wieliczka Salt Mine was also one of the first UNESCO sites ever listed.
You can learn about the development of salt mining over time, look at the ancient mining equipment and, most importantly, get amazed at the beautiful carvings, statues, and altars made of salt.
As one of the local guides jokes, a kilogram of salt is included in the entry ticket, so feel free to lick the salty walls!
Yep, everything down there is made of salt. Including the chandeliers – one of the most interesting things to see in Poland.
Get your ticket to Wieliczka Salt Mines now and skip the queue
Pay Your Respect at Auschwitz
This notorious place has become a symbol of terror and human cruelty.
Over a million people (including young children) were exterminated at Auschwitz Poland during WWII.
Despite the fact that the museum showcases one of the most horrible stories created by humanity at this concentration camp, we consider this place to be an absolute must-visit spot on the map of Poland destinations.
Quiet yet poignant, incomprehensible yet indelible, Auschwitz-Birkenau is deeply moving.
As you walk past the displays with piles of the prisoners’ suitcases, glass frames, prostheses, kitchenware, brushes, and children’s clothes, you cannot help but feel the pain of the destroyed lives and unrealized dreams.
You will leave the museum with a sharpened feeling of compassion, and fervent hope that such cruelty will never happen again.
Please do not be one of those people taking smiling selfies here. Auschwitz Poland is not a movie set or anything like that.
Over a million people were murdered here – keep that in mind!
Check out this best selling full day tour of Auschwitz from Krakow
Visit the Medieval Town of Torun
The ancient architectural ensemble of the city of Torun dates back to the 13th century.
Unlike many other Polish cities, this was one of the places in Poland not destroyed in WWII and has preserved its medieval architecture.
The Gothic buildings are considered to be some of the most beautiful in the world and are included on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
As you walk in the old town, you will observe a Gothic masterpiece with every step you take.
Torun Trip Planning:
- Book hotels in Torun directly on Booking.com
- Airbnb properties in Torun
- Check out these tours in Torun
Sandomierz, Poland’s “little Rome”
You probably haven’t heard about Poland’s “little Rome”.
Sandomierz, located on the seven hills like the Italian capital, is the perfect medieval city to discover if you like to get off the beaten path.
Once a royal city, it has lost its power compared to Krakow or Wroclaw but has preserved its charming atmosphere and rich cultural heritage.
St. Jakob’s church dating back to the 13th century, the city hall, the Jewish synagogue, and an underground tunnel are worth a visit.
Book hotels in Sandomierz directly on Booking.com
Rent a Boat in the Masuria, Poland’s Lake District
The Masuria, Poland’s lake district, is home to 2,600 freshwater reservoirs interconnected by man-made canals. It is a region of astonishing beauty!
There are so many activities to undertake here.
We recommend chartering a boat and go sailing the 130 km of interconnected picturesque water trails or embark on a 93-kilometer kayaking journey along swampy terrains and dense forests in the Krutynia river.
The Mazuria region also has 23 cycling tracks.
If you’re a bike lover, you must get into the saddle and explore over 1000 km of breathtaking trails.
Outdoors enthusiasts can marvel not only at the jaw-dropping rugged landscapes but also at the local inhabitants: storks, “koniks” (descendants of the wild horse), and even bison can be spotted here!
Check out this sailing tour of Masuria Lake District
Discover Poland’s Fairytale Castles
Malbork Castle – Image source
You might not be aware that Poland has preserved its 419 castles of different styles and epochs.
Some of them are world-famous.
The Malbork Castle dates back to 1274 and is the largest brick fortification in the world and one of the famous landmarks in Poland.
Once you enter its premises, you will immediately know why it’s touted to be a unique monument of its kind.
This castle is huge!
Included on the World Heritage List, Malbork Castle still hosts knight tournaments and re-enactment of Polish battles.
Other magnificent fortifications and castles in Poland not to be missed are Czocha, Moszna, and Ksiaz Castles.
Exploring castles is one of the cool things to do in Poland.
Hike in the Tatra Mountains
No matter whether you are a novice hiker or a hardcore climber, exploring the Polish Tatra Mountains is one of the best things to do in Poland and have something for you.
A myriad of hiking trails will take you to beautiful rugged landscapes with sky-rocketing mountains.
You don’t have to be extremely fit to reach the picturesque Morskie Oko. A nice, slightly inclined tarmac path leads to the most famous mountain lake in Poland.
You can reach Morskie Oko in about 3 hours. A horse-drawn carriage is an alternative for families with kids.
Those who don’t mind scrambling can opt for Giewont (1894 m ASL) or even Rysy ( 2503 m ASL) – the highest mountain peak of Poland.
