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Poland Things To See & Do

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Gdansk: Things To See & Do

Gdansk-poland

St Mary’s Church

This huge church is considered to be the biggest in Poland, and possibly the world. It can sit up to 25,000 people at a time, and is filled with interesting anecdotes about the numerous artworks kept here and the role it played during the city’s history.

 


Gdansk Old Town

The picturesque old town of Gdansk is a popular place to stroll around, and buy souvenirs from the numerous tourist shops here. Much of the area was badly damaged during WWII, but it has been carefully reconstructed to maintain the original look of the quarter.

 


Golden Gate (Złota Brama)

Built in 1614 to replace an older 13th century gate as part of the city’s fortifications, the Golden Gate is now one of the city’s best known landmarks for its decorative attiques, which were meant to depict the citizen’s admirable qualities: Agreement, Justice, Piety and Prudency, Peace, Freedom, Wealth and Fame.

Krakow: Things To See & Do

 

Krakow-poland

Wawel Royal Castle

The castle visitors see today on Wawel hill was first built by King Sigismund I the Old in the early 16th century, and over the centuries, has served as the residence for three dynasties of Polish royalty. Today, it is home to some of the most spectacular exhibitions in the country, including the artworks in the Royal Chambers, the Crown Treasury, the archaeological artifacts of Wawel hill, and from time to time, temporary exhibitions on the city’s history.

 

Skalka Sanctuary

Only a short walk from Wawel Castle, on a little hillock, is the the site where bishop Stanislav was martyred in 1079. The current church on the site is a lovely Baroque edifice built in the 18th century, but apparently visitors can still see three dark stains on the church wall, said to be the blood of St. Stanislav. The church has long been a pilgrimage site for the Polish faithful, especially on 8 May, St. Stanislav’s day.

 

Wawel Cathedral

Long the coronation site of Poland’s monarchs and one of the country’s most prominent and important church buildings, this Cathedral is home to an astonishing collection of art, from periods as diverse as Gothic and Modern. It is also the final resting place of most of the Polish royalty, a few national heroes, two poets, four saints (including St. Stanislav, Poland’s patron saint) and countless bishops.

 

 

Old Town

What was once the medieval city of Krakow is today largely preserved as the city’s most popular tourist attraction, and where many of its more historical attractions are located. The entire Old Town District in on the UNESCO World Heritage list. Don’t forget to walk around the Planty Garden Ring, a lovely green belt of public parks that was built in the 1820s, largely to take over the space that was created when the old city walls were torn down.

 

Basilica of the Virgin Mary

If the Wawel Cathedral was the preferred place for royalty, then the Basilica in Krakow’s Grand Square is the favoured church of the city’s burghers, and is decorated accordingly. The Basilica is noted for its magnificent 15th century Gothic ornamentations, the most prominent of which is the giant Gothic altarpiece and its huge crucifix over the nave.

 

 

Medieval Fortifications

Built late in the 13th century to protect the citizens from marauding bandits and knights, the city was once surrounded by thick stone walls punctuated by towers and gates. Though mostly torn down in the 19th century, part of the fortifications are still standing today, the chief of which is the Brama Florianska Gate and the awesome Barbican, which today incongrously serves as a site for summertime concerts.

Poznan: Things To See & Do

 

Poznan-poland

Old Market Square

Once the central point of the city and now a popular tourist attraction, the square is ringed by numerous historical markers. There are plenty of cafes for refreshments and you can even go for a horse-drawn carriage ride.

 

 

Town Hall

Built in the 13th century to replace the original town hall, this is one of the major attractions of Poznan, particularly for the billy-goat clock — at every noonday, the billy-goats butt heads atop the tower. Inside is the Museum of the History of Poznan and in the cellars are the remnants of the first Town Hall.

 

Baroque Parish Church

Also known as the St. Stanislaw Church, this was a is a former Jesuits temple and is impressive for its altars, the front portal and the façade.

 

 

The Cathedral Basilica of St. Peter and St. Paul

The oldest monument in the city, construction was initiated by Prince Mieszko in 968 and is the site of many historic events in Polish history.

 

Ostrow Tumski

This island holds the oldest part of the city and is supposedly the site where the city was actually founded. There are a large number of historic monuments to be found here, including the Archdiocesan Museum.

 

 

Greenhouse

The biggest greenhouse in Poland and one of the biggest in Europe, this structure holds over 17,000 plants, aquaria and other natural attractions.

 

Citadel

The biggest park in the city, this park not only holds recreational facilities, but also the Museum of Poznan Liberation and the Poznan Army Museum. On the southern slopes are cemeteries dedicated to the military dead, not only of Poland, but also of the British and the Soviets.

