polish cities and towns

warsaw off the beaten track

Best 10 Off the Beaten Track Places in Warsaw

By | Atrakcje turystyczne w Polsce, polish cities and towns, Touristic Attractions | No Comments

If you are fed up with popular spots, discover Polish capital with our Warsaw off the beaten track recommendations. Certified by locals!

Active Warsaw

First things first! We like moving so we cannot miss the opportunity to recommend you some of our favorite places in Warsaw where energy is a must have.

Hangar 646

If you are an energy driven, never stopping touris that never miss a chance to get really sweaty, you should visit a trampoline park Hangar 646. Founded by the gymnasts brothers, it is one of the most popular recreational spots in Warsaw. Just be careful, as those huge trampolines has a power to send you to the Moon!

warsaw off the beaten track trampoline park

Cross country skiing in Warsaw

Our favorite activity during that short period of real, snowy winter in Warsaw, is cross country sking. Polish capital is surrounded by vast parks and forest, which can be discovered by bike in summer and on skis in winter.

The closest to city center are rentals at Powsin recreational park or for example in Bielany and Kabaty. And of course they are operating if there is enough snow, so standby!

More ways to get sweaty in Warsaw? Check our post about sports you should try or see while in Poland.

off the beaten track in warsaw cross country sking

Hanging around

If you are looking for a place where you can just lay in a hummock with a lemonade in you hand (or a beer), here’s our favorite picks.


For many this park is a regular hanging spot. Very quiet and almost deserted during the day, offers superb view at the classist palace. There is a free sunbed rental and a small cafe. You can also take a long walk around the palace which is surrounded by Arkadia park, which is a nature reserve.

You can also go there with your boule set, as it is a regular hanging spot for boule players.

warsaw off the beaten track palacein a park krolikarnia

Palace Krolikarnia

warsaw off the beaten track krolikarnia medieval bridge

Old bridge in Krolikarnia park

warsaw krolikarnia arkadia park

Krolikarnia, back of the palace

River banks

We remember the times when left side of the river was just for fisherman and teenagers who wanted to drink in the wild. Last years the place had been turned into to family and also party friendly most visited spot in Warsaw. Once the sun is there, dining and wining center of the city relocate near Swietokrzyski and Poniatowski bridge.

The whole are is full of people and being there is definetely how the locals do it. And if you are looking for something in a “chill” mood, check Boogaloo which is located more north than the main party hub, just right next to the Olympic Center. There is less people there and it is neighboring forest, which makes it a perfect quartet: reggae, river, forest and the beach. It is pretty much the best place in Warsaw to feel like on vacation without going anywhere.

Ujazdowski Palace and Center of Modern Art

Just a rock throw from Jazdow you will find Center of Modern Art in Ujazdowski palace. Visit it for its laid back atmosphere. In summer there are many activities going on there like… You can also just lay in a hummock and drink cold lemonade.

warsaw river banks beach in warsaw summer in warsaw

Discover Warsaw off the beaten track


We wish there was more places like this in Warsaw. Or anywhere. A trip to Jazdów is like time traveling. Or just traveling, cause this is a real village in the very center of Warsaw.

For the tranquil character of Jazdów we should really thank… Finish people. In 1945 Finland gave Poland 400 timber houses, which was a part of a war reparations deal. Finish houses were supposed to help in housing crisis in Warsaw and to be removed after 5 years. But they are here to this day.

There are numerous free events that take place in Jazdow, mostly organized by “Open Jazdów” group.

Czerniakowskie Lake

Looking for a place to jump into the water? There are plenty open swimming pools and actual lakes around and even inside Warsaw. One of the most vintage places is lake Czerniakowskie, which since forever was providing summer refreshment to Varsovians.

It is located in a quiet neighborhood and souranded by natural reserve. Chill there, take a swim or rent a boat.

Dining and drinking off the beaten track

Below you will find our off the beaten track recommendation for a night out.  And if you are looking for a place to try Polish cuisine we recommend: Pikanteria (perfect pierogi and zurek), Folk Gospoda (great venision).

And if you would like to see how Polish restaurants looked like in the 80s, check Lotos.  Since communism almost nothing changed there and the food is quite tasty. You can meet there a very mixed crowd: lawyers and drunkards. I guess they both have a thing for a good tatar and vodka.


From what we hear on the local expats groups, there are still plenty of foreigners who are still afraid to cross the river to have some fun. That is a huge negligence!