Set off on your mountain adventure early in the morning as the trails tend to really get crowded, particularly in summer.
If you’re not big on hiking, you can still enjoy the mesmerizing views of the Polish mountain ridges by taking a cable car ride to the summit of Kasprowy Wierch (1,987 m ASL).
Climb the Moving Sand Dunes in the Slowinski National Park
The migrating sand dunes stretch across 500 hectares and move at the speed of 2-10 m per year.
Because the dunes constantly change their shape, you are guaranteed to see a one-of-a-kind landscape!
Climb Lacka dune (about 42 m high) and enjoy the incredible view of the dunes, the Lebsko lake surrounded by forests and the Baltic sea.
Go at sunset for the best photographic effect!
Experience the Riverside in Warsaw in Summer
This is one of the most popular things to do in Warsaw Poland!
When the heatwave sweeps the capital city of Poland, Varsovians find refuge by the Vistula river.
The riverside has become a cool and hipster place for outdoor recreation. From BBQ and picnics to watersports and clubbing – there are many activities for any kind of person.
We’re pretty sure that party animals can have a great time at one of the beach clubs on the left bank such as Pomost 511.
If you prefer sport to parties your possibilities are endless! You rent a kayak, try SUP (stand up paddle), play volleyball on the sand, use one of the many free outdoor gyms and a lot more!
The right bank of the Vistula is a perfect destination for beach bums. You can lie in a hammock, make a bonfire on the beach in Saska Kepa and spend the mellow summer days in peace.
There are many more things to do in Warsaw, but definitely put this riverside on your Poland itinerary!
Warsaw Trip Planning:
- Book hotels in Warsaw directly on Booking.com
- Airbnb properties in Warsaw
- Best selling tours & attractions in Warsaw
Watch the European Bison in the Bialowieza Forest
The Bialowieza Forest is one of the few remaining primeval forests in Europe. Not a single tree was planted by a human there. The fallen plants are also left intact so that diverse creatures can thrive.
The Bialowieza Forest is world famous for being home to Europe’s biggest mammal – the European bison.
Because the 600 animals living in the forest are shy, you might or might not spot them during the guided tour.
However, you are guaranteed to see these massive animals at the Bialowieza National Park.
We advise you to book an English tour in advance as the availability is limited.
Don’t forget to take a repellant with you. It is advised to wear shirts with long sleeves and long trousers. An early tour increases your chances of spotting the bison!
Spend a Day in Hel (not hell, but the Polish Peninsula!)
Located on the northern edge of Poland, a stone’s throw from Gdynia, the Hel Peninsula is an oasis of peace you would not expect to find at this latitude.
The 34 km long and 250 – 2000 m wide stretch of land is washed by the cool waters of the Baltic Sea and blessed white sands and pine forests.
Hel is a place for leisurely strolls and meditations.
The most romantic beach can be found in Jurata village. Take off your shoes. Let your feet sink in the soft sand. Walk along the shore listening to the whispering waves and the caws of seagulls.
The town of Hel, is another attraction worth visiting.
Here you can find numerous cafes as well as restaurants offering excellent fish-based local dishes.
If you are visiting Poland with kids, don’t miss the local “seal sanctuary” where you can see adorable cute animals take nice pictures.
Another place worth visiting in the area is the Defence Museum, a great place for all but especially for history buffs and youngsters.
Insider Tip 1.
To avoid traffic jams in summer we advise to take a boat from Gdansk, Gdynia or Sopot rather than drive to the peninsula.
Insider Tip 2.
Rent a bicycle and explore the peninsula on your own terms!
Book hotels in Hel directly on Booking.com
Find Hundreds of Miniature Dwarfs Scattered Around Wroclaw
Wroclaw is a splendid city.
It boasts an impressive main square, a UNESCO-listed Centennial Hall that accommodates up to 10 thousand people, and picturesque boulevards along the banks of the Oder river.
Amid the grandiose architecture and green parks, there are over 350 dwarf sculptures scattered across the city.
The steel midgets will generate childish excitement even if you are a serious adult. There’s a beer connoisseur, a bookworm, a photographer, a couch potato, an ice-cream addict and even a prisoner.
You can find these cute little fellas in the most unexpected places. How many will you find? Don’t forget to count them!
Wroclaw Trip Planning:
- Book hotels in Wroclaw directly on Booking.com
- Airbnb properties in Wroclaw
- Best selling tours & attractions in Wroclaw
Get Lost in Gdansk
The cityscape of Gdansk is accentuated by the gingerbread houses and Europe’s largest brick-made Medieval church.
This is another one of the major cities in Poland and the streets of the sea capital of Poland are beckoning with antique and jewelry shops, Gothic architecture and cozy cafes.
