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Who among us has not dreamed of plunging into a medieval fairy tale, visiting a castle, appreciating the view of an ancient forest or a centuries-old lake? This opportunity is provided to us by the picturesque cities of Poland. Poland is our close western neighbor, so tickets there are inexpensive. Obtaining a tourist visa will not take much time and nerves, the Poles are very friendly to the residents of neighboring countries.
A little tip: if you still intend to travel around Poland, do not sit in one place, travel around this amazing country - the more, the better - it will generously thank you with its beauties. We have prepared a small guidebook for you, and we also want to tell you about the various attractions and features of this or that place and city.
Here's a guide to Polish cities:
So, let's start a more detailed consideration of each of the candidates for our vacation.
The capital city of Warsaw can offer you an unforgettable stay within the city limits. It is the largest city and industrial center in all of Poland. To save money, you can stay in one of the cozy hostels, and if you have the finances, then chic hotels are just for you. In the city center, prices are naturally higher, so we advise you to choose the outskirts and get to attractions by public transport.
Attraction of Warsaw - Palace of Culture and Science
The symbol of the whole city is the Warsaw mermaid-siren. It is located on the market square and also adorns the city's coat of arms. Unfortunately, not all of the city's monuments have survived to our time. For example, Stare Miasto and the Royal Castle were destroyed during the Nazi occupation. But a lot has been restored and built since that time. It is worth mentioning that Warsaw, due to its multinationality and abundance of ideas and trends, was once called "Eastern Paris". This is an interesting mix for history buffs.
The main attractions are the city center itself. It is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We recommend visiting the royal castle, its history goes back four centuries. It is connected to the Royal Library and the stunning "under the badge" palace mansion. Now the palace houses a museum, where you can enjoy paintings by Rembrandt and Matejko, views of Warsaw by the artist Bellotto, and you will also find an urn with the ashes of Tadeusz Kosciuszko.
Zakopane is a small town in southern Poland with a population of about 28,000 inhabitants, located 120 km from Krakow at an altitude of 830–1000 m in a beautiful mountain basin between the slopes ...
Shchyrk is a small town in southern Poland, located in the valley of the Zhilitsa River at an altitude of 460m under the slopes of Skrychnaya and Klimczok. It is part of the Silesian Voivodeship. The population is about 6000 people. ...
Krynica-Zdroj is a town in Nowy Sacz district, Lesser Poland Voivodeship, Poland. The population is over 11,000 people. This is the largest spa town in Poland, located in the heart of the Sudecky Beskydy mountain range at an altitude of ...
Wisla - The Pearl of the Beskids is located in southern Poland, in the center of the Silesian Beskids, in close proximity to the border with the Czech Republic and Slovakia. The city, surrounded by forests and mountains, is located in several ...
Korbielów is a cozy village with a population of 3 thousand people, not far from Katowice, outside the town of Zywiec. It is located on the southern tip of Poland, on the border with Slovakia, on the slopes of the Pilsko mountain range ...
The small village of Zelenets, located at an altitude of 950 meters in the Orlické Mountains, is the largest ski area in the Klodzko Valley and one of the largest in the Sudetenland. Northern slopes of Zelenets and big ...
Poland is a paradise for tourists who like to relax actively. Here you can hike and cycle, ski and snowboard in winter, and kayak in summer. At the same time, you will be constantly surrounded by beautiful nature - forests and lakes, rivers and fields, and of course mountains. They occupy about a quarter of the country's territory.
The Baltic ridge stretches from the north (up to 329m high). In the South and South-East there is the Silesian-Lesser Poland Upland with the low (up to 600m) Swietokrzyskie Mountains and the flat Lublin Upland. Along the southern borders stretch the Sudety Mountains (the highest mountain Snezka - 1602 m) and the Carpathians (the highest massif of the Tatra Mountains and Mount Rysy 2499 m).
There are as many as 10 national parks (out of 23) with unique nature in the Polish mountains. All tourist routes and ecological trails in them are perfectly equipped, but at the same time on your way you will not meet such signs of civilization as fast food cafes, private houses or asphalt roads. You only need a backpack, the necessary equipment and sturdy shoes to fully immerse yourself in the wild mountain world.
The Tatras are the highest part of the Carpathians. In order to appreciate the beauty of these mountains, sometimes it is not at all necessary to climb the very top. You can just walk along one of the valleys - Koscieliska, Chochołowska or the Valley of the Fish Stream. Tatras are divided into High and Western. Tall ones require more serious preparation from travelers, sometimes not only physical, but also technical. But having been there once, you will definitely want to visit these places again and again. Moreover, the highest peak of Rysa (2499 m) is located in this part of the mountain range.