What used to be the most dangerous part of Warsaw, since 2005 gradually has been turning into main nightlife zone. First the artist and then the whole city started exploring alternative clubs and pubs, like Sen Pszczoły (Bee’s Dream) or W Oparach Absurdu located in Praga district.

Today you should not be afraid to wander to the pubs and restaurants at Zabkowska Street, which become the party center of the whole area. On August weekends it even turns into a pedestrian only zone.


This place is not for … everybody. Entering Pawilony is like jumping througha  rabbit hole. Located at the back of Nowy Świat, they provide a needed relieve from a glamour of the touristy street. 30 tiny pubs located on 2000 square meters handle all the hassle and bustle there can be.

We still remember the times when nobody ask there how old are you as long as you had your 1 euro for a glass of beer. But every year, for good or worse, it is getting more and more civilized. You will not get more local than this!

Night market in Warsaw

Even though it is not Asia, Poland got its own night market. And it is pretty great. Dozens of food stalls and music is all that a hungry Varsovian needs.

Night market is located on the old train station (so called Main Railway Station – not to be mistaken with Central Railway Station) and is a regular event during summer season.

Warsaw main polish cities

Main Polish Cities – Warsaw, Cracow, Poznan, Wroclaw and more

By | places to visit, polish cities and towns, Touristic Attractions | No Comments

We know – most of you would like to visit some serious big Polish  cities before they will consider going to the countryside. Also, this is were everything is happening – concerts, festivals, business. At least it seems so from the outside. If you are traveling by plane, these Polish cities are responsible for your first impression of Poland. So here they are.


Warsaw Łazienki

Our capital and the biggest city in Poland. Also, the biggest business hub. Comparing to Cracow, Warsaw might seem hard to like, but if you know where to look, you will probably fell in love with it. Just keep in mind one rule – come to Warsaw in summer – this is the best time to visit.

What to do in Warsaw

Best places to visit are definetely beaches and coast along Vistula river (voted one of the best 10 city beaches or riversides in Europe by the Guardian!). If during your summer visit you wonder where all the people went – they are on the beach!

Check also our parks. Pola Mokotowskie, Park Skaryszewski, Łazienki Royal Garden  – Warsaw is very green and local people love to spend their free time outside.


Pole Mokotowskie park

The most touristic place is the Old Town. Which in fact is not that old, as it had to be completely rebuilt after WWII. However, it is still one of the most beautiful parts of Warsaw.

As fans of science centers we cannot forget about Copernicus Science Centre. If you have a kid and you wonder how to dazzle them, there’s a place for you. There are dozens of experiments to make and devices to use.

And during the summer season attend free Chopin concerts in Łazienki Royal Garden (every Sunday).

chopin concert warsaw

Chopin recital in Łazienki, Warsaw



Jazz festivals in Warsaw

If you are interested in jazz music, you should visit Warsaw during Jazz na Starówce (Jazz on Old Town) or Jazz Jamboree.

Jazz na Starówce takes place from July till the end of August and it is a free event. Every week anyone can attend free jazz concerts happening at the heart of Warsaw Old Town. The scene is placed outside and no booking is required.

Jazz Jamboree on the other hand is the one of the oldest and the biggest jazz festival in Europe. First time was in 1958 when it was organized in a student club Hybrydy. Back then it was called Jazz 58. Since then the event changed a lot. It is now a very prestigious festival that takes place in big concert halls such as Congress Hall in Palace of Science and Culture.

Warsaw’s  museums

If you are interested in a troubled history of Warsaw don’t miss Museum of Warsaw Uprising and many other modern facilities. You can also choose from the wide variety of city walks with local guides. Nowadays they are available in almost any language.

Fans of Chopin’s music will also not be disappointed. Beside free concerts in Royal Gardens you can learn more about Poland’s greatest pianist at Chopin’s Museum.

Closest airports Warsaw Chopin Airport (so called Okęcie, located in the city center) and Modlin (40 km from city center)

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kraków cracow

Cracow’s Old Town

Cracow is the second biggest city in Poland, but doesn’t seem like that. Especially since most of its population lives very far from the city center. If you walk for an hour west from the Main Square, you will find yourself in the idyllic scenery that seems more like a Lesser Poland village than a main city. Cracow is green, full of students (who lives mainly close to the city center) and entertaining.

With its magnificent Main Square and gothic St. Mary’s Basilica, Jewish District Kazimierz and Castle on Wawel hill, it is one of the most popular touristic destinations in Poland. Closeness to Tatry mountains makes it also a perfect starting point for discovering the southern Poland.