Szczecin: Things To See & Do

Szczecin-poland

Red Route

For an easy way to explore the city’s major historical attractions, stop by the Main Train Station and look for the red arrows on the pavement. The arrows mark a 7-km long route that goes past over 1000 years of the city’s history, before leading the visitor back to the Main Train Station. Easy and convenient.

 


 

Pomeranian Duke’s Castle

First built in the Middle Ages, the Castle has always been at the heart of Szczecin life. Much damaged during WWII, the Castle was later restored and turned into an administrative and cultural centre, and today it is the best place in the city to go if you love music and art, with constant performances and temporary exhibitions taking place within its walls.

 


Maiden’s Tower or The Tower of the Seven Coats

First built in the early 14th century, the Maiden’s Tower is now all that remains of the city’s medieval fortifications. During the course of its history, it served as a prison, and was partly destroyed during WWII. Much of it was restored in the 1970s and today it is a major landmark in Szczecin.

 


 

St. James’ Cathedral

Founded in 1187, this ancient Cathedral contains many interesting points: its triptychs, chapels dedicated to the historic dukes of the city, a memorial to the victims of the Holocaust and more. Onsite is the Archdiocese Museum, which details the history of the church in Pomerania. Unfortunately, the cathedral was severely damaged in WWII, and though much of it was restored in the 1970s, much of its beauty was lost. 

 


Old Town

The oldest part of Szczecin dates back to the early Middle Ages and is a charming collection of picturesque streets and narrow houses tucked away near the Odra River and the Castle. The Old Town is also home to the Old Town Hall, which now serves as the City Museum of Szczecin.

 


 

The National Museum

To view the best of ancient and modern West Pomeranian art, drop by this beautiful 18th century Baroque museum.

Warsaw: Things To See & Do

Warsaw-poland

Royal Castle

Located on the east side of Castle Square, this simple but charming building houses a      sophisticated collection of works of art and is a storehouse of national heritage and culture.

Perhaps the most impressive room of all is the ballroom with its enormous ceiling painting,

The Dissolution of Chaos.

 

 

   Details

Opening Hrs: Tuesday to Saturday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. On Sunday, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.  Last visitors admitted an hour before closing.
Pricing:

Admission tickets are free on Sunday, but the number of tickets is limited.

Contact:

Information: tel. (048-22) 65-72-170, fax (048-22) 635-72-60, (048-22) 635-04-98.  informacja@zamek-krolewski.com.pl

More Info: Upon request, guided tours for groups can be conducted in English, German, French, Russian, Spanish, and Italian. Personal guides for tours in Polish can also be arranged.
Getting Here: Plac Zamkovy 4 (ticket office situated at ulica Swietojanska 2)

 


 

Palace of Culture and Science

Built on a colossal scale and passionately adored (or hated depending on who you ask), this

major landmark is known for its links to the city’s Communist period, the stunning views it

offers and the numerous cultural events stage within its walls.

 

Details

Opening Hrs: Viewing gallery: 9am-8pm
Pricing:

Viewing gallery 30th floor: Zl15; concessions Zl10

Contact:

Email:pkin@pkin.pl Phone:+48 (0) 22 656 61 34 / +48 (0) 22 656 63 45Fax:+48 (0) 22 656 68 02

Getting Here: Plac Defilad 00-901. By Public Transport: the palace is adjacent to Warsaw’s central station (Metro Centrum)     and well served by both buses and trams.

 


 

Krakowskie Przedmiescie

Known as the Royal Way, this two and a half mile (four kilometre) route stretches from the

Royal Castle in the Old Town to the stately King’s palace at Wilanów on the outskirts of the city.

It is the most important thoroughfare bisecting the central city from north to south and is lined

with galleries, museums and historical buildings, including St Anne’s Church, where the Polish

 princes used to swear homage to the king. Along the way are the royal gardens of Park Lazienki, one of the city’s beautiful open green spaces with its lakes, peacocks and the charming

18th-century Palace Upon the Water, the royal summer residence.

 


 

Stare Miasto (Old Town)

The most historic and charming part of the city, this ancient quarter is filled with gracious

buildings, trendy cafes, street performers, boutiques and other delights. It is also a favourite

place for major events in particular the Warsaw Jazz festival.

 


 

Historical Museum

One of the best of Warsaw’s museums, there are fascinating display on everything Warsaw-

related, from daily life to major events, culture and history. Most memorable of all is a

documentary film which shows the destruction and rebuilding of the city during the world war.

 

   Details

Opening Hrs: Tuesday and Thursday 11am to 6pm; Wednesday and Friday: 10am to 3.30pm; Saturday and Sunday: 10.30am to 4.30pm. Closed Mondays
Pricing:

6zl, concessions available. Free on Sundays. Englishguide 20zl

Contact:

Telephone: (0)22 635 1625; E-mail: mhw@mhw.pl; Website: www.mhw.pl;

Getting Here: Rynek Starego Miasta (Old Town Square) 28-42

 


 

Lazienki Park

Popular with locals looking to relax, this massive park in the heart of the city has some of the prettiest buildings in the city, cafes, shady parkways. Best of all, many of the city’s museums and palaces are nearby or in the park, and there are numerous events every week.