Also here is the famous Valley of Five Lakes with the largest waterfall in Poland - Wielka Siklava. Its height is 70 meters. In fact, there are not five lakes in this valley, but much more. They were formed as a result of the melting of the glacier. The most accessible for tourists is the Morskoe Oko lake. Its area is 34.9 hectares. Our hiking trail Vysoke Tatry - Upper Carpathians passes through the valley of five lakes
The Western Tatras are somewhat more tourist-friendly. They are greener and more spacious. There are caves and very scenic trails. Many large camp sites, located in quiet corners of nature, are suitable for a more relaxing holiday. We offer two options for hiking in the Western Tatras, both, in addition to Poland, include visits to neighboring Slovakia: Tatras and the sights of Eastern Slovakia - an excellent option for active summer holidays; Hiking in the Polish and Slovak Tatras in winter - for those who like winter extreme.
It is also worth saying a few words about the Beskydy and the Sudetes. These mountains are less high than the Tatras, but also provide many opportunities for tourism and travel. For example, not only walking, but also horseback riding through waterfalls and rock labyrinths are very popular here. In the Sudetenland, among the rocks, you can find rock crystal, agate, amethyst, jasper, pomegranate, topaz or jade. It is not for nothing that these mountains are also called the "treasury" or "casket" of Europe. We invite you to join our Hike in the Sudetenland, which includes visiting not only Poland, but also neighboring Czech Republic
extreme on via ferrata, shelters
Hike with light backpacks in the High Tatars in Poland. All lodging in the shelters - no tents needed, we only carry food and sleeping bags. Many extreme radials - i.e. no backpacks at all, but with steep climbs, narrow ridges with chain railings, dizzying cliffs, etc. The level of difficulty is medium-high - more difficult than in the Carpathians, easier than in the Caucasus. For beginners (who have not been in the mountains before), the route is contraindicated. The weather is unpredictable - rains and winds are possible. To travel to Poland, you must have a Schengen visa or biometric passport.
Zakopane - Mylna Cave - Giewont (1894 m) - Asprovy Wierch (1987 m) - via ferrata Orla Pepper - Valley of Five Staves - Morskie Oko - Rysy - Zakopane - Krakow
Gathering of the group in Zakopane (Poland). It is a resort town at the very foot of the High Tatras. We will book a hostel (or even a whole estate) here in advance, where we will meet. The time of arrival does not matter - come at least in the morning, at least by midnight. For information on how to get to Zakopane, read the Transport section.
Today we have our first radial. Things remain in the hostel, we only take with us a windbreaker (in the caves +5), a flashlight (required), lunch and money. But the trackposts are not needed today. And in general, you need to try to limit yourself to a minimum of things, i.e. the caves are very crowded. We take a minibus to the village of Kira (30 minutes), pay for the entrance to the Tatra National Park and go to the Koscieliska valley.
In the Koscieliska valley we visit 3 caves - Mrozna (equipped, paid), Raptavitska and Mylna (free, you need a flashlight). The caves are pretty cool (+5) so you need to take a windbreaker with you. We will have lunch at the Ornak shelter (height 1108 m) where there is free boiling water (tea, vermicelli, etc.). After lunch, if you still have strength, you can go to Lake Smrechinski stav (plus 1 hour) or immediately turn back to the bus.
On the way back we will see the shady gorge of Wonwuz Krakow - a deep canyon with vertical walls and a special atmosphere of the "Lost World". We return to Zakopane.
Travel time: 8 hours. Distance: 14 km. Climb: 500 m.
Early rise, breakfast, start the route (things stay in Zakopane). On foot we get to the entrance to the reserve (5 zlotys), along the Bialego valley we climb to Chervona Pzhelenc (Red Pass, 1301m). There is an excellent vantage point nearby - the Serna rock (1377m). Having visited it, we continue our way to the Guardian glade, from which we will make a sortie to the Siklavitsa waterfall. Then about 1 hour of ascent and we are at the pass to Grzybowtsa (1311 m). Then we go by traverse, gradually skirting the Giewont mountain, and in the end, after a small extreme fragment with chains, we go to the top of Giewont (1894 m) decorated with a huge cross.
The Polish Tourist Organization has shared with ExpertTour the results of the 2016 tourist season. The past year has been particularly successful for Polish tourism. Such growth is not remembered here since the end of the Second World War.
The season is record-breaking in terms of the demand for hotels, as well as spheres related to tourism - gastronomy and SPA procedures. Foreigners are also interested in some areas of medical tourism - Polish clinics, with a good level of diagnosis and treatment, compare favorably with Western ones in their prices.
Let's "fill" you with a few numbers, without which it is impossible to understand how the tourism market of our neighbors is growing and developing. About 17 million tourists visit Poland annually. In recent years, the number of foreigners who come to Poland has been steadily growing by 5-6%. Ukrainians are among the first among them. According to the results of three quarters of 2016, the country was visited by 16% more guests than in the same period of the previous year. And the number of redeemed places for overnight stays in 2016 increased by 8.9%. In the annual statistics on purchased overnight stays, guests from Germany are by far behind - 5.36 million overnight stays, followed by tourists from Great Britain with 1.06 million, and our compatriots are in third place with 0.87 million overnight stays.
