Chic medieval hot spots like Kraków and Gdansk vie with energetic Warsaw for your urban attention. Outside the cities, woods, rivers, lakes and hills beckon for some fresh-air fun.
Castles to Log Cabins
The former royal capital of Kakow Renaissance, Baroque and Art Nouveau, a record of tastes that evolved over centuries. Fabulous medieval castles and evocative ruins dot hilltops around the country, and the fantastic red-brick fortresses of the Teutonic Knights stand proudly in the north along the Vistula. Simple but finely crafted wooden churches hide amid the Carpathian hills, and the ample skills of the highlanders are on display at the many skansens (open-air ethnographic museums).
A Thousand Years
Poland’s roots go back to the turn of the first millennium, leaving a thousand years of twists and turns and kings and castles to explore. WWII history buffs are well served. Tragically, Poland found itself in the middle of that epic fight, and monuments and museums dedicated to its battles – and to Poland’s remarkable survival – can be seen everywhere. There’s a growing appreciation, too, of the rich Jewish heritage. Beyond the deeply affecting Holocaust memorials, synagogues are being sensitively restored, and former Jewish centres such as Łódź and Lublin have heritage trails, so you can trace this history at your own pace.
If you’re partial to good home cooking, the way your grandmother used to make it, you’ve come to the right place. Polish food is based largely on local ingredients like pork, cabbage, mushrooms, beetroot and onion, combined simply and honed to perfection. Regional specialties like duck, goose and trout keep things from getting dull. As for sweets, it’s hard to imagine a more accommodating destination. Cream cakes, apple strudel, pancakes, fruit-filled dumplings and a special mania for lody (ice cream) may have you skipping the main course and jumping straight to the main event.
Reflect on History at the Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camp
This is one of the most deeply affecting and moving experiences you will have anywhere. You will grasp the scale of the tragedy after a visit to Nazi wartime extermination camp and have a better understanding of the Holocaust.
Sip Your Coffee on Kraków’s Main Square
It’s Central Europe’s largest town square and is reputed to have the most bars and cafes per square meter than any other place in the world. Don’t forget to listen for the bugler on top of St. Mary’s Church at the top of the hour.
Visit UNESCO-listed Sites
Wieliczka Salt Mine a unique chapel hewn from salt or centuries-old wooden churches in southern Poland or Kraków Old Town.
Visit a Salt Mine
In the underground caverns of UNESCO-listed Wieliczka Salt Mine is a unique chapel hewn from salt, including salt floors, salt walls carved with biblical scenes and chandeliers hung with salt crystals.
See Wooden Churches
Centuries-old wooden churches in southern Poland that are listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites for their medieval architecture, wood joinery and painted interiors. You can also see the log houses around Zakopane.
Hotel Le Regina Warsaw
Less than 1 km from the shops and restaurants at Warsaw Old Town, this upscale hotel in an elegant, refined building is a 12-minute walk from the 14th-century Royal Castle and 3 km from the Palace of Culture and Science.
Warm, individually furnished rooms with chic decor and hand-painted frescoes offer flat-screen TVs, free Wi-Fi and minibars. Suites add kitchens and living rooms with dining areas. Room service is available.
Hotel Copernicus stands on Kanonicza Street, Krakow’s oldest street that winds its way toward Wawel Royal Castle – the historic seat of Polish kings. Amidst the neighbouring Renaissance townhouses Copernicus stands out with its expansive, Gothic façade. As the first in Poland he joined the to Relais & Châteaux – the exclusive French hotel association.
Several centuries ago the hotel building was the residence of cathedral canons. Nicolaus Copernicus, famous astronomer and “father” of the heliocentric theory lodged here whenever he visited Krakow as a Canon of the Archbishopric of Warmia. Striving to measure up to the building’s historic significance and the works of art preserved within it we have made it our ambition to provide the ultimate in hotel accommodation.
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