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10 Can’t-Miss Vacation Spots in Poland for Your Next Trip

The seaside town of Jastrzebie Zdroj in Poland’s southern region of Silesia lies about 100 kilometers from the Czech Republic and 30 kilometers from Germany’s border, but that doesn’t stop it from being one of the country’s most interesting cities to visit. With historic architecture, natural beauty and great food, it might just become one of your favorite vacation spots as well! Here are 10 reasons why you should put Jastrzebie Zdroj on your list of places to visit in Poland when you next have a long weekend off.

1) Bialowieza National Park

The Białowieża National Park is a national park located in Podlaskie Voivodeship of eastern Poland, on both banks of river Narewka. The park has an area of 141.87 square kilometres (44 sq mi) and was created to protect one of two remaining parts of Central European Forest that once stretched uninterrupted from southern Norway to Ukraine. It is sometimes known as one of Last Redoubts due to its old growth forest, which survived medieval forest clearance.

2) Zakopane

This is one of my favorite places to visit in Poland. If you’re not familiar, Zakopane is a resort town located high up in the Tatra Mountains. The first time I went there, I was very surprised by how beautiful and tourist friendly it is!

3) Krakow

Krakow was once at the heart of Polish civilization. In fact, it still is. There’s a reason thousands of tourists flock to Krakow’s Old Town each year. Explore attractions like Wawel Castle, St Mary’s Basilica, and Kazimierz district – all steeped in history – on your next trip to Krakow. It’ll be an experience you won’t soon forget!

4) Masuria Lake District

This northern region is a summer favorite with its splendid forests, lakes, and mountainous views. It’s also home to several historically significant castles (including Malbork Castle, Europe’s largest brick building) and churches. The lake district offers plenty of opportunities for fishing and sailing as well as kayaking or canoeing along serene rivers. As one of Poland’s most popular vacation spots, it can get crowded during summer—so spring and fall are great times to visit too!

5) Sandomierz

For those looking to explore a bit deeper, Sandomierz is a great day trip from Krakow. It’s home to more than 1,200 national monuments and two UNESCO World Heritage Sites: St. Peter and Paul Church (the best example of Brick Gothic architecture) and an 800-year-old castle complex. With its ancient walls and location on a hill overlooking the Vistula River, it’s one of Poland’s most underrated tourist destinations.

6) Wieliczka Salt Mine

One of Poland’s most popular tourist attractions, Wieliczka Salt Mine opened to visitors all the way back in 1932 and hasn’t stopped drawing tourists since. This former salt mine is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Poland’s biggest visitor attractions. Tours through Wieliczka Salt Mine are conducted by guides who specialize in both history and geology; they walk you through areas where salt has been mined, carved into statues and rooms that look like classical European buildings.

7) Malbork Castle and Town

Malbork Castle and Town, or officially The Castle and Town of Marienburg, is a World Heritage Site located two hours north of Gdańsk. Malbork’s Gothic architecture—and its massive size—has drawn comparisons to Windsor Castle. Take a tour to see King Zygmunt III’s throne room, the Knights Hall, Saint Catherine’s Chapel and more.

8) Wroclaw (Breslau, Germany before 1945)

Travelers should spend at least one day in Wroclaw, a charming town nestled on Poland’s border with Germany. The city has been referred to as little Berlin, because of its proximity to Germany and because of its architecture—many buildings have been rebuilt since Wroclaw was almost completely destroyed during World War II.

9) Lodz (Litzmannstadt, Germany before 1945)

Lódz is famous for its historical old town, including monuments such as St. Mary’s Church and Castle Square with a monument to Copernicus. The Ghetto Heroes’ Monument commemorates those who resisted fascism and tried to save Jews during World War II. Locals also pride themselves on two Nobel Prize winners: Marie Curie, who discovered radiation and won two Nobel Prizes (physics in 1903 and chemistry in 1911); and her husband, Pierre Curie, who discovered radium.

10) Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum

After visiting Auschwitz, most people can’t help but feel profoundly affected by what they’ve seen. There is nothing in my opinion, which could compare to a trip to Auschwitz. This memorial and museum is dedicated to victims of Hitler’s regime and serves as a place of remembrance; it also functions as a living memorial. Visitors are able to take guided tours around Birkenau, where mass murder and extermination was performed on an industrial scale during World War II.

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