wroclaw aerial view

17 Best Places to Visit in Poland For Your Bucket List

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If you love picturesque architecture, medieval cities, forests and quaint European town squares, great food and good value, Poland has you covered. The country is large and diverse, with plenty to offer visitors. It is also one of our favourite places to visit!

We share the best places to visit in Poland including the best cities in Poland to add to your travel itinerary and some of the must-see attractions in Poland too!

But first, let’s take a closer look at this wonderful European country!

gdansk main street with colourful buildings

Where Is Poland?

Poland is located in Central Europe between Germany and Russia. Poland also shares borders with Lithuania, Belarus, and Ukraine. The country has a coastline along the Baltic Sea.

With a population of over 38 million people, it is the 34th most populated country in the world. Poland covers an area of 312,700 square kilometres (120,700 square miles), making it one of the largest countries in Europe.

What Is the Weather Like in Poland?

The climate in Poland is variable depending on the region, but it is generally cool with ample rainfall. Summers can be warm, but winters can be very cold with significant snowfall.

When Is The Best Time To Visit Poland?

The best time to visit Poland is in the spring (April-May) or fall (September-October) when the weather is milder and there are fewer crowds.

However, if you’re looking to experience a true Polish winter, then December-February is the time to go!

What Is Poland Famous For?

Poland is famous for being the birthplace of Pope John Paul II, as well as for its delicious food and drink, such as pierogi (dumplings), vodka and Polish sausages. Other popular Polish exports include amber jewellery.

The Best Places To Visit In Poland

Plan your Poland itinerary by adding these best places to visit in Poland. We have put together two lists to help you plan your visit, including the best cities to visit in Poland and the best attractions in Poland since they are all well worth their own mention!

Best Cities To Visit In Poland

If you have time to explore Poland, you can easily visit several Polish cities and explore the very different parts of this beautiful country. From medieval old towns to cities along rivers and the Baltic coastline, Poland is a surprising country that is easy to fall in love with!

1. Krakow

krakow town square poland travel guide

Krakow is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Poland. It is a beautiful medieval city with plenty of things to see and do.

The main square, Rynek Glowny, is Europe’s largest medieval town square and is a great place to start your exploration of the city

Krakow’s Old Town is filled to the brim with historic sites, including the impressive Gothic-style Wawel Castle. You will also enjoy exploring the medieval town walls or doing a spot of shopping at the Cloth Market in the town square.

There are also many museums and galleries to visit in Krakow, including the National Museum.

Krakow is also the best major city to stay in when visiting places such as Auschwitz – Birkenau concentration camp or taking a tour through Wieliczka Salt Mine.

2. Warsaw

warsaw old town

Warsaw is an impressive capital city, and Poland’s largest city, with the perfect mix of modern architecture mixed with medieval charm and extensive history.

With Warsaw’s Old Town suffering severe destruction during WWII, you will be impressed to see its restored form.

While some may be surprised to see the sprawling size and development of the city, Warsaw offers great opportunities for a big city stay while still being within close proximity to a historical centre.

Start your exploration of Warsaw in the Old Town, which is full of beautiful buildings, including the Royal Castle. Then, head to the New Town to see some of Warsaw’s more modern architecture and lively atmosphere.

Warsaw is a great city to visit with kids with so many family attractions and fun things to do.

With exceptional museums, including the well-designed Warsaw Rising Museum, huge shopping complexes and beautiful palaces, Warsaw really does have it all covered.

Make sure you make time to visit the Royal residences – The Royal Castle, Wilanow Palace and our personal favourite, Lazienki Palace “Palace on the Isle”, with its beautiful waterfront position within Lazienki Gardens.

And if visiting with kids, you will find plenty of fun things to do with kids in Warsaw too.

3. Wroclaw

wroclaw aerial view

Wroclaw is a charming city located in southwestern Poland. It is one of the largest cities in the country with a population of over 630,000 people.

The city is known for its picturesque Market Square which is lined with beautiful historic buildings and home to the iconic dwarfs scattered around the square and throughout the city.

Wroclaw is also famous for being one of the greenest cities in Europe with over 100 parks and green spaces.

Some of the top things to see and do in Wroclaw include visiting Market Square, exploring one of the many museums, such as the Panorama of Racławicka, or taking a boat trip on the Oder River.

4. Gdansk

Why Poland should be on your Must Travel list

Gdansk is one of Poland’s most popular tourist destinations, located on the Baltic coast.

When you think of Poland, beaches and seaports don’t necessarily come to mind, which is why Gdansk is one of the best places to visit in Poland.

