The most beautiful cities in Poland offer unparalleled history, culture, and scenery.
Explore harbor-side history in this fascinating eastern European country. While chic medieval spots like Krakow and Gdansk view for your attention, some of the most beautiful cities in Poland are a bit further off the grid. Poland’s roots go all the way back to the first millennium, leaving thousands of years of rich history for travelers to explore. WWII history buffs will particularly enjoy their visit. Poland had once found itself in the middle of the epic fight. Trace history at your own pace.
Our Picks for the Most Beautiful Cities in Poland
Okay, so we did say that you have to explore some off the grid cities too. But if you’re already in Poland, it would be a shame to miss out on seeing Krakow. Gothic spires loom overhead above baroque and Romanesque buildings. You’ll hear the rumble of the winding Vistula river snaking past bars and bohemian cafes. While you’re there, you have to see the elegant Wawel Castle sitting in all of its glory in glowing red and gold atop the Wawel Hill.
In contrast to the centuries old buildings, cobblestone alleyways wind their way to chic cafes and swanky jazz clubs. Bustling squares are filled with travelers, market trinkets, and great places to grab a bite. It’s no wonder Krakow boasts visitors of up to seven million people a year.
Sitting on the border between Poland and Slovakia, you’ll find the charming town of Chocholow. Famous for a quaint set of timber homes, they dominate the streets giving off an old-timey fairytale vibe. The town reaches all the way into the very edges of the forest. Rising evergreens provide a shady canopy, concealing a realm of snow in the winter and offering enticing hiking trails in the warmth of summer.
Encircled by the snow-capped summits of the Tatra Mountains, Zakopane has long been called the “Winter Capital of Poland.” Travelers from all over the world travel to see its winter magic, as the first snow falls in the charming city center. Rustic cabins line the roadways and the city’s iconic lamp posts illuminate your breaths of cold air between the falling snow. Head down to the midst of the action over at Krupowki Street. Here, you’ll find old beer halls and aromatic cafes waft enticing scents of regional smokes cheeses and sausages into the streets.
Lush wetlands and rolling green hills give way to Olsztyn. This has to be one of the most beautiful cities in Poland. While it was shaped by over 700 years of the Teutonic Order, Prussians, and Poles. Visitors can see the historic influence at every corner, beer halls, filling the Market Square and cobblestone side streets. Everywhere you look, the town is bursting at the seams with relics. If you want to feel like you’ve taken a step back in time, this is the place to be.
5. Kazimierz Dolny
Kazimierz Dolny is a small town in central eastern Poland, on the right bank of the Vistula river in Puławy County, Lublin Voivodeship. While it was once a grain trading town, it is now one of the best-preserved historic centers outside of Krakow. Urban beauty abounds in the city while green woodlands grace the outside of the town’s bounds. If you’re looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the metropolitan scene while still having enough to explore, this is the place to be. Kazimierz Dolny is one of the most beautiful cities in Poland.
While you’re in the city, there are a couple of spots you just can’t miss. First, you need to see the Dolny Castle. Originating from the 13th and 14th centuries, the chalk-white walls stand in stark contrast to the natural surroundings. The Hill of Three Crosses is also one of the most famous spots in the city. It is believed to have memorialized victims of a 1708 cholera epidemic.
Warsaw is the sprawling capital of Poland. Its widely varied architecture reflects the city’s long, turbulent history, from Gothic churches and neoclassical palaces to Soviet-era blocks and modern skyscrapers. The city’s Old Town was restored after heavy damage during WWII. Its heart is Market Square, with pastel buildings and open-air cafes. The Monument of the Warsaw Mermaid at its center is the city’s symbol.
While you’re there, you need to see the Old Town, Royal Castle, and Lazienki Park. The Old Town is a lively hub of cobblestone alleys and medieval buildings reconstructed after WWII. At the heart of it all, you’ll find Rynek Starego Miasta, a busy square lined with burgher houses and upscale Polish eateries. Nearby, St. John’s Archcathedral dates back to the 14th century and hosts summer concerts. The area is also home to the restored apartments and manicured gardens of the Royal Castle.
Did you know that the Royal Castle in Warsaw is a castle residency that formerly served throughout the centuries? It was the official residence of the Polish monarchs. You’ll find it located in the Castle Square, at the entrance to the Warsaw Old Town.
Last but certainly not least is Lazienki Park. You’ll find it in Warsaw’s central district, linking the Royal Castle with Wilanow Palace to the south. Originally designed as a baths park in the 17th century, in the 18th century, it was transformed by Poland’s King Stanislaw August into a setting for palaces, villas, and monuments. Later on in 1919, it was designated a public park and is now visited by tourists all over the world.
Perched between the highlands and waterways of the Vistula Delta, Malbork is one of the most beautiful cities in Poland. Here, you’ll find a UNESCO World Heritage Castle, hailed as one of the world’s largest fortifications. After you’ve explored the most prominent historical site, there are a few other things you should add to your list.
Whether you’re a kid or just a kid at heart, you need to visit the dinosaur-themed amusement park. Ross would be stoked. Here, you will find life size dinosaur models and statues, a climbing rope park, 5D extreme rides, lazer quests, and more. Isn’t this awesome?
Last but certainly not least, spend a mellow afternoon walking by the scenic River Nogat. This 62-kilometer-long branch of the Vistula River is a site to see, adding the perfect touch to this already picturesque town. Want to know one of our favorite things to do? Pack a picnic and set up the perfect spread along the river banks. Take some friends or that special someone. Chances are, you’ll be able to snag a spot all to yourselves.
Add Gdansk to your list of must-see cities in Poland. Best known as a port city, you’ll find it on the Baltic coast of Poland. In the center of its Main Town, reconstructed after WWII, are the colorful facades of Long Market, now holding bustling shops and restaurants. Just nearby, is Neptune Fountain, a 17th-century symbol of the city topped by a bronze statue of the sea god. This city is a center for the world’s amber trade; boutiques throughout the city sell the ossified resin.
The charming city of Zamosc was founded in the 16th century by the chancellor Jan Zamoyski. Sitting on a popular trade route, it linked western and northern Europe with the Black Sea. Today, you will see it as a perfect example of a late 16th-century Renaissance town, having been modeled after an ‘ideal city.’ Deep in the heart of Poland, it shares a border with Ukraine, sticking out from its surroundings as a colorful lineup of municipal buildings. Photographers, bring your best travel camera. There are some sites you are not going to want to miss out on here.
Book Your Trip to See the Most Beautiful Cities in Poland
We hope you enjoyed reading our article on the most beautiful cities in Poland. As you can see, this diverse eastern European country offers so many wonderful experiences for the traveler. Dive into history, explore architecture and preserves of times past, roam scenic landscapes, and explore some off the grid towns. It’s all your fingertips and the choices are entirely up to you. Which town on our list stood out to you the most? Let us know where you would like to visit in the comment section below.
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