Home What to do? The Best of Poland Top 10 Things To Do in Poland by Aileen Miller

Top 10 Things To Do in Poland by Aileen Miller PDF Print E-mail
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Wednesday, 09 May 2012 00:14

If you are planning a trip to Poland in the near future, but are unsure of what activities it has to offer, look no further. We have collected together ten of the most interesting activities to be found for a variety of recreational interests.
So whether it’s the great outdoors you’re craving to see, or if a city break is the ideal holiday for you, take a peek and see what Poland has to offer you.

1. The  Palace of Culture & Science – Warsaw

palac1Commonly referred to as Pekin (due to the abbreviation PKiN from Pałac Kultury i Nauki) the building was a gift from the Soviet Union to the people of Poland, and as such was regarded with distaste by many when building started. As the old joke goes, it’s the best place to get a view of the city; it’s the only place where you don’t have to look at it!

However, as the tallest building in Poland, the Pekin has become a major attraction in Warsaw, being home to a cinema, food court and swimming pool.

The real reason, though, for visiting the Pekin is to be found higher up.
Take an elevator up to the 30th floor, where the observation deck allows for panoramic views of the entire city. The view is a must see for anybody visiting the city.

2. Pick up some traditional souvenirs in Cepelia

cepelia, souvenirs, warsaw, polandNo holiday would be complete without souvenirs and the chain store Cepelia is the place to go for the best in traditional Polish art and craftwork. With stores to be found in most of the larger cities, Cepelia works to keep alive the traditions of Polish handicrafts and should be on the list of anybody looking for the perfect gift to take home.

The shop stocks tapestries, pottery, woodwork and, a very in demand item,amber jewellery, which is especially popular in the North of the country. The pieces sold are created by home-grown craftsmen and are of a high quality, with reasonable prices. 

Not to be missed!

3.    Try the national dress

podhaledressThe Podhale region of the Tatra Mountains has been home to The Gorale, or Polish Highlanders, for generations. The distinctive language, customs and dress are preserved by the people there, with a traditional emphasis on freedom, or Szlebodu. The traditional dress of the Gorale is referred to as Goralski, and in recent years has become mainly worn by shepherds in the area, with many people choosing more modern clothes.
However, if the long, brightly coloured skirts, velvet vests wide-brimmed hats appeal to you, or if you just want to think on a simpler time, visit the Podhale region and enjoy the simplicity of country life.

Photo: A woman from Zakopane, Poland, wearing traditional Goral women's dress from that region. Source: wikipedia.pl, Julo as the heir of the creator of this work released it into the public domain. This applies worldwide.

4.    Sleigh rides in Zakopane

slides, ride, zakopane, horses, winter, funIf viewing the splendour of the Tatra Mountains from the back of a sleigh while wrapped up in warm furs sounds like your perfect holiday, one activity not to be missed is a traditional sleigh ride. Although sleigh rides are available in most parts of the county when the snow comes, nothing can compare to the view from a horse-drawn sleigh passing the natural beauty of thestreams, lakes and wildlife to be found in the Tatra National Park.

The headquarters of the National park are found in the town of Zakopane, where you can get heated honey vodka or warmed beer to heat you up afterwards.

5.    Pony Trekking in Ornecka

ponytrekThe Hucul, or Carpathian, Pony is a breed of horse originating in Carpathian Mountains and named after the Hutsul people who historically resided there. The ponies may be compact and bijou, but they possess a heavy build and a high level of endurance, which comes in handy when hacking and pulling timber in difficult conditions.

These extraordinary horses can be found on horse farms around the country, where it is possible to go out trekking on horseback. In Ornecka, it is possible to take part in Horse riding lessons or go on a one-day horseback trek through the stunning backdrop of the Białołęka Forest.

6.    Mushroom picking in Lubusz

mushroom, picking, poland, forrestIf the quiet life is what you want from your holiday, a throwback to quieter and less complicated times, one traditional pastime could be the answer. The region of Lubusz offers the chance for mushroom aficionado’s to indulge their passion for fungi with mushroom hunts in the local forests.

The tours can last either a half or a full day, and involve picking, drying and cooking your freshly picked mushrooms, with guidance from a forest mushroom expert.

Forget everything you know about mushrooms, mushroom hunting will keep you entertained morning to night in the beautiful surrounding woodlands, making a different sort of activity, for a different sort of holiday.

7.    Canoeing in the Masurian Lake District

canonuingThe quieter activities may not be for everybody, and Poland has much to offer aside from mushrooms and pottery. The Masurian Lake District contains over 2000 lakes, including Śniardwy, the largest lake in Poland, and boasts an impressive system of rivers and streams connecting the lakes. The district was a finalist in the New 7 Wonders of nature initiative in 2011.

There is more to the district than impressive waterways; however, there is also a wide variety of outdoor pursuits available for the adventurous tourist. Sailing, kayaking and swimming are all popular sports, but arguably the best way to explore the intricate twists and turns of the waters is by canoe.

8.    Enjoy the night-life

party, poland, nightlife, enjoy, funThe countryside of Poland is beautiful, but for some, the lure of the city is the main draw when considering a holiday. If this is the case for you, why not opt for a city break in one of Poland’s thriving cities?

The City of Warsaw has the duel benefits of having a beautiful old town quarter, rebuilt from the original town plans after the devastation of WWII, and also a thriving cultural centre with several theatres andmuseums.
Through the quaint, cobbled streets can be found several busy restaurants and pubs too keep you more than occupied on your city break.

9.    Go to a cabaret in Krakow

cabaretIf thriving city life is what you’re looking for, the Piwnica Pod Baranamicabaret, found in the cellar of the Pod Baranami palace on Grand Square, is the place for you to be.

Created in 1956, this cabaret combines high-brow comedy and pure nonsense humour and has been the starting point of several well-known names in the country such as the singer Ewa Demorczyk and Sculptor Bronislaw Chromy.

The cabaret was once the most sought after ticket in Krakow, with an unmistakable atmosphere that drew ever the non-polish speakers to laughter. In recent years the performances have become few and far between, but if you can, a definite must see.

10.    Open’er Festival in Gdynia (4th July – 7th July)

gdyniaAs one of the most culturally rich countries of Europe, Poland has many art, music and theatre festivals to visit throughout the year. Perhaps the most commercially successful of these in recent years is the Open’er Festival of Gydynia, established in 2002, it has gone from strength to strength and was even awarded the Best Major Festival prize at the European Festival awards for two years running.

With previous acts such as Bjórk, Franz Ferdinand and Snoop Dog, this festival caters for a variety of musical tastes, and has been praised for its equal representation of local as well as international acts.

If you have your own "Top 10 of Poland" please share it with us! The best list will be published on our website.

Article Copyright © TraveltoPoland.pl. All rights reserverd. Author: Aileen Miller

Last Updated on Wednesday, 09 May 2012 01:37
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