Poland, as one of the top history-buff destinations of choice, offers much more to travelers than just its interesting past with the best attractions in Poland.
With its medieval architecture and many quaint villages stuck in time, there are countless reasons to visit Poland. Here are the top attractions in Poland to explore during your visit.
Warsaw Old Market Place
As the oldest part of Warsaw, Poland, the Old Market Place dates back to 1200 AC. However, you will notice how over 85 percent of the area was unfortunately destroyed by the Nazis during the Second World War. Since then, restoration efforts have brought the market to look exactly like intended during its original build.
Boasting a combination of medieval architecture, Gothic and Renaissance buildings, and merchant houses, the Old Market Place holds some of the top attractions in Poland all existing together in this historic square. The market holds a famous 19th-century bronze statue of a mermaid holding a sword. Symbolizing Warsaw's medieval era, this statue survived the War and still remains standing tall in the square.
When you visit, you will notice the many restaurants and quaint cafes in the area. Also, the hard to miss street art sellers will tempt you into their souvenir stalls. You can find the main branch of the Historical Museum of Warsaw in the square which is home to an impressive art collection illustrating the history of this famous city.
Finally, as a last stop in this historic square, make sure to discover the Adam Mickiewiscz Museum of Literature. Just steps away, this museum pays respect to Poland's most famous writer and poet.
Lazienki Park, Warsaw
As one of the top attractions in Warsaw, Lazienki Park is located in the city center as one of Poland's largest urban parks. Named after a nobleman in the 17th century, Lazienki Park was historical used as a bath park.
Today, the Palace on the Isle pictured above in Lazienki Park is open to visitors along with the gardens surrounding it. Diving deeper into the park's history you will discover that a large statue of the classical Polish composer Frederic Chopin occupies the park as well. Unfortunately, German forces purposely destroyed this statue during World War 2 as they invaded Poland.
However, Chopin's statue underwent reconstruction in 1958 using the original crafting mold. You will also find a number of small palaces and structures now utilized as museums and galleries. Furthermore, look around in the gardens for a classicist temple dedicated to the goddess Diana.
If you happen to visit this beautiful, historic park, make sure to go on a Sunday afternoon. You may witness a free piano concert by the foot of Chopin's statue.
Wieliczka Salt Mine
Next on our list of places to visit when in Poland is the Wieliczka Salt Mine. This is one of the top attractions in Poland and while this 13th-century mine may be old, it is still utilized by the locals today. Stopping commercial operations in 1996 as one of the world's oldest and longest-running salt mines, Wieliczka has since become an attraction for artists all over the world.
Today, the salt mine is home to four chapels, a plethora of corridors, and numerous statues--- all carved from the rock salt walls. Visitors are allowed to explore the pits and chambers within this mine as the original shafts and passageways have been reopened. Make sure to check out the ancient statues and stunning architectural marvels when on your adventure. Further, into the mine, you will find an underground lake that flickers light against the candlelit walls. As the top thing to do, you will want to visit the Chapel of St. Kinga. As a 12-meter-high chamber, the chapel boasts elaborate chandeliers and authentic furniture which are all made of salt.
The tour finishes by walking through the Erazm Baracz Chamber where you will find a very salty lake and ending at a museum explaining the history of the mine.
Perhaps a natural marvel that defies any logical explanation, this forest is located just outside of the tiny village of Gryfino. Here, you will discover a number of pine trees growing at a 90-degree angle at their base, all bent northward, somehow on their own.
Originally planted in the 1930s. it took about a decade before their trunks started to develop that unique bend. Despite many theories, there still stands an intense debate on whether or not the curvature was artificially created through manipulation. If you are planning a visit to Poland, try to check it out and see for yourself. Regardless of whether these trees grew naturally or accidentally bent, the surreal presence of these trees is hard to deny.
Surrounded this small pocket of magic is perfectly straight trees. Crooked Forests offers a great place for a peaceful hike in the silence of a forest.
Found in Krakow, Poland, Oskar Schindler's enamel and metal factory is home to two historic museums. Schindler, made famous by his 1994 Steven Spielberg feature movie, held his former office and much of the factory in this must-see destination.
Now a branch of the Historical Museum of the City of Krako, the enamel and metal factory boast many historic artifacts. First, you will discover Schindler's former office which has been preserved intact with World War 2. Now, his desk is an exhibit dedicated to his life and the lives he saved. In the office, there is a wall of glass given the name of "Survivors' Ark". This piece acts as a time capsule, full of enamel pots similar to the ones built in the original factory. The rest of the museum contains a number of cinematic exhibits that illustrate the impact of the Nazis of Krakow during the war. You will also discover numerous immersive reconstructions of the 1940s spaces.
If you would like to know more about this fascinating spot in Poland feel free to click here.
Wawel Royal Castle
Another stop to see while in Krakow is Wawel Royal Castle-- one of the best attractions in Poland. As an architecturally eclectic building, this castle boasts both Baroque and Renaissance elements.
The Wawel Royal Castle has always proven to be pivotal in the history of Poland, explained with its early declaration as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Constructed in the 16th century, this castle was occupied by King Sigismund I the Old. As an avid art enthusiast and collector, Sigismund filled the castle with paintings and curatorial art. Now acting as a museum, visitors from all over the world can explore these magnificent pieces of art. Other collections found in this castle include porcelain and ceramics, armor and weapons, textiles and prints, and an enormous collection of period furniture.
An additional find in this historic museum is an unusually big assortment of Ottoman tents.
Tatra National Park
If you are looking for a wilderness getaway, this spot is for you. The Tatra National Forest is one of the top attractions in Poland and boasts towering mountains and crisp Swiss pines.
As displayed in the picture above, Morskie Oko Lake is a favorite location for tourists of all ages. Located deep within the Tatra National Park, reaching it requires the completion of a long hike. If you are doubting yourself, don't worry. This trail is paved through a shaded forest rated at a beginner's difficulty. Once arriving at the lake, you could see a completely different picture than the one above. Morskie Oko Lake changes colors throughout the year, transforming from a deeper blue to a soft turquoise hue. Most of the park is hikeable with around 1000 miles of trails with varying lengths and difficulties.
This national park exists in both Poland and Slovakia. Poland offers over 600 caves, beautiful snow-covered peaks, and numerous waterfalls (make sure to check out Wielka Siklawa standing at over 200 feet tall).
That finishes out our list of the top attractions in Poland. No matter if you are after art, history, or nature, you are bound to fall in love with this beautiful country.