The tourism industry accounts for over 5% of Poland's gross domestic product. This is almost double the income from agriculture.
For comparison: Ukraine in 2016 was visited by 13.3 million foreigners. Unfortunately, these statistics are only partially related to tourism. Most of the 4.5 million Moldovans and 1.82 million Belarusians, most likely, made “food” raids to the border cities of Ukraine. The fourth and fifth places in terms of visits are occupied by Hungary (1.26 million) and Poland (1.19 million). Oleg Slobodyan, assistant to the head of the State Border Service of Ukraine, named the three countries where Ukrainians travel most often. And here Poland is in first place, where about 10 million of our compatriots traveled, Russia is in second - 5 million, and Hungary is in third with 3 million Ukrainian guests. In total, according to the department's statistics, about 25 million Ukrainians went abroad, about the same number returned back to Ukraine.
What's new in matters of international communication between Poland and Ukraine? The past year was marked by an increase in activity in the field of air transportation. Since March 2016, the flights Kharkiv-Warsaw, Ivano-Frankovsk-Gdansk, Warsaw-Vinnitsa, Lvov-Radom, Kiev-Gdansk, Kiev-Wroclaw have been opened.
The high-speed train Kiev-Lvov-Przemysl, which started at the end of 2016, transported more than 25 thousand passengers in two months and was loved by Ukrainians, first of all, by the simplicity and convenience of crossing the border. Travel time on the new Intercity line-up from Kiev is about 7 hours, and from Lviv - a little more than 2.
The pricing policy is also quite attractive. The fare for 1st class from Kiev to Przemysl is about 580 UAH, for 2nd class - 406 UAH. From Lviv, a 1st class ticket costs 235 UAH, 2nd class - 172 UAH.
"Ukrzaliznytsia" plans to please us in the near future with new routes that will connect Poland and Ukraine. One train will run between Lviv and Krakow, the second - between Kovel and Holm. Wojciech Balchun, head of the board of Ukrzaliznytsia, announced this on his Facebook page. The Kovel-Kholm train is planned to be launched as early as July 1, 2017. Passengers will get a double advantage from the opening of this route, because in Kholm there is a very convenient transfer to flights to Warsaw, Lublin, Zamosc, Rzeszow.
In February 2017, the largest Polish bus carrier PolskiBus entered the Ukrainian market. International traffic between Ukraine, Poland and Lithuania started on February 10. Tickets for the Lwow-Lublin-Bialystok-Mariampol-Kowno-Wilno route can be purchased on the polskibus website. om. The Ukrainian part of the route will still be operated by domestic companies, with a transfer to Eurolines. These buses are equipped with comfortable seats with plenty of legroom, Wi-Fi, electrical outlets and air conditioning. All buses have multimedia systems with the ability to listen to music, watch movies or read electronic magazines. The price of a ticket Lviv-Lublin is PLN 54, Lviv-Vilnius is PLN 180. Seven cities of Ukraine (Lviv, Ivano-Frankivsk, Chernivtsi, Ternopil, Vinnitsa, Khmelnytsky and Kherson) receive direct communication with 18 cities in Poland at once.
Krakow and Wroclaw are among the most visited cities in Poland in the past year. More than 3 million pilgrims from 187 countries of the world visited the Youth Days in Krakow. During the week, young people from Austria, China, Mexico, Peru, India, Argentina, Spain, France, Germany, Canada and the USA visited Krakow. Only officially, about 10 thousand Ukrainians have attended the World Youth Days. Almost 800 thousand people took part in the event called "The Way of the Cross" with Pope Francis on the Błony Krakow. More than 2.5 million gathered in Brzegi for a service led by the Pope, where he conveyed his message to the youth of the world. The Pope visited the Sanctuary of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Yasniy Guri, where he celebrated a mass dedicated to the 1500th anniversary of the Baptism of Poland. This event gathered about 250 thousand believers in Czestochowa.
Another 5.2 million people took part in 2 thousand events of the European Capital of Culture Wroclaw 2016 program. The projects of this program were helped by 170 thousand people, including 2 thousand volunteers. As a result, over 100 thousand publications, radio and television programs dedicated to various events of the "ESK Wroclaw-2016" project appeared during the year. The ESK has been presented almost 100 times abroad, in all corners of the world, from Japan and South Korea through Kazakhstan and Ukraine to Spain. Throughout 2016, residents of Wroclaw actively participated in events, demonstrating that culture has become a social phenomenon, a great incentive and practically a way of life. The popular travel publication Lonely Planet awarded Wroclaw the title of "Best in Travel 2016".
Equipment store for hiking, outdoor activities and extreme sports. Extreme tourism agency: mountain climbing, river rafting, paragliding, hiking, weekend tours. Moldova.