 

   Details

Opening Hrs: Most museums closed on Mondays; 9am – 4pm; park open daily from 8am until sunset.
Pricing:

Free admission to the park; charge for Palace on the Water and for the Orangerie.

Contact:

Tel: (022) 621 8212/6241. Website: www.lazienki-krolewskie.com.

Getting Here: Ulica Agrykola 1

 


 

Monument To The Warsaw Uprising

For 63 days in 1944, elements of the Polish Home Army and much of the civilian population

struggled to liberate the city from its Nazi occupiers. At the end of the doomed conflict, more

than 180,000 had died and nearly 85% of the city was in ruins. The memorial commemorates

the tragedy, courage and quiet sacrifice of the people who fought, died and lived through

those times.

 


Wilanow Palace

Built for Jan III Sobieski, the Polish king credited with saving Poland and Vienna from the Turks,

this palace is a favourite with both Poles and international visitors. The vast gardens are

especially popular, though the vast art collection which decorates the interior of the palace

is very well received as well.

 

Details

Opening Hrs: daily (except Tuesdays). 9am to 4pm. From 15 May to 18 September, the palace is open until 6pm on Wednesdays and until 7pm on Sundays. The park is open daily 9am   until dusk.
Pricing:

Palace: 25zl, which includes a guide. Park: 4.50zl (15zl including a guide)

Contact:

Tel: (022) 842 8101. muzeum@wilanow-palac.art.pl

Getting Here: ul. S.K. Potockiego 10/16, Warsaw, 02-958 Poland

 


Warsaw Rising Museum

Built to commemorate the Warsaw Rising during the second World War, this excellent museum thoughtfully shows what life was like in the besieged city during that trouble time, with everything from film footage, to dioramas and other fascinating displays.

 

 

   Details

Opening Hrs: 8 am – 8 pm Thursday, 8 am – 6 pm Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 10 am – 6 pm Saturday and Sunday. Closed Tues.
Pricing:

Regular ticket: 4 PLN; reduced rate: 2 PLN; group ticket: 1 PLN; Sunday: free

Contact:

tel.: (22) 539 79 01 (22) 626 95 06; fax: (22) 621 05 94 e-mail: kontakt@1944.plUlica

Getting Here: Ulica Grzybowska 79. Buses: 106, 155, 100 (stops on request). Trams: 20, 22, 24, 32, 45

Wroclaw: Things To See & Do

Wroclaw-poland

The Raclawice Panorama (Panorama Raclawicka)

This magnificent painting, measuring 15m by 114m, was painted in the 18th century by Wojciech Kossak and Jan Styka and depictes the battle which took place on 4 April 1794 between Polish insurgents and Russian Tsar’s army in the nearby village of Racławice .

 

 

People’s Hall (Hala Ludowa or Hala Stulecia)

Built in 1913, this hall was designed to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Napoleon’s defeat at Leipzig and is noteworthy for being one of the first reinforced concrete constructions in Europe. Another interesting aspect of its design is its huge, 65 metre dome, a novelty at the time. The hall itself was designed to be able to seat 18 thousand people, which makes it a popular place for concerts.

 

Szczytnicki Park

Stretching over 100 ha, this is the largest park in Wroclaw and is a popular recreational spot for the locals. Apart from the usual lakes, paths and other facilities, the park is also notable for its well-executed Japanese Garden, one of the few in the region.

 

 

Department Stores

Wroclaw has some lovely shopping centres. Built in 1929, Centum Department Store is still in use as a shopping centre today and is worth a visit for both the shopping and the history. Don’t forget to check out the antique ceramic and glass elevators. The SOLPOL department store is noted not only for its shopping but also its unusual exterior and the Rudolf Petersdorff Department Store is noteworthy for its lovely Art Deco design.

 

Market Hall (Hala Targowa)

Built in 1907 out of reinforced concrete – a newfangled innovation at the time – this lovely market is popular with the locals for their own shopping needs. Visitors can find local delicacies being sold in stalls downstairs, while on the second floor there are handicrafts and other items for sale.

 

 

Old Town

The oldest, and certainly most historic part of Wroclaw, the Old Town is still home to many buildings – theatres, gates, monuments – built in previous centuries. Some of the better known attractions are the memorial to Copernicus; Partisan’s Hill; Julisz Słowacki monument and the National Museum. An excellent way to explore the area is to go on a walking tour, either by yourself or with a guide.

 

Municipal Museum of Wroclaw

This museum is an excellent place to learn more about the history of the city and the Silesian region, offering a wide variety of exhibitions, from goldware, to paintings, to weaponry.

 

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