What to see in Cracow

Even if you are alternative tourist, you shouldn’t even think about crossing out Main Square from your list. Full of colorful brickhouses and stunning architecture, it is a favourite meeting point of both tourists and locals. You will find here famous Sukiennice and St. Mary’s Basilica.

It is quite a good spot for souvenir shoping, especially during Christmas market season. This is when many local hand-crafts show their works in the little booths outside of Sukiennice.

Check also Jewish District Kazimierz. Visit Shindler’s Factory (book in advance). And don’t forget to try traditional Polish fast food zapiekanka at famous minibar: Endzior at Plac Nowy. Then try some craft beer at Omerta at Kupa. After that get lost in the narrow streets of Kazimierz.

In the afternoon take a walk around Vistula banks. Start from bridge called Kładka Ojca Bernatka and go up north. On the right you will pass Kościół na Skałce and then must see castle on Wawel hill. On the other side of the river you will see modern architecture of Manggha – Museum of Art and Technic.

Mystical Cracow

Cracow is full of mysteries. It is said that one of the points on Wawel hill emanates powerful spiritual energy. “(It) is said to be one of a few select places of immense power on Earth” (Wikipedia) – called chakra place.

There are also very interesting artificial grave-hills (called tumuluses) located around the city, some of which were built in the prehistoric times. They are perfect hiking destinations. And if you are a fan of discovering city by foot you should take a long walk to the top of Kosciuszko Mound.


A path leading to Kosciuszko Mound

Cracow vs Warsaw

Now it is time for some trivia. It is not a secret that people from Cracow doesn’t really like people from Warsaw. It is just a common knowledge, so don’t be surprised with their mutual skepticism. The atmosphere in each city is completely different, Warsaw being faster, more modern, business oriented and liberal. And Cracow being more laid back (because of the students) but at the same time more conservative (the paradoxes!).

Closest airport: Cracow Airport  (approx from from . 14 km from city center)



Wroclaw (Wrocław) is a great example of an urban cultural mix. It is perfect touristic destination – historic buildings remembering the medieval times merged with modern museums and science centers. The jewel in the crown is the most modern ZOO in Poland. Not to mention over 300 dwarves that live there – in a form of little statutes left all over the city.

Wrocław is sometimes called the city of 100 bridges, but in fact there are 130 of them! However, it is probably underestimation as if you count train bridges, footbridges and so on you will find even greater number. Before WWII there were over 300 bridges and footbridges.

Long time no see

What makes Wrocław special? It became part of Poland not that long ago. Before the end of the WWII these lands  (called Silesia) belonged to Germany. And even before that, it Silesia consisted of many industrialized and trade oriented duchies, which usually satellite some of the more powerful monarchies such as Poland or Holy Roman Empire. Cultural and national mix made Wrocław flourish.

It is a shame that today we cannot appreciate the full beauty of the previous municipal architecture as during WWII the city was turned into a closed military fortress’ to be defended from the advancing Soviet army.

What to do in Wroclaw

If you are there don’t miss these picturesque spots

Main Square – we know it is trivial, but this is a must see starting point of your trip through the city. Check colorful brick houses and look for your very first dwarf.  If you are a fan of beer, check a pub in the cellar of XIX- century Town Hall. The place is called Spiż and they serve excellent craft product. When you are already here take a walk to Stare Jatki, which used to be a street dedicated to butchers. Today it is full of small cafes and art galleries.

Hala Stulecia – is one of the most important buildings in Wroclaw. If there is a significant event taking place in Wroclaw – like a national volleyball team game or a big concert – it will be held at Hala Stulecia. When built in 1911 it was a super modern facility and  even today it is impressive.

Tumski Bridge and the islands on the river – Since there are so many bridges in Wroclaw, you have to check at least some of them, and Tumski is one of the oldest. Full of locks left there by lovers is one of the most visited and photographed places in Wrocław. Tumski Bridge connects the islands with… an ex-island – Ostrów Tumski (Ostrow means “an island”). Go there before the sunset and check if you can spot a man in a black cape and a bowler hat, who lights up 90 Wrocław’s gas lanterns.

Wroclaw’s ZOO is considered the most modern in Poland. With its recently opened Africarium it becomed the must-visit place for           families from all over the country.

If you are already in Wrocław, don’t miss the opportunity to go further south as the mountains there are beautiful and full of mysteries, with Complex Riese and castle Książ to mention the least (read more).

Closest airport: Wrocław airport

Dolny slask

Table Mountains (Góry Stołowe) south from Wrocław




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Poznan was always a little bit different, of course a little bit more western comparing to the cities from Austrian and Russian occupation zone (in the end of XVIII century Poland ceased to exist for a period of 123 years). People from Poznan are said to be very meticulous, well-organized and careful with money.