Situated in the north of Poland, Gdansk is a port city on the Baltic Coast. Another example of exceptional reconstruction exists within Gdansk’s Main Town, also damaged during WWII.

The brightly coloured buildings and river views make Gdansk a beautiful city to stroll through, especially along Royal Way, with all the grandest sites along which Polish kings once paraded during their city visits.

It is also worth taking a day trip to Malbork Castle and the museum, around 1.5 hours by train from Gdansk.

5. Torun

torun town square and statue

Torun is a beautiful medieval city located in central Poland. It is best known as the birthplace of Nicolaus Copernicus, who was born in 1473 in the Old Town.

The Old Town of Torun is one of the best-preserved medieval towns in Europe and has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Old Town Square (Rynek Staromiejski) is small but beautiful.

When visiting Torun, be sure to walk along the Royal Route, admire the Gothic architecture of the Town Hall and visit the Copernicus House Museum.

Other top things to see and do in Torun include visiting one of its many churches, and of course, seeing the Leaning Tower of Toruń. The historic tower now houses a tavern.

6. Zakopane

white christmas destinations winter in zakopane

Zakopane is a small town located in the southernmost part of Poland in the Tatra mountains

It is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Poland, especially in winter when people come to enjoy the ski slopes. It also comes alive during the Christmas season.

In summer, Zakopane is a great base for exploring the Tatra mountains on foot or by taking the cable car ride up to Kasprowy Wierch mountain.

Some of the other top things to see and do in Zakopane include visiting Morskie Oko lake, taking a funicular ride up Gubalowka mountain, or exploring one of the many caves in the area.

Zakopane provides the perfect place to enjoy winter sports and the impressive mountain scenery with so many things to do in Zakopane for families.

Enjoy browsing through the marketplace, or dining at one of the many restaurants along Zakopane’s main street.

One of the greatest charms of Zakopane also happens to be the picturesque wooden chalet-style homes and buildings.

While quite a popular holiday destination, even for Polish people, Zakopane will make you feel like you stepped back in time with a taste of Poland’s traditional lifestyle.

7. Poznan

poznan town square

Poznań is located on the Warta River in Western Poland and is one of the oldest and most historic cities in Poland.

Poznan is also known for being a university city with many students attending its many universities.

Some of the top things to see and do in Poznan include visiting the Old Market Square and exploring one of the many museums. You also can’t miss the town hall clock with mechanical goats that butt heads upon noon each day.

Poznan is also home to a number of historic churches, such as the Cathedral of St. Peter andSt. Paul, and the Church of St. Stanislaus.

8. Białystok

branicki palace and gardens during summer

Białystok is the largest city in northeastern Poland and is a good base for exploring the region. What is particularly appealing is that it isn’t as typically on the tourist route, making it a great city to enjoy everyday Polish living.

The city has a number of interesting sights, such as the Branicki Palace and the Orthodox Church of Saints Peter and Paul.

Białystok is also home to a number of parks, such as the Białystok City Park, which is perfect for a summer stroll or picnic. It’s also a perfect city for exploring the Bialwisza forest, one of the last remaining primeval forests in Europe.

Check out our guide for the best things to do in Bialystok.

9. Gdynia

gydnia wooden pier

Gdynia is a seaside resort town located on the Baltic coast, about 30 minutes from Gdansk by train.

Gydnia is Poland’s largest seaport town has grown from a small fishing village to an essential part of Poland’s industry.

It is a great place to enjoy the beach, as well as many of the parks and gardens. The town also has an interesting maritime history with a number of museums worth visiting, such as the Polish Navy Museum.

10. Sopot

sopot poland

Sopot is a popular seaside resort town located just south of Gdynia. Sopot is known for its long wooden pier, one of the longest in Europe, as well as being home to the annual Sopot International Song Festival.

The town is also home to a number of parks and gardens, perfect for a summer stroll. And don’t miss the crazy Crooked House!

The best way to visit Sopot is by making a day of it by visiting all 3 of the Tri-Cities in one day – Sopot, Gdynia and of course, Gdansk.

Travel Insurance: Make sure you don’t leave home without travel insurance. Trust us, it’s one of those things you don’t want to skip, especially when travelling with kids. We recommend World Nomads.

Best Poland Tourist Attractions

While you can easily plan your visit around the best cities in Poland, some of the top attractions sit beyond those city areas, taking you into some of the smaller and lesser-known cities and regions of Poland. These tourist attractions in Poland are not to be missed!

11. Wieliczka Salt Mine

A Wieliczka Salt Mine Visitors Guide - Krakow salt mines Poland

The Wieliczka Salt Mine is located just outside of Krakow and is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Poland. The mine features a number of chambers, that can be explored during a tour to see the many salt sculptures.

