Beautiful Polish towns and cities to visit (besides the obvious)

Poland is a fascinating and beautiful country. Most visitors only see Warsaw, Krakow, and Auschwitz but there are plenty of other great places to visit in Poland. I'd like to present you my list of towns and cities that you should not miss when visiting Poland (besides the obvious).

Zamość - The Ideal City 

Zamość is a city in southeastern Poland. The city was founded in 1580 by the Chancellor and Hetman (head of the army of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth) Jan Zamoyski, on the trade route linking western and northern Europe with the Black Sea. 
Zamość is a unique and outstanding example of a Renaissance town, consistently designed and built in accordance with the Italian theories of the "ideal town", combining the functions of an urban ensemble, a residence, and a fortress. According to the conception of "the ideal city", such a town should be "good, beautiful and eternal". Massive walls of the fortifications were to guarantee safety and long existence. On the other hand, good and beauty were to sustain not only superb architectural forms but also the harmony of its elements including the way of life, social and cultural requirements of the people. Zamosc gained the name of "the Town of Arcades", it is also called "the Pearl of Renaissance" or "Padua of the North". In 1992 the historical centre of Zamość was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List.

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Wrocław - The Meeting Place 

The city of Wrocław originated at the intersection of two trade routes, the Via Regia and the Amber Road. At various times in history, it has been part of the Kingdom of Poland, Bohemia, Hungary, the Austrian Empire, Prussia, and Germany. Wrocław is the historical capital of Silesia and Lower Silesia. Today, it is the capital of the Lower Silesian Voivodeship, Poland. Wrocław is the modern and dynamic city. It is classified as a global city by GaWC, with the ranking of high sufficiency and living standard.
Wrocław was among 230 cities in the world in the ranking of the consulting company Mercer - "Best City to Live" in 2015. It is also in the top ten places to visit in the ranking of the British newspaper The Guardian. In 2016, the city was the European Capital of Culture and the World Book Capital.

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Lublin - Gate to the East

Lublin is the largest Polish city east of the Vistula River, and the second largest city of Lesser Poland. The city, by some tourists called "little Kraków", has historic architecture and a unique ambience, especially in the Old Town. Old buildings, even ruins, creates magic and unique atmosphere of the city. The castle in Lublin is one of the oldest preserved Royal residences in Poland, established by High Duke Casimir II the Just. The medieval castle is situated on a hill adjacent to the Lublin Old Town district. The oldest part of the castle was built in the first half of the 13th century. The tallest building of the castle was built from stone and keep to this day. It is the oldest standing building in the whole city. In the 14th century, during the reign of Casimir the Great, the castle was rebuilt with stone walls. The most momentous event in the castle's history was the signing in 1569 of the Union of Lublin, the founding act of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. In 19th century carried out a complete reconstruction of the castle. The new buildings were in English neogothic style.

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Supraśl - The Pearl of Podlasie Region

The Charming town of Supraśl laid down by the Supraśl river, surrounded by forest complexes of Puszcza Knyszyńska is located 15 km from Białystok - the main city of Podlaskie Voivodeship, Poland. It is a multicultural place: its inhabitants are of Polish, Belarusian, Russian, Tartar, Jewish and German origin, who profess a variety of different faiths including Catholic, Orthodox, Judaic and Protestant. The origins of the village are related to the founding of the monastery in 15th century.

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The Capital City of Poznań

Poznań is among the oldest cities in Poland. The city lies in the Wielkopolska (Greater Poland) region in which the Polish state was born, and has witnessed several important historical events. The history of Poznań began in the 9th century when a grad was raised on Ostrów Tumski (one of the islands at the confluence of the Warta and Cybina rivers) to guard a river crossing. This is a place where Mieszko I - prince of Poland, was baptised and established Poland’s first bishopric. Poznań was the first capital of Kingdom of Poland, hence the official name - "The capital city of Poznań". 
The contemporary Poznań is a fascinating city. Like the other larger Polish cities, Poznań is a mix of old and new. The city has many old churches and museums with important art objects. Its most notable buildings are a Gothic cathedral and a 16th-century city hall. 
This city is exciting, vibrant, colourful, modern, and full of history.

