Chic medieval hot spots like Kraków and Gdańsk vie with energetic Warsaw – the capital - for your urban attention. Outside the cities, woods, rivers, lakes and hills beckon for some fresh-air fun.
If you’re partial to good home cooking, the way your grandmother used to make it, you’ve come to the right place. Polish food is based largely on local ingredients like pork, cabbage, mushrooms, beetroot and onion, combined simply and honed to perfection. Regional specialties like duck, goose and trout keep things from getting dull!
As for sweets, it’s hard to imagine a more accommodating destination – sweeties, cream cakes, apple strudels, pancakes, fruit-filled dumplings may have you skipping the lunch break!
Away from the big cities, much of Poland is unspoiled. While large swathes of the country are flat, the southern border is lined with a chain of low-lying but lovely mountains that invite days of splendid solitude. Well-marked hiking paths criss-cross the country, taking you through dense forests, along broad rivers and through beautiful mountain passes. Much of the northeast is covered by interlinked lakes and waterways ideal for kayaking and canoeing – no experience necessary.
The former royal capital of Kraków is a living lab of architecture over the ages. Its nearly perfectly preserved Gothic core proudly wears overlays of Renaissance, Baroque and Art Nouveau. Fabulous medieval castles and evocative ruins dot hilltops around the country, and the fantastic red-brick fortresses of the Teutonic Knights stand proudly in the north along the Vistula, the river that flows through the country. Simple crafted wooden churches hide amid the Carpathian hills, and many skansens (open-air ethnographic museums) await you mainly around Kraków.