Explore the incredible cathedral and learn the history of this unique Polish attraction. The Wieliczka Salt Mine is a great activity for the whole family.

You can easily reach the salt mine from Krakow or take a guided half or full-day tour instead.

12. Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum

Birkenau and Auschwitz tour

The Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum is located in Oswiecim, about an hour’s drive from Krakow. You can easily reach it by car, public transport or take a guided tour from Krakow.

This memorial and museum commemorate the largest of the Nazi concentration camps where over 1 million people were killed during WWII. This is one of the most famous dark tourism sites in the world and truly heartbreaking to experience.

The Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum is a must-visit for anyone interested in learning about the history of WWII and the Holocaust. It is an emotionally difficult but important experience.

Ideally, this is a day tour to do with older kids or teenagers who are able to understand the history.

13. Bialowieża Forest

bison in the ancient forest in poland

The Bialowieża Forest is one of the last remaining primeval forests in Europe and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The forest is located on the border of Poland and Belarus and is home to a number of rare animals, such as bison, lynx, and elk.

There is a wildlife sanctuary, learning centre and a number of walking trails that you can explore. The Bialowieża Forest is a great place to get away from the city and enjoy nature.

There are some accommodation options nearby Bialowieza National Park, however, you can also visit by taking a day trip from Bialystok instead.

14. Malbork Castle

Malbork castle in poland

Malbork Castle is one of the largest castles in the world and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The castle was built by the Teutonic knights in the 13th century and was once the largest castle in Europe.

Today, you can explore the castle grounds and learn about its history during a guided tour.

The Malbork Castle is a great day trip from Gdansk. You can get to Malbork from Gdansk by train and then it is a 1.7km walk or 5-minute taxi ride to the castle entrance.

15. Slowinski Sand Dunes

Slowinski Sand Dunes

The Slowinski Sand Dunes are located in the Slowinski National Park, about a 3-hour drive from Gdansk.

The dunes are the tallest moving sand dunes in Europe and are a beautiful natural phenomenon. The dunes move around 10 metres each year, shifting over time from the winds

The resort city of Łeba is found at the entrance of Slowinski National Park and is a perfect spot to spend the night if you plan on exploring the area for a day. They offer horseback riding experiences on the sand for a memorable time in Poland.

16. Tatra National Park

Kasprowy Wierch

The Tatra Mountains are located in southern Poland on the border of Slovakia. The mountains are a popular spot for hiking in summer or spring and skiing or winter sports in the winter.

Kasprowy Wierch is the highest peak in the Polish Tatras and can be reached by a cable car from Zakopane. From the top, there are breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains.

Or take the funicular up to Mt Gubalowka for some great views of Zakopane and the Tatra Mountains.

The Tatra Mountains area great day trip from Krakow if you’re looking to get out of the city and enjoy nature. Or spend a few days in beautiful Zakopane instead.

17. Morski Oko

morskie oko during summer

Morskie Oko is the largest and fourth deepest lake in Poland’s Tatra Mountains. It’s located deep within Tatra National Park, at Rybi Potok Valley and the name translates in English to “Eye Of The Sea”.

Hiking to Morskie Oko lake is one of the most popular hikes in the Tatra Mountains and takes you through some beautiful scenery. The hike to Morskie Oko lake is around 7.7km return and takes around 2 hours.

It is recommended to start early in the morning to avoid the crowds as this is one of Poland’s most popular attractions during the warmer months.

printable trip planning pages
  • Flights – We use Skyscanner or WayAway to research, set price alerts and book flights.
  • Car hire – compare the best car rental prices.
  • Trains & Buses – We book with Omio
  • Accommodation – We use Booking.com or Agoda to book most of our hotel accommodation when we travel.
  • Travel insurance – Protect yourself and your belongings with World Nomads Travel Insurance.
  • Tours & attractions – Our preferred attraction and tour booking sites are Get Your Guide and Viator. Booking ahead will mean you don’t miss out on popular tours!

Poland is a country with an abundance of beautiful natural scenery, interesting history, and delicious food. There are plenty of amazing places to visit in Poland that should be on your bucket list. From the stunning mountain ranges of the Tatra Mountains to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Malbork Castle and Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial Museum, Poland has so much for everyone!

Have you been to Poland? Share your favourite place in the comments.

Check out our other posts on Poland for more detailed info on this amazing country!

FOR MORE POLAND TRAVEL TIPS FIND OUR ULTIMATE POLAND TRAVEL GUIDE

best places to visit in Poland bucket list