They are also very proud of the events that started in the end of December 1918. It was called Greater Poland Uprising and was the only one in Polish history of fight for independence that ended with victory.

If you are looking for a place to relax, visit Malta. And we are not talking about an island but a city lake. You will find there not only perfect facilities for chilling that includes aquapark, baths, bike paths and lots of green space.

Art in Poznan

Today Poznan is not only modern but also full of art. Check Old Browar – a shopping mall mixed with art gallery. This project was an investment of the richest Polish woman Grażyna Kulczyk, who is not only a businesswoman, but also an art lover.

Every year Poznan hosts one of the biggest international theatre festivals in Eastern Europe – Malta Festival.

Poznan was also home of one of the most extraordinary siblings in Polish literature – Stanisław Barańczak and Małgorzata Musierowicz.


Closest airport: Poznań Airport  (approx. 7 km from city centr) and  Warsaw Chopin Airport (in Warsaw)



It is a center of the most industrialized part of Poland, not yet discovered by the wider audience. However, if you are interested in something different than beaches and drinks, this might be a place for you really alternative vacation.

Coal mine tradition

From the touristic point of you, coming to Katowice has sense only if you are interested in the specific kind of attractions – old mines. If you are there don’t miss Guido Coal Mine which is not only open for visiting, but is also a genuine concert hall.

You should also take some time to spend a day at Silesia Museum. The architecture of the Musuem is spectacular so don’t miss it if you are a fan of design and form. The Museum itself is a place where you can learn about the history of Silesia and dive deep into subject of Polish art.

Nikiszowiec and Art Naif Festival

One of a kind attractions is also Nikiszowiec, a 100 years old miners quarter. Visiting Nikiszowiec might be compared to visiting Boca in Buenos Aires. The placed is troubled by unemployment and other social problems connected with changes of industrial market. After fell of comunism many local factories and mines went bankrupt which radically changed the situation of Silesian workers, including citizens of Nikiszowiec.

If you are interested in getting to know Nikiszowiec, visit it in summer during international Art Naif Festival. It promotes naive arts. The events of the festival take place at Galeria Szyb Wilson. One of the elements of the festival is ArtJarmark, which is a street market with plein air painting, concerts and games. ArtJarmark takes place in Nikiszowiec.

Music in Katowice

For yeard Katowice where unofficial capital of Polish concerts. The reason was simple – they had Spodek. Spodek serves many purposes – it is a sport hall and auditorium. When in 1987 Metallica came to Poland, this is were they were performing. Then it hosted Deep Purple, Jean Michele Jarre, Alice in Chains and many others. It was a place where you could see your idols.

However today Katowice is a a host of a different great music event.  OFF Festival dedicated to alternative music is organized there by one of the most influential vocalists of Polish music scene – Artur Rojek

Closest airport: Katowice airport in Pyrzowice (approx. 35 km from city center)



Lodz (Łódź) used to be a city of opportunity. The capital of Polish manufactures and so called light industry.  It was our little New York, where “I had nothing, you had nothing, so we had exactly enough to start a factory” (said the most famous line from a book and a movie “Ziemia Obiecna” (The Promised Land)).

The history of the city really started in XIX century. Within less than the century Lodz grow from the town of 800 people (in 1820) to metropoly of 120 thousand in 60 years! It quickly become city where Polish, Jewish and German traders lived like princes.

You can still visit their palaces as well as old manufatures and synagogues. Most of them have their best time behind them. Both WWII and fell of communism turned the city of opportunity into the center of unemployment.

Now it is definitely a place with its own characteristic, with a little bit darker atmosphere. Which is sort of inspiration for great artist.  It is worth knowing that it is one of the favourite places of the director of Twin Peaks series – David Lynch. He even shot here a movie “Inland Empire”.

What to see in Lodz

Piotrkowska Street is the most famous place in the city. As you may noticed Lodz doesn’t have a Main Square or other central municipal point. So the central point of the city become this street.

It is full of sophisticated brickhouses of non or all styles. They were created in the very eclectic style, which makes the architecture of Piotrkowska one of the kind in the whole world!

Today the street is of course full of restaurants, clubs and shop.

Trader’s city

If you are in Lodz don’t miss Palace of Izrael Poznanski. Poznanski was one of the richest traders of XIX century Lodz, called The King of Cotton. The legend says that during construction of the palace, Poznanski asked Russian Emperor if he can decorate the floor with Russian ruble. The Emperor is said to answer: “Yes, but only if you put them in upright position”.

