When planning a vacation, Poland is rarely a country that tops the must see destination list for most. Especially when Europe is full of so many remarkable destinations, but in actual fact, you should make your it a priority to visit Poland.
Poland happens to be a country close to our hearts, but even were it not for the personal connection to the country, it would be a stand out as one of my favourite countries to visit.
And don't be fooled into thinking a quick holiday to Poland will suffice. Nope, it's deserving of much more than a short stopover when you visit Poland. So let us give you 12 reasons why you should visit Poland for your next holiday.
14 REASONS WHY YOU NEED TO VISIT POLAND
1. The History
A visit to Poland means a chance to learn so much about this country and what has at times been a very tragic history. If you enjoy a country with an interesting background, a holiday to Poland will have you covered.
From the feeling of disbelief you get wandering the Auschwitz - Birkenau Museum and War Memorial
, to the confronting displays at the Warsaw Rising Museum, but also the pleasant histories of royal palaces and ornate churches.
2. The Size
Poland is massive. A lot of people forget that. It happens to be the 9th largest country in Europe and with size comes variety. When you visit Poland, you are not just getting town squares and ancient architecture. You also get beaches and forests, wildlife and mountains, plus a whole lot of cities to explore.
3. The Food
Don't go to Poland on a diet. Go there with the intention to eat and make the most of the delicious must try food in Poland
. A trip to Poland would not be complete without a generous serving of pierogi with a side of kapusta, followed by a slice of makowiec or a paczki.
Polish food is mostly carb loaded and hearty. Lots of meat, cabbage and potatoes. Very filling and perfect for warming you from the inside out during a cold winter in Poland.
5. Old Towns
Poland has some of Europe's most beautiful town squares and old town areas. Krakow boasts Europe's largest town square and is a must see when you visit Poland. Each old town area comes with it's own unique history and sights to see.
The old town in Warsaw was completely destroyed during WWII, but you wouldn't know it. The reconstructed version is still a must see place in Poland.
6. The Architecture
While talking about the old town areas and the surrounding sights, a mention of the architecture in Poland is essential. Think brightly coloured buildings constructed in the 17th century or earlier, or elaborate churches and palaces.
One unique building that has become a more modern Polish attraction is the Crooked House in Sopot - Krzywy Domek
, which serves as a place of business, shopping and dining.
But more of a stand out are the quaint wooden houses in the mountains, such as those throughout Zakopane, with their pointed roofs and window shutters. By far a perfect example of traditional mountain life in Poland.
Visit Poland for an affordable holiday destination in Europe. The currency in Poland is the Zloty and chances are you dollar will go a long way. For us, even with the current poor state of the Australian dollar, we still get about 4 Zloty per Aussie dollar, which is a far less painful conversion than anywhere on the Euro.
You can enjoy a whole lot during a holiday in Poland for a lot less. That alone is a pretty great reason to visit Poland.
8. The Scenery
So we have covered off on the remarkable buildings, town squares and old man-made sights to see in Poland, but the natural scenery is pretty amazing too. Mountain scapes, forests, lakes and don't even get me started on how beautiful Poland is with snow covering every outdoor surface.
And while it certainly isn't the first thing you think of for a visit to Poland, but there are also beaches along the Baltic Sea well worth a visit.
9. The Tatra Mountains
Okay so this may be part of Poland's natural attractions, but the Tatra Mountains, bordering Slovakia in Poland's far south are stunning.
The best place to enjoy the views are from Zakopane, which is also the perfect winter holiday destination in Poland. It provides easy access to the mountains to hike, ski or take in the sights from above. Kasprowy Wierch
is by far a visit worth making. Catch the cable car up the top.
10. The Traditions
Unlike some of the more westernised and modern parts of Europe, you can guarantee plenty of tradition during your visit to Poland. Being such an old country, the traditional way of life is still valued and it can be seen in the food, the culture and the behaviour. There are strong family values in Poland and reputations to uphold. They are a proud nation.
That's not to say Poland doesn't have all the modern facilities you may have come to expect. It does. Warsaw is the perfect contrast between traditional old town and modern development.
11. The People
Polish people are incredibly polite and friendly. Expect to be welcomed and treated well, which makes your Poland holiday the perfect option if travelling with kids. While like any country there is petty crime, such as pickpocketing on occasion, overall Poland is a safe country to visit.
12. The Vodka (and the Beer)
This may be a little less family travel focused but when you visit Poland, you need to try the vodka. It's tradition!
Although perhaps don't try and compete with the locals in a drinking contest. They sip their vodka like water and can throw back their beer as well as most Europeans. What does help though is filling your stomach with plenty of hearty Polish food, since it seems to absorb the alcohol very well.
13. The Attractions
Poland is home to a large number of UNESCO World Heritage sites, including Krakow's old town, Auschwitz - Birkenau and the Wieliczka Salt Mines
. There are many others as well, all well worth a visit if you have an interest in the preservation of culture.
Then of course there are more modern attractions too, like ice skating rinks everywhere, the annual Christmas markets, the well preserved palaces and royal residences throughout Poland, including the massive Malbork Castle - the largest castle in the world, and less traditionally, a water park and plenty of other things to do in Zakopane
14. The Location
With all these great reasons to visit Poland, you should make your trip an extended one, however Poland is also located in close proximity to so many other wonderful European destinations.
Everything in Europe is conveniently close compared to the isolation of our home country of Australia, but Poland is bordered by countries such as Germany, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine and Russia. That gives you a whole lot of countries to explore, with many of them also being affordable European destinations.
Can you think of other great reasons to visit Poland?
And if you need a bit of help working out where in this AMAZING COUNTRY you should be visiting first, The Crazy Tourist
shares their top 15 places to visit in Poland, which will get you on the right track in no time!!