It is a perfect place to get lost and let serendipity be your guide.
In case you prefer planning your trip, here are the best things to do in Gdansk Poland:
- The Golden Gate and Dluga street
- The town hall
- Amber museum
- The Crane
- Mariacka Street
- St. Mary’s Basilica
We’re pretty sure that you will fall in love with this aesthetically pleasing port city.
Gdansk Trip Planning:
- Book hotels in Gdansk directly on Booking.com
- Airbnb properties in Gdansk
- Best selling tours of Gdansk
Have Fun in Energylandia
Located half an hour drive from Kraków, Energylandia is Poland’s largest amusement park and one of the main Poland tourist attractions.
We are adding it to the list for those of you who visit Poland with kids, but from our experience, the place excites any age group as there are various entertainment zones for both kids and adults.
You can enjoy cool rollercoasters, slide down water coasters, play interactive games, and get affordable delicious snacks.
But if you are eager to get a powerful adrenaline shot, do not miss Hyperion – Europe’s largest mega coaster!
With over 100 attractions, it’s one of the most fun things to do in Poland – we suggest you plan a day trip to this place.
Insider Tip 1
Needless to say, crowds tend to be longer during the weekend (allow up to 50-60 minutes of waiting). That’s why we recommend visiting this place during the week.
Insider Tip 2
Buy tickets online to save time on site!
Great Places to Eat in Poland
Milk Bars, all over Poland
Prasowy milk bar, Warsaw
What is Poland known for?
Milk bars are a Polish phenomenon and one of the most unique things to do in Poland that you should not miss! Milk Bars are canteens where you can eat at a ridiculously low price.
In the past, blue-collar workers attended such places because they could not afford a restaurant meal.
Starting from the 1990s, the dishes have not been limited to milk and farinaceous food only. You can actually get a traditional pork cutlet for less than €2. Or chicken soup for €0.50.
And you won’t be disappointed with the quality or taste!
As a matter of fact, it is a little bit like eating at a Polish grandma’s house because most cooks are, in fact, grandmas!
Nowadays milk bars are popular among Polish people with different social status because one cannot get that special atmosphere anywhere else, no matter the money in your bank account.
Stary Dom in Warsaw
What is traditional Polish food?
In case you haven’t discovered typical Polish cuisine yet, Stary Dom is a place to do it!
Not only will you be satisfied with the excellent food but also with the impeccable service. All the dishes are freshly made, and the tartar is prepared right at your table.
Duck, ribs, and herring are to die for.
The portions are generous so it might be hard to save some place for the desserts even if you order just one dish per person.
Cyrano de Bergerac in Krakow
We don’t know about you, but we strongly believe that the French have mastered food to perfection.
So why not enjoy some absolutely perfect meal while on a trip to Krakow?
Michelin-listed Cyrano de Bergerac is the place to pamper your taste buds with superb French delicacies.
Haute cuisine, attentive service, medieval castle-like setting – what else is needed for a perfect ending of the day?
Mama Manousch in Wroclaw
Mama Manousch presents itself as “a meeting place in a meeting place” (the motto of Wroclaw is “Wroclaw – the meeting place”).
It is a lively modern eatery with an atmosphere that can be compared to the dinner time of a vigorous Italian family.
Here you can order excellent European food, and the selection of wine is quite good. The restaurant takes pride in the fact that all the ingredients are fresh and the concept of slow food is always implemented.
Planning a Trip To Poland
Where is Poland located?
The country of Poland, officially the Republic of Poland, is located in Central & Western Europe. Neighboring European countries include Germany, Belarus, Czech Republic, Lithuania, Russia, Slovakia, and the Ukraine.
Tours of Poland
Our partner, the Get Your Guide tour company offers many Poland tours and attractions. They have lowest prices, guaranteed — no booking fees or hidden charges.
You can pre-book tickets and skip the line at top attractions and cancel up to 24 hours before.
Accommodation in Poland
Check out these hotels in Poland on booking.com. You get free cancellation on most rooms and a best price guarantee.
If you fancy a home and living like a local, or have a large family or traveling with a group of friends, consider Airbnb. They can be a better option than booking several hotel rooms.
Flights to Poland
Skyscanner is a comparison website that searches millions of flights. Once you find your best deal, book directly through the airline (no extra fees).
Car Rental in Poland
RentalCars.com is the world’s biggest car rental booking service that compares all the major brands like Hertz, Avis, Alamo, and Europcar.
I hope these Poland travel tips help you plan your visit. It is is a wonderful country full of surprises. We warmly invite you to visit Poland country. Let us know in the comment section if you have any questions about Poland tourism, we’d be happy to answer.