After the Palace, check the empire. Poznanski’s old manufacture was turned into the cultural and shopping centre called… Manufaktura. You will find there cinemas, shops, museums, galleries.

After that go for a walk around Księzy Mlyn – the city quarter of female workers of fibre factories (pl: włókniarki). It is considere one of the most beautiful parts of Lodz, full of cobbled streets and old brick houses. And of course, it is still residented.

Film industry in Lodz

During communism, Lodz become the capital of Polish movie insudtry. It has internationaly reknown movie school, museum of cinematography and “Alley of Stars” at Piotrkowska. As a cradle of the best Polish directors, Lodz was immortalized in many brilliant movies. Kieslowski, Polański, Skolimowski, Koterski… – they all started in Lodz.

If you are here visit Se-Ma-For – a museum of animation movies. You can visit it and learn about the history of movies or signed up for movie workshops.


You will find more our recommendations for your trip to Poland in the posts about picturesque and tranquil towns and Polish national parks.


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most beautiful polish towns

Towns you cannot miss in Eastern Poland

By | Ecotourism, places to visit, polish cities and towns, Touristic Attractions | No Comments

We have to be honest – we love small Polish towns and will always put them first before the big cities. Our charming villages and towns were able to sustain their original beauty, when the rest of the country turn its face to concrete. You will find here fresher air, infinite horizon, beautiful gardens, nature at the tip of your fingers. It is also a place where folk traditions are still alive.

So if it sounds appealing to you, definitely visit:


Supraśl is a gem hidden in the vast forests of Puszcza Knyszyńska, east from Białystok. It is full of classic wooden houses which look like embodiment of summer holidays. There is also an atmospheric town square where you will get souvenirs, huge ice creams and sękacz (traditional eastern cake – you should try!). Supraśl is located on the bank of the river of the same name as the town. If you are looking for a refreshment take a slow walk along the boulevards that goes along the river. Maybe even take a swimming suit with you.

If you are already there don’t miss palace of Buchholtz family and an Orthodox monastery with a famous museum of icons.

When to visit: if you want to enjoy green scenery, visit Supraśl between spring and autumn


Church on the island of Zwierzyniec


Another fairy tale place on our list. Just imagine a town with a scenic little church located on an island, situated in the middle of green forest. Take walk around and reserve some time to observe horses living in the wild – you can take a good look from the observation deck. There is also something for fans of a good beer – local brewery Zwierzyniec. You can try their crafts in a small pub at the entrance.

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The name of the town means: the place of animals. Situated at the banks of river Wieprz (which means: a Hog) is one of the most popular touristic destinations in Roztocze. Perfect for hikers, bikers (GreenVelo) and kayakers.

When to visit: from spring to autumn

Brewery in Zwierzyniec

Wild horses seen from the observation deck in Zwierzyniec


Mosque in Kruszyniany


Not that far from Supraśl, almost at the border with Belarus, there is a tiny village, which recently gains more and more popularity. Kruszyniany are so popular thanks to Tatars’ heritage and magnificent location.

Today Tatars are descendants of one of Muslims militaristic nomad tribes which join Genghis Khan during the rise of his Empire. After its fall, Tatars  build their own countries. Over 300 ago Polish king Jan III Sobieski decided to include Tatars warriors in his army and gave them a right to settle in Podlasie. One of the places of their settlement is Kruszyniany.

Today, in this tranquil place, you can find old mosques and cemeteries and also try delicious Tatars’ cuisine. Not to mention thousands of lupin growing all around the village.

When to visit: in summer, especially in June and beginning of July, when local roads, fields and forests are full of blooming lupin

Lupin in the forest near Kruszyniany

Kazimierz Dolny

Kazimierz Dolny – the main square


This place is mentioned in every single one guidebook about Poland that was ever published. And it happens for a reason. Kazimierz is just one of these hip places that won a genetic lottery. With its mix of art, culture, history and beautiful location is a number one weekend destination.

Historically Kazimierz was a trade hub. Jewish and Polish traders made this city flourish. Their colorful brick houses – symbols of the citizen’s status – are the jewels of town’s main square. If we add that the town is located on hills and is surrounded by the system of Tolkienish gorges, you will know why this place is the most fashionable location for a summer house.

When to visit – it is worth to come here any time of year, however if you don’t like crowds avoid warm weekends and festival time

Gorges in Kazimierz



You will find more our recommendations for your trip to Poland in the posts about main Polish cities and Polish national parks.


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