The Republic of Poland, located in central Europe, has survived centuries of wars and conflicts to emerge as one glorious nation that it is now. Its rich history can be seen through the 15 UNESCO World Heritage Sites that are located in Poland. Plus, the many landscapes and forests make for extraordinary outdoor tourist attractions in Poland. International students pursuing their studies in this country will get to experience its rich culture, history and beautiful outdoor locations.
In this blog, we have enlisted the major tourist attractions in Poland. However, this list is not comprehensive as the country is home to a considerably large number of beautiful locations, and we have only attempted to compile the most popular ones.
Wawel Castle, Krakow
Source : Flickr
The Wawel Royal Castle, located in Krakow, Poland, is a castle residency and the first UNESCO World Heritage Site in the world. The Wawel Castle has been inhabited by people ever since the Paleolithic age. It was built way back in the 14th century under the command of the Polish Monarch, Casimir III. This castle is the home to the legendary Szczrbiec coronation sword- the only preserved piece of the Polish Crown Jewels. The castle is a treat to the eyes and a great place to hang out for all the history lovers.
Source : Earth Trekker
Located in southern Poland, the Auschwitz-Birkenau does not elicit happy memories, but it stands testimony to the cruelties of a by-gone era. It was an infamous Nazi concentration camp and probably the largest one. The location now houses a memorial to the victims and a museum to display the historical pieces and belongings. The camp is dedicated to the memory of the people who were murdered during World War II. The Auschwitz-Birkenau is visited by about 25 million people every year.
Source : Amazing World Reality
The Masurian Lakeland is a surreal place to be in with over 2000 lakes connected by an intricate and extensive network of canals and rivulets. One of the major tourist attractions in Poland, the Masurian Lakeland is located in the area encompassing the lower Vistula River. Since it is a popular tourist attraction, the area has plenty of economic as well as luxury hotels and resorts available in the vicinity. The travel mode for exploring this region is usually on foot or by a bicycle.
Slowinski Sand Dunes
Source : We Blog the World
The Slowinski Sand Dunes are a part of the Slowinski National Park which is located in Northern Poland, on the coast of the Baltic Sea. Named after its inhabitants once upon a time, the Slovincians, this tourist attraction in Poland also has an open-air museum in the nearby town of Kluki. This museum stores the artefacts of the local culture. The dunes are formed in a wave-like pattern with some of them being over 30 metres in height. Given that their form changes with the season and the wind-flow, these sand dunes are also called ”moving dunes.”
Source : Get Your Guide
Found in 1274 by the Teutonic Knights, the Malbork Castle remains one of the major tourist attractions in Poland till date. The Teutonic Knights used this castle to defeat their Polish enemies and continue their rule over the northern Baltic territories.The castle has seen several expansions since then and continues to be a civil and architectural marvel. Located in the town of Malbork, Poland, it is stated to be the largest castle in the world, and also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Wieliczka Salt Mine
Source : Viator.com
The Wieliczka Salt Mines are located on the outskirts of Krakow, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The site has an underground city, all of which has been carved out of rock salt. There is even a dedicated chapel which as per the engineers has some of the best acoustics in the world. In addition to its historical relevance, many contemporary artists have also carved and even keep carving sculptures in these salt caves.
Source : Sustainability Times
The Bialoweiza Forests are essentially the majestic remnants of the primaeval forests that used to cover the entire European continent. The forests exist around the borders of Poland and Belarus. The Bialoweiza Forest is the home to the wisent – a rare and endangered species of the European bison. Guided tours are available if one wants to visit the wisents which are kept carefully protected and away from human interference otherwise. The tours are usually done on a bicycle or through horse-drawn carriages.
Gdansk Old Town
Source : Xperience Poland
Gdansk’s Old town has a coloured history of construction, demolition and reconstruction. The forts in this area were initially built by the Teutonic Knights as a proclamation of their superiority to contrast with the structures of the existing city. In the 15th century, the Casimir IV of Poland had the fortress demolished to build his own fort. The town, however, is full of multiple such structures from the 17th century, some of which even include granaries, mills and church.
Warsaw Old Town Market Place
Source : Pinterest
The existing Warsaw Old Town Market Place is a refurbished one as the original market place was destroyed in World War II. Located in the Old Town of Warsaw, its remnants remain, and they are what offer this place its historical and nostalgic essence. Given how central this market place was to the people’s lives, it was reconstructed immediately after the World War-II ended. The market square hosts a bronze sculpture of the Warsaw mermaid which is the symbol of Poland’s capital. This historical place is a refreshing change from the modern buzzing Poland cities with its flamboyantly painted townhouses, horse-drawn carriages and renaissance architecture all around.
Main Market Square
Source : Wikimedia
The Main Market square dates back to the 13th century and is located in the Old Town area in Krakow. It is the largest medieval market town square in the European continent and one of the major tourist attractions in Poland. The market square also has multiple townhouses, historical buildings, archaic church and palaces in and around the region. The Cloth Hall, which was rebuilt in 1555 as per the Renaissance style is located right in the centre of the market square.
Here is a link to the Polish Tourism Organization which will give you complete details on Poland tourism.
Poland houses many more heritage and picturesque sites given its rich history and natural beauty. If you plan a visit to Poland, your itinerary must comprise of the cities mentioned below that are home to the tourist attractions covered in this blog, and other places as well.
International students will have an endearing experience living and studying in Poland. As and when deadlines and assessments are through and you have free time on hand, you can visit these tourist attractions in Poland. Explore this beautiful country and enjoy basking in its history, art and culture, architecture and refreshing scenic locations.
Take a look at this informative article on ”The Best Cities to Study in Poland.”