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Łódź - Promised Land

Łódź is a very interesting city located approximately 135 kilometres south-west of Warsaw.
In 14th-18th century Łódź was a small village and then small and insubstantial town. The 19th century brought with it industrial development for Łódź. The immigrants came to the Promised Land (Ziemia obiecana, the city's nickname) from all over Europe, creating a multinational population with three dominating groups: Poles, Jews and Germans (in the 1930s the proportions of these nationalities was approximately 50%, 30% and 15%). During Łódź’s peak of prosperity, its population was doubling every ten years.
Today Łódź is the third-largest city in Poland and is the capital of Voivodeship. It is a crucial educational and cultural centre. Łódź is a significant cultural centre, internationally known for its Film School, a cradle for the best Polish cameramen, actors and directors, including Andrzej Wajda, Krzysztof Kieślowski and Roman Polański. It is a popular tourist destination, for its specific industrial ambience, interesting architecture.

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Pińczów - Charming and Full of History

Pińczów is one of the oldest and most historically meaningful cities in Poland. The city lies in the Świętokrzyskie Voivodeship, on the banks of the picturesque Nida river valley. This region is named Ponidzie (Nida Riverside). This gentle area, full of undulant hills, fertile soils and cut with the meanders of the Nida River, which lies halfway between historic centres of Lesser Poland, Kraków and Sandomierz, in the late Middle Ages, it was one of the most important regions of the Kingdom of Poland. 
The main attractions of the city are the beautiful complex of the former Pauline monastery, founded in 1449. In Pińczów's district of Mirów is located former Franciscan monastery, founded in 1587. There is also a house which once was a Calvinist printing workshop. The city's attractions also include the 18th-century palace of the Wielkopolski family and the recently restored synagogue. The beautiful Renaissance St. Anne's Chapel, and ruins of the 13th-century castle are located on the limestone hills over the city. From the hills near the chapel sounds wonderful view of the white houses of the city and the meanders of Nida river.

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  1. Excellent list, I'll be sure and bookmark it! Thanks for the inspiration and for linking up this weekend at #wkendtravelinspiration!

  2. Your posts on various cities in Poland show impressive culture and historical developments. Thanks for this summary of your other posts on Polish cities. They will make for some interesting reading.

  3. Marvelous pictures! I have never been to Poland.

  4. This could not have come at a better time. I'm working on a Poland Itinerary. It looks like there are so many good options and things to see. Its going to be hard to pick where to go! #CityTripping

  5. What an amazing, detailed guide - thanks for this! I'm off to visit Lublin and Zamosc in July so I'll def be looking through your posts... #CityTripping

  6. I've heard of several of these and in fact we will be stopping in Poznan during our Poland road trip later this year! :) #CityTripping (

  7. Oh my goodness, they all look so lovely to visit. I think Wroclaw would be my first point of call. Fantastic and eye-opening list! #citytripping

  8. Poland is definitely on my travel bucket list after reading how much there is to see! Would be great as a weekend family destination, too: #citytripping fun, indeed.

  9. What a great introduction to some of the less well-known cities in Poland - and the variety too, whatever period of history or type of trip you're looking for. Thanks for linking up with #citytripping and sharing

  10. I definitely need to add Poland to my travel bucket list too! It was interesting to learn that Wrocław was also ranked among the best cities to live. #citytripping

  11. Good list of spots for me to visit next time I'm in Poland. I really enjoyed both Poznan and Wroclaw, both are clearly underrated. #wkendtravelinspiration

  12. Wow! This is what we call the real beauty! I have heard a lot about Poland and always wanted to visit it once. Finally, I have received my Poland visa today. I cannot wait to plan an adventurous tour to Poland.


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