If you've never been to Poland, prepare yourself for a treat. No matter what you look for in a holiday, Poland can give you what you want – and for a reasonable price.
Poland has much to offer. Despite the ravages of the Second World War, particularly the destruction of the capital Warsaw, Polish cities have emerged as dynamic and often beautiful places.
Walk through the Old Town of Warsaw, for instance and you'll witness an incredible feat of reconstruction. The city is a vibrant place to visit and has restored its links with a centuries-old past.
In southern Poland, Kraków awaits you. This city is full of wonderful Gothic and Renaissance buildings and has more than 2.3 million registered works of art. This gives you some idea of the grandeur of the city. Visit Wawel Castle, the Old Town and the Main Market Square (Rynek Glówny).
Many other cities in Poland have similar pedigrees as Kraków. They include Wrocław, Gniezno, Szczecin, Poznań and Łódź. For a city with a seafront location, visit Gdańsk.
Each of Poland's cities and many of the country’s towns offer you a wide range of accommodation, from budget to luxury. You'll also find restaurants that cater for most tastes, including vegetarian.
The countryside in Poland is a delight. The relaxed feel is largely because of the many small family farms rather than large-scale enterprises. The countryside is also diverse and full of wildlife, making it ideal for walking, cycling and horse riding.
In eastern Poland, you’ll find Europe's largest natural forest, Bialowieża Forest. It contains more than 250 species of birds, 12,000 types of animals, 3000 fungi species and 1100 different plants. The animals range in size from tiny shrews to bisons weighing up to a tonne.
Elsewhere in Poland, there are mountains and caves in the south and lakes in the north. The most popular of the northern lakes are the Great Masurian. They lie east of Olsztyn and include Lake Śniardwy and Lake Mamry.
Rivers and canals connect many of the Great Masurian Lakes. As a result, the area draws boating enthusiasts from around Europe and provides a wonderful environment for anyone interested in a water-based holiday.
Along the northern edge of Poland is the Baltic Sea coastline. The beaches here are sandy and the facilities well established.
Combine city visits, countryside rambles, pleasure boating and a relaxing visit to the beach in a country that won't disappoint you.
Poland is a fairly large country, about the size of France, so plan ahead to ensure you can visit everything you want to see. Poland is a member of the European Union, so you don’t need a visa if you can enter the Schengen area. The Polish currency is the złoty (abbreviated to "zl"). 100 groszy ("gr") = 1 zl. There are plenty of ATMs in the cities and usually one or two in most towns. The time difference in Poland is